Zoë's Story
I was and am a super feminine woman who loves wearing feminine clothes and stereotypical women’s things. I was like that as a child too.

I experienced sexual misconduct for the first time when I was ten. I started experiencing anxiety, and when I was twelve, I began to suffer from depression.

I linked the little bit of self-worth I had to my appearance because there were often remarks about how pretty I was, but my personality was heavily criticized. I struggled immensely with self-hatred. I became increasingly obsessed with my physical imperfections. I didn’t know who I was due to complex trauma and began experiencing depersonalization.
I started to doubt my sexuality and gender identity. I began experimenting with my gender expression. At twenty-one, I came out of the closet as transgender. At first, I doubted myself. Online, I read that if you think you’re transgender, you probably are. This gave me certainty. I was convinced I was transgender and that this would solve my problems.

I transitioned as a coping mechanism, as an escape from myself. To become someone else and leave my traumas behind. I liked the idea that people from my past would no longer recognise me. I thought my transition would make me feel good about my body and make me love myself.

I hated myself for my womanhood because it was constantly being exploited. I hated my body because I felt it was the only thing of value about me. I wanted to be seen for who I was on the inside.

My transition protected me and allowed me to live with myself. I felt more confident and less anxious in our society.

I don’t regret my social transition because I think I needed it at the time. Now that I am healing and starting to love myself more, I regret starting testosterone and having a mastectomy.

I still don’t know one hundred percent who I am. I still doubt my sexual orientation. I’m afraid that I fall for men because of trauma but actually, I’m lesbian. I’m afraid of detransition because I fear the traumas associated with my womanhood. But most of all, I am very happy to know now that I am a woman, getting to know myself better, and finally starting to love myself as I am.

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