My confusion about myself started when I was eleven. I didn’t feel like I was normal. I felt wrong all the time. I hated my clothes, I hated my hair, I hated myself. At the time, I attributed this to the beginning of puberty; acne, growing a chest, my hips widening, the whole adventure. I hated everything about myself the more it progressed.
Over the years, it got worse. I tried to wear make-up, but decided that I hated myself more when I wore it. I tried to conform to the female image, but I couldn’t bring myself to stay with it. I hated the clothes and how I felt in them. I returned to dressing in a way that made me feel comfortable.
I went through high school thinking there was something wrong with me. I hated myself every time someone said “she”, “her”, or “Miranda” to me. It wasn’t until I was eighteen that I got an explanation about what was potentially going through my mind. I was transgender. I knew the term for a few years, but wasn’t sure of its meaning. They briefly touch on it, and then move on as if that one fifty minute period would cover all the bases.
I started to ask people to refer to me as male. Maybe I was a male trapped in a female body? The problem was that the male pronouns didn’t feel right either. What was wrong with me? I didn’t feel like I fit into either gender.
I started to come-out slowly. I told the people closest to me; my friends. Some said they had thought so but didn’t want to say anything, some asked me to explain because they were interested in what I meant and some changed after asking two questions, “What pronouns do you want me to use?” and “Do you have a preferred name?”. I had a bunch of names I would rather be called by, but I settled for “Andy” because it is uni-gender and the pronoun I requested that everyone use was “they”. I had come out as non-gender binary and was asked to explain what that meant.
After that, I changed nothing about my personality. I still acted the same way and wore the same clothes. I had to explain that I don’t feel comfortable with being identified as female, my obvious physical gender.
Miranda “Andy” Tannahill is a second year Professional Writing student at Algonquin College. She has a passion for editing, and she is not afraid to ask questions until she understands. Sleeping the day away and reading are her hobbies.