The only respectable term in the conventional vocabulary to refer to people like me is "tomboy". I was called a tomboy ever since I was a child but I never related to this term because I knew that I just didn't like to involve in activities thought of as manly. I felt and still feel an overwhelming sense of uncomfortability towards my body, which is of a woman.
Today, I identify as a transboy. I would rather not call myself as a transman because I feel that the word "man" is just too masculine for me. In the future, I plan to get my breasts and my uterus removed through surgery. Although I have chosen to keep my vagina. Having only these two surgeries or no surgery at all doesn't make me any less trans. In the scientific world, this particular condition is called "Gender Dysphoria", a condition where a person has a conflict between their gender identity and the sex that the person was identified as having at birth.
Although I wasn’t always this clear about what I wanted. I grew up to be a homophobic person, resisting my own feelings because I was not ready to be bullied and rejected by society like queer people generally are. I had several misconceptions too.
It was only in college when I realised that people around me were expressing themselves much more openly and confidently than I ever could. I began reading a lot about gender fluidity and other things to find appropriate terms that aptly described me. This is why, I initially called myself gender fluid, which meant that I could sometimes feel like a man, and other times I could be a woman.
I always liked to dress in clothes conventionally made for men. It was only when I got 24-25 years old, my dysphoria began increasing. Once a friend invited me to act in a video for him for which, he asked me to wear a feminine top. Although I wore the top I felt so disgusted to wear it. It felt like someone had forced me to wear those clothes. That’s when I began realising, that I was meant to be a boy.
When we talk about being a trans man or a trans woman, we still expect the person to be either a man or a woman. But I don't agree with this binary definition of gender. Since gender expression and gender identity are different things, I identify as a boy but I am not uncomfortable expressing as both boy or girl. So, I can wear a saree or a shirt, but I plan to get rid of my breasts and uterus but keep my vagina.
I openly talk about my issues on social media and other safe places where people advocate for the rights of the queer people. In my personal life, I still walk around hiding this side of mine from most people around me. I currently work as a school teacher in Bombay. I don’t have an option but to hide my gender identity from the school authorities. One of the ways, I am trying to get my way around is to be allowed to wear kurtas - the ones that men wear, so that I can feel a little more comfortable in my body.
I am also planning to change my gender as trans and my name on govt documents because you don’t necessarily have to be operated to call yourself trans. The only requirement is of being clinically proven of having Gender Dysphoria, a condition of having conflict between a person’s assigned gender at the time of birth and the gender with which they identify.
My body is still that of a female, and navigating public spaces with a female body is difficult. For eg: I am always made to get up from the Ladies seat, because of my masculine gender expression, denied entry in women's public washrooms, etc. These are some things I have to go through on a daily basis, all these things increase my anxiety and I stay indoors as much as I can. But on the other hand, I love traveling a lot and I try my best to push myself a little every time I set out on a journey, reclaiming my space as a trans person.
After I came out, most of my friends back then left me, but I had an entire community waiting for me with open arms. I am so thankful to all of them. I also believe it's time we put ourselves out there. We've been hiding for too long and now it’s time the world knows that we exist.