I identify as tired.
-Hannah Gadsby's Nanette

I refuse to be tired, yet I am. In fact on some days I feel fuckin' shattered.

I try not to actively think that I'm trans. Life around me is going and I feel like I have no time to stop from everybody's happiness - I should also be living, right?

You usually hear the stereotype that trans people know they're trans since they were very little, pretty much either since they can remember or since they realized what gender was. Luckily nowadays it's starting to be more common to also hear from the side who realized it later. What if you don't feel like you find yourself specifically from either one of those?

I remember that since I was very little, I got praised for being the kid that I was, the only one of my gender amongst my siblings. I was made to feel special the wrong way. I was always felt like the most ultimate rebel tomboy on the inside, and I let myself believe it since I didn't have anything else to believe in - and you have to believe in yourself to be able to survive. I took huge pride of being "the different girl". The fact that I didn't know about people like I nowadays am, almost resulted in me being misogynistic and having a lot self-hatred, since I was just trying distance myself from all of it. I like women so much more nowadays, I see the power in 'em the same as I saw in men, and I'm so happy about it. I see myself as I am, and I see people like me.

I don't remember what age I was, but I was made concious that cross-dressing was ridiculous and essentially everybody was just trying to be somebody that they're not. You can't actually pretend for almost any time, they said, somebody will know. When I was in junior-high, the textbook still only mentioned transgender people in one sentence, in a freely-readable area, in a caption that many probably didn't even see. Trans people were very real and not ridiculous. Fuck I realized that late. What did my little brains do? Well, I don't feel like a boy, so therefore throwthatthingthefuckaway. Yet I remember being a little bit fascinated by it. If I recall correctly, the word 'non-binary' didn't even exist in Finnish back then.

Looking back, there were so many many many signs that I could be trans, but no one saw (or wanted to see) them. Especially in puberty, that's usually a wake up call for trans folks. I was always, and I still am, very excited to age. So I was generally curios about puberty, I wanted to be an adult. I remember pre-puberty that I asked my mum what happens to me then, other than I'll grow taller (_amazing_). I got told about periods (I can live with that?) and what comes with it (I can have kids? disgusting. hello tokophobia and later also the realization that I feel like I shouldn't be able to do that in the first place) and the fuckin' worst that my chest would start growing (for some reason). Mum seemed to find it extremely funny that it was going to be a roulette would I get a big chest from her side of the family, or small from my dad's side. I can still very vividly remember of being absolutely mortified of getting mum's puberty genes (which spoiler alert I luckily did not). And I did not appreaciate, without particularly knowing why, that my hips would widen. Mum told it's a good thing 'cause giving birth is much easier then... Those are the key things your trans kid wants to hear (I can honestly tell you that previous sentence was 100% sarcasm and they're the polar fuckin' opposite).

Visibility is important. Visibility is key. Knowledge is power. Everybody should have the basic tools to life to know their own gender, without making it to be "even when it's not binary". Non-binary identities are like any other - they're not just valid, they're darn powerful to realize and to exist as such. We should have equal recognition in education and visibility. Me and possibly lots of other non-binary people can tell you it can be very damaging when you don't know your own gender. It's alienating and trying to fit into another mold causes you harm 'cause it doesn't work.

Being trans is amazing, but being trans in the current society can be less so. You might end up tolerating discriminatory or transphobic language around you, or even about you, 'cause you might feel that it's a glorified reward that you get treated decently for the way you are. You might feel that you're a lot of work, when in reality you're just different kind of work. You might miscalculate your value, you might even find yourself in odd places and situations. It's all alright, we might not even know everything ourselves right away. Learn to take pride. Remember that having and keeping people around you who are ready to take a notice, to learn, about you as you grow is important. I hope you have people in your life that not only accept, but embrace you the way you are.

I knew my gender since I was very little, yet I also didn't know it. I didn't know it was a legitimate possibility to exist in such a way. And I do low-key hate the system that didn't allow me to know earlier. The hate is systematic, it's bigger than just some individuals who fuel it. And the exact same system is making our treatments more difficult to access. We need to somehow manage to put the flames out, and get a better system. And I wholeheartedly hope that we manage to finally get it.

Written also in response to #MeidänÄäni.
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