Becoming comfortable in my own skin

From a very young age, I knew I was gay. To be exact, I am a nonbinary pansexual, which means I don’t identify as a boy or a girl, and I am attracted to everyone. As a kid who grew up in a very heteronormative household, I never thought about anything outside of that. Looking into my future, I saw myself wearing a white dress, walking down an aisle where I would find myself in a situation where I would have to kiss a man. Although, little me wasn’t thinking about who they wanted to kiss; all I knew was that I didn’t want anything to do with wearing a dress.

I remember at the ripe age of ten, I began to avoid mirrors at all costs. I could no longer go in the pool with just a pair of swim trunks and a flat chest. I started to develop a body that was beautiful but wrong. I was becoming a “woman.” I hated the idea of being stuck in a body that couldn’t be changed. I would always tell myself, “There’s nothing you can do, you are a girl. Nothing can change that.” I didn’t know there was a way out. I felt trapped. Sooner or later, ace bandages and hoodies would become my best friend. I developed a beautiful body that I couldn’t stand to look at. The older I got, the more difficult it became to hide the fact that I was born a female.

The hardest part about top surgery isn’t the actual surgery, it’s the process of having to wait for it for years. I have wanted a flat chest for about four or five years now, ever since I started developing my chest. I did everything in my power to compress my chest and make myself appear flat, but no matter what I did, it never fully worked.

One of the biggest challenges I have had to face in the past 4 years is trying not to injure myself while also compressing my chest. This is something that many people don’t understand about trans masculine people. I have used binders, ace bandages, etc, and although they have somewhat worked in the past, they have left permanent damage on my health.

The consequences of these actions are more severe than most might imagine. For example, binding has left me with back issues, fabric burn, and issues breathing correctly due to the pressure on my rib cage. Even though I know I understand the risk of binding, I disregard it because I’d rather be in pain and have a flat chest, than uncomfortable in my own skin.
I am now 15 years old, which means I will be able to get this gender affirming surgery in about 7 months when I turn 16. Now that the date of my surgery seems so close, it’s difficult to say whether I am happy or not. Looking at the obstacles I have overcome to get where I am today, I am so incredibly proud of myself and I am genuinely excited about finally being able to wear a t-shirt in public.

Although, being happy doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a lot of change and it is terrifying. I’ve never done well with change, and getting a permanent surgery even if it is something I’ve wanted and needed for years, it is incredibly nerve wracking. I have come so far with how I present myself, and learning more about how I want to change my appearance permanently that I can finally feel comfortable with who I am.