Hi my name is Cassie, obviously that hasn't always been my name. I grew up as a boy who was always picked out as being different. I was and still am camp or effeminate and really didn't fit in with other boys who were loud and brash. Being sent to an all-boys boarding school as you can imagine was a nightmare for me. I suffered terribly from bullying and as male hormones kicked in amongst my peers, also sexual abuse.
This kicked started my gender dysphoria. I didn't know this then but I didn't want to be a boy and I really didn't want to grow up as a male however at the time I didn't know about trans as this was pre Internet. I knew there were men who cross dressed I had seen them on the telly but it was only for entertainment. Due to the abuse I had suffered as a boy I was also fighting internalised homophobia however being bisexual I was able to disguise myself as heterosexual. I wanted to present as being feminine but was also aware of the attention it would bring me so for years I did nothing about it. When I finally did come out as both bisexual and trans about 10yrs ago it wasn't actually a shock to most people but then again attitudes had shifted a lot since when I was a kid.
My first endeavour didn't last long because of my kids. They were in primary school and I just didn't want them to be bullied for who I was. Instead I become a secret cross dresser leaving it to moments when I was alone or occasions when I could do so in public without being judged like Halloween. Finally after splitting up with my girlfriend I just couldn't take it anymore and I had a second coming out. I thought the way forward would be to fully transition and just live my life as a woman.
Thankfully for me in ways this came at a time when there were a lot of 'loose ends' that were all coming together and I was able to do a lot of personal self-reflection. I was also on twitter and seeing how the landscape among the trans community had changed in the time since had first come out. Looking back all I wanted to be was gender non-conforming but was too scared of being called a girl. These days I see images of trans women who put even less effort than me into appearing feminine being called stunning and brave.
There are organisations like Mermaids stating that if your child likes stereotypical things associated with the opposite sex that they are trans. I see Stonewall pushing an agenda which threatens the rights of women and homosexuals but also damages the acceptance that transsexuals had gained. This is being done all in the name of transgender rights, an umbrella term that encapsulates everything from cross dressing to transsexuals. They aren't speaking for people with gender dysphoria but instead promoting ideas such as the affirmation model and calls to ban what they call 'conversion therapy' that stop people like myself from getting the support we truly need.
I have come to peace with my gender dysphoria now and no longer wish to transition. I haven't gone back to being masculine if that is what you’re wondering and am as gender non-conforming as they come. I don't even call myself a trans woman anymore so it is a shame to see people who are essentially the same as me do so. What the world needs right now is more GNC acceptance and not less.
I would like to say to parents with a child who think might be trans just let them be themselves, it might well pass as they grow up and if it doesn't hey you have managed to hopefully raise a child with individuality and you should be proud of yourself.
To those questioning their gender identity, don't fall for what is a trap so that you assign a label to yourself and just be you.