Sex Change

by Sophia Gubb on April 28, 2012

in Autobiography,Transgender & LGBT

girlyA few days ago I decided to officially change my sex.

(Edit, a few months later: should that be “change my gender”? No, “affirm myself as a different gender”? I’ve learnt a lot about the nuances of language since I started this process and would now write in a different way. Now “sex change” sounds for me more like operating my genitals than the complex set of psychological and lifestyle changes I was trying to describe. I’ll keep the rest of this article as it is for now but I wanted to give this proviso).

The move consisted in a big announcement on Facebook and and shift to wearing only woman’s clothes from now on, as well as other details.

I’ve changed my name to Sophia and began referring to myself with the female suffix in Spanish. I’ve learnt to speak in a pretty convincing female voice. I’ve also started shaving twice a day and covering up my “shadow” with a lot of foundation, wearing lipstick and mascara, and carrying a handbag.

Basically, I’m doing all I can to feel and appear female. Most likely, I’ll soon begin hormone therapy.

(Image is of me, in one of my first attempts to do my hair nicely).

Making The Decision To Change My Sex

Obviously, this wasn’t a frivolous decision. In some way or another, I’ve been developing this side of me and questioning myself for two and a half years. It was a hard decision to make, in fact it shook me to the core.

Why would I do such a thing? Simply put, I’m a transgender individual. My condition is that I feel a strong sense of discord between, on the one hand, the body and role I was born into, and on the other hand, who I actually feel myself to be.

It’s a myth that transgender people change their sex in order to improve their chances with the gender they are attracted to. As a woman, I’m bisexual but strongly leaning towards lesbian, so at least in appearence my potential dating pool would have gone down. (In reality for a long time I had been mostly attracted to bisexual women, which I suppose was because I knew they could be attracted to both the inner and the outer me).

It’s also not true that I want to change because I have some issue with men in general. I definitely used to, especially with my father, but I got over him quite a while ago — he’s just a person, how big a deal can any one guy be? — and since I’ve made this change I started respecting and liking men more. I think my residual dislike of men was basically resentment for having to *be* one.

And finally, neither is it the case that I’m doing this because I find women’s clothes or having a woman’s body sexually appealing. It’s not like I won’t be able to turn myself on by playing with myself in the mirror, but that would be an incredibly frivolous reason for such a hard path to take.

And it is hard. I’m only just starting to realise how hard.

The Difficulties In Changing My Sex

I found it easier, to start with, to view this as a sort of experiment, even though I now know it’s much more than that. Thinking that way let me start with the changes and see how I felt without feeling like I was trying to do the whole process at once. I was also unsure about whether I really was transgender, but the more I’ve tried living as a transsexual the more right it felt for me, and the more my doubts have disappeared. As I write this, my remaining doubt mainly consists of curiosity as to how my questions about myself are going to be answered, and not so much about me as a transsexual in itself.

Starting out I guess I naïvely assumed that this was going to be like any other change, for example going vegan or becoming polyamorous. It turned out to be on a way different level to those things, especially now that I look to the future and the process I’m going to be going through. In these few days, too, I’ve had some serious emotional shake-ups, to the point where I feel I don’t know who I am anymore.

Let me clarify that I think this is all a very good thing. Indeed, it’s not all hard; at times I’ve had a lot of fun discovering this new side of me, and I absolutely love the results in emotional wellbeing and positive self-image I’m already getting. In general I view this all as a sort of adventure and feel no resistance to walking this path; I’m doing it enthusiastically. I suppose it helps that changing my sex won’t have been the biggest thing I’ve done. It’s bigger than going vegan, but not as big as conquering a 10-year long disease that I was told could never be cured.

I wasn’t aware of quite how big it was going to be though, or not aware of how big it was going to be personally, as in the beginning I still viewed it as a sort of experiment.

This First Week Of Changing My Sex

I had officially decided to start on this when I got back from the UK about three weeks ago. I started wearing some feminine attire to warm people up to what was coming, so to speak, and made preparations. On Tuesday I felt the time was right to make an announcement on Facebook, which marked about the point where I stopped wearing any male clothes at all and started working very hard to do everything that would help me pass as a girl.

On Thursday, I didn’t really realise how much all this had affected me, and kept trying to do life as normal, but found I couldn’t. I was basically in a daze. I kept pushing myself to do something productive or even eat, but kept falling back into a stupor. I locked myself out of the house by accident and missed one of my English classes by simply forgetting.

That night, I went to my friend Tiago’s house to get my spare key. Me and Tiago have been friends since I began questioning myself and he knew all about this side of me.

“This is basically a dream come true for you, right?”

“Well, it’s a lot of emotions, all mixed together. But yes, it’s good.”

I was practically feeling a different, intense emotion about this every few minutes. Here are a few of my updates on Facebook, which give you an idea of the thoughts and feelings that were passing through me:

“I feel like I’ve completed a bank heist or something. Gender rug successfully pulled out from everyone’s feet XD”

“I occasionally have a thought along the lines of, “What the *heck* am I doing??” …But it’s a good feeling.”

“You know, it’s hard sometimes to stop thinking of femininity as a “guilty pleasure”.

“It’s so liberating not to have to pretend to be masculine any more!!”

“Went clothes shopping yesterday with a female friend I met over Couchsurfing. Had a lot of fun and felt EXTREMELY girly. My words: “It’s wierd how not-wierd this feels””

In short, I was experiencing – am still experiencing – the breakdown of an old identity. In all my life, despite all the feelings I had about my gender, I never once thought of myself as transsexual. I presented myself as masculine to stop people making fun of me and pushed the idea of being a woman away as a forbidden pleasure I would never, ever have. And then suddenly – WHOOSH! The floodgates opened. Practically from one day to the next I realise that all this pain, all this discord can and will be solved.

And at the same time, my entire idea of myself which based itself on the one principle that I couldn’t have what I wanted, was forced to die. All the structures, all the things I associated with myself to fit in in society and avoid the pain of facing myself as a transwoman, fell down. Crashed down. If I had realised quite how intense this process was going to be I would have cancelled all my classes for the week and stayed at home.

My old identity just died and I was faced with the question, “Who is Sophia?”

I still don’t know the answer to that, but I know who I’m not. I’m not that guy who hated his name and hated looking in the mirror. I’m not that guy who feigned a false masculinity that felt rough and discordant. I’m not any of the images I used to associate with myself.

Questioning Myself

It took me a long time to come to terms with myself as trans, largely I think because I didn’t fit the standard story about transpeople. The commonest story you seem to hear is that a person knows from childhood that they’re in the wrong body and say things like, “Mum, I’m actually a girl!”. They search for answers and eventually realise that there are others like them and they can be treated, whereupon they start transitioning.

I didn’t… know. Not exactly. I think that I always would have preferred being a woman if you had asked me, but wasn’t too vocal about it… I don’t know why. I hated looking myself in the mirror and disliked my own name, encouraging people to use a gender-neutral nickname. But I didn’t associate those issues with the pleasure I might have taken with playing a videogame as a female character, or the fact that I liked the show Ranma 1/2 a little bit too much.

*[For the uninitiated, Ranma 1/2 is an anime show in which the protagonist changes into a woman whenever he gets splashed with cold water.]

Maybe my gender dysphoria mixed with the general sense of self-loathing I had at the time, for other reasons. Maybe it just seemed normal that looking in the mirror felt wrong because of that. Maybe I just didn’t feel like I could express my feelings, or that they would be taken seriously.

My personal thought is that I might not have noticed my transgenderism until now because of my personal way of dealing with the dysphoria.

Looking in the mirror used to be a sort of shock. The feeling would be along the lines of, “Huh? What is that?” — But the thing is I wouldn’t think that it was wrong that I was a man, more that it was wrong there was something there at all. I think I coped with my gender dysphoria and possibly the other issues I had by disassociating myself totally from  my body and imagining myself as nothingness, a bodyless spirit.

I could think and even move this meat puppet around, but only in a disconnected way, and not in any way feeling I *was* that meat puppet.

So I think I managed to avoid most of my gender dysphoria and, incidentally, even realising I was trans by just avoiding having any sense of myself at all.

I paid for that though now, because as soon as I let myself accept myself as a transperson the floogates opened and every emotion I ever repressed came out at once. To speak of its intensity, it was like a great wall of different emotions hitting me with the force of a train.

Still Questioning

The case is that even now I still question myself a little but I ask myself that, if I wasn’t trans, how is it that now that I see myself as a woman it’s the only time I can look in the mirror and feel like I *am* what I see? Quite apart from seeing myself as beautiful and wonderful, which I do, now. But actually being identified with my body… that’s such a big thing, and such an impressive change. It feels like I’ve finally come down to Earth.

One of the things I said when talking to my wonderful girlfriend María José was a so very heartfelt, “Finally“.

I still question myself even now, and wonder about going back, but when I think of that I ask myself what is it that would going back to? A fake, masculine sense of self that doesn’t even fool me anymore. A name I hate. An appearence I hate – you know I never used to like dressing up nicely? But now I spend at least an hour on my appearence every day and I love it, it doesn’t feel like a chore at all, and I understand so deeply now, like I never understood before, that I’m doing it for myself and not for others. Going clothes shopping and choosing from girly stuff to make me look great is an absolute joy, so much fun and so engaging. I don’t see how I could go back to the only criteria for my clothes being, “does it still smell okay?”

The Beginning

It’s funny. Now, I’m finding I’m not just a girl. I’m a girly girl. I love laces, flowers, bows and the colour pink. I love shopping and chatting in an inconsequential way with female friends. I giggle, squeal and clap my hands when I’m excited. I get excited over dresses. It’s so much fun and such a continuing surprise to get to know this new side of me. I have no idea where I’ll be in a year, or who I’ll be.

I’m so thankful for the support I got for this change. The facebook announcement got 50 likes and 92 comments (so far). Every single one of those comments was positive, many of them overwhelmingly so. One of them said that she was fascinated at how wonderful the response had been and what wonderful people I surround myself with, and I have to agree. I’m so blessed to have such a supportive and loving social circle.

I couldn’t have possibly have done this without the help of my girlfriend, who showed absolutely unconditional support from the beginning and enjoys my new self exactly as it is. Emotionally this has been very very intense and she has been there for me through all of it. So thankyou, thankyou so much, my love, and thankyou so much to everyone who reached out.

At this stage in my path I’m processing all these emotions and finishing off the work of questioning myself to the point of absolute certainty about what I’m going to do. I think in all probability I’ll start hormonal treatment in a few months. Wish me luck ;)

 

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

ilkay May 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Hi,
When I read your post http://www.andrewgubb.com/5-myths-about-indigo-children/ I feel something that this is written by a woman. After seeing your name on the top of the post and clicked on it to go to the homepage and I saw this interesting post :)

I think, you are doing the right choice for yourself. Also, I’m an indigo because of my aura color is indigo and I wish you luck :)

M. May 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I would imagine it would be weird for some people, because sub-conciously (most) people have a tendency to associate personality with biology. I’ll admit to percieving you as an exeptional male who managed to reconcile the stereotypical “femininity” with the stereotypical “masculinity”. Little did I (and probably most others who follow your blog) know you weren’t a feminine male, but straight up female. Which is a shocking contrast between perception/projection and reality.

How big of a role do you think social conditioning plays in your associations between organs/bone-structure (female biology) and personality? You’ve implied that you don’t believe gender gives you an inherent personality (Femininity/Masculinity), that what says a lot about you is actually what ways you deviate and conform to societal expectations of you. So, is the reason you want a sex change because you want the world to treat you like you feel on the inside?

Andrew Gubb May 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm

That’s part of it, though not the most important part. I want to.. um, you know I hate the word sex change? I didn’t realise when I wrote this article but it really doesn’t work. I’m not changing my sex, just changing the sex I was percieved as or I percieved myself as. I want to change the gender I identify with, and present as, because it fits better, feels better, just generally seems to work better for me; I’m not sure if I can give it more of a reason than that. Seeing myself as a woman feels good, seeing myself as a man feels discordant and uncomfortable. There are other benefits of changing but really those are for the rational mind. Beyond any weighing up of pros and cons, I just feel called to doing this, feel it’s “right” for me, feel it will make me happy. So I’m following that impulse :)

As for personality and biology, I think cause and effect are switched from the way people normally see it. I think your biology is a reflection of what you have on the inside or what you want to express. I think your soul chooses it that way even before incarnating. But then things can go wrong… the physical plane is almost defined by the apparent mismatch between vision and manifestation… the amazing thing about this plane is that we can be something or envision something and need time for reality to realign to that vision.

In more mundane terms, there always is this debate about how much your physical sex affects your personality and how much it’s just conditioning related to the expectations society has for either sex. From my feelings as a woman, I think that the desire that a cisgender (normally-gendered) woman has to look pretty can’t be just from conditioning, otherwise I have no idea where I would have gotten *my* desire for it. Conditioning might sometimes block a natural desire, for instance it blocked my desire to look pretty because I was conditioned as a man. But I don’t think we are “blank slates”, I think we have true desires that come from deeper down than conditioning. I think conditioning can only really block or sometimes channel or redirect those true desires.

Dominique June 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm

hey sweetie… I have something to share with you to help you understand why you feel the way you do about your body..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKkYZVEFs-c pt 2

start watching at 7:35 of part 2 and go from there.. then watch the whole video there are 2 of them

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAE0Zox1QjM&feature=related part 1

this I think is the reason there are so many that are male that are gay and so many like you that are in male bodys but know deep down your femail..

gay to me means a male body with femail soul. gender changes to me mean that the brain was programed with xx dna but the body reflects xy this is how I under stand it.

and

kamala August 23, 2012 at 9:34 am

i want to my sex change i am from india
i am a cross dresser.
i have passport also who’s help to my sex change i will slave after change that person
my mail–kamalacdqueen@yahoo.com

andrew August 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm

i whant a sex change (m2f) but im not gay
i play games on line as a womon player
i am a cross dresser.sins school
i never look in a mirror because i do not like it
i tryed to sceare my salf by watching a sexchange op on youtube but it did not work
iv questioned myself for over and over for years and had canseling but i freeze when the subject comes up
i do not think i could go thue with it because im to shy about this
i olny said it on here because i will never see you so not shy

Sophia Gubb August 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm

hey andy.. i hope you find the strength to do this if it’ll bring you peace.

hugs

Sophia

andy August 30, 2012 at 8:55 am

grrr the last comment is true but
i do not know who i am anney moor. one day im a wommon the next im a man and the same of gay and strate. my fear is if i had a sex change the uther me will think it is rong but if i stay im stuck in this mess.most of the time i appere to be a-sexual(no fealing for any sex) this is a challange by its self .when people ask me who i find actractive

im starting to think im a man and a woman if that is pos

Andy September 1, 2012 at 12:26 am

Im sorry if I’m a bit creepy keep posting here
This is the frist place I Spock about this

Andy September 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm

All thow I whant a sex change I do not think it is the
Right move for me as I keep changing i found out it is
Called bi- gender I think

I just can not think how to bring this up with docs
How do you talk about something you do not under-stand
May be giving them the messages it posted here

Again sorry if i sound creepy It is good to talk about it
Even if it is never fully out

Andy September 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Im going to stop posting here now as I think im messing up this blog with my comments

just one more thing just I move out of my mums house into my oun so I can explore this
Without fear of getting outed (THIS IS NOT A GAY THING)
I’ll keep looking here from time to time for tips

Andy September 14, 2012 at 10:40 am

I told my mum and dad how I feal and now thay think I’m gay
Way do people jump to the gay thing I whish I was gay as it will
Make thing easer to under stand not just for me but for every one

Sophia Gubb September 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Hey Andy. I feel really bad I haven’t replied till now.

I feel for you. And I get that thing about being gay. Being either lesbian or bisexual myself, it’s hard sometimes to explain to people that I like women and have been with women all my life.

I’ve accepted it in myself though now, which helps. I feel proud to be lesbian (or bisexual if I turn out that way). It feels kinda cool somehow, another way in which I can embrace my individuality.

Congratulations on coming out to your parents :) Give them time, I guess… my parents still don’t understand very much but they are a bit better with it now.

And yeah bi-gender… I worry that I could be bi-gender which is why I’m taking my time so much with my transition, to make sure… I think I’m not though… One thing to note is that I thought I was more bi-gender until I started living as a woman and got over my initial weirdness… now it just feels right most of the time.

Hugs

Sophia

Andy September 15, 2012 at 7:38 pm

This site has helped me talk about it but still not go to the doctors
But one day I will need to

This year I whant to know who I am by Breaking my menny systems of hideing
And repressing

I find my self in one of two places stressed out ,fully mixed up and regretting
coming out Or truely loving it glad i came out
but I can switch between the to randomly this is making me feal lost
there is allso the fear of becoming suddenly becomming man in drag even thow I’m not dressing as women And still dressed gender free stuff
is this normal when comming out
And tree days of random questions from my dad witch is not fun
He thinks I’m gay and did not under stand it when I said its my gender
its like he only reads what he whants to so I need to do it all over just like last time (about 10 years ago )

andy September 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Sorry if I seem needy it that I have tuns of questions
Like hiding the voice and addems apple
stuff like that and you are the the only one I found who is not gay and I can speak to
allso sorry if im messing up you page your a big help I know I’m making lots of comments in short time

Ps do you have eny helpfull links or tips we can use

Andy October 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I just started to go to the doctors agen with help from my mum but I’m still thinking it is all made up and I’m going mad not knowing who I am (andrew or andra) for me it is not that I feal fem or mascalin it is my body only (at this time) I feal verry crazy now Iv come out with it

I found some tips on YouTube for hideing my voice
Agen sorry I know you have a life too and this is you blog and I seem to be tacking it over
Also sorry for my bad spelling

andy October 8, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Sorry if offended you feal free to remove my comments if you wish

andrew October 29, 2012 at 10:57 am

did this build up over time for you and get wors druing puberty
then when you told people you started to feal crazy

for me
i started to think about this at junior school then started to cross-dressing to find the femail body i Desire when i told my mun and dad i started to feal crazy my dad is now sighting me up to all the dating sites he can find trying to fix me and i am more mixup then ever is this normal

andrew October 29, 2012 at 11:30 am

i find it hard to read your story as i seems like a clown of mine it is scary we even have the same name ( andrew )
some how it feals like i am making it all up all thow as i was ding this way befor finding your site
only i whent one step frother i did not just play games to escape i tryed to make my oun world like in “spyro the dragon ” or the matrix

what is your best game

andrew October 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Of you think I am crazy

Andrew October 30, 2012 at 6:31 pm

I ment to say do you think I crazy

Andrew November 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Sorry if I affended you
I know I’m going mad talking about a thing I should have kept to my self
I am going back to my old life
And sorry I filed your site with my madness
By

marisol January 8, 2013 at 3:41 am

hi my name is marisol and i want, no if i could i would change my gender to a guys.
i feel trap in my body. like im sufficating while watching other girls be them and guys being guys without a care. im in high school and im a junior in misery. my friends encourage me but my parents take it as a joke since i recently told them. my brothers laughed at me. it feels like im alone.

Sophia Gubb January 8, 2013 at 9:47 am

Good luck Marisol…

You definitely can become a guy… if you want it, go get it!

I know it’s hard but it gets easier.

Rawan January 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Hello,
Your story is really nice, i wish you all the best luck in your new life :)
I have the same problem and i’m a girl, i’m in middle school i’ve turned 13 not long ago,
I truly physically want to be a guy, i’m attracted to females since 2 years perhaps, and since 4 years or close to that i just throw that idea at the back of my head, until i reached the age where everyone starts to have feelings and emotions for other people, all the girls i know have crushes, and i like girls for real (not like tomboys they only pretend they like girls to look cool),
i’m not lesbian, definitely not, i’m a straight man in inside, I’ve told mom when i first entered middle school that i don’t want to marry (perhaps it’s because i don’t like men), and when it comes to dresses or makeup i freak the heck out! Mom keeps telling me that i should dress so people can see me! I don’t like that, i don’t like people seeing me as female, it’s disgusting to refer me as female, i keep telling my little sister to call me with male suffix, i also started having low pitched voice since i became aware of it (scares my family), so at this age people start to recognize their gender, recognize what they want to be, i always have thought “why me, why me?” sometimes i wished i was like those girls happy with their dresses and high-heels, everytime i want to tell mom i break to tears and i told her that and she said it’s just silly thoughts (mom is the short-temper type) and told my sister on skype “your sister is crying all the time what’s with her?” my sis: “nothing’s is wrong with her she’s just a teenager.”, I just wanted to suicide or die or anything just break me free from this body! it’s horrible to live in the wrong gender very horrible, i’m really confused, i keep trying to love guys but makes me wanna puke , i’m soon to be 170 cm i think that’s normal for a guy.. but i don’t know how can i tell mom honestly without crying without hiding that i’m truly a guy? any help will be appreciated :’(

Sophia Gubb January 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Hey Rawan. I feel you. I hope you can find a way of improving things for yourself.

I’m not sure what to say. Perhaps the best thing I can think of is that you should look for a transgender support group around where you live, and make transgender friends. They can help you feel accepted for who you are – and maybe they can hear more of your story and give you better advice than I can :)

Good luck

Sophia

Aryan January 27, 2013 at 7:09 am

i want to be a girl

ramujani February 9, 2013 at 4:54 am

i am male.i want early mtf sex change.but i am earth down male.please give me advice price option.please help mostly in my life do sex change.

Eric Dunne March 31, 2013 at 9:37 am

I am a Male but I wanted a sexchange to become a Female I was born as a Male but I wish that I was born as a Female not as a Male I always wanted to be a Female since I was five years old so can I have a sexchange to be a Female but if you can give me a sexchange to be a Female I would stay as a Female for the rest of my life because I wanted to be a Girl in the first place not a Boy I wish to be a Girl but not a Boy I would love to be a Girl all the time but not a Boy.

Rebecca August 17, 2013 at 5:49 am

Wow. This site is really old now but I wanted to give it a go anyway. I’m 15 years old, just turned 15 and I’m female. I really want to be a guy though. I’m not a lesbian or bisexual, I’m straight but I don’t feel like a girl. Whenever I play video games my toon is always a male. If I make a female character I never end up playing that game again. My parents are really old fashioned, they would never agree to a sex change nor do they have the money to. I love male clothing as well. Whenever I go to the mall I always drift over to the male section but my mother always calls me back. I want to cut my hair short and start wearing male clothing at least because I myself am unsure if this is a phase. I also act like a guy. I’ve played as a guy on a game for several months and even talked with people on voice chat yet none of them questioned my gender nor was my voice deepened. I’m so confused and don’t know what I should do. My parents would greatly disapprove if I started to display boyish tendencies now that I’m older. I used to act like a boy when I was younger but stopped when I began high school. I regret that choice, I would have been happier now if I hadn’t.

Sophia Gubb August 17, 2013 at 10:41 am

Hey Rebecca -

I guess it must be really hard now but your parents won’t control you forever.

I’m guessing you’re in the USA, well if you can get a job with health insurance the insurance will usually pay transition-related costs. I hear some US insurances are weird about surgery, but I think you should be able to get testosterone at least.

Perhaps you can do some rebellion against your parents, if you think you can get away with it. Perhaps some conflict now would be worth it in the end.

Well, I don’t know what else I can advise. Good luck, anyway, and we can talk some more if you need it.

Hugs

Sophia

claire February 9, 2014 at 10:44 am

hi i wont to be la female and not male irelly won to be girl and not a boy i wont to stay a girl but not a boy can you give me a se change to be a girl and not a boy

Sophia Gubb February 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Claire – Oh my god, do you really think I can give you one? Go work this out for yourself.

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