Looking back from where I am now, one of the hardest things I have had to come to terms with is that I have been a serial liar. Lying was a way of life because I lied to myself. I lied about my core being. I lived a lie. I built up a whole persona of somebody I was not, to be acceptable to society, presenting a person who fitted in as life should be. 

The real me was a secret something to be ashamed of, to be kept hidden, totally unacceptable. My shame stopped me feeling anything yet I did everything as I should. I cared for people, I looked after people, I was the nice guy. Yet was any of that real, was I that person? I needed to be liked, to be seen as a good guy, the dependable one, nothing was too much trouble. I would go the extra mile to make things happen for others. I always put myself second, that was how it was. I didn’t feel I was being a martyr or sacrificing anything.

So what happened? Maybe I could have gone to my grave living that lie. The problem was my core being, my soul was not having it. I could not deny who I was any longer for my sanity. The real me started forcing its way out of its shell. I knew it was there, I allowed it out occasionally when the effort of keeping it locked down was too much, when it was hurting too much. I let it out surreptitously in safe circumstances where I couldn’t be found out. We could have a “love in”, be happy, have fun then it was time for it to be put away, be hidden again and I would be able to perform as “normal” living a lie.

Skip forward a few years and hey I am leading my life as me, the true me. I am transitioning I do not have to lie about who I am anymore. The trouble is I have been living a lie for decades, do I know what the truth is? I had always considered myself to be an honest person, someone who can be relied on. I was lucky enough to have people around me able to call me out on my behaviour. I didn’t so much blatantly lie, rather I would lie by omission. After all I had done that my whole life, that wasn’t lying. I seemed able to delude myself, believe things were other than they really were. It had become second nature. So that has been a really hard lesson to learn, to be real, be honest to do my best to say it as it is without embellishment. There are still times when the immediate response comes from old habits and I have to check myself and say no. Thankfully not often anymore.

To have friends willing to show me, hold up a mirror so I could see and understand has been and is an amazing gift that they have given to me. allowing me the opportunity to really grow and be who I am.

I feel it is true to say that the effect of gender dysphoria stretches further than simply the physical shell. Having transitioned I discovered with the help of my friends there is a whole new life and a new wholesome way of being to be lived.

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