This post actually began with a question which I saw asked in Facebook from one of my acquaintances who is starting down her own gender path. This isn’t an exact quote but essentially she asked what/when did we know we were women.
Backtracking just a bit on the subject, I have never felt women were ever just made because they were born female. Both binary genders, male and female end up being socialized into men and women. Obviously, since I can’t birth a child or have monthly periods I prefer to refer to myself as a woman of transgender experience. In other words, I had to spend many years outwardly living as a man before I could finally take the plunge and begin living as my authentic feminine self.
These days also there are those who somehow want to suggest late transitioners such as myself are not “transgender enough”. Mainly because we put off completing our gender transitions. There are several problems with that idea. The main one being, all the changes which have occurred over the years when transgender women and men are concerned. After all term “transgender” wasn’t even used until the mid 1960’s (according to my quick research). My gender dysphoria predates that by approximately twenty years. Of course too, I predate the internet and all the social media sites which have made more knowledge possible about all sorts of gender issues.
I am fond of using the term “gender fluid” as an example. If I go back to my teen and pre-teen years, I remember vividly how many times I would wake up in the morning thinking which gender did I want to be today. I most certainly could have been described as gender fluid before I more clearly understood my true gender intentions.
I also can not take all the credit for socializing myself into a woman of transgender experience. You may recall recently I wrote about my daughter’s role in setting me up in a very intense and scary appointment at my first hair salon. I also have written about my two very close cis female friends who initially accepted me as a person and paved the way for me to socialize with them as a girlfriend. I love to say they taught me more about my new life than they would ever know. Before I met them, I never considered all the layers there were in a woman’s life which men didn’t have. They definitely helped me climb out of my closet but the person who kicked me out and slammed the door was Liz.
Liz is my current partner and we have been together over ten years now. When we met, even though I was having success socializing my feminine self, I still was clinging to the slightest bit of male privilege and life I was leaving behind.
She flat out told me she never saw any male in me and I should take whatever means necessary to get out of the closet (totally) and live full time as a woman.
So, I am far from being wise enough to tell or suggest to anyone what makes a woman. We are socialized by society to be confined to our own gender closets. How we escape makes us the women we are today.