MidReal Story

Identity Unveiled: A Journey to Self-Acceptance

Apr 25
Scenario: growing up as a boy but knowing deep down that should be a girl but how to navigate this at age 33
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growing up as a boy but knowing deep down that should be a girl but how to navigate this at age 33
When I was seven or eight, I realized I was born in the wrong body.
I knew deep down that I should have been a girl, that my body was a mistake.
But I buried those thoughts deep.
I was afraid of what my family and friends would think if they knew the truth, so I pretended to be something I wasn’t.
I tried to be a boy, and for a while, it worked.
But the feeling that I was truly a girl never went away.
No matter how hard I tried to ignore it, it was always there, simmering beneath the surface.
It grew stronger as I got older, a constant reminder that I wasn’t who I was supposed to be.
When I was a teenager, it got worse.
I felt like I was trapped in a box, suffocating and desperate to get out.
I didn’t know why I felt this way, or what to do about it.
I felt like I was going crazy, like I was all alone and no one would understand.
I thought maybe something was wrong with me.
I turned to religion in search of answers, desperate for a way out of the pain.
But despite my best efforts, nothing changed.
The gnawing feeling of being born in the wrong body didn’t go away.
I read self-help books and tried to find ways to fix myself, but nothing worked.
I still felt like an imposter, like I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t.
So I went through the motions, trying to lead what I thought was a normal life.
I played football in high school and even joined the wrestling team in college.
But no matter how hard I tried to fit in, I always felt different.
Because deep down, I knew the truth:
I wasn’t a boy at all.
Now here we are, almost twenty years later, and it’s still there.
The feeling that something is off, that my body doesn’t match who I am inside.
It’s been so long that I can barely remember what it’s like to feel any different.
But every time I look in the mirror or see a photo of myself, it’s like a slap in the face.
That’s not me , my brain screams as my eyes fall on the broad shoulders and muscular arms that don’t belong to me at all.
It’s almost like looking at someone else, some stranger who just happens to look exactly like me.
And as much as I try to change or ignore it, the truth remains:
I’m not a man at all.
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When I was in college, I tried to ignore these feelings and embrace my masculine side instead.
I grew my hair out and started dressing differently.
It felt good for a while, like I was finally being true to myself.
But even then, I couldn’t escape the nagging doubts that plagued me.
I still felt disconnected from my identity and unsure of who I really was.
I tried to fit in by joining a fraternity and dating women, things that were expected of me.
But it only made me feel more isolated and alone.
No matter how much I tried to convince myself otherwise, deep down I knew the truth.
I wasn’t who I appeared to be on the outside.
After I graduated from college and moved back home, the pressure to conform was even worse.
My father was a former athlete who had high hopes for me in sports.
He always pushed me to do my best and be better than I was before.
I didn’t mind—I enjoyed playing sports, especially rugby.
It was fun and competitive, and I was good at it.
I started coaching and playing on a competitive team after I graduated college.
And while I liked rugby and enjoyed coaching, it never felt quite right either.
It was another mask I wore to hide my true self and pretend to be something I wasn’t.
My relationships with women followed a similar pattern: they started off well and felt good for a time, but they inevitably fell apart when I tried to hide my identity for too long.
The pressure began to take its toll on me.
I felt disconnected from myself and no longer knew what I wanted out of life.
My relationships with friends and family were strained as well.
I was irritable and anxious all the time, and I often felt like I was living someone else’s life instead of my own.
It all came to a head one day when I was talking to my friend Sarah about what I was going through.
She suggested I see a therapist and talk things through with them.
I was hesitant at first—I didn’t think anyone could help me or understand what I was going through—but I didn’t have anything to lose either.
I was surprised by how much I opened up during our first session.
I’d never talked about my feelings with anyone before and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
But it was also scary.
I didn’t know what would happen when I stopped pretending and tried to live my truth.
Would anyone accept me for who I really was?
Would I even be able to figure out what that was?
As I sat there talking about my past and my experiences with my gender identity, I was surprised when my therapist suggested that I might be transgender.
It was like a lightbulb went off in my head.
All this time I’d been trying to fit into a box that wasn’t made for me.
I was trying so hard to be someone I wasn’t when in reality, I was someone else entirely.
The thought was terrifying and exciting all at once.
I didn’t know what it meant for me or what would happen if I accepted it.
But for the first time in a long time, I had hope.
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When my therapist first mentioned the word “transgender” during one of our sessions, I didn’t know how to respond.
The label didn’t feel quite right.
I’d spent so many years trying to come up with a word for how I was feeling and “transgender” just didn’t seem like it should fit.
But then she said something that changed everything: “What if you’re not a man at all?
What if you’re actually a woman?”
All of a sudden, memories came flooding back and emotions I hadn’t allowed myself to feel washed over me.
I remembered being a child and feeling drawn to women’s clothing in a way I couldn’t explain.
I remembered sneaking into my mother’s closet and trying on her clothes whenever I got the chance—only to get caught by my father and punished severely.
He would scream at me until he was blue in the face and his voice turned hoarse.
He would give me the belt or spank my bare bottom until it was bright red.
Then he would force me to take off the clothes and throw them away like they were contaminated with some deadly disease.
As I grew older and went through puberty, my feelings only intensified.
I remembered being in sixth grade and going shopping with my mother for new clothes for school.
We stopped at Victoria’s Secret and picked out some new bras and panties together.
The thought of wearing women’s underwear under my clothes felt like a small but important victory in my battle against my body, and I clung to it like a life raft in a stormy sea.
I wore them every day, taking comfort in the way they looked and felt against my skin and the way they made me feel whole and complete when I wore them.
But one day, in the locker room at gym class, some of the other boys saw me changing and caught sight of my panties peeking out from under my shorts.
They pointed and laughed, calling me names like “sissy” and “faggot,” and made fun of me in front of everyone.
I was mortified, and I ran home that day and threw all my pretty underwear in the trash.
It wasn’t the last time I tried to find solace in women’s clothing, but after that, I was much more careful about keeping it hidden and making sure no one else would find out about it.
It was like my therapist had unlocked a door inside my mind that I’d never been able to open before, and now that it was open, I couldn’t close it or go back to the way things were before.
My hands were shaking so badly that I had to clench them into fists to steady them, and I took a few deep breaths to try and calm myself down before I spoke again.
“I think you’re right,” I said finally, and I could hear the wonder and amazement in my voice as I said the words out loud for the first time.
“I don’t think I’m a man at all.”
My therapist smiled at me, and it was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud after a long storm.
“It’s okay,” she said gently, as if she could sense the sudden surge of overwhelming emotion that was threatening to consume me and wanted to reassure me that everything would be all right.
“It’s okay to be who you are, Alex.You don’t have to hide anymore.”
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If you met me today, you’d never believe that I was born a man.
I don’t “pass” as a woman—I am one, 100 percent, no questions asked.
My friends always tell me how lucky I am to have been born so beautiful and feminine, with high cheekbones, long legs, and full lips, but to me, this is just who I am.
It’s hard to believe that there was ever a time in my life when I looked or felt any different than I do now, but sometimes when I think back on my past, it feels like looking at someone else’s memories, like I’m watching them happen to someone else instead of to me.
I don’t have many childhood memories from before I enlisted in the Army at 18.
I think part of it is because my parents were always so busy with my older brother Ryan and his sports and other activities that they didn’t have much time or energy left over for me.
But another part of it is because I don’t think I want to remember those years.
Even as a child, I was always aware that something didn’t feel right.
Ryan was the golden child in our family, the one who made our parents proud and was destined to be a star.
And even though my parents never said it out loud, I could tell that they were disappointed that he didn’t turn out to be the son they’d always wanted.
It was like my very existence was an inconvenience to them, and no matter how hard I tried to please them or make them love me, it was never enough.
For years, I tried to ignore the feeling that I didn’t belong in my own body.
I thought that if I just tried hard enough or believed strongly enough, it would go away and I would finally be the happy, well-adjusted son my parents had always wanted.
But as I got older, the feeling only grew stronger and more persistent, until it was impossible to ignore any longer.
I was desperate for some kind of release from the constant anxiety and tension that was building up inside me.
All through high school, I was restless and unhappy with no idea what to do with myself.
I decided to join the Army because I thought the discipline and structure would help me become the man I was supposed to be.
It was also what my father did, so it felt like the right thing for me to do at the time.
At first, I was afraid that I would get kicked out when they found out that I wasn’t really a man, but instead, the strict rules and regulations helped me bury my feelings even further and pretend that everything was fine.
I even thought that I might make a career out of the Army, but by the time my enlistment was up, I was ready to leave and move on to something else.
I got out, went to college, and got my degree in finance, which led me to where I am today—a successful job at a prestigious investment firm that pays me more money than I know what to do with.
My career path seems like an odd choice for someone who looks like me, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s not to judge people by their appearance or make assumptions about them based on how they look.
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I tried to ignore my feelings and fit into the mold that society had created for me, but it was like trying to cram a square peg into a round hole.
No matter how hard I tried or how much I wished things were different, it always felt like something was missing or out of place.
And eventually, the tension and stress got to be too much for me to bear.
I found myself doing things that I never would have imagined myself capable of—drinking too much, partying too hard, and sleeping with strangers just to feel something, anything.
It was like I was spiraling out of control and desperately searching for something to make it all go away.
And no matter how hard I tried, it was never enough.
The morning after one particularly rough night, I remembered what my therapist had said the last time I saw her.
“You need to confront your true self,” she’d told me.
“You can’t keep running away from who you are and pretending that it’s going to go away on its own.
Start living as a woman in private and see how it feels.
Wear makeup and dress like a woman when you’re alone at home.”
At first, her suggestion felt ridiculous and impossible.
But after thinking about it and spending some more time with myself, it didn’t seem so crazy after all.
If makeup and clothes could make me feel better about myself and help me relax and unwind after a long day at work, why not give it a try?
So that’s what I did.
I went home that night and put on some makeup and clothes that I’d bought online.
And it felt amazing.
I looked in the mirror and saw myself—really saw myself—for the first time in my life.
And it felt like everything finally made sense.
I felt like the person I was supposed to be, like everything was right with the world.
I took off my clothes and changed back into my usual baggy sweatpants and t-shirt before going to bed that night.
But as I stood in front of the mirror that morning and looked at myself again, the weight of my male body felt even heavier than usual.
I knew that it would only get worse if I didn’t do something about it, and soon.
I wanted to shave my face to keep up the illusion that my skin was smooth and hairless.
But the idea of looking at myself in the mirror with no makeup on and seeing a man’s body staring back at me made my skin crawl.
It felt like the person I saw in the mirror wasn’t me, like I was looking at a stranger instead of myself.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else until I got rid of all that hair, but I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror afterward without feeling disgusted or ashamed of what I saw.
And that was something that I wasn’t willing to risk.
In the end, I decided not to shave that morning, even though I knew that it was a bad idea.
I had a big presentation at work that day, and I needed to look professional and put together if I wanted to make a good impression on my superiors.
I couldn’t afford to mess it up, especially not now when I was so close to finally getting the promotion that I’d been working so hard for.
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