This was originally a response to someone on LiveJournal who was pondering the difference between a trans person’s mental image of themselves and the physical image that is perceived by the world. It’s something I’ve used to explain how I feel, physically, to a few people so I thought I’d throw it up here as well.
For a big portion of my life, I tried very hard to be female/feminine and was rather successful at it. But whenever I was femmed up and saw a pretty sexy woman in the mirror, it never made sense because it didn’t match who I saw in my head. In my head, I saw a guy wearing women’s clothing. I would walk around all day and feel like a guy doing drag and feeling really silly. Catching glimpses of myself, it would feel very surreal because I would intellectually think that the woman I saw was sexy and cute, and that I would love to have sex with her but there was a lot of cognitive dissonance when I had to confront that she was me, or what the world perceived to be me.
Now that I’ve decided to transition, things are different. I feel like who I see in the mirror. I haven’t begun physical transition yet but I’ve adopted all-male attire, including a more masculine haircut and body posture. Who I see is getting closer and closer to who I’ve always seen in my mind. As a result, I feel more “in my body” than I did before. I hadn’t realised it, because I didn’t know there were other ways of being, but I used to be in a tiny corner of my body controlling it like one would control a space vessel. Seeing the outside world as if it were through the screen in front of the Starship Enterprise. The only times at which I would feel completely in my body were during sex (and now I’m wondering if this was a contributor to me becoming a slut . . .was I really that horny or was sex the only way I was managing to feel like I was a corporal being?) Now it’s different. I can feel the essence of me everywhere, at the surface of my skin. Like I can perceive the outside world directly through my whole body because I inhabit all of it. It feels great and I look forward to continuing on this path to self-actualisation.