To this day, I still don’t remember my high school days very well. Puberty brought on a crushing wave of self-loathing about my body, and I kept wearing the baggiest clothes and trenchcoats I could to avoid being seen whatsoever. Something felt WRONG, but I didn’t have the words to say what it was, so I just hated what I referred to only as “the shell.” I was a self-harmer back in the day because of this; in fact, there’s a particular scar on Spot (from when it was previously my left forearm) that I know very well came after a bad day at school.
For as unbearable as high school felt, finding out a person could change genders when I was 22 was just as freeing a breath of fresh air. It all started when I tried hitting on somebody in a London gay bar, back when I was staying over there for a semester in college– she smiled kindly at me, asking, “When did you realize you were trans?” and I replied something charming like “uhh, what?”
One storebought copy of “My Gender Workbook” later, I was flush with new energy. I didn’t feel confident enough to come out as trans yet, not until I was 25, but the language was finally, FINALLY in my vocabulary.
As far as the earliest time I knew something was different, that would be when I was in first grade or so, and realized I had no female friends. The other kids would automatically assume was a boy until told otherwise, but I couldn’t stand how the boys would treat me differently from then on. Not long after that, when my teachers started to scold me for being unladylike, I dumped everything “boy” and strove to get an A+ in Being A Girl. I’d even make lists of what I could and couldn’t wear (no dinosaurs, unless they were pink or purple), and practiced acting like the girls in toy commercials.
As you can see, that didn’t last forever, either. :3