My transition towards male began before my medical transition did. In fact, my transition began before I even realized that this would become my journey. I began slowly transitioning towards presenting as masculine in 2005 – from small things like wearing men’s pants with my women’s shirts to cutting all my hair off into a more masculine haircut. In 2006, I was living in New York City, and started meeting people of transgender experience through my job, and realized that I could wear men’s clothing – no one was stopping me. I was 100% free to dress exactly how I had always wanted to.

In the Spring of 2006, I completely got rid of my entire wardrobe. Everything women’s – gone. I threw away my women’s underwear, my women’s shirts, dresses, coats, pants. The only thing women’s I owned were sports bras, and only because I didn’t know that I had another option. At that time, I was wearing the smallest, most compressing sports bras I could find, and I was presenting completely masculine, although I was still going by my birth name.

In 2006, I got to know the first trans man I had ever met, and although I identified with his story, I didn’t think transition was something that was possible for me. It seemed so far-fetched, and it seemed like something that I could just never do. It wasn’t until 2008 when I had almost a complete stranger ask me if I preferred to be called he or she that I realized that my gender was something I really needed to explore. If someone who didn’t know me at all could see me and pick up on that, then it wasn’t something that I could just ignore.

That night, I went online to start researching transition. I immediately found that there were transguys who were documenting their transitions on YouTube, and I started watching their videos. I watched hundreds of videos. I listened to their stories, and I found myself in them. I saw that these guys – no different than myself – were transitioning to become the people they are meant to be, that they have always known themselves to be. From all walks of life. These guys were transitioning, and they weren’t rich, or all living in super urban areas, and they didn’t even all have health insurance. They didn’t have to have any of these things to transition – they just had the desire and the drive to be themselves. And that was the most empowering realization I’ve ever had.

I decided that I knew what I had to do. I didn’t know how or when I would do it, but I knew that I had to transition. About 6 months later, I came out to my mom and my immediate family as well as close extended family, who were supportive and loving. They did advise me to think about the decision, and advised me to think about it for at least 6 months or longer before I decided to go through with transition. I ended up waiting 3 years, due to some personal things going on in my life. By the time I started my transition medically with testosterone on May 23, 2012, I had spent years thinking about my decision and felt more sure than I ever did.

I had my one year on T mark on May 23, 2013, and completed my chest surgery on January 23, 2013 – I am continuing to transition towards myself each and every day. For me, transition is not something that has a definitive end – I will always be transitioning and growing into the person I want to become.