Transitionning to Annaelle

by Annaelle

Contains internalized cissexism, TERFism, reflexions on my own transition, explicit anatomical references.

My transition started by a process of experimentation. For me, gender always was a question of endogroup – a matter of «who’s my crew?» a matter of who do we consider alike to ourselves. It’s important, at this time, to remember that a given individual’s endogroup is multi-layered. ex : I am a [largely irrelevant enumeration that takes at least 5 lines].

[TERFs below]

The first time I realized I was being excluded from my crew, it was when I met radical feminists who insisted to say that only womyn born womyn could call themselves “true feminists” and that other people should be content to be allies. It was «only» internet, and yet, it hurt deeply – to the point where I ended up staying away from feminist spaces for about 8 months.

Because I had invested myself in something greater than myself. Because I have taken it upon myself to read hours worth of stories and accounts and share them on Being Feminist. I had nightmares out of it. Yet, I wasn’t a true feminist, only an ally. So I took a break, I went to see a psychiatrist who told my boss to give me a holiday and I started to heal my mind and the world could go fuck itself for all I cared. It was «me» time. I’m still working on finding a healthy balance in my life.

[TERF above]

At the time, it has been two years since my sister transitioned. I knew a few other trans people and I was making leaps of progress as an ally – I was even often hearing cis people saying they were under the impression that I was taking trans issues personally, [lol] in particular, issues that concerned were specifically about trans people who were neither men nor women. It was at that time that I first realized that I was living some sort of transition by procuration : through that one of my sister, but also through all those stories and accounts of trans people that I could get my hands on.

[anatomical references, internalized cissexism below]

It’s why I tell my own story, in fact – because each story is different, and I figure that adding mine adds to the diversity of experiences. It’s good for representativity. When I was reading stories, I was looking for a story of a trans woman that would have made limited, impermanent or reversible morphological editing and who had a decomplexed, unashamed love of her own penis. I did not find that story. And I wasn’t completely comfortable to writing this story myself. By internalized cis-sexism, I told myself that, if I didn’t find that story outside myself, it wasn’t valid for me. It’s worth remembering that, according to my own conception of gender, had I taken it seriously at the time, I would have been a woman. But I didn’t take my own conception seriously, and , in that regard, I censored myself from autodetermination.

[anatomical references, internalized cissexism above]

It’s why I started to identify as genderqueer. In a way, I remain with a sense of failure to not have had the guts to identify as a woman. In another way, meeting other non binarily gendered people is the best thing that ever happened in my life.

«I don’t know where my transition is leading me – I already know that I’m not going back. I already know that I’m not a man.»

I said that at the beginning of my transition. Today, I still don’t know where is my transition leading me. I found a niche that is mine in a queer identity, and I continue to explore – I want more. I’m playing for keeps, but I also want to knock down new barriers, clear new terrain, discover new identities.

I have this impression, in a way, that today’s technology is limiting me in this regard. Except if I take seriously the idea that an individual’s body doesn’t invalidate that person’s identity.


I really really want to take that idea seriously.