As a teenager, I told my friends to consider me a boy in a girl’s body

As someone who survived girlhood and has been forced to face the reality of my life head-on to try to heal from it, I now understand how much of the violence and disadvantages I suffered in my life as a result of people recognizing me as female and treating me according to their ideas of how a female person should be treated.

As a teenager, I told my friends to consider me a boy in a girl’s body because I knew I couldn’t live up to the stereotypes of womanhood, and I could not identify with the restrictions others placed on my freedom, intellect, physical ability, and more. If I had been raised believing that I could truly turn into a man, I would have taken that escape from the oppressiveness of my female reality.

I had to do this alone. I had no support from my family (my first and main source of patriarchal abuse), my friends (who dismissed my trauma symptoms as “girl drama”), or my professional colleagues in a male-dominated field (who simply assumed I was bad at my job and not worth training).

No girl should have to accept being treated as subhuman by the society she lives in; no girl should have to recover from abuse alone; no girl should be forced to violate her own sense of integrity by being pressured to believe that men can be women in any way.

Bellona, Former ‘boy in a girl’s body’, USA