So much can change in a year, it’s kind of insane. To some, it may be scary-- and to others, hopeful.
I have evolved and learned so much about myself since I first started Derek Du Jour. It’s kind of hard to wrap my head around everything that’s happened and influenced me within the past year. Life is such a strange whirlwind.
It wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I could finally understand and identify my gender as non-binary. This has been so exciting and a relief after all these years, to finally be able to define and explain everything that’s been in my mind all in one word.
Yet… I still feel so lost.
As I learn more about gender, see other amazing queer people, and open emotional doors that were once shut closed by heteronormative society, I’ve been questioning my identity more and more. I’ve been dealing with gender dysphoria a lot lately. With memories of me as a child wishing I was female resurging, constant wants of being physically more feminine leading to mild body dysmorphia, and me no longer feeling content in my current state.
Physically, I’m not where I am mentally.
For cisgender people who are wondering how and why, it's extremely complicated-- and just be thankful you don’t have to deal with binary and gender related thoughts, activities, and labels every day. Simple tasks such as going to the bathroom, filling out an application, and pronoun usage induces so much anxiety.
As I continue to open these internal doors and further explore my mind, my style overall has “feminized” quite a bit since my inaugural post “Virtual Rebirth”. As happy as I am with my evolution, I still felt that something was missing. I don't know how to further explain this feeling, and everytime I attempt, my brain shuts down and is consumed with a grey haze. But after countless sleepless nights, remote café work sessions, and melancholy drifts, I've come to a conclusion to the mystery of the missing.
I’m pretty sure that…
I want to start hormones.
The thought has been floating in my mind for a while now and it’s been hitting me harder and harder each and every time. It’s taken so much mental and emotional power for me to sort out all my internal thoughts from being raised in a heteronormative, cisgender world to really understand myself and get to this point. But to finally be so sure of this decision, life feels so much lighter and clearer.
Do I want to do a full female transition? That I'm not so sure of, and that's totally ok. Just to explain to those who are unaware, being transgender is a spectrum in itself, It’s such a broad term. One doesn’t have to fully transition to another sex, or mentally identify as the opposite binary to be trans. Identifying outside of your birth-given gender is valid. As of now, I still identify as non-binary, which currently feels right but who knows... that could change. Time will tell.
We all grow and learn at a different pace, so for those struggling and going through a similar situation, take your time. There’s no need to rush, no matter your age or what others may say.
One life knot slightly untangled. A billion more to go.
But hey, cheers to progress, self-love, and an open mind.
Photography by Clay Howard-Smith