This article contains the raw experience of gender dysphoria. There’s no sugar-coat or fluff. This is how it is.

I’m ashamed of who I am.
I’m ashamed of the fact I have a Y chromosome yet wear skirts.
I’m ashamed of the fact I identify as a trans person yet struggle to express myself in public.
I’m ashamed that the person I am isn’t the person I want to be.
I’m ashamed of feeling shame and embarrassment when contemplating what it would be like if I wasn’t dressed in male clothing.
I’m ashamed I can’t bring myself to tell people I’m trans.
I’m ashamed of my body.
I’m ashamed of my mind.
I’m ashamed of who I am.

If you can’t guess, this week’s column is going to be a dark one. There’s a conflict in my mind, a battle of two rational arguments. The two armadas contain various different notions, and they each have a warlord charging the battle; pride v.s shame. I seek to explore this internal conflict, to manifest these arguments in written form.

I’ve spent most of my life suppressing the fact that my gender and sex do not align. There are a few reasons for this, but a major cognitive factor I wish to explore is shame. The force that swallows me whole, shouting “you’re a mistake”. Expressing femininity isn’t something that “boys” should do, and society shames me for that. These looks of disapproval, these comments of hatred get into my head. I’m not right. Something about me is not right. My desire to express myself is fetishised by creeps online. My crave to relinquish my masculinity is shunned by the public. I’m ashamed to say there is a part of me that agrees with them, that I should be ashamed. Society has succeeded, I’m embarrassed about who I am because whatever I’m feeling isn’t normal. I’m the odd one out, and a substantial part of me despises that. It’s the most obvious when standing in public next to everyone who fits in. Beauty standards haven’t reached the point to accommodate me. My flat chest exaggerated by a dress, my tall torso emphasised by skirts, my masculine face obvious in makeup. I look in the mirror and I’m ashamed of what I see, because this element of society has been programmed into me. There must be a reason to reject this behaviour, right?

Pride strongly responds with a no – the whole notion of being ashamed of who you are is well and truly absurd. Society is a collection of many different people, each with beliefs, views and perspectives. We are all individual individuals and we should be fuckin proud about that. I’m proud of the fact I’m not like every person with a penis, I’m proud of the fact I don’t conform to gender norms. Life would be boring without the sparkles of individuality. I’m proud of the fact I make people question the construct of gender and its ridiculous standards. Being non-binary is part of what makes me Kizzy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So here lies the problem, I have another form of shame; shame of not presenting as transgender. I so desperately want to leave the house every morning expressing who I am, yet it is outweighed by the immense fear I experience. It’s petrifying to not conform to what society expects of you, so I have fallen into this habit of suppression. I’ve given into society and I’m not pleased with myself. I despise the fact that I have acknowledged my gender yet fail to exercise my freewill. I’m a sheep and I can’t break out. I’m letting myself and the trans community down; I need to get my shit together.

I refuse to live my life in ignorance of who I am. After some advice on twitter, I’ve decided to start presenting slow and steady. Tomorrow I will be at school with my nails painted, and who even knows what the future holds.