What can it possibly feel like to be transgender?
It's difficult to imagine what it must feel like to be transgender if you are not. And if you are not transgender then your mind and your body match. One way to try to understand what it's like to be transgendered would be as this example...
Let us for instance imagine that you are a genetically born woman who is attractive and feminine. Now imagine that you wake up one day and find that you are suddenly a man. You can no longer wear your earrings or jewelry, your hair will be cut and you can wear no makeup or any of the colorful and expressive feminine clothes you wore. You find that you now have muscles and are covered with hair on your body. You will be treated as a man by your fellow women and must now try to act as a man in order to integrate with them.
You are now required to do this for the rest of your life.
Every time you get dressed, every time you gaze into the mirror, every time you come in contact with another person; who you know yourself to be and who you appear to be are in complete contrast. Stress will build as you are forced to be who you are not. Welcome to being transgender.
Yes we are born with a sense of self identity and yes we are born with sexual characteristic of either a male or a female. But the sense of identity does not always match the equipment we are given. Most who are transgender know they are different from the earliest of ages, some as far back as age 4 or earlier if they can remember so far back.
For most, the issue occurs as a result of hormonal imbalances in the developing fetus and results in a brain which develops outside of the norm of the physical sex. the incongruity never goes away and it can never be "cured" to match the way the brain perceives one's to the body it has been dealt.
It is very very fundamentally important to state that gender and sexual preference are two separate things entirely. The first thoughts by many may be that one who presents as a woman must be interested in sex with men. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Sexual identification is who we wish to be intimate with while gender identification is who we see ourselves as within the inner reflection of the mirror of our mind.
To learn a little more about some of the other scientific research going on surrounding this condition, please see:
I probably didn't mention the stress which is involved with having to hide a whole piece of oneself from the world. Each day becomes a struggle as one plays the facade of who we physically are born as and hides who we are inside from the rest of the world to avoid potential ridicule. It eats at a person by day and in dreams at night. It never goes away and unless steps are taken to materialize who we are inside, it can cause a complete nervous breakdown - I should know - I hit that wall - 40 years of holding it inside....
This is what it is like to be transgender.
Now the question I propose is this.... Just as thought, if you woke up and suddenly found yourself one morning in the body of the opposite sex and would have to live and socialize in that body as that gender, what would you do? For a person born transgender, they generally have felt like this from a very early age. It is something they deal with often for the rest of their life....