I knew who I was not before I found who I am

when we are toddlers our language is limited; we have only intuition and a few simple words to rely one. Despite our young age, this early stage in life is a time when we all begin to know ourselves and help others to know us. We try new things, show our personality, and communicate so much of ourself through behavior, mood, and a simple yes or no.

while those around me accepted I was a tomboy growing up, no one ever truly validated the male/masculine part of who I am. I was encouraged to fit those characteristics into the box labeled female. I did what I could to show those around me who I was not -- I was not exclusively female. I hated dresses & pink, preferred to be topless, pee standing up, and had primarily male peers and an intense desire to be/be like my younger brother. These were my attempts to show my true self. I desperately wanted these characteristics to be viewed as innate aspects of my being, not a passing phase that would eventually be overpowered by the gender expectations associated with my assigned sex. Although society's expectations got the best of me during the many years I knew what I was not (exclusively female), I finally found the language, support, and openness to be more fully seen for who I am