My Story: “I Am a Boy”

Vihren Georgiev – Our First Digital Indie Lab Guest Lecturer
With Еpisode 6 of The Second Season of Our Podcast We Celebrate The Psychologists’ Day in Bulgaria

Prisoner of society and of my own body

I got to know the term "transgender” for the first time 3 years ago. But all my life I felt like a prisoner of society and of my own body. My earliest memories are from kindergarten when we were divided into groups and the little boy inside me was wondering why I'm with the girls and not with the boys. Even at this age, when a child can't be "brainwashed" with "Western propaganda", I just felt it. I felt who I was so deeply that it was impossible for my mother to put a dress on me without the entire neighbourhood hearing my screams, and without me finally convincing her to take it off me.

I was always playing with cars, I was telling everyone how I will grow up and be a football player or a policeman. It’s the dream of every little boy. But it was a strange thing to me why they made me wear such clothes, play with girls' toys, and the other boys didn’t have to. I started growing up, and I started sensing the social norms even stronger. I started differentiating between a boy’s stuff and a girl’s stuff, my parents were telling me how I couldn’t play with cars anymore because girls don't. And the little boy in me was sad again. I was dreaming of growing up hoping that then I would become a boy in some magic way. I asked my parents to cut my hair short, and I remember how truly happy I felt when I did, but only briefly. I was a child in second grade, but old enough, to know why when the salesman called me “boy" and "little one," my parents corrected him by saying, "No, this is our daughter." The pain of those words was indescribable.

I feel it to this day. It feels as if someone is hiding inside your body and shouting in a loud voice "I AM A BOY", but no one hears it. The school was depressing. They made fun of me and of course most children go through that, but for me it seemed the others knew exactly what my weakness was. I didn't have any real friends, but I tried my best to hang out with boys. We played football together, every day. It was one of the few times I didn't feel different, just a man, just a boy. Every other moment, however, reminded me that no one sees me as who I am. Everyone sees just a few lines written on a piece of paper. I was depressed, thinking about how I would have to wear a dress at my prom and be seen as a girl, and I planned to kill myself before it was time for that because I couldn't stand it. I couldn't live with the thought that for the rest of my life I wouldn't have a chance to free this boy from the prison he was in. A prison set by society.

A prison set up by people who don't even know how I feel. One day I stumbled upon the term "transgender." And that day totally changed my life. I couldn't believe for a long time that I wasn't alone, that I wasn't crazy, that there were people like me. I realized that I didn't have to live forever in this body that I didn't feel mine, that I couldn't recognize when I looked in the mirror. Not because I don't meet the standard of beauty, but because what I see doesn't match my gender identity. And how much I tried to make it match, but it didn't work. Because I did not acquire this sense of conformity - what makes me trans - but I was born with it. When I later realized that I could change my personal documents, I could not describe what happiness and hope I experienced.

All my life I've hated hearing "her," "she," "the girl." I've spent a lot of time crying in school restrooms precisely because the boy inside keeps screaming but can't be heard, while all the other guys around me that are different to me with one chromosome only, are perceived the way they are. And I feel just like them. Alas, what is written on a piece of paper really matters so much. I swallowed everything, hoping that one day it would end.

Even with a lot of difficulty and torment, one day I will get out of court, and from that day on I will not hear "she" again when it comes to me. And what happens in the end…. people who have no idea how we feel, who have never been interested in understanding what it is like to be in our place, to experience all these difficulties, decide for us that this right should not be given to us at all. And we just want a normal life, we want to have the opportunity to feel less pain from the fact we were lucky enough to be born different. There are people who can't live with that feeling and just choose not to live at all. They exist. And I understand them. Because it's hard when your gender identity is at odds with your gender. Yes, there is a scientific explanation for this. It is a huge rarity, but it is a fact. It's not abnormal, it's just nature.

I am no less a person because if someone has a different identity or sexual orientation than the "normal", it does not make them less human and less deserving of rights and the opportunity to be fulfilled, to have the opportunity to change what is written on a piece of paper, which unfortunately defines us in our society.