One of the things that I see happening a lot within the trans community is a lot of people who are unable or unwilling to see themselves as “trans enough.” This can range from denying their own gender or claiming that they’re not “trans enough” to qualify as trans. Those who believe themselves to not be adequately trans may fall under a condition called the “impostor syndrome.” Basically, something that befalls people where they feel that they don’t measure up to a usually imagined standard of being a type of person.

For dealing with impostor syndrome, it’s important to recognize that being transgender has a pretty low barrier for entry. Namely, what my friend would always tell me is that if I think I am a woman, then bam – I am a woman. And I mean, yeah, that’s pretty much it. Obviously, a trans person’s body is not the basis for their gender, so what other things can a trans person use besides their feelings? I suffer from impostor syndrome from time to time, although I have increasingly been able to resist these negative feelings. And let me tell you, it hurts real bad. One thing that I do to help me combat these feelings, besides support from my friends, is learning to think positively of myself. Because you’ll never be truly loved unless you can learn to love yourself first.

Build Self Confidence

TransgenderOne tactic that I use and recommend to everyone – a trans person or otherwise – is positive thinking. For instance, whenever you find yourself becoming more and more negative, try to stop yourself and reframe those ideas. Here’s a general example: you underperform on a test, and your reaction is to attack your own intelligence. When that happens, put those thoughts to words, and then work to contradict them with positive thoughts. Focus on time that you have performed to expectations, or even exceeded. If you have a solid support structure, think of the things said about you by friends and family.

On a more trans-focused area, let’s say that your voice isn’t the most “convincing.” Maybe it doesn’t sound like the voice one would expect a cis person of your gender to have. I have anxieties on that myself, and thanks to a friend, now I focus more on the fact that my voice is consistent, which means it’s less likely to break.

On that subject, a good lesson for trans people to chew on is that there isn’t a bar that you have to reach to be a man, a woman, or any gender. If you’re a trans man and you’re worried that your voice is not that of a man’s, well, gotta break it to you, but it is. You are a man, you have a voice, therefore you have a man’s voice. Same goes for your face, your body, any aspect of “you.” It’s yours, therefore it is the property of a man. We get beaten up so much by others, let’s not also beat ourselves up.