It’s a cliche that transitioning transgender people take a lot of selfies. I do, but the reason may elude people who don’t do the same. Think about your brain and how well you know your own face, how the neural pathways have been trained over and over again to recognize yourself. The neurons that recognize my own face were trained on a different data set, one that you would call the masculine, male-presenting face.
But the face in these selfies, I have barely seen it. I experience my own reflection neurologically as seeing a stranger or someone I am just getting to know and recognize. Not only that, someone who resembles what my brain has been encoded to believe is female, a woman, a feminine person.
And if you read Julia Serano’s book “Whipping Girl” you’ll learn about a concept called “subconscious sex” which is similar to biological sex in that humans appear to be “born” with a consciousness that understands what sex it is and how that intangible consciousness lives within and is bound to the tangible physical body.
Unless you think you are transgender, these 2 aspects of our species sex probably align and, like a fish who doesn’t know they are surrounded by water, you don’t think about it or feel a disconnect. But; I do. So much so that each selfie and new experiment with how to align that external tangible body with the internal intangible consciousness is either a victory or defeat to try and capture that feeling of not being misaligned.
Because I was born a transgender person who was assigned a male role in society, regarded as male, and did everything I could to make that work and find a way to be comfortable in that life and it never worked. I am choosing to appear this way and ask to be regarded a trans woman, but I have been like this for my entire life, I am not “changing” into anything, I am removing the layers that — no matter how hard I tried — never worked.
It may feel like I was a man who is transitioning into a woman, but I do not feel that way. I am transitioning my human-vehicle to align with the durable, immutable internal consciousness. And seeing what I look like each day is helping my brain create new neural pathways.