"As soon as I could talk I made it clear that I didn't want to
wear anything with frills or polka dots. I have baby videos of me
wheeling myself round on a skate-board and playing with a tub of
bricks. I was happy as a kid, running around in boys' clothes with
a baseball cap on.
"And then I hit puberty.
"It was terrifying. I was confused as
to why all my female friends were pleased with what was happening
to their bodies, whereas I didn't want anyone to look at me.
"PE was the most dreaded time of the
week. All the girls were standing round half-naked, laughing and
joking. They were completely comfortable with everybody seeing
their breasts and hips, while I was hiding in a corner trying to
put one shirt on before taking the other shirt off.
"I always had really low self-esteem
and was pretty much a recluse from the ages of 12 to 16. I couldn't
figure out why I didn't fit in with anybody.
"It was my girlfriend when I was 16
who realised something was really wrong. She introduced me to an
online forum for transgender men. I got chatting to about 10
guys who coached me through coming to terms with my gender
"But it wasn't until I started
attending a transgender group in nearby Nottingham that I met other
trans people in real life. That really settled it for me. I was
more comfortable with them than I'd ever been with my friends
because they understood everything.
"I had to psych myself up for coming
out to my mum. I was shaking and sweaty and frightened she would
throw me out of the house.
"'Mum, you know how I've never
been comfortable wearing dresses, and I've never liked makeup or
girly things?' I said. 'Well, I think it's because I'm trans.'
"Thankfully, she just said: 'Ok, what
does that mean?' And I replied: 'I feel more male than I feel
female. I think I've always known really and I think it has
probably been quite obvious to you.'
"I asked everyone to start calling me
Jase. I'm still not comfortable saying my name from before. If I
even hear the name in the street or out shopping it makes me
"At about 17 I started trying to
'pass'. I bought gender-neutral clothes and baggy blazers. I still
didn't really look male with my long ponytail, but on the odd
occasion that I did pass, I was pleasantly shocked.
"I remember going to my mum's office
party and a woman saying to her: 'I didn't know you had a son.' I
was over the moon. Experiences like that were few and far between
but they reinforced my decision to live full time as a man.
"Shortly after that I cut all my hair
off and had the worst haircut imaginable - a 90s boy band bowl-cut
smothered in gel. I looked absolutely ridiculous for about a year
of my life but nobody told me because for the first time I was
"Initially I was set against going on
hormones. I thought I would be fine just dressing as male and
changing my name. But a couple of months down the line, I was
distressed and in tears all the time because I still didn't feel
right. Once a shop assistant called me miss instead of sir and I
just broke down.
"As soon as I turned 18 I went to see
a private doctor and he sent me home with some testosterone gel.
After a couple of weeks I started noticing very minor changes. It
was exciting but also infuriating because I wanted everything to
"Every day I'd wake up and stare at
myself in the mirror, trying to see if I'd grown a new hair or if
my jaw had widened. I pestered everyone: 'Is my voice different? Do
I sound like a man yet?'
"After the first month the
transformation really started to get going. My face squared off
quite a bit and body hair started kicking in. My voice started
getting deeper, too. From there, it was full-on male puberty for a
couple of years.
"It's really strange going from within
the female emotional range to not really being able to cry. After
testosterone, I was a lot less emotional and things just became
easier to take on the chin.
"I'm hoping to have top surgery [a
double mastectomy] by the end of this year. It's pretty distressing
having to live with all this chest binding. But I'm not sure if
I'll ever have genital reassignment because the results are so
varied from surgeon to surgeon.
"I think people expect me to find that
awful, being a male with a female body, but they forget that nobody
knows. It's nobody's business what's underneath my clothes. That's
between me and my doctor and my partner, if I choose to have
"I think I've been quite lucky
compared to other trans people. Normally the worst transphobia I
experience is people saying that I'm a sex offender for using the
men's toilets. That's the craziest thing I've ever heard, aside
from that trans men were 'born women'. When somebody gives birth,
you don't give them a balloon saying, 'Congratulations, it's a
woman'. Yet that's all over the tabloids at the moment. The
headlines say: 'Man who was born a woman gives birth'.
"My great grandma is 92 this year, yet
she made the transition from using female pronouns to male pronouns
easier than anyone else. A lot of people make excuses for
transphobia by saying that it's because they're from a different
generation. But if my great grandma can be completely ok with me, I
don't see why other people can't.
"Nowadays I'm pretty comfortable with
myself. I don't have to worry about being read as female anymore.
Aside from a testosterone injection once every three months, I lead
a normal life like any other guy.
"Normal is as much as I could have
hoped for. I'm happy for my life to be boring so long as people
don't think I'm a woman - because I'm not."
There's more from Jase at
his YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/mytrucolours91