The idea of being trans has my head in a scramble
This is going to be a bit of a ramble.
I'm not even sure where to even start.
Browsing r/egg_irl has me confused. Am I trans? What does it mean for someone currently living as their birth-assigned-gender to be trans? Would I be happier as a woman? Or non-binary? I don't feel major bodily disphoria. I don't dislike my body. I am curious what it would be like to have a female body.
When I was a teenager I read Commitment Hour, by James Alan Gardner. It's about a village where young people switch back and forth every year (go to sleep as one, wake up as another), until they turn twenty and have to choose one or the other. I loved it. I fantasied about what it would be like to quickly switch back and forth. I liked the idea of finding out what it's like to have a female body without having to permanently commit to it. That fantasy has tempered a bit since then, but I wouldn't say it's completely gone.
I've been growing my hair out, but I've also grown my beard out. Both started as laziness. I didn't feel like bothering to get my hair cut or mess with shaving my face. I hate shaving. Now it's something of a security blanket. I feel exposed without them. Another reason I grew my beard out was because there were a couple of times when I was a teenager that a stranger thought I was a girl and it made me uncomfortable. I grow hardly any chest hair and I like it that way; but I have a lot of leg hair, and I like that too.
I've never been the macho type or had much use for machoness.
I don't know If I would like being female, or if I just like the idea of it. There have been other things that I liked the idea of but not the thing itself. How can I respond to others seeing it as a phase if I'm not even sure myself if it's a phase.
I don't like the social stigma around it. I come from a conservative family. I don't know how they would react. I live in a small predominately Mormon community where everybody knows everybody and gossip runs rampant. I don't know if being female is what I really want, but I at least want the space to experiment and find out.
I don't know what I want and I hate not knowing. Even deciding whether or not I should even type this out, let alone post it, has been a major mental battle.
I've been on Tildes a while, but I created a new account because my main account could be connected to my real identity and I'm so not ready for that. Even putting this out there anonymously has me terrified.
It's worth restating here that women can enjoy having leg hair, and have beards, and that doesn't make them any less women, even if our society often gives that impression sometimes. Likewise, having a like or dislike of macho behaviour and engaging in it doesn't necessarily make you any more or less of a woman/man.
It might be worth finding out if there are any secluded, private queer trans-inclusive groups nearby where you can explore things more personally? It might also help you if you connected and talked more with trans people online (if you don't already), a lot of us use Reddit, Discord, Twitter, and Pleroma/Mastodon all as ways of keeping ties with other queer people.
Ultimately though, being trans/cis is about YOU. It's finding who you are and who you want to be. Yes, sometimes mental health and dysphoria can cause problems when they're unresolved, and can weight in on that, but you don't need dysphoria to be trans and a fair amount of people don't realise the extent of their dysphoria and unhappiness until they get on hormones and don't have to suffer it anymore tbh.
So, all I can really give you here, is some reading that helped me:
The one that I remember the most, is: https://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/04/17/the-null-hypothecis/
This also helped a lot, https://the-orbit.net/zinniajones/2013/09/that-was-dysphoria-8-signs-and-symptoms-of-indirect-gender-dysphoria/
Natalie Reed has written some more on it here: https://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2013/03/17/how-do-i-know-if-im-trans/
And if you google "The Null HypotheCIS", in some reddit threads some other people talk about what helped them.
Some other things that helped me was finding a few close friends and having them shift name/pronoun in safe contexts, and doing small things to feminize myself. The relief from those things helped me differ from the a baseline for me to realise enough that, yes I am trans, I do have dysphoria, and it can be severe.
If you want some tips on who to follow on twitter and places that are hotbeds of trans people, feel free to DM me and I can suggest some follows :)
This is the interesting part to me. I am definitely dysphoric, and until today had never heard of egg_irl. I have long hair because I like long hair... but I have a beard because, frankly, I don't care enough to shave. I use the mirror as little as possible, and the face in the mirror is not my face. I'd rather have it with hair than without, because at least the hair covers the wrong.
That was also my experience, and the reason for which I kept a beard for about a decade. It looked wrong, but at least I didn't have to deal with the constant anguish of making it a tiny bit less wrong to be slapped with the fact that it wouldn't last, and that I couldn't do more about it.
Rough place to be in fellow, I will try to throw some ideas your way from what you have presented mixed with what I have experienced. Part of what I would say is the internet can help you to a degree, many have posted or attempted to answer questions like yours archived throughout the internet. They may or may not help. I personally would say don't put too much faith into them, whats the word hypocrite? Sure check out my thoughts tho lol. I have found some things in my life better solved by taking a step back and not seeking major advice, give yourself some credit, none of what I saw posted made me scratch my head or think of grammer stuff, most likely a contrast to my post. Take as much time as you need to think about the what if and isnts and you might end up at a fork in the road with nowhere but one of the forwards. Take your time to think about who you are and what road is the one for you and how to walk it. Hope the best for ya bucko.