New here, thanks for the invite!
I'm a 34 year old woman. In January of this year, I finally started to transition and went on hormones. While I was super happy and excited about the changes initially, I quickly became filled with a sense of dread and losing myself as the months went on. I finally stopped transitioning in October.
So since very very early in my childhood, I had always wanted to be a man and didn't quite understand why. I did have an physically (not sexually) abusive period in my childhood but as far as I remember me identifying to be a boy/man predated that period. I did read a lot of gender critical and radfem content while I was considering transitioning and I didn't quite agree with the GC viewpoint that sexism or abuse causes women to transition and essentially they're identifying out of womanhood to escape sexism and male violence. I felt it didn't fit me.
I mean, yes, I despised sexism and male violence. It made me furious, but sexist beliefs and violence in general, also seemed so incredibly dumb that I didn't see myself wanting to change by body and go through invasive medical processes because of that.
Looking back now, I can identify how the threat of male violence did play a huge role in me wanting to be a man. So very very early on in my life I knew I was gay. Of course I didn't have sexual feelings towards anyone, but I knew I was identifying more with the dude in the couples shown on TV.
I grew up in an area where male violence was common ... rape, sexual assault, molestation, etc. I also have a huge protective instinct in me, and the fact that as a woman, I couldn't protect my future partner from men was an unbearable thought. That's precisely where the root of me wanting to be a man originated. I wasn't so much concerned about myself being a victim of male violence, I was more concerned about my partner being a victim and me not being able to protect her.
Looking back this isn't a healthy thought process to have, but I'm super glad I finally realized it and can now begin to work on it.
Just wanted to share in the hopes that this helps someone.