Great question from a friend: Okay, so I feel like I should now consider you a male friend – not in terms of stereotypes, but simply at the level of personal bonding. But, do I integrate your female past with this, or do we leave it behind?
My answer: I don’t leave my female past behind. I can’t. I can’t undo, nor do I want to, my socialisation as female, my experiences as female, the misogyny, abuse, rape, happiness, beauty and bonds I created with other women as female. Also, I don’t see myself as male. I see myself as both, neither. I present masculinely but my journey is about inhabiting and expressing the best of both masc and fem, while trying to throw out and avoid internalised misogyny, male privilege (at least be aware of it and speak out about it) and toxic masculinity.
So no, as my friend I’d want you to integrate my previous self and my ‘new’ self. They’re the same person. The previous me was just read as male, the former female. The only real difference is I’ve grown as a person, am more integrated with my complexities, am more confident and assertive, and love myself more.