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Finally Being a Schoolgirl

TAHLIA WHITE|CREATIVES



I have already done a bachelor’s degree but with career change ideas I am back, doing a different bachelor's degree. But compared to my last time at university, this time is going to be very different in the best ways possible.


I am a Transgender woman. I was too scared to be myself my first time at university. I used a name that didn't feel right and limited my social interactions so I could just get uni over with and not be seen. But this time, I'll be a schoolgirl. I didn't get to go to high school while publically being a girl; I didn't get to go to primary school while publically being a girl. School was pretty stressful and kind of saddening because I never really got to be myself which limited my opportunities greatly. It almost feels like I didn’t even get to be a student really.


It felt stressful going through stages of schooling becoming further away from who you are. When I was really little, my body wasn’t too different from the people around me. But in high school especially there was a growing barrier to socialising with other girls. They didn’t see me as one so even if I got along well with someone there would still be a feeling of a wall I couldn’t get past. Having to wear a uniform that was different from the other girls around me hurt a lot, and being in an all-boys class in years nine and ten led to the most saddening period of my life. I just felt trapped in this set path for me that I didn’t agree with. The parts that helped were moments when I wore girls' clothes at home in my room or at friends' houses. These moments helped me through high school and primary school.


This year, I finally get to go to university with my new legal name: Tahlia. I get to wear women's clothing, I get to wear make-up, and those cute scrunchies that the other girls would wear – I finally get to do all of that. I get to hopefully make more meaningful friendships, socialise more in clubs, and just actually live my life the way I always wanted to. To simply be a girl.

I knew I wanted to be a girl since I was 9 years old, but my parents at first didn't accept me. I wore a blanket as a dress when I was 4 but my parents don’t seem to remember that. I had a little spy notebook toy marketed to boys. I wrote the words ‘I wish I was a girl” in it. Even with those feelings and often wishing to magically turn into a girl, my parents didn’t take me very seriously. They've gotten better at accepting me; it took a very long time, however.


When parents have such a direct control over your life it's really hard to get what you want sometimes. I wanted puberty blockers so I’d look more feminine in the future, but they didn’t let me. So I experienced a puberty that didn’t feel right for me. I was terrified by my height changes and distressed at my voice dropping. But with lockdown in 2020, I finally took the steps to transition into a girl. It required some tough conversations, but I get to be a girl publically now. I had to go against what my parents initially wanted for my own happiness, and thankfully my parents have noticed my increased happiness since transitioning.


Through lots of practice, my voice is getting closer to what I want to sound like. I’ve expanded my wardrobe so I can wear the clothes I always wanted to wear. I grew my hair out more. I started HRT (hormone replacement therapy) which is basically medication that lets me experience a different puberty that I wanted. I am slowly getting closer to being fully myself and it's really exciting to be able to go to university as myself fully with additional confidence.


Life is so different, but in all the best ways possible, now. I feel I can appreciate each day much more easily, I feel positive emotions I didn't know I could feel, and I feel this year at university will be so different than what I was used to. I’m excited to simply be a schoolgirl for the first time. Those social walls that distressed me won’t be there and I’ll feel happier to be seen in a public space. I have a feeling it’ll help me with uni work too since I know I am much more extroverted now and I’m excited beyond belief to socialise as myself.


In the last 2 years, I finally got to act on my feelings and transition into who I am today and I am going to keep growing more into the young woman that I as a nine-year-old wanted to be. The nine-year-old who wrote in a little notebook "I wish I was a girl" who is now finally a girl at 22. I have what I always wanted now: to be a girl. With university, it's a chance to reclaim that lost childhood in a sense.


And I'm excited to make the most of it and make up for some lost time. I'm a 22-year-old transgender woman and I finally get to live how I want. It was such a long wait. But I'm so happy I get to be myself. I always was a girl from the very start of life. The difference is that now, more people get to see that fact, and that means so much to me.



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