Ways to Fix Gender Imposter Syndrome | MTF Transgender
Dealing with imposter syndrome is one of the most challenging aspects of being transgender. Even if you know who you are, you may still struggle with feelings of inauthenticity.
However, there are ways to move past gender imposter syndrome and fully embrace your identity. With time and practice, you can get to the point of totally owning your gender expression.
It's normal to feel like you're "faking it" at first
When you're new to your transition, it's completely normal to sometimes feel like you're "faking it." You know where you want to be, but there seems to be something blocking you from fully getting there. It can feel frustrating and inauthentic.
The saying "fake it till you make it" absolutely applies here. During the early stages of transition, experiment with different expressions, voices, clothes, mannerisms, and names. See what resonates and what doesn't.
When you try new things, you'll get feedback from the world and yourself about what feels right.
For example, the first name you try on may not completely fit. But with time, feedback from friends, and personal reflection, the right name will emerge. The same goes for all other forms of expression, like clothes, voice, and mannerisms.
Imitate things you see on TV or admire in supportive girlfriends. Over time, what feels most natural will settle in.
Make it real by integrating new behaviors
At first, new behaviors and expressions may feel unnatural or take conscious effort. To move from "faking it" to "making it," keep practicing new mannerisms and expressions until they become routine.
Once a new behavior becomes integrated enough that it's automatic, it will start to look and feel natural.
Steal personality traits or expressions from girlfriends you admire. Give them a try and see if they settle in as part of your personality. With enough positive feedback and practice, these become part of the real you.
Eventually, you won't be "faking it," but expressing your true authentic self.
Drop any narrative that you were "faking it"
After you've practiced enough that your expression aligns with your inner identity, you have to drop any narrative that you were "faking it" before. Thinking of your transition as fake can undermine confidence.
Retell your story with a focus on discovery - unveiling your true self rather than "faking" a new one. You've been calling in your inner knowing and articulating who you really are. There was no imposter, just a process of bringing out the real you.
If someone misgenders you now, remember that you know who you are. Let go of any story that you were "faking" it before.
You are and have always been your true self, whether consciously or not. Now you've learned enough to confidently express that self. That's the most solid place to be.
Ways to Fix Gender Imposter Syndrome: Summary
Gender imposter syndrome is a common experience for transgender people. It can be difficult to feel like you belong in your affirmed gender identity, even if you know that it is who you are.
However, there are ways to move past gender imposter syndrome and fully embrace your identity. With time and practice, you can learn to confidently express yourself and let go of any doubts about your authenticity.
Here are some tips:
- Remember that it is normal to feel like you are "faking it" at first. This is a new experience for you, and it takes time to adjust.
- Experiment with different ways of expressing yourself until you find what feels right. This includes clothes, voice, mannerisms, and name.
- Be patient and persistent. It takes time to integrate new behaviors and expressions into your personality.
- Drop any narrative that you were "faking it" before. You have always been your true self, even if you didn't realize it. Now you are learning to express yourself confidently.
If you are struggling with gender imposter syndrome, remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you on your journey. Talk to a therapist who specializes in transgender care, or join a support group for transgender people.