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  • Writer's pictureLilith Elektra

Removing Malware

I started my gender transition in April of 2018 and after a few months, I started noticing some small changes. Not physical changes, caused by the hormones (although there were those), but behavior changes. Obvious, but they didn’t feel unusual or odd.

I noticed I was more animated when I was speaking. Emotions were beaming off my animated face as I spoke. My hands gestured wildly with excitement, and my voice projected with energy. While my confidence had grown somewhat the last few years, all of this was very new.

It might have been written off as me trying to ‘act’ more feminine, but all of this was without pretense or purpose. It was just happening. Then it hit me - I wasn’t trying to act more feminine, I was no longer stopping myself from acting naturally. Part of my brain was no longer dedicated to focusing on behaving in the gender role society had deemed proper for me.

Most of my personal growth came from these parts of my brain that were no longer actively working against who I really was; no longer trying to force me to be someone I wasn’t. My brain was no longer concerned with not being seen for fear of being found out, I no longer had to hold back because the way I was going to express myself wouldn’t have been proper for a boy.

My brain was like an amazing powerful computer, but unbeknownst to me it was filled with viruses n . Programs running in the background, programs I wasn’t even aware of, that were slowing me down, that were causing me to operate at less than full power. As I started to fully express and accept myself I started shutting these programs down. Transitioning has been like rebooting a malware riddled computer, shutting all of them down and starting over with a clean slate.

I had used this metaphor, with much success, to explain the effects transitioning has had on me. It has helped me, and others, understand changes we are undergoing during our transitions. Everything from how we express ourselves, how we feel about speaking up, about fighting for ourselves even how we feel like we’ve “changed” when it comes to sexual desire. Are we changing because of our medications, or are we finally shutting down programs that have kept us from accepting our true desires?

The more I talked about this, the more I realized that this doesn’t just apply to transgendered people. We have programs running our brains, many we don’t even know about, that are there to “protect” us. Most of the time, we didn't install these programs and we aren’t even aware they are running - but where did they come from?

They came from our past, the things we learned as kids and accepted as true. They come from parents, teachers, peers, and from our own interpretations of the world. If we’re told that we’re not good at something, believe it and never try it again, that’s a malware program. If we don’t feel safe, or have our trust violated, we put in a program that keeps us from trusting people in the future.

Think about the beliefs you have about yourself. Think about the things you don’t try or situations where you are limiting yourself. Why do you feel you’re not good at writing or that nobody values your opinion? Is that actually true or is that malware popping up and keeping us from living our truth?

Shutting down all these programs isn’t easy, for sure. However taking time and investigating it can help. Noticing the times in your life when you were able to ignore the malware (or were forced to) and succeed proves those thoughts false. You can recognize those false truths you have about yourself, do the things you want and finally live your truth.


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