So what happened next? I don’t really know. The story doesn’t really have a hard resolution, it just sort of fades.
Without a doubt, I am a stronger person for the bullying I received. Would I call it a blessing? Hell no. But you gain strength in adversity, and eventually, I stopped giving a damn about what others had to say about me, even when I would hear the odd comment in the halls as late as high school. In fact, my blasé attitude towards the opinions of others even helped me forge a few new friendships. In other words, I became more popular when I stopped caring about what was popular. Funny, that.
That said, my self-confidence still suffered from some pretty significant scar tissue (that I wish you saw). I don’t let other people dictate what I will or won’t do, or what I will or won’t enjoy, but that doesn’t mean I have an abundance of self-confidence. Quite the opposite, actually.
It’s stupid, but I shudder to think what those people who bullied me back then would think about me being trans. As I have emphasized several times, gender does not equal sexuality, but that doesn’t mean everyone sees it that way. I would say most of those folks totally equate homosexuality with transgenderism. And in coming out as trans, if I do, I will only be affirming, in their eyes, everything they already thought of me. Not that I have anything against homosexuals (we are allies, after all), simply that I’m not one, and I’m immature enough that the idea of giving those people that satisfaction makes me want to vomit.
See also: “NO RLY GUYS, IM NOT GAY, IM A LESBIAN!”
The bullying also made me a “harder” personality, for lack of a better word. Like I said, I was very passive when I was younger; that was not the case as high school progressed. I was sarcastic, blunt, and sometimes, downright mean. Defensively, I’ll contests: I wasn’t going around attacking people. But if I saw you as a threat? My tongue would cut you at the knees.
I became more guarded of my emotions. When I was younger , I cried all the time, at pretty small stuff. Later, as I’ve said, I sometimes struggled to cry, even when I wanted to.
There were even a few times, later in life, when I saw myself becoming that same bully that my “friends” had been to me, even going so far as accusing them of being “effeminate.” A cycle perpetuated by self-hatred, that only continued to fuel that same self-hatred.
If you are one of those people, I am so, so sorry. I have no excuse. You are a good person. You have to be: I only behaved that way towards people I liked and respected. F****d up, isn’t it?