I can hardly believe that I am in my late 60’s and am only just transitioning. But better late than never. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s I never appreciated that one’s gender could be different to one’s sex, I thought as I suspect most folk still do, that these were two words for the same thing. It really is only with the scientific advances this millennium that we know for certain that gender identity arises from the effects of hormones on the developing brain around week 13 (and is also influenced by ones culture). We also know now that gender is not a binary, either /or thing and neither is sex.
I always knew I was not like other guys, but I never thought of myself as being a woman. I just never understood or had the words to explain how and why I felt different. Wasn’t I just a soft gentle man, yes with some traits that were more common in women, but not unheard of in some men. I was always attracted to colours and fabrics, to the feel of nice materials, liking to dress in flowing skirts and dresses but never having the courage to admit that to my partner.
But now I have learned that I can be honest and be accepted and loved. And so I am in the process of transitioning and I have never been happier.
My parents chose the names of Anthony and Michael, had they realised I was not a boy maybe they would have chosen the feminine Antonia Michele, but I’ve always been known as Tony. Surprisingly Tony is both a boy’s and a girls name. Tony as a girls’ name is of Latin and English origin and is an alternate spelling of Antoinette (French, Latin): French feminine variation of Antoine. Tony is also a variation of Antonia (Latin). Tony is also used as a derivative of Toni
Interestingly, Michele is an Italian male given name, akin to the English male name Michael. It is also an English female given name that comes from the French Michèle. It is a variant spelling of the more common (and identically pronounced) name Michelle.
Both names derive from the Latin Michael referring to archangel Michael, and originally derive from the biblical Hebrew name מיכאל (pronounced mi-kha-el) meaning “Who is like God?”.
I chose to simply be known as Toni and have changed my legal name to this.
I am English, I live in Oxfordshire and am married with no children.
I have benefited from and been inspired by the wisdom of others further along this path; I hope I may inspire others to explore what gender means for themselves and to help them transition to a gender that fits who they truly are, after all there are many to chose from.
Please feel free to contact me by email and to comment on any post.