One of the hardest things in life, yet one of the most important, is to accept yourself. The way we look, the body we possess, the illnesses we have, the family we were born into. Many of these things we cannot change and must come to terms with.


We have no control over which illnesses will affect us. Sometimes it’s due to genetics, sometimes an accident or an infection we couldn’t have predicted or prevented. All we can do is accept our condition, seek treatment, and go for check-ups. There are many diseases for which medicine does not yet have an effective cure; at best, symptoms can be minimized. I myself have one that, fortunately, does not cause me much trouble, is under control, and the treatment works very well. I’ve accepted it and am glad to be alive in times and in a country where doctors can help me. Because if I had lived several decades ago or in a place where medicine is not as developed and widespread, my life would surely be much worse.

There is also one thing, caused by this disease, that affects my appearance. I have clubbed fingers. They are very unattractive, and the nails have a different shape. If you look at my photos, you’ll notice that I don’t do manicures, I don’t paint my nails. I often try to hide my hands. Is it hard for me to live with this? Not really, I’ve accepted the fact and don’t have a major problem with it. Do I envy women who can paint their nails? A bit, yes, but it doesn’t strongly affect my well-being. It simply is what it is. Mother Nature gifted me with beautiful hair, gentle facial features, and a slender figure. I know many people envy me for that. However, I’m not perfect, and I envy you for having nice nails.


I accept my body. I have no problem with being born a man. I like my penis, and a flat chest doesn’t bother me. Sure, I’d like to have slightly wider hips or a more pronounced waist, but I know there are cisgender women who have a silhouette similar to mine. What I don’t like is facial hair and body hair everywhere. Fortunately, I can control this; I go for laser hair removal and see the effects. I can also train my voice. I’m not taking hormones and won’t be taking them anytime soon. I don’t know if I’ll ever decide to. If I could take something that would reduce testosterone to decrease hair growth, then maybe I’d decide. But as it is, I currently don’t need such drastic changes.

Society and Cultural Norms

What I can’t accept are the cultural norms assigned to a given gender. The hardest thing for me to come to terms with is that men are supposed to wear certain clothes and shoes, behave in one way and not another. The worst part is that I no longer enjoy wearing men’s clothes and shoes; I can’t enjoy a suit like I used to. Yes, not long ago, my wife and I were at a concert and a ball at the Gdańsk Philharmonic, she in a beautiful dress, me in a suit. And I was able to sacrifice, for my wife, because we wanted to dance, cuddle, hold hands. If I were in a female version, the people there, mainly older, would probably devour us with their eyes. And we might hear a few unpleasant remarks.

When we go out together with my wife, me in my prettier version, we also avoid holding hands, kissing, and cuddling. We don’t want to attract attention, we’re afraid of negative comments. Is it justified? I don’t know, maybe it’s not so bad, but the fear is there. Sometimes I read about various acts of homophobia and transphobia and I just feel sad. It makes me feel bad that I can’t dress as freely, look like women do. Of course, my current appearance already stands out, I have long, blond hair, often wear women’s pants or shirts, shoes with a low or invisible heel, light makeup. But it’s a compromise. I’m afraid to wear higher heels or dresses without full makeup. And if I were ever to take hormones, it would probably be only because society demands it, that I have to define myself as either a man or a woman. I can’t be a feminine man, someone in between. Because it makes them uncomfortable, that they can’t categorize me, define me. They’re afraid of difference.


I’ve written quite a few negative things about the world we live in, but I’m aware that everything is changing and it’s definitely a lot better than, for example, twenty or thirty years ago. Especially the younger generation is more open to diversity. My mom, who works in a children’s hospital, often says that there are many transgender children who ask to be