As many of you have already heard, there are many big transitions in my life now. I recently moved back to Finland from Hong Kong. I started working as a risk analyst in a bank. What fewer of you have heard, is that I quit working as a risk analyst in the bank, and decided to continue in academia instead. There were simply too many changes in one time, and I needed to focus on what's important. What even fewer of you have heard, is my most important and difficult transition: my second puberty.
You see I am transgender. Stereotypically one could say that I have a woman's mind in a man's body. Of course it's not as simple as that, since it's my body and how can anyone claim to know that their mind is as anybody else's. What I can claim for a fact is that my life is full of similar experiences as many trans women have described. Furthermore I am suffering from gender dysphoria, which ranges from a feeling of bleakness about the future living as a man, a strong jealousy of women around me (despite knowing how hard it is for them in this patriarchal society, and even more so for trans women), to anxiousness and panic attacks that take my full mental strength to fight off. The cure to this is to transition to living as a woman. This happens both socially and medically, but it takes years.
Why am I telling this to all of you? It is mostly for my benefit: each time I come out to people, or when I'm surrounded by people that know my secret, I feel at ease. I feel like I don't have to act, like I don't have to censor my manners or thoughts or preferences. Furthermore I would like you to start calling me
pen name, to be printed on my publications, and also asking you to call me by that name. If you find this too hard to pronounce, you can use Emily in English, Em in American1 or 爱美丽 in Chinese.
The second reason for my coming out publicly is so that you will not be so shocked next time you see me. Puberty is an awkward period in life, and this is true for the second one aswell. The appearance of my body might have changed, I might be trying some horrendous clothing styles, my voice might sound weird until I manage to fully unlearn all the added harmonics provided by the male puberty, my mood might be more fragile for a while. I wish you could be supportive, both encouraging but also saying when something has gone too far.
You must feel full of questions now. Questions that have been asked from me several times before. So I am attaching a longer text that hopefully answers most of them. Despite it I would be more than happy to answer anything that might still confuse you.