When I was in high school, I identified as queer. That label was an identifier for all aspects of me, my personality, and my feelings about my place in the world. I came out to myself and the rest of my world as gay during my first year of college. But the label didn't exactly feel right. I struggled with fitting into the lesbian community in my college town and St. Louis for years.
Gradually, as I became more immersed in the queer community, I'd met queer folk who'd once identified as lesbian or bisexual, but began to realize their gender identities didn't match their biology. A few years after I came out as gay, I started to identify as genderqueer. That didn't quite fit either. After a year or two of personal exploration, immersing myself in the online trans community, and talking about it with my friends and girlfriend, I finally felt like I understood who I was.
I started medical transition about five years ago. At first, I tried to stick to expressing myself by adopting traditional gender roles, but as I have become comfortable in my body, I have felt more okay with venturing outside of the bounds of traditional American maleness.