Not Really an Introvert

So in the past 6 months to a year since I’ve fully realized I was trans(specifically a transwoman), I’ve been analyzing lot of stuff including how I interact with people. I don’t think I’m the introvert I alway thought I was, though I do have ton of social anxiety. A big part of this is related being socialized as a boy and generally being stuck with boys as a social group. I’ve never fit in with the boys and always felt like an outcast. When I was allowed to choose to who to socialize with, I generally hung out with the girls and felt more comfortable. This became more of a problem when I became older when it was seen as odd, especially when the age ranges were wider. Like if I were hanging out with girls just my age, it could be construed as me trying to “woo a girl”, but when it was a family function or even a church function(raised in very conservative rural Alabama) where the men were expected to sit around and talk and generally do nothing while the women were usually preparing food or something, my propensity for hanging around the home started to seem odd. Eventually I became more of a loner, feeling ostracized by both groups.

As I became an adult I just started isolating myself to keep myself out of situations that might be confusing, but when situations naturally arose, I did tend toward more comfortable relationships around women colleagues. But since nearly all of my social expectations were oriented toward “being a man”, most social interactions left me exhausted and that led me to the fairly natural conclusion I was an introvert. A major indication that something was wrong was that I found the social situations that were either in mixed gender company and/or just any environment where I did feel they need to role-play as a man were the same social situations where I didn’t feel exhausted afterwards, and sometimes a bit energized, you know, like one of those dirty extroverts. Around the same time my egg cracked and I realized I was trans(that’s a story for another day) and from that point forward I realized that it cost a lot more social energy to “perform” in boy mode. A lot of the social anxiety is still there and I’m working on it, but when I can get around it and actually be my self, I’m not remotely the anxious introvert I thought I was all these years.