It's not uncommon that trans people find it a little uncomfortable to see images of their pre-transition self. This is definitely true for me. For the longest time it was uncomfortable as hell for me to so much as see a picture of my grumpy, unhappy, bearded previous-Doctor.
Being misgendered or called my deadname by accident didn't bother me so much, but seeing pictures? No thanks. It's part of the reason I started fresh with a new Facebook account - no more tagged pictures of me smashed on whisky at a bar and looking like I hate everything. (Well, that and the fact that people would have to actively choose to add my new Facebook account, thereby quietly excising conservative, transphobic sorts who weren't comfortable with me being myself.)
What made this a little more tough is this: I used to make movies. Before I jumped into game development, I spent almost every second weekend or so filming things. In fact, I wrote, directed, produced or featured in 47 different shorts, features and webisodes-of-things. It's the featured-in part that's uncomfortable.
But last night, while quite drunk, a friend asked to see the last big project I did pre-transition. So I sat there, awkwardly at first, watching something in which I play a lead role.
It was weird at first. Very weird. But... not uncomfortable.
It was very tough the few times I'd seen video of myself before, but now I am more comfortable with my body I keep staring at this weird person and going, "Huh. How strange."
It's a person I recognise, but can't quite remember. Of course, I remember clearly being on set and making that project a thing. But remembering performing those lines or sounding like that... not so much.
By ten minutes into this feature, I was comfortable watching it. I found it easier to critique my own acting. "Oh, that line worked." "That one was stepped on." or "Jeebus, that was TERRIBLE."
It was probably helped by the fact that the person I was watching it with didn't know me pre-transition, and was more amused by someone she DID know in it having actual hair than the existence of this weird person who, she said, "kinda looks a bit similar to you, but like a male twin or something."
And she's right. It no longer feels like it challenges my sense of self or triggers dysphoria seeing past-me.
It's kinda sad sometimes, as I see someone who was so deeply unhappy and yet not in the right emotional place to accept something really fundamentally important about herself. But it's not really comfortable.
And that's a wonderful point to have hit.