I decided to “stop being male” when I was 30. This is what I looked like back then. I was employed, married, kids, etc. But it was a wreck of a marriage. There was always something hiding, but I could never get it to come out. Sometimes it was called crazy. Sometimes it was called manic. Sometimes it was called depressive, etc. I know I need to be careful about what I put on the internet, so I might be vague sometimes, and I won’t use names.
My life was semi-stable, but the ups and downs of dysphoria, gender or general, were often too much to bear. Sometimes, I would just be exhausted from being fake, then I would shut down. Not being myself was wearing me down.
It was there all the time, and throughout my life it would manifest in many different ways. It was attraction to men. It was obsession with appearance. It was tenderness. It was also self-destruction. It was so radioactive, that I couldn’t get near it, until I gave up. I let go and floated down the river.
I think I was kind of tight all over when I was a man, and becoming a female was loosening up. I think most transgender people feel this way. We start as our natural selves, and we realize that society doesn’t like us, because we don’t fit their little plan. Their plan that is going to well, right? What do we do when they come screaming at us, when we are 5? We learn to be what they want. We put on artificial armor, or armour for our English friends. It keeps us safe, but it’s fucking heavy.
BTW, you did this to us. You, not some somebody else. When you tell us that we’re not behaving how a little boy should. Don’t you want to play with this toy? No, Bobby doesn’t want to wear that. But it’s his favorite shirt. That doesn’t matter. You don’t want him to grow up to be a faggot or something.
What is she doing? You know what people say about girls that play softball.
On and on and on and on…
You should feel guilty. You should. You need to repent. Go hug a transgender person, now! Then apologize your ass off, because you should have realized what you were doing.
When we finally find the right place that is freeing, or we just give up and let go. I think it’s also the same for FTM transgender guys, but I don’t really know much about them, to be totally honest. I want to, but I don’t.
When you float in the river, it’s kind of magical. You just let go, and you really float well, and you are cooled by the water, and you lay on your back, and you look at the trees on the banks. Your mind opens like a flower. It is flush with color from the hormones freeing the mind and body. You are awash in sunshine, and you are whole.
So, back to me. I’m floating in a sea of freedom, but I’m on my back, so I can’t see what’s ahead of me. This is where this story gets dark, real fast. I can hear something ahead, a growing static roar of sound. It gets louder, like someone turning up the static on the radio. You start to stiffen up for the bumpy ride. You let go, and you are flowing, and there is no way back. So you stiffen up and lean your head up a little. You hit your first rapid, and you are in chaos. This is when I told my wife, pregnant with our second son, that I was transgender.
When you finally out and out say to yourself and slowly to society that you are in the wrong body, you have a million expectations. You’ve been beaten down with the guilt and shame of a thousand glares and heads shaken, and you have the cynical guess at what will happen. Also, you are basking in the glow of shedding years and years of lies and deceit, so you have the hopeful guess at what will happen. And then, you try and gauge what those around you will say, and this is a crapshoot. You might have fully supportive and loving people around you or you might have bigots and spiteful, hateful people staring at you. By the way, I would learn to be highly skeptical of people saying that they support you. People tend to be nice at first, but then they have to hear their own bigotry, and people can quickly change and pull their support from you.
There is a metaphor that I learned that has been very, very helpful throughout this whole process for me. Let’s say that you are in a relationship. You’ve been together for whatever you think is a long time, but you are growing apart with your significant other. So, you think long and hard about what you want to do. You consider all of the ups and downs and ins and outs. Then, you finally decide to end it.
So, you go to your spouse or boyfriend or whatever, and you say “I want to break it off.” You are quite relieved that you got this off of your chest. You’ve done the deed, and you feel better. However, the other person has been hit by a bombshell announcement. He or she is totally blindsided and has to start the process that you began a long time ago, to figure out what the hell is going on. You’re relieved, and she is bewildered.
With coming out as transgender, it is the same. You’ve dealt with this mess your entire life. It might have taken you ten years or more to get to the bottom and accept this about yourself. You tell the world, and you are at peace. The rest of the world’s perception of you was just shattered, and they have to go to work trying to understand it, argue with you, blame you, support you, or whatever they do. They are going to need a long time to process this, weeks, months, years.
So when I first told my now ex-wife that I was transgender, yeah it didn’t work out how I thought it would. I’m not going to go into detail about how this played out; i
t’s not fair to her, and I don’t really want to involve my family in this blog. Suffice to say, it has been ugly. We’re now divorced, and we have both suffered. That is all.
So, let me get it straight with you; I loved my wife, but gender dysphoria was ruining my life. I was constantly depressed, and life was a roller coaster. This was not helpful for our relationship in the least, and it showed. Plus! we were having our second child, and she was pregnant. You can imagine what happened next…
I’m going to start part 3 with something that I didn’t think I would say 6, 9, 12 months ago. I’m sorry for my missteps and anger and self-righteousness and erratic behavior. I couldn’t be here if I didn’t go through those rapids and just stayed on the calm banks of conformity. Also, I want to say that I dearly miss my family, all of it. I don’t know if it can ever go back, and honestly, I don’t want to live in the past, but I long for it. I have the peace of heart now to say that. I have found my solace and love.
I know that people were not expecting what happened, and the situation was so fiery, that everyone around me was clamoring for self-protection. The fire inside erupted like the secrets of Pandora’s box. I could not control it until it mellowed to a gentle fire. I don’t blame anyone for their reactions. I kept my secrets because I didn’t want to hurt anyone, but secrets cannot be squelched no matter how hard you push on the lid or tighten the vice on your heart. I take full responsibility for the pain I have caused.
It didn’t go smoothly, to jump back into the past. There was anger and pain. There was frustration and broken communication. There was the juxtaposition of my inner joy with the bewilderment of my loved ones. I don’t know. I really had no idea how to proceed. I was totally lost. Now that I’ve figured it out, I have numerous bridges under construction around me. Some of them I want to start rebuilding, but I can’t get the permits :).
Life is funny. Pain is growth. There is no getting around it. But not everyone is comfortable with that concept. I learned very quickly that “right and wrong” are not what motivates people these days. It has a place, but change is the enemy. It was for me. It still is to some degree. And I don’t blame a single soul for fearing change. It’s human.
So, I left my family. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was setting everything I touched on fire. I didn’t want to harm anyone. I was deeply scared. I don’t know if it was the right choice. I think when you tell someone you are transgender, they are weakened and scared and angry. I didn’t want to anger a single person. I thought if I just separated myself and worked on moving through the change, I could reconcile. But some steps I took were misguided, and they engendered feelings of loss and blame in the hearts of the people I loved and love.
Now that I am calm and have some peace, I want to mend it all. But I can’t get anyone to talk to me. I’ve been shunned. My only avenue to reach some of them is this blog, and I don’t know if they just read it to watch me fail. I don’t know.
I don’t know a lot of things. I do know that love heals all, and love guides the compass in our hearts so that we know where we need to work to heal. I’m trying.