Friday, June 29, 2018

My Reflection and Rejection

Look at me
I may never pass for a perfect bride, or a perfect daughter.
Can it be,
I'm not meant to play this part?
Now I see, that if I were truly to be myself,
I would break my family's heart.

I identified with the character of Mulan in ways, at the time, I didn’t think possible. I never had a name for it, you know transgender. Unhappy as a girl and the role set out for her because of her gender you see her come into her own when she poses as a man. Now I know what your thinking, Mulan is not transgender what the hell you getting at Jay? Bare with me on this I'll get to it. No she is not transgender. The movie is up for interpretation. My interpretation then and now is that having to live up to expectations of family even though nothing represents who you are as a person. having to go along with their wishes and hiding your real identity because you're scared they may not accept you for who you are. and theirs always going to be this nagging feeling within you every time you see yourself in a mirror or a photo, who is that, that's not me. I don't want to be that person anymore.

Coming out to your family and loved ones is not easy. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Rejection is something we all fear. Human beings are social creatures and the fear of loneliness can keep us awake for days. Hiding who I really am literally sent me to the hospital, 3 times. I was having chest pains and no cause was found. So I went to the next best thing, my therapist. Sometimes your stress can manifest itself in the body, ignore it long enough and it will show itself in ways you never thought possible. Stress, depression, and anxiety can be toxic. Being told we do not accept you as a transgendered man is probably the hardest thing to hear. I don’t expect acceptance overnight. I hope one day all of those in my life can look at me the way I see my reflection in the mirror, as a loyal, honest, and good man.

My advice, it may or may not work, sit your family down and talk to them. Just BE HONEST, don’t sugarcoat it, no sarcasm, straight to the point. The most important thing to remember is to be true to yourself. Not everyone in your life will accept you. Maybe one day some of them will come around, maybe not. I am open and honest with all around me. If they don’t like it, well to bad at this point, I'm tired of hiding, I'm awesome, why would I want to hide that? Hiding led to depression, and like I said in earlier blogs, suicidal ideations. Suicide is the number one cause of death in the LGBTQ+ community. Never be ashamed of who you are, be proud. If your family rejects you, it is possible that yes the people that raised you, may not accept you, surround yourself with those who do love you no matter what. People who see you for who you are.

As of May 22, 2018 (my first shot of testosterone), I will not hide who I am anymore. Come what may, I am a transgendered man just writing a blog about my journey and random stuff I like to talk about it. A friend of mine in the Army once told me something about holding a grudge, holding onto the anger. He said "If they don’t sleep with you, and they don’t pay your bills, they don’t matter." I heard this again from Rupaul, one of the best drag queens ever, "Unless they paying your bills, pay them b@#$% no mind" So to heck with the haters and surround yourself with positivity and love.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Post # 2: Blue is for Boys Pink is for Girls

Just an update on my transition: its been one month and 6 days since I started testosterone. Some physical changes: skin is a little oily and I noticed some acne (its like second puberty, as if the first time wasn't enough haha)

Now onto the title of this:
    When a baby is born a boy, they give him a blue hat. The baby shower covered in blue. Dreams of him playing sports dance in the parents head. But what happens if that same boy grows up to be a ballet dancer? Does that mean he's gay? Feminine? Maybe he's just really talented and what do you know maybe even heterosexual/straight.

Gender stereotypes, I've been fighting against them as early as I can remember. I recall getting horribly upset that I couldn't join the boy scouts with my brother, or play peewee football with him. The boy scouts were way cooler than the girl scouts, who as far as my 8 year old mind could comprehend sold cookies and we were called brownies. LAME, well to me anyway, I'm sure there are plenty of ladies out there who enjoyed girl scouts.

Why is it that as a kid I had to take home education aka home ec. while the boys in my class got to take shop. How cool would it be if I got to play with power tools, learn about cars. My dad was pretty cool and let me play with a power sander when I helped repaint the entire house, or put drywall up in the basement. I was in heaven when we worked on the house together. I really felt close to him, like this is where I belong.
I remember growing up trying so hard to fit in with the other girls. Trying to like the things they liked. I wanted to belong, to have friends. Try as I might I didn't fit in, except with the drama geeks.
Aaah drama club, the safety zone for all the freaks, geeks, and misfits of high school. The only place I was never bullied. I think that all of us were just trying to survive high school so when the time came we could strike out on our own. I always found a way to avoid gender. To avoid being identified as I am a female. Never really dated boys, found out later on in life that its because I had no interest. I didn't have interest in anyone really, just getting out of Rhode Island.

Get out I did. I joined the Army. A decision I will never regret. It really did save my life, and yes try to destroy me at the same time. I am who I am today because of my experiences in the past, both good and bad. Anyway, back to gender. So the military distinguishes gender only on two occasions: Sleeping arrangements, sorry no co-ed going on here and physical fitness test. Females had a lower standard on the push-ups and the run. Females after all are built to make babies. And yes men are stronger in the upper-body area. However, I never do anything the easy way so I set out to blow the fitness test out of the water.

At the end of basic I did 100 push-ups in a minute, maxed on my sit-ups and finished my run with 2 minutes to spare. One thing I have to give the Army credit for is that I was always treated like one of the boys.
Why am I yammering on about gender. Because for a lot of transgendered people we notice early on that something is not quite right with the biology we are given. I tried, I really tried to be what I was born to be....literally and physically. It led me down a dark path of depression and suicidal ideation. I felt alone and misunderstood. Take a look around, you probably know someone struggling right now. The best thing to happen to me was finding a support system. If you know someone struggling or are struggling, your not alone. Reach out to that person, don't judge them based on anything. We are all human no matter our race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity. We all deserve to feel comfortable in our own skin.

Post #1: 23 days in

23 Days ago my life started. 23 days ago I finally started my journey to my authentic true self. Your sitting there wondering what the hell am I talking about. For years I have been keeping a secret. Some closest to me have known that secret for the most part. But for my family, and yes even some friends I have been hiding it. Maybe out of fear. Fear of judgement, fear of loss, FEAR. Fear can be comfortable, it may seem to be easy to just fake it. Fake it till you make it right? I "tried" to be what society wanted me to be, what my family wanted me to be. A heterosexual female who would marry a man and have kids one day. I had never felt so awkward and miserable during that time.

Coming into your sexuality, you know when puberty hits and that love map you developed as a little kid starts to take effect, was a nightmare.  First off I was an extremely late bloomer. All of my friends were already becoming a woman, whatever that meant. I thought it was hell on earth. I didn’t want my feminine features. I was quite content with my "tomboy like" features. I liked getting dirty, playing sports…. I enjoyed all the things that a female should not enjoy. I should have been into boys, make-up, dresses. WHY? Because I was born female, because my biology should dictate how I live?

I was one confused kid…. Then I set out on my own path. Away from the eyes of my family and friends in school. I discovered that I was gay, be it a very masculine lesbian, but I hated that term "butch". I hated labels period. I figured I can be as masculine as I wanted to be, I was in the Army after all and treated like just another one of the guys. I never really thought about my sexual identity at that time. I was busy doing soldier stuff, you know kicking ass taking names, yeah right. I was serving my country and although I was in the closet I was proud to be a soldier.

About 2 1/2 years into my service, ,my world, my perfect na├»ve world came to a crashing halt. I was sexually assaulted. I was in such denial that the reality of the situation didn’t hit me till 3 weeks later I found out I was pregnant. I was horrified at the thought. How could this happen? I don't remember drinking, come to think of it I don’t remember much of anything from that night. How could I have consented to sex with a man, I was GAY. I didn’t report the assault, again Fear creeped in. I was scared I would be discharged. See, the only way I could prove sexual assault was that I didn’t consent because I'm not heterosexual. If there were any date rape drugs, they were long gone. The only evidence I had that ANYTHING happened was the pregnancy. I made the difficult decision to have an abortion. Yes, that nasty word no one likes to talk about. To this day I think back and I still would have made that decision.

Even as a lesbian I still didn't feel whole. I knew something was missing. But what? Why am I telling you all of this you ask? Well my sexual identity story starts back as early as childhood. I think its important for people to see that I am human too. I have thoughts and feelings like anyone else. So 23 days ago I finally did it. I started on the path to becoming who I have always been. How do I know this? Ever feel like you have this feeling in the back of your head and your not sure what it is, and maybe it takes some time to get to that thought. My experiences make me who I am today. If you have read this far you may have guessed already. But to put it out there in laments terms, 23 days ago I had my first shot of testosterone and yes I am a transgendered male. Let that sink in for a min….. With that said Im not asking for you to like it or accept it. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Know that I am here and always will be. I have decided to come out because I want to make a difference in the transgendered community. Why should we have to hide? Why should we be scared of who we are. I love who I am. It took me a while to get here to this thought process, but Im here. I will be starting a blog and or YouTube channel once I figure all that technology out. I want to document my journey so that those who feel like I did have someone they can go to for questions, answers, and support. Whether your transgendered or not I am here to support you.

Post #3: Commuinication: TALK TALK TALK

The mood swings. Started to notice that a couple of days before its time for my shot of testosterone. I get moody. Currently I'm on 50mg/every 2 weeks. Not a lot but they start you low and you work your way up. Going to the doctor more in a month then I have in my lifetime. Yes I have noticed my mood change before its time for the shot, aggressive even. No, not physical, but I can explode. I've become more sensitive since starting the testosterone. For someone who did not learn how to handle emotions as a kid this is quite a sight. However, since I did attend therapy for my trauma, something I recommend to everyone who has ever experienced any kind of trauma whether it be physical, mental, or both. GET HELP. Don’t hold it in. I can speak from experience bottling it up will only lead you down a very bad path, the dark side (star wars references will happen with me). So therapy helped me with processing my emotions and using coping skills. One of those skills was writing it out (oh the irony).

Having the right person to talk to is key. Again, find a support system. The main person in my support system (but not the only) is my wife. She is my partner and my best friend. I am sure that this transition is not easy on her I started my physical transition almost 3 years into our marriage. But, she has known since the beginning that I am a man and when I was ready to start the journey, to simply let her know. Communication is key. Communication with your other half is crucial. Doesn’t matter the subject. TALK TO EACH OTHER. Always be honest with your partner and yourself.

I tell my wife everything The physical changes I'm going through. Even when I'm feeling moody. Things are changing for both of us so it is vital for us to make sure the other knows what is going on.
Communication has never been my strength. I am reliable, loyal, will work to the bone for you. But communicating what is going on in my head, not so much. The part I struggled, ok still struggle with a little bit, is that it feels like there are a million voices in my head talking all at once. Sounds crazy? Well it is but it isn't. Everyone has those little voices in their head. Its called your conscious. Your personality traits are there to. If you’ve seen the movie Inside Out then you know what I'm talking about. Let me just say that movie hit personality theory out of the ball park. Everything completely accurate and on point. Excuse the nerd in me, I did minor in psychology after all and I gushed when I saw that movie and actually recalled what I learned. Who says you forget everything when you graduate? Not this guy.

So how should I treat you now that your trans?

Umm like a person. Anyone coming out, whether coming out as gay or transgendered knows its never easy coming out to your family an...