A few weeks ago America's top model ISIS was on Larry King live to discuss transgender issues and made a statement that made me really think. She exclaimed that she didn't consider herself trans any longer but she was simply a woman. I guess that's the ultimate goal, feeling so natural and corrected that we can just be. God knows that's all I've ever wanted is to have enough peace to just be.
The bigger picture made it appear as though she was distancing herself from trans people altogether and for some that can be a bit of a sore spot. You see, when I got my wake up call after hitting the wall I had an incredible amount of support from my friend Annah Moore.
Annah had already walked the path I am walking and when I asked her why she was so open about who she was and not stealth her answer made so much sense to me. The thing about Annah is that she is so pretty that she could easily go stealth but instead chose to be open about who she was. It intrigued me and I really wanted to know why and that was when I made a promise to her. I was told that all she wanted in return for being my support was for me to pay it forward and then my own dilemma started.
Paying it forward was something she felt should be done in helping those that suffer behind us and in doing so it means not being stealth and being proud of who we are. Let's face it we fight years of shame and guilt and then have to learn no to have those feelings about ourselves. There was never a bigger person disappointed in who someone was as I was in myself. So I looked at Annah and I looked behind me and realized that I needed to be as open as possible. Help when needed if even to help one person not suffer with this. Educate when asked questions so people get the right information and realize that we are just people who are overcoming our own struggles just like any other human being and so the decision to pay it forward VS being stealth hit me.
When I initially started to transition my intention was to go stealth and maybe even move somewhere where no one knew my history. Give up my job, give up my old friends so that I could simply be myself without fear of being ostracized and hurt by the people I loved and cared about. When it came down to it, I realized that I appreciate every person who touched my life over the years so much that I simply couldn't walk away.
When I started transition I couldn't even utter the word transsexual let alone admit that I was one. Heck I not only hid it well, not one of my friends for the last 40 years had even figured it out. To put myself out there meant overriding some of my worst possible fears and being open and honest about not only whom I was, but most of all being proud to be me.
When I joined facebook I never in my wildest imagination thought that I would connect with so many of my old friends, but one by one they have slowly come out of the wood work. From my younger years growing up in Lawrence to the people that I hung around with as a teenager, the people I went to high school with to the people I've worked with. They all started coming out of the woodwork.
Some found me and some I struggled with the fear of outing myself and hoping for at the very least a decent reaction. Every one of those people touched my life and made me who I am today in some sense. If it wasn't for the friendship and love of every individual person that crossed my path, I not only wouldn't be who I am today, I wouldn't be alive today. Every one of those people helped make a tough life bearable in some small way. Simply put they made a difference in me.
If you're reading this because you were sent the link, then this was written for you to simply say thank you. Thank you for accepting me for who I was then and who I am now. If it weren't for every one of your moments with me I would have never been able to be me. I would have never been able to appreciate a life that viewed by many should have been a gift. For me it was a hell.
I admit, I've been luckier than most who have transitioned, I've lost not one person that I'm aware of. I guess that speaks volumes for not only the choices I've made in people, but the fact that every one of those people are quality people, people whom you are lucky to have in your life. People who simply care about their friends and the people around them.
I have a lot of fond memories of those people and I am thankful every day of my life for each one of them …
Thanks all ..