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Wellness

How Did My Life Begin?

I’m a guy. But even though I look like a girl, am a woman, and have gone through this amazing journey of transformation into my current gender identity, I may have come to this blog just the same if I’d lived as a guy. So I didn’t. And, well, thank god, because there’s no such thing as a good answer to that question.

For me, life began when I started to question a fundamental question: why do guys exist? It was a question that I had been struggling with as a young man; it was the question I kept coming back to over and over again in my twenties and thirties. I was trying to find myself in this world, and yet I was a dude. So, my question of who I was led me to the ultimate expression: my journey to becoming woman and transitioning.

As a kid I was really into dolls—they were so real! But when I got older I grew out of dolls (maybe because of being gay and being rejected?), and so I turned to my female role models (like Mary Poppins with her teddy bear) and learned of the “others” that were out there: men and other women who were more feminine and who didn’t fit into the traditional boxes of how to behave and look.

But it wasn’t until I was about 22 years old that I realized that I did exist in the world outside of my home—that I had to go out into the world looking like a woman to live life.

It can be so difficult to understand just how difficult transitioning is, when you’ve been living as a guy your whole life. The hardest part for me was the lack of emotional support and help (I can attest to that). Most of the support I got from family was to not come out until I was in my late twenties, well after I had taken all the steps necessary to successfully transition. I didn’t even really realize that it was even an option to consider before I was in college, but after getting accepted to a women’s college, I could not imagine living the rest of my life in the same world as men, and so I gave up on the idea and accepted reality for what it is: a man in drag, or a woman in a man’s body.

But even after I did decide to transition, my life remained largely the same. I was still a typical dude. I had always lived my life as a guy: I was a working-class guy who never went to college, who liked to party, and I hated to cook. I was a guy who went through puberty in middle school, so I was never allowed to play with other girls or be in a romantic relationship. Every single thing that I loved and valued in myself I was punished for. I was a guy who didn’t have many options; but now the rules have changed and I have more choices than ever. For the first time in my life, I have a lot of choices, and I can only hope that one of them will be to live life as an active and positive role model for both men and women.

I can still remember the first day I was outed. I walked into the grocery store to load my groceries into the car for the drive to my next trip to college and ran into my best friend, a good friend. I was excited to finally walk out of the bathroom—and as I opened the door, I saw my reflection in the mirror. I saw that I looked female. I knew then that this was the day I was never going to change.

My Story

I’ve come to this blog for a few reasons. First off, I want to tell my story. I haven’t had a real happy childhood. I don’t have any real memories of my parents or my home life. I didn’t have a dad and was raised by a single mother, so I had no real support.