|Jamie Vallas and her Dad.|
BY : Michael Golden
You’re transitioning from one body to another. From one gender to another. But it’s more than that. I’ve always been the same up in my head. Deep inside I’ve always been the same person. But my body - it was just different. And I wanted to make corrections. I wanted to change myself so I felt more comfortable. And I felt more comfortable in a woman’s body. And that’s who I truly was. I wanted to bring out my inside and reveal it on the outside.” - Jamie Vallas
Earlier this year, 21 year-old Jamie Vallas underwent sexual reassignment surgery. Happy and healthy, Jamie is now speaking out about her transgender journey - and how her family has made all the difference. Jamie, and her father Dean, were recently interviewed on The Golden Mean podcast. Edited excerpts from our conversation:
Jamie: I used to listen to a lot of female singing artists. Like Celine Dion, or Hannah Montana. All this stuff that most little boys wouldn’t listen to. And I would lip sync the words and pretend like I was singing them. I used to dress up all the time. I used to borrow my sister’s ballet clothes, and I used to dance around to that music with those dresses on. I used to put towels and shirts over my head and pretend I had long hair. Or put t-shirts on to pretend they were dresses. I went all out!
And I also played with my sister’s Barbie dolls. I used to be made fun of around my neighborhood. They used to call me Barbie boy. It was really degrading at the time because I didn’t think what I was doing was wrong. I mean, this is me and I was expressing myself. And I thought I was not doing anything wrong, but I guess I was an oddity to other people.
I was so feminine. I was overly feminine and I didn’t like my body. And I thought, gay men are comfortable in their own bodies. I wasn’t. And I found the term transgender, and it just changed my point of view and my way of thinking. And I was like, that’s me.
Don’t let other people bring you down. You are who you are. You’re your own person. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t take what someone says and blame yourself and think, “oh, this is who I am because this person said that.” No. You don’t need to be yourself through other people. You don’t need other people’s validation to be yourself and to be happy and to be you. You should always do your best to be yourself. Regardless of what other people try to say about you. Don’t be afraid to be who you are just because other people don’t like you. That’s their issue, not yours. You did nothing wrong. It’s okay to be happy.
With Father's Day coming, do yo have any touching father's Day stories you can share?