Monday, June 22, 2020

Unapologetically Transgender

There are just a few that do not know I am transgender. The family discusses the BLOG among themselves and occasionally mention a post. They always preference it by whispering “You know we read it….”  My physical appearance with long white hair, if not announcing, surely provides questions and whispers. Complete strangers smile like we are sharing a secret that only the two of us are privy. I smile back.  

As another blogger stated: "I dare to do something that many do not. I live my life the way I like and I am happy! I am not ashamed to be transgender. Frankly, I am incredibly proud that I can do something so special that other men can not nor dare to do. I do not hide anymore".  My sentiments exactly.

I am also happy that I can write this blog. I am happy that that there are readers. I hope in some small way I may have helped one person to live an unashamed full life; a well engineered escape.   

Like most of us, getting to this point has not been easy.  

Early in my life due to family sickness/death/divorces I learned to bury my emotion/feeling. Things I did not understand were compartmentalize. How could I, as a boy, like a feminine aspect of life?  did I want to be a girl? You bet. I quickly found that life was infused with imponderables, e.g., why people get sick and die and religion says one thing and people do the opposite? 

I made an enlightened discovery about age 14 that I was not alone in my transgender feelings. This helped, although still not understanding the why. I thought that maybe becoming a girl would be a solution and prayed intensely for that to happen. Yes, "a miracle" and I would wake up changed. Doesn’t god answer prayers? That is what I was taught in Sunday School. After a few years of asking god to help with my mother's cancer and no response, I gave up on the prayer/girl thing as well. 
Christine Jorgensen 1954

There were whispers back in the fifties about a soldier named Christine Jorgensen actually changing her "sex".  Nothing scared me more than when I learned becoming a girl was possible through surgery; no miracle needed. I guess I was not as committed to that idea as I thought. 

I was called "sissy" and although I did not like being called that, I knew deep inside it was true. Now at adolescent crossroads, I decided to become the best boy I could. If I was not going to just wake up one morning as a girl, then boyhood was for me. Put all this silly girl stuff behind me. 

Luckily, I got a growth spurt early in puberty, (like girls). Unfortunately, it stopped as quickly as it started. However, for a while I was the largest boy in my sixth grade and this gave me a shot of boy confidence. 

Reveling in this shot of confidence, I played rough and tumble boy stuff with the best. I was good at football (all-county and team co-captain) until good sense dictated a smarter course. Everyone else got bigger - I did not. By eleventh grade, I was both skinny and short compared to my peers. I compensated by being studious, a good leader and gregarious. To my surprise, people liked me in spite of my well-hidden secret. I guess I had the "girl" thing under control.  
Also, I had to compartmentalize being dyslexic. Kids teased me and called me “retard” because I could not read well out loud. Plus, my spelling was awful (still is). Oh, how I hated getting a paper back from my teachers with all the red marks. It looked like someone had bled out on my homework.

Fortunately, deep inside, I  knew I was OK. I chose to listen to my internal self.  

As an adult, I found that my internal self to be my best guide. I have made the effort to fix what I could; deal with the other stuff and be the best father, provider, husband and even church leader that I could. Overall I think I did OK. 

Personal note: I have stepped away from religion because of the gross hypocrisy that abounds therein. I am no longer religious.  

Compartmentalized obstacles, cannot stay ignored and hidden forever. Like items in a closets, obstacles/realities must be dealt with and the objects sorted - keep/tossed. An item/attitude although perfect at one time, may no longer fit; be out of date/style. Yes, a new attitude will fit me better.   

I do not see my being transgender going away. The "until death, do us part" thing. This feminine aspect is as much a part of myself as blue eyes, right-handed and being dyslexic. I am transgender and part of the larger LGBTQ community. I am proud and see no need to apologize.


  1. In some ways, I imagine that the dyslexia could have been more difficult than the gender identity. Neither will ever go away, of course, but it is what you've done to deal with them that makes the difference. My wife has dyslexia and I have the gender identity issue. Neither of us can fully understand how each other's brain works, but there is plenty of empathy going each way. It's probably the main reason she's stayed with me (we just had our 48th anniversary last week). If a self-appointed captain of the Grammar Police can accept and empathize with a dyslexic wife, I guess she can put up with a husband that has transitioned to a woman.

    Compartmentalization is definitely a talent. It can also require a lot of one's energy. I think most of my compartmentalization was out of necessity, as it never felt natural to me. I know of many transgender women who say they are happy keeping their masculine and feminine selves separate, but it was always a strain for me to do so. If there is any apology for me to make, it is for trying show myself to be the person I was expected to be by others, and the deceit and deception I used by way of compartmentalization.

    Have you noticed that "mental" is right smack in the middle of "compartmentalization?" ;-)

    1. OMG - I never saw the "mental" in compartmentalization.

      A wonderful comment Connie, Thank you!