Okay, so I am someone who has put my faith in others that it does get better. I’m not saying things are horrible. I am grown, 34, so I have acquired a certain kind of wisdom through life that has allowed me to understand that through the darkest night, the sun still shines in the morning and even on the cloudiest of days things get brighter, and if it rains? Well that’s even better :)
I am a transsexual female and I “officially” came out to friends and family on July 1st of 2011. Needless to say we had no annual July 4th family gathering, and friends who I had thought were closer than family are no longer in my life.
Aside from losing these people this has not been whats been difficult for me. I fell in love and was married on June 11th 2005 to a beautiful woman. I had convinced myself that if I acted normal, I would be normal. The old Alcoholics Anonymous mantra, “act yourself into a new way of thinking”.
You see, I knew I was a girl when I was 5. Yeah, its so stereotypical, or generalized, but do not doubt its authenticity for one second. I have no idea where these thoughts manifested from, why they would be in my head, ut it seems that the very moment I became conscious of a difference between girls and boys, I realized I was in fact a girl.
This lead to me wearing my moms dresses which at the time I was so small so Id just go in her closet and stand in them while they were on the hangers. I come from a very “traditional” Italian family if you can understand what that means without me spelling it out. So when my dad caught me, his instinct, due to his traditional upbringing (not because he is mean/jerk/whatever..) was to shame me. So I stuffed this part of me into my semi sub conscious.
Growing up I was always tormented, not because I was girly, or acted like a girl, just because I was different. Childhood did however give me plenty of opportunity to role play being the princess while my friends were Mario, Luigi, or Link, so I did get some release.
At about 12 I was ripped from Massachusetts and transplanted in the fiery, dry, allergy ridden capitalist playground of Las Vegas NV. I got into drugs extremely quick and wound up severely addicted to crystal meth. Meth gave me the ability to express my gender identity in ways I hadn’t before. Id stay up all night, alone and dress up, some nights terrified of being caught so id hide under the covers and just find comfort in feeling like a girl. My relationship with my family was scattered to say the least.
I was sent to behavioral modification facilities where I sent most of my time strapped to beds pumped full of drugs to calm me down. I was still not ready to come out to anyone in an authoritative sense, nor a clinical sense. So began my life of dissent.
From 16-18 I went from institution to institution and everywhere I went I would escape and get arrested again. When I turned 18 the State of Utah petitioned the court to keep me remanded indefinitely due to my perceived behavioral issues. The judge say NOPE, and I was released and made my way back to Vegas.
I wound up immediately back on meth, and back on the street. I ran in circles of dealers, cooks, killers and fiends. I would prostitute myself to old men, who most likely were pedophiles and just wanted some young boy, but I at least got to utilize this opportunity to feel like a girl, because that’s all I wanted, and crystal meth gave me that escape.
I was dying. By 20 I was homeless and living on couches or living with girls or guys. I was stealing things to eat and in my immediate circle of “friends” I never came out. We were manufacturing drugs, stealing identities, forging checks, robbing stores, we were robbing drug dealers, getting shot at, it was crazy, I was involved in heavy shit, and I would sneak away and have this double life where i would sell myself to these creeps because I wanted to be a girl sooooo bad.
I tried coming out to some of the girls in our click by talking about clothes and asking to borrow some and really quick I was exposed, and of course as the humiliation from some of my gang friends ensued I played it off.
Real quick it all went down. Police raid after police raid, warrant after warrant, led me to a period of incarceration of which I used to get clean. I went through the state ordered indoctrination process offered by the Salvation Army for drug addicts and at the end of 2001 I was free and clean.
The whole process of me getting clean was in fact due to a suicide attempt in which I asked whatever God was real to show me a new life, whatever God there was did in fact show me a new life. I began earning the respect of my family back and got a good job, all the while having these constant thoughts of yearning to be female. By 2002 I was 25 and I met the woman who would become my wife. I figured that if I just acted normal, I would be normal. LOL.
I became a Journeyman Wireman here in Las Vegas with IBEW lu 357. I worked my way up the various ladders and into a management position where I was running large million dollar installations. I earned a very good reputation both amongst the membership and the execs on the corporate side during the construction of City Center. I also made a shit load of money lol.
Through all this, I knew if I came out it would break the very fabric of reality. Karin began finding thing on the internet and one night I told her that I dreamed of being a girl, but I couldn’t tell her that I was a girl. I felt like I was building a prison of masculinity.
Then the recession hit, and I was out of work for a year. Through this time I stayed busy, but it offered me a lot of time to explore me, as most of my forward identity had manifested as a union electrician.
I went back to work in Dec of 2010 and worked my way up this new company, again building walls of masculine imprisonment.
They were amazed at this company by my skills and my work ethic and I wound up in a company vehicle running their biggest jobs.
I came out to Karin (my wife) in May of 2011. She was going to leave me. You see the intensity of the yearning got so bad I couldn’t resist it. I was 33 and I was terrified that if I got to old I could never transition and I would always resent my life.
I decided that her leaving me was a reality id have to expect but the amazing thing is, one day she came around and told me she loved me and would try to stay with me and see if we could make this work.
I started hormones almost that day, from the internet of course. I remember I was building a school 60 miles out of town and the drive would give me time to reflect and I’d go from being the girl me to being the guy me to run work as I wasn’t out at work and was in fact terrified of losing my job.
I began working with a local therapist and this fear of coming out caused me much pain and suicidal thoughts, and I’m not going to say I’m better as people who know me know I struggle with my appearance and my place in this world.
July 1st I came out to family and friends and was basically completely rejected. They chose to ignore the obvious signs like from when I was child and instead blamed it on me being messed up from the drugs. That’s kind of how it stands now.
Dec 2 2011 I came out to work and had a very odd result which wound up in a panic attack. I was removed from the job I was running and my work vehicle was taken away. I contacted HR told them every little detail and withing a day my work vehicle was back and I am back running the companies biggest job.
They again locally found a reason to take my vehicle, but I am running a large restaurant job inside a very large casino and I am out. I am Jill and you use female pro nouns when you talk to me, and I use the women’s restroom because thankfully in Nevada people had fought hard in 2010 to pass laws to protect people like myself. I was actually asked if i would use the mens to make other people feel comfortable even though the law protected me, and I said hell NO. I had gone through so much to assert my femininity that to use the mens room would be humiliating to say the least.
It has been a challenging process, some women are disgusted by me even though some days I feel cute. Ive had women wait for me to leave the bathroom before they come in, Ive had them make huge deals, and Ive even had to explain that I’m transsexual on a pretty regular basis which has just reinforced the opposite of what I believed. That being that I’m a cute girl, LOL. I was working this job and started this job as a man, and a lot of co ordination is required with building maintenance, and they have had a hard time, reporting to my company behind my back not realizing I am protected by the law. I get a lot of jeers and sneers and I push so hard to be who I am and smile and say hello or good morning regardless. I refuse to let their ignorance rob my soul. I have found allies though, some girls that work for the property go out of their way to talk to me and say hello, which feels good. They use female pronouns in reference to me and it feels good. The job itself is challenging as most of the men are confused, lol. I work with them on the pro nouns but I don’t let one slip because inside it hurts. It hurts so bad to be referred to as he, or him, and I decide this week coming up, I will be honest about the intense pain it causes me when male pro nouns are used. Its tough trying to get construction workers to have compassion. Plus quite often I feel like the only queer in the world. Its not easy. I wont lie. It takes every ounce of strength I have to push through and assert my femininity. I am 7 months into HRT so I definitely am in an in between state.
Ive changed my gender marker and name, and when I changed my name at social security here in Las Vegas I was a victim of a hate crime by security who verbally and sexually harassed me, which lead to physical assault, kidnapping and torture due to my gender identity. I was feeling fierce that day and things were getting better. Since then its been hard to push through, but I have been out of pure tenacity. People are telling me it gets better, and I have faith in these people, and each day i wake up I face the world as Jill.
I will tell you, it is not easy being a Female transsexual running a construction job, but likewise people tend to surprise me. In fact, I think a lot of us share a common bond as a lot of my crew are in some way some form of an oppressed minority group. Me coming out has helped everyone by having the company reassess its harassment policy and due to the current environment of our industry a lot of people had been exposed to general harassment on behalf of local executives. Me coming out and pushing for my right to exist and work has indirectly empowered the people to also insist on being treated like humans. This is what drives me.
I still deal with significant dysphoria and regret that I waited so long to come out. I deal with guilt over taking Karin’s dream man away, but I find comfort in a kind of love and energy that I couldn’t find had I chose any other path. I now walk the path of truth and love and the relationships and bonds I have with people are real, at their very core they are bonds of love, real, raw love the unifying force of the universe.
I will not lie, in my head there are significant challenges ahead, and we are changing our entire lifestyle to prepare for the worst this world can offer. I fight bouts of seriously dark depression, but I choose to live, and i choose to fight against tose who would rather me just die. I do it for myself, for the people I love, and I do it because i hope that the little boys who want to be princesses and be rescued and the little girls who want to rescue the princesses will never have to endure what paths Ive been lead down. I hope to leave in my wake a beautiful garden path for people like us, lined with flowers and bright blue skies, soft spring breezes that tickle our noses. I hope that one day, through this struggle that I will be accepted as just a girl, by the world. I live so that the world of struggle I live in, gets easier and people become aware of my challenges and seek to educate themselves about our challenges, and educate themselves. I believe trans issues resonate at the very fabric of our civilization and our culture. I live and push on for these reasons. However, deep inside, I just want to be pretty and cute lol. That’s my story in brief until now.
I’m not going to say that it gets better, I know that’s become our mantra and I do believe for lesbians and gays, it is becoming more and more socially acceptable, however for trans folks its only going to get better if we choose to live and insist on our right to exist. For some of us we will blend right in and none may ever know we are trans, but for a lot of us we cannot hide, and especially this is true during the process of transition. This is why we need to be strong and we need to be honest, we cannot hide anymore, we have to tell our stories, we have to make these people see that we do not choose to sacrifice our entire lives and everything we have worked for because of some sexual deviant behavior. We do it because this is who we are at the deepest level of our essence and we refuse to live a lie because of the worlds ignorance. It is through this honesty that wisdom and justice will spread and then things will begin to get better.
If you are trans, and you are considering suicide, I can relate. I think about it everyday, that’s my truth and I will not hide it. I don’t bottle it up though. I share my thoughts with everyone and anyone who will listen, because my desire to leave this earth is not because i don’t love me, its because of a society that has been brainwashed and has trouble processing our existence and what that means to everything they have been indoctrinated to believe.
If you are lesbian/gay, I’m sure it will get better. The world is changing and all around gay equality is spreading. If you are trans, its going to get better but we have to live, we must continue to fight for acceptance. We can only do this by existing, by being honest, and finding ways to justify love for those who condemn us. We challenge the core of their belief system, one that they may not even understand or see due to generations and millenia of social indoctrination. So for all the lesbian and gay allies, don’t forget us, we are fighting everyday for justice, and as the socialized, indoctrinated world accepts you back into it, don’t forget that we as trans folk are here, and we need allies. I ask of all the trans children who are struggling, I ask of all the trans adults, choose to live and insist on your truth, because wisdom, justice and love will only be found through honesty and compassion. We need to live to make the world a better place for each other. School is such a brief period in life. I know at the time it feels like its forever, but its not. if I learned anything, most of the assholes who bully and harass seem to grow up to have crappy lives. The skinny pretty girls who make fun of the short fat ones grow up to get fat and have baby daddy issues, the boys who bully usually wind up in jail or on drugs. I’m speaking from experience, those who endure, and persist with their heads held high through the darkness, wonderful things will come your way. Even through all my challenges, I have a wonderful wife, we love each other at the deepest level, we have succeeded materialistically, we don’t want for much other than to have peace in the world beyond us, and its coming. We just have to live a truth, not a lie.
I love you all, that’s my story and that’s my thoughts <3