Emma: An Unlived Life

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Dear friends,

First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to read and digest this information. Please know that I’m generally a private person, so this public disclosure is difficult to say the least. I have been very fortunate thus far to have the support of the people I have talked to.

For the past year, I’ve been in the process of undertaking what is known as “gender reassignment” to remedy a condition I have had since birth called “gender dysphoria,” which means my gender doesn’t align with my body. The internationally recognized standards of care include medical treatments and a legal process to transition from male to female.

While this may seem like a strange decision to some of you, it is a decision that has taken nearly all my life to make, and I don’t make it lightly.

As a result of my decisions, I’ve been living full-time as a woman outside of work.  I am “out” to our family and some friends. Delaying my announcements at work have had to do with complex legal and healthcare issues which I felt might threaten my family. Now that those issues have been worked out, I have initiated the final legal steps and am poised to legally finalize the years of work it has taken. As of July 12th, 2016, my legal name became Emma Morgaine Croft.

I imagine it comes as a surprise to many of you, though some of you are already aware of my situation, I know it will be hard for many to adjust. I do understand that it will take time for everyone to start calling me Emma instead of Ed. I will be ‘she’ instead of ‘he’.  I would appreciate your best efforts to use the correct female pronouns going forward: she, her, hers.  I won’t be upset if you mess up, as it could take everyone some time to get used to this.

I realize this will take some getting used to and I am very mindful that this news may be difficult for some of you. As you might imagine, disclosing this has been incredibly difficult for me as well, but necessary under the circumstances.

I can reassure you that I will still be the person you have known and, {cough} loved, all these years. Just a change in veneer.

While this is a very personal and private matter for me, please don’t hesitate to ask questions or offer support. I have added some Questions and Answers below. Oh, the title was actually a book I started to write on my life. I was going to leave it behind as kind of a suicide note. It is fortunate that my wife intervened. Rather than an unlived life, I am beginning to live.

Thanks for your time and for any support you offer.

Sincerely,

Emma Croft

Questions and Answers on Gender Dysphoria

  1. Q) So you’ve told us you are finalizing your transition from male to female. What does this mean to me?
  2. A)  Hmm….nothing, I hope, other than using appropriate pronouns. I’m interested in hearing from you, though, if you have questions or support you’d be willing to share!
  1. Q) What is gender dysphoria?
  2. A)  In simple terms, it is a condition in which a person’s gender identity (man/woman) is different than their physical body (male/female). The brain doesn’t match the body. This is a lifelong condition, and it can be quite distressful. Approximately one person in 2,500 is born with gender dysphoria, and people with this condition can be found all over the world and throughout history. A recent statistic stated that there are enough transgender people to populate the city of Boston. Another study put the transgender population at .6 of total population. With many famous transgender personalities, it is empowering others to “come out”. The Wachovski Brothers of Matrix fame are now the Wachovski sisters. There is Chaz Bono, Laverne Cox, Caitlyn Jenner and Janet Mock. There is a rich history of productive lives and successful transitions.
  1. Q) What causes gender dysphoria?
  2. A)  According to scientific studies in 1995 and 2000 and 2002, certain genes are key to the development of gender identity in a structure of the brain before birth. Another theory from earlier studies is that hormonal influences during pregnancy may play a part in the development of gender identity in the brain. Usually gender identity matches up with body sex. When the brain develops one way and the body develops the other, that child is born with gender dysphoria. Medical and psychological experts all over the world have studied gender dysphoria for decades and determined that the best treatment is to transition the body to match the brain.
  1. Q) How can you be a woman if you are born physically male?
  2. A) Just to clarify, man/woman and male/female are actually two different traits. Gender identity (man or woman) resides in a specific part of the brain, and sex (male or female) resides in the body, although there is a large continuum of body traits along the scale. These two things develop separately in a fetus. For most people, their brain matches their body, so it’s easy to assume that gender identity is the same as biological sex. However, I am a woman born with male body traits. I have known this since I was pre-school age. With standard medical treatments, I’m finally correcting this condition.
  1. Q) Why now? If you have always known you were a woman, why didn’t you do something sooner?
  2. A)  Actually I did try. Unfortunately, society is only just becoming more educated on the subject. When I first tried to transition in the 90’s, I was ostracized by family, alienated by friends and let go from my job. I had two children to support and was having a hard time transitioning and trying to find work. I ended up believing that conformity was the only choice. So I chose to live with chronic depression all these years as my kids grew. They are adults now, so it became time. I had to generate an action plan which my counselor was amazed to see I had done. I put things in order of what needed to be done. Once we, my wife and I, had told our friends and family, it was then time to begin the legal proceedings and advise the company I worked for. It took a lot of courage to proceed. With my wife by my side, we started working towards this goal. I owe my life to her. She fully accepts who I am now and has worked to help others accept. We have shared this with family and friends. Everyone exceeded my expectations. Because of losing my job the last time, the scariest part was to share with work. Once again, expectations were exceeded, as my boss, Chris Olvesen just asked, “What can I do to help. “. This is what makes my company not only a job, but a family.
  1. Q) What do I call you?
  2. A)  Call me Emma or Em. Typically it takes people three months to make the pronoun switch to “she/her.” If you call me Ed, I might joke with you that Ed doesn’t live here anymore. I am not admonishing you, but subtle reminder. I try to live my life with a sense of humour. That has been what has kept me alive and coping. I guess that is why I had such a kinship with Robin Williams. I did not want my life to end in tragedy as his did.
  1. Q) Is this a secret? Can/may I tell other people?
  2. A)  It’s not a secret any longer, and in fact I’d appreciate it if you’d share this information with any friends or contacts I don’t often communicate with to help ease confusion that’s bound to happen.
  1. Q) Can I email you and ask you questions?
  2. A)  Yes, I’d be happy to answer questions that are appropriate. I will be reading and answering any responses to this announcement as time permits. I work long hours lately, so it might be a day or two before a response. You can email me at emma_croft@verizon.net. I want my transition to also be an education opportunity. There are some in the community who have even given seminars for their employers to help educate people. I have not been asked to do this, but would consider it. I have been asked to speak at a Church’s LGBT group meeting. I am kind of looking forward to that. Back in the 90’s when I was transitioning, I represented our transgender group at a UU church as they were trying to educate their parishioners. I love to educate people. I have learned a lot and hope to make the transition smoother for others.
  1. Q) What does this mean to you?
  2. A)  Finally my mind and body will match. I will live my life on the outside. People will recognize me for who I am. And I will no longer carry an unnecessary burden, which is a tremendous relief. By June of last year, I was on the verge of suicide. I had it all plotted but was trying to sort the best way to minimize the impact on my wife and kids. Today, those dark thoughts are memories. For the first time in my life I have something special, Hope! Already, my wife’s family has started calling me Emma and treat me as any other woman in the family. I even got to go to my first Pampered Chef party. I will continue to have my Irish wit. Take that for what it is worth.
  1. Q) What’s the hardest part for you?
  2. A)  Telling all of you. It’s quite disconcerting to make such a private matter public, but unavoidable under the circumstances. I guess the other part is that, as those who know me know, I am not a petit person. I may need some surgery to “feminize” my face and such. Hormones do a lot but not everything. The thing is that I have the support of my wife, her family, and some of mine. I have many friends from the Masons who are standing by me. In coming out to one of my Mason friends, he advised me that his daughter was becoming his son. I offered that he could join our group sessions. My counselor likes that I am involved because I have a lot of experience and knowledge to share with younger people trying to make their way.

One last thing, I have started a new Facebook page under my new name. You can connect with me as Emma Morgaine. I do hope that most of my Facebook friends will join me on my new page, but understand if some just want to move on and remember me for who I was.

As always, my heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit,

Emma White Wolf Croft.

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About Emma Morgaine Croft

I have been called many things on my journey, Professor, White Wolf, Rainbow Warrior and Spirit Walker. I had a blog on blogger.com for a number of years. I think the last post was when Papa passed back in 2012. I had also written for World Wide Hippies online mag for a year or so and even won a Golden Note for online writing. I got burned out writing and decided to stop for a bit. The only writing I did was comments on things I shared on Facebook. Unfortunately, that often got into a lot of angry and ugly talk. I try to maintain my cool, but there are just some unreasonable people out there. I found it emotionally and spiritually draining. I saw my niece's blog on here and thought that maybe it was time to resurrect Thoughts On A Cloudy Day. These are my thoughts and meanderings. You can accept them or walk away. I hope that in some way, these thoughts can spark other thoughts and sharing by people around the world. My dream is to make the world a better place for all people. My heart to your heart, one hear, one spirit.
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6 Responses to Emma: An Unlived Life

  1. mamakat68 says:

    Emma, my dear, your soul is as beautiful as ever and I am very glad to have found you here. God(dess) bless and God speed, both in this blog and in your new life!

    Like

  2. Ellen Blanchard says:

    As Ed you have been one of my favorite people, always sweet, kind, just a lovely person. You are still that person albeit with a new name, Emma. Hugs from me to you – I hope you still give hugs!!!

    Like

  3. Lynn Cochran says:

    I’m so happy you have finally found love and acceptance. I have admired your openness and open-mindedness since the day we met. I am glad that you are now being given it back.

    Like

  4. Just happy we are still able to share our lives together. It wouldnt have been the same without you in it Emma. My sister found her soul mate when she met you and brought us a piece of a puzzle we didnt know we were missing. That piece of puzzle holds our family together so we all dont fall apart. It just wouldnt be complete without you. So happy you could finally open up to us. We loved you as Ed and love you more as Emma. Go forward and explore the new you with peace in your heart .pegfitz1961@yahoo.com

    Like

  5. Lynn Della says:

    This is so beautifully written, Emma! I hope you will be able to share the calm it conveys (which I suspect was anything but in the writing) to others facing the same decision. I have several trans friends on FB, and they seem to have had a much harder time than you to reach this place. I wish you all the best in this new chapter of your life, and hope to maintain our connection here, on WWH, LinkedIn, etc.

    Like

  6. Thomas Cummiskey says:

    Hi Em, sorry I failed to make the connection earlier. You will continue to be my friend, if you wish. Hey 68 today a little slower on the uptake. I believe in everyone’s desire to become what they feel. My best wishes my friend.

    Like

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