John Gray wrote a book back in 1992, Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus. I was thinking about that in regards to my own situation. For most of my life I have lived in depression. It has taken a while for me not to look at the darkness without seeing the light. Though, I suppose that isn’t always quite true. While I have lived with depression most of my life, I grasped, though loosely, the fine threads of hope and light.
For those who have followed my story, you know that from a very early age, I knew I was a female. Science tells us that transgender brains are quite similar to the sex they identify with. In some cases, it is not completely identical, but close. There is still a great deal of research to be done. Unfortunately, the dearth of human brains of people who identify as transgender makes this type of study difficult. They have been using MRIs, in hopes of seeing the differences that way on living people, but the science is still working on those studies.
From an early age, I wanted to be with the girls. I wanted to do girly things. I soon learned, that to survive, I had best act in the manner that was expected. I soon learned that I had to emulate my brothers and cousins to learn how to act like a man. i tell you, it was not fun. I was not really into sports, though eventually I came to like football. As many Male-to-Female (MtF) transgender, we hyper-masculinize. Okay, maybe not so much in my case. I somehow found a line where I could do things girls usually did, but as a guy. Everyone loved my peanut butter cookies. Oh yeah, I learned how to cook early on. It was my grandfather who inspired me. That was also my first career path. I excelled at it. I even won the Rotarian Award in my Senior Year in High School for Outstanding Food Service. Okay, I tied with Dave Thompson. He got the Johnson & Wales scholarship and I got a set of Dexter knives. I had already enlisted in the Air Force so couldn’t really take the J&W scholarship. I still have the knives today.
I had a few friends growing up. I was always seen as weird and was beat up a lot. Some took that weirdness to be spiritual and I was kind of pushed into the Church. Oh I got caught up big time. I even did a stint as a Youth Minister for the Diocese of Providence. I so believed that this is what I was supposed to do, I even got as far as trying to get into the seminary. The funny thing about all of this is that while I was always seen as deeply spiritual, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the Nicene Creed. I did eventually leave the Church for good after my second divorce. Of course, part of that was also due to my first attempt at transitioning back in the 90’s. When I went into counseling for five years, one of the things the psychologist and I went over was Who Am I?
Let me tell you, there are two things that really shook me up in life. The experience of going through counseling and finding out I really had no identity because it had been so scrubbed from me. The other being told to Remember. We’ll save that one for another blog.
Once my psychologist realized what had happened to me and that I was a true transgender, she sought to help me find out who I really was. Let me tell you, that was an interesting journey in and of itself. I still have the transcript of the journal she had me keep that illustrated just how messed up I was. It was included in the manuscript that was to be my suicide note called, Emma: An Unlived Life. Fortunately, Cindy had other ideas and I am still here.
My psychologist would ask me each session what my thoughts were on this or that. I would always respond, “Well everyone says that I …”. She would stop me and tell me that she didn’t ask what everyone else thought, she wanted to know what I thought. There was the crux of the problem. I was a women, or back then a girl, who was forced to live as a boy. I was from Venus, but had to act like I was from Mars. Talk about mindfu–s.
I have to give credit to Dr. Acksen. She really got me thinking about who I was and that my thoughts, my beliefs, were as valid as any. Oh, there are many who wish I would just tow the line and be what they want me to be, but those days are gone. Thanks to those sessions, I went on a journey of self discovery. I do have to admit, that one thing that still is in my craw, my cousins telling me I couldn’t play Mystery Date with them because I was a boy. I WAS NOT A BOY!!!! Of course, my physical image was, so I can’t fault them. Do they even make Mystery Date anymore?
My journey of self-discovery not only freed me to be me, but also to look at my belief structure. I took at step away from the Church to see just what I truly believed. I still believe in the teachings of Jesus. Of course, not the warped, twisted teachings we hear, but the true teachings of love and Gnosticism. I am always learning knew things and trying to incorporate that light and wisdom in my dealings with others.
To get back on the point though, I had to live most of my life as I was expected to live. I observed guys in my life and saw how they acted. Sometimes a bit disgustingly, men are pigs. Okay, just kidding. Though not much. I had to try to emulate them, but most often fell short and would be ridiculed and bullied. There were some who even questioned if I was gay. I could only imagine if those people from my past had learned about me.
You know, there is always a point to my stories. So rather than ramble on, I will conclude. I am fearful for others who are transgender with this new administration coming in. Pence has used his bogus Christian ethics to attack gays. Republicans feel empowered to put in place bathroom bills to supposedly protect their womenfolk from predators. This despite all evidence to the contrary. Worse, they are backing a sexual predator for President, so they lose credibility there. There is so much going on, so I am continuing to tell my story. I want people to see the human side of all of this. Stop listening the faux religious garbage and listen to the science. The science tells us that being transgender is a real state. There is physical evidence to support this. There is nothing in the New Testament, ever preached by Jesus to support the hate against people like me. It is twisted minds that search for even the minutest bit of support in the Bible for their hate. Do not buy into it! Lives depend on it. I am public and I am loud because lives depend on it. Do not listen to crap that says that it is against Jesus’ teachings. Jesus had but one commandment. Love. Not love if, not love but, just love. Stop buying into the hate the Republicans and religious right keep preaching. Embrace Love.
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.