A friend of mine asked a question on Facebook asking if the Drag Queens had any influence on us older women coming out. It was a great question and got a lot of responses. My response was as follows:
I think what helped me was getting more information. As I grew in understanding why I always felt the way I did, I was able to then make the changes needed. Unfortunately, there were no protections when I first came out. Heck, my company only made changes to their transgender health care after I brought it to their attention. In the 90’s was a whole different ball game. Unfortunately, things like electrolysis and laser are still not covered, but who knows, maybe one day. Learning what I did from that IRC channel and taking the COGIATI test, did help me to decide to seek out help. I ended with with a psychologist who saw me as a person that was all messed up. She basically broke me down and then rebuilt me. Only this time, I was built as me, and not what everyone else wanted me to be. That was a huge step.
Getting more information so that I was able to separate the idea of gender and sexual orientation was also a big help. I no longer equated being effeminate to being gay. I was able to toss that on the scrap heap. I came to understand that I am me, a woman. A lot of people did not like that revelation and I lost quite a few friends and some family, however, I became a much happier person in the end. While my first attempt to come out in the 90’s was a huge failure, this time I was ready for the losses, though not prepared for the acceptance. As my counselor told me, I was still suffering from the PTSD from the last time that I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop this time. I think the acceptance is what has made this journey that much easier. Imagine if we took the time to educate ourselves as soon as we found out a loved one was transgender or gay, and just loved them? Maybe that would go a long way to lowering the suicide rate.
I am a senior cloud engineer for my company. I am respected by my peers. Had I not had the love and acceptance this time around, Emma, An Unlived Life, might have just been my suicide note. Instead, I am here trying to educate and remove the ignorance surrounding transgender people. I am trying to be a light shining in the darkness.
I am Emma Morgaine Croft. I am Transgender. I am Woman!
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.