The air felt like sand. Each gasp I struggled to take filled my lungs with a breathless agony. My body crumbled to the floor as I stumbled through the front door. The hardwood receives a storm of tears as they cascade off my cheek. I clutched my backpack tight in my arms as a minimal source of comfort to help carry me through the moment. A wave of aches surges through me from the uncontrollable sobbing I had let loose. It was a miracle I was able to make it home safely that night.
I was in the living room enjoying a blissful afternoon with my wife and child. The place had a definite 50’s vibe to it, and it was my home. Everything was clean and organized as I watched my kid playing on the floor in front of me. Suddenly the peace of the moment is rudely interrupted by a massive explosion, which blows out the entire side of my house in an avalanche of debris. My vision is dark and blurred from the trauma, but I use all my strength to lift up my head and see the lifeless blood-stained bodies of my beloved wife and child.
Two men in black approach, take one arm each, and drag me outside. They slam me down on my knees and I raise my head to face the figure in front of me. All I see is a mirage of a person; a dark entity whom had robbed me of my entire livelihood. I crane my neck to the side to see a gaping void where the yellow wall to my house previously stood.
There’s a loud noise, and pressure hits me in the upper right portion of my chest. My eyes explode with the impact as it is followed with a second shot to my lower left abdomen, and a final blow adjacent to my heart. I fall backwards as time decelerates and I meet the pavement. My sight fades in from the edges as I feel the my heart stop beating, and my last breath leaves my body.
(Note: These events transpired nearly a year ago, but I have some serious catching up to do. More soon!)
There is a feeling I have craved for many years. Something started in me with a simple curiosity and turned into a desire rooted deep within my soul. The feeling is quite simple, really. I’m immersed in a gathering of people, going about my business in my own quirky way; catching eyes here and there, but for all the right reasons. My heart is playful and my mind is at ease. I’m a woman in the crowd, and I belong. Nobody suspects me to be something I’m not, not even myself.
It seems like I have been living at my desk for the last few weeks. I guess that can be expected since I am graduating from college in 23 days!! After countless hours of lost sleep, a few parking tickets, and many other challenges, it would seem I am moving into the professional world. Every single person in my class is anxious about the job hunt and their prospects for lucrative employment. It would take blind optimism to not be a little nervous given the state of our industry around here. The possibilities are out there, but supply pales in comparison to the demand for jobs, and therefore the market is extremely selective.
My peers are working around the clock to get their work and professional appearance to the best possible place. I am doing much of the same, but I have other more pressing concerns to worry about; my physical appearance. In a market that can afford to be picky, any extra details that can be discriminated against could cut me out of the race. Because of this, I am working in parallel to better my feminine presence along with the professional. I do have an advantage over my peers because I am the only female in this class.
The kinds of studios I am looking to work at are mostly male dominated. If I enter the ring as a beautiful woman with a killer portfolio, my chances are pretty good. Naturally, I am now completely obsessed with making myself look the best I possibly can in an effort to achieve steady employment.
I had an interesting week. In my most recent post, I mentioned how it has become painful to achieve a full erection. My doctor didn’t know of any cases previously linking hormone replacement therapy with discomfort when trying to have happy time. With a lack of other options, a decision was made to visit the internet and type my problems into Google. I was entirely skeptical of finding any useful results, especially considering I had to include words like “penis” and “erection” in my search terms.
Shockingly, I found a thread full of male-to-female transgender people who were experiencing the exact same symptoms as I am. There was diverse input coming from people at a variety of stages, so I will provide the cliff notes:
When I was little, I always thought it would be cool to have kids. After all, whenever we played Life, I routinely ended up needing a second van to carry all my little munchkins. It seemed like destiny! As I progressed through adolescence, I started focusing on the goals I wanted to achieve in my years on Earth. I crafted the dream of opening my own game studio and working towards starting a foundation to financially support transitioning youth; inspired by my consistent conflict with not having enough discretionary funds a new life.
The more I started thinking about this vision and all the steps it would take to get there, the less it seemed possible for me to start a family along the way. At the age of 21, I was faced with a decision that would abruptly force me to conclude whether or not I would ever want to have my own biological children.
My sexual awakening was irregular for a maturing boy. The first time I experienced an orgasm was entirely by accident while punishing my penis. Even before I knew about being transgender, I seemed to harbor resentment towards my genitalia, and had a lingering feeling that it would not be there forever. Around the age of 13 I began to regularly dress up as female, and consequently started to despise the masculine features of my anatomy. Being the brilliant child I was, I thought it would make me feel better to tie a knot around my genitalia and proceed to tug until my dreams came true. After enough force was applied, something remarkable happened.
This taught me a two important lessons. First: the penis is quite firmly attached, and is capable of carrying the weight of an adolescent male. Second: stimulating the little rascal can lead to happy feelings. Of course I knew what orgasms and masturbation were, but I had no intention to form a closer relationship with my penis. I continued down the path of applying pressure to my penis as the stimulus for orgasm until it caused me to bleed. I remember kneeling in fear on the bathroom floor as I was greeted by red instead of white. At 13 years old, I could not fathom a way to seek help without revealing the nature of the incident; something I was not willing to do. Understandably, I resisted my sexual urges for a long time after that.
Sometimes the smallest and silliest of things can make a mood fluctuate dramatically. Even when it seems that I’ve got it all together, something ridiculous like an uncooperative parking meter can break through and cause an avalanche of stored up emotions. Since I started my transition from male to female, I have noticed certain trends have routinely contributed towards a positive outlook on life, and their counterparts.
- Avoid too much naked mirror time.
This one is absolutely not specific to being transgender. Anyone with insecurities or negative associations with their body could easily be brought down by staring into the judgement of a mirror. Even though I have an ectomorph (skinny/lean) body type, it is definitely male. Between my wide shoulders, absent curves, body hair, flat chest, and penis, it can be a bit of downer to gaze at my naked reflection. The conflict between being unquestionably female on the inside and my body unmistakably male on the outside can occasionally break my defenses and leave me feeling deeply insecure. As I move along in the transition, some of these things will be quite different. For now, I have found that it is best to avoid too much time in front of reflective surfaces when I am naked.
My father has been dating this kind and good spirited woman for a few years now. I had gotten to know her well before my transition ever started, and she has been clued into the process as it develops. Every Sunday since I moved out, my father and I get together for dinner. More often than not, his girlfriend would join us and bring an extra set of life experience to the conversation.
Before the transition, there was never any friction in our discussions beyond the occasional debate about this wacky world we live in. As soon as I started going to therapy to unlock the secrets to my gender identity, there were difficult things for me to engage my father about, and having her there made me more nervous about it all. Each dinner was the site for one topic that was subtly weaved into the conversion. They would almost always have little to say in response, or nothing at all, which made it difficult to continue down the same line of thought for long.
You know the story. Boy and girl try to be friends with no romance attached, someone gets too close, things get weird, and eventually the one of them makes a grand gesture that ends in a happy love life forever and ever. This is a staple template for countless romantic comedies. In my experience, the relationship either gets awkward for awhile and manages a miraculous recovery, or it gets really awkward and fades away to the depths of my “friends” list.
My brushes with uncomfortable romance between friends have been extremely frustrating. Being in the mind of a girl and the body of a boy added an extra layer of difficulty in forming close relationships. With the guys, I lacked symmetry. It was just impossibly difficult for me to relate with the mentality and actions of my masculine orientated friends. Girls were a mess for me. I simultaneously craved the acceptance of being “one of the girls” while still being capable of pursuing others romantically. Of course, the closer I got to my female friends, the more suspicious of romance they became.