"I need to tell you about something that has, and IS, changing in my life"
***This is one individual's experience and not meant to represent a broader population***
The year is 1996.
This letter is THE HARDEST thing that I have ever done...and I do not know how it is going to be_ received, but I need to tell you about something that has, and IS changing in my life. It is a compilation of thoughts, deeds, and dreams of my life, and is intended to put to thought my actions and desires.
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This has been written in an attempt to lessen the pain of telling you, my dear friends, about some changes in my life that may seriously affect our friendship. I have told several of you about what you are going to read, and I must tell you that I originally had such a very hard time in doing so without crying (as I am now doing writing this letter), so I tried to find a better way of dealing with the trauma. I felt perhaps it best to make this feeble attempt to at least lessen YOUR pain in receiving this information, by writing my feelings. So please forgive the seeming insensitivity of a letter...and the semi-formal format, but understand that it is the only way to tell all the story and make it understood as best I can. So please do not think the worst…it is not that bad...I can only hope you will -attempt-to understand.
So here it goes.....!
I was born male.
You have known me all of my life as a normal male, but I need you to know that I am in fact a Trans Gendered (TG) person – a female born into a male’s body. I have finally come to realize my dream of being the person that I should have been born 47 odd years ago.
Why I am this way I do not know...but as matters turn out, it appears that as more and more is known about this condition, theories have been put forth that link it to genetics or perhaps even to hormonal dosages during fetal development. Even examination of the TG human brain has shown a difference in its construction. Will we ever know a reason? Perhaps not, but the fact remains that there are thousands of us out there from all walks of life, each living in his or her pain as best they can.
Please understand, this was not a choice, but a need...a desire...an emptiness in my psyche that I had no control over until now. The time had come to the point where I MUST do something about it or go on the rest of my life in pain, suffering, and emptiness.
All my life I have lived with a lie...an internal quandary. As a child I knew there was SOMETHING wrong with me. I always felt different than others. Not gay, but not normal. I did not like to play with dolls, yet I did not do a lot of the rough and tumble games of the other boys. I existed in the nether world of gender confusion. As I grew, I felt this inner difference, and just had no way to cry out in my pain. My family was not close, and I had no one to talk to in confidence. After all, how does a young person articulate what he/she does not understand? The years passed in a silent quandary.
Self-awareness came to me at age 7. I can remember my parents seeing a stage program featuring Christine Jorgensen, the world’s first male to female transsexual.
Bringing a brochure home, it was left lying on the table where an eager young mind could examine it. I KNEW right then and there what that inner feeling of difference was...l was a little girl in a little fat boy’s body!!! But where to turn...how to get her out ???? Why was I this way? So many questions, so many fears...so much confusion. Unless you have lived it, it is so difficult to put these feelings into words. So little information or support was, or is available, unless you know where to seek it. Back in those days, there simply was no understanding of this affliction, or deviant behavior, as it would have been called. In retrospect, there was no way to tell and to live a normal life. Had I the strength to tell someone I most likely would have been on a couch with electrodes attached to my scalp!
For years I was in the closet with my desires and unfulfilled wishes. I started to seek the solace of dressing in female attire to at least achieve some connection with this female inner self. Always alone, and always in the dark…fearful of discovery but desirous of being accepted by the world as a woman.
My mother caught me in mascara once! I was ridiculed so badly, I went underground as deep as one can go. I was so ashamed and hurt...couldn't she hear my cries of pain and offer me comfort? I dressed alone and infrequently. I was so scared and confused about what I was, and why I was so different. I did not fit the gay world...after all I did not like men...I was a FREAK!
The years passed in silent pain and suffering.
I was able to push this feminine side of me into the nether regions of my soul, but she was there always, waiting and crying to escape the deep dark recesses of my mind.
Thanks to the computer age and the advent of America On Line (AOL), a computer communications service, I found out I WAS NOT ALONE and I was not a freak or pervert! There were many wonderful, intelligent, caring people out there, with the same feelings that I had suffered with all alone, and for so long. There were answers! There was and IS help! They came from ALL walks of life. Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Pilots, or Clerks. Black, white, yellow and red. All walks of life and all races were to be found here! This condition knew no limits. Stature in life did not keep one safe. So many had lived the same story, suffered the same pain. I at last had an answer...or at least knowledge.
My only regret is waiting so long. Knowing what I know now...and having the benefit of the support that is available, I am sure it would have taken me to where I am at this moment a long time ago. Shame, ignorance and love for my wife and my career had prevented this...but in a short time all my dreams will become a reality!
So that is my story. My life is being re-written as you read this. Daily affairs have been put into order to start this new life. It will be the HARDEST thing I have ever done. There will NEVER be any peace or solace in having a normal life again. People, former friends or associates may talk, point, laugh, or snigger, but I care not. I have no other choice than to do this. No rational person would make this choice, but choice it is not. It is a burning need and desire to complete the circle of psyche that was broken for so long. I am ready to lose all to gain a little peace within myself.
I thank my stars that I have a soul mate to travel this road as well as many wonderful and generously supportive friends. There will be tears - there will be sorrows, and hardships, but there NEVER will be regrets. I have lived a wonderful, full life, and I am who I am today, richer for having my soul mate, and richer for having being blessed in knowing you.
Lucy will always have Frank inside, and I will never deny that - I now like to say “same house, just different curtains”. The memories will not fade away, and will be looked upon with fondness and joy…always.
I want you to know that I will understand if you decide to leave, to disassociate yourselves from having contact with us. I NEVER want you to be embarrassed by me or my actions, or to cause you any discomfort. So please do not be afraid to tell me so. I will mourn the loss, but I promise...there will be no animosity or hate from me, after all, it was I that lied to you and to myself. I HOPE this is not the case, but I cannot know how you will react to this situation.
I will FOREVER remember what we have had together in friendship and our shared lives and experiences. I hope you can understand and forgive me for this. It can be a tremendous burden for our friends to understand what I am going through. Values we have long established as firm and in concrete can change in a blink of an eye. I hope our bond of friendship is strong enough to take this.
One of the major reason I have not been around as of late has been that I have been living full time as a woman since the first of the year. January 1st, I started to live full time as a woman. All of my identifications have been changed to reflect my new gender. Life has been put into order, and my life's biggest mistake rectified. Life IS good, but it will most likely NEVER be easy again...as long as we live, there will be the regular struggles and trials, I simply have added one more issue.
My life has been made whole and I am who I was born to be.
Fear not of my times ahead either, I make a rather attractive older woman, and have NO problems in passing. No one is the wiser for what or who I was. It is a relatively easy transition compared to many that have gone before me. I feel I have made the correct choice. As Frank, I say goodbye dearest friends and I fervently hope that Lucy can say hello.
With all my respect and love
About the Contributor
In Our Own Words welcomes all contributors. Sometimes for a particular story, contributors wish to remain anonymous to protect themselves. USA Cycling respects those decisions and will publish and share these contributors stories. If you have a story to share with In Our Own Words, please email Kelsey Erickson.
*Pseudonyms used to protect members identity.
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