Saturday, October 18, 2008

To My Family and friends: October 18, 2008

Dear Family,I wanted to take a few minutes and fill you in on some important information about some changes that will be made in the near future. I will change in some ways, but I will always be the same person. These steps I’m taking are very important for me. I do wish there was an easier way to move forward, but I have not found a better way. I have come to terms with this after careful research, analysis and professional guidance. I don’t take this lightly, I’m more informed then I ever was, and feel stronger than ever that I’m going in the right direction.

If you’re wondering what this is all about. I have Gender Dysphoria (DSM IV code is 302.85 or GID) I am a transsexual. In short. Since I was 5 years old, I have known that I was special and that there was something different about me. I always felt I was a girl, but my body did not match what I felt.

Because of the sex marker on my birth certificate I had to behave a certain way, feel a certain way, be a certain way. Since I was little I always was mindful of the mundane thing we all take for granted. How I stood. How I sat. What I wear. I’ve always been mindful of my interactions with others, and that I was not to femm. I just wanted to blend in to society. Which I did! GID has been crippling at times and I needed to stop fighting this and take action.

What does all this mean?
Well first off it will mean a lot of changes down the road for me and some adjustments at home. I’m working with therapist on the GID issues and have been in a semi-active transition the last 10 years. My first major goal is to live fulltime as a women. I have been making some advancement in that area and expect to start living fulltime within the next 2 years. I have been on hormones for over a year now and have had changes that are becoming noticeable (In the website links, I list a few sites that cover many of the changes you can expect). Some of the changes I make in the future may seen drastic, but I’m taking all this very serious and am under professional supervision. Eventually I will also change my name to Michelle. This will involve a lot of legal paperwork to change the drivers license, birth certificate, exc.. But it will be a necessary thing for me to do to live fulltime.

You may ask why I am doing this now. Well I guess I didn’t have the courage and understanding I have now to face this head on. As a child I never knew that there was anything that would ever help. I thought maybe there was something wrong with me, but I lived with it. I dealt with it daily. Until I was about 30 I thought there was not much I could do about all this. I always thought that all this would go away. But what I found as I got older it became more of a burden in my life. 10 years ago I started to learn about the research studies and finding many transgender friends I began to see a rainbow lighting the sky for my future. But still, I didn’t have the courage then to go fulltime. I do now! I know that this will never go away and I know what I need to do to be the best person I can be to my family and I. Transition!I know that to some of you, this may have be a shock. But rest assured, I given this VERY careful thought. I have also talked with Vicky and the kids a lot the last few years about it and I currently have their support. I’m sure that you may questions for me. I will answer any question that you may have, so feel free to ask.

In closing, I’d just like to I’d like to quote a good friend of mine:Abigail Jensen"In my experience, sacrifice of my own truth only leads to pain for everyone ... not just me, but everyone. There is unquestionably much pain that comes with transitioning, but it is the pain of stripping away the illusion of who we are not, to find the truth of who we are. Painful as that might be, finding and living our truth (whether that includes transitioning only you can decide) offers the only chance that we and those we love can grow to know the truth about ourselves. And only by knowing ourselves can we, and they, find the peace, love and joy we all deserve and desire.

WEBSITES
Here are a few sites that will provide plenty of information.
Dr. Anne Lawrence’s resource website
Understanding gender Dysphoria
International Foundation for Gender Education
Gender Identity Research and Education Society
Crissy Wild's Medical Links

6 comments:

Abby said...

Michelle, I'm honored that you chose to quote me. Thank you.

I wish you luck with your family, but I also know that luck has little to do with. Your confidence in who you are and what you need to do to take care of yourself is what will carry you through the difficult times ahead. And know that I'm always here.

Blessings,
Abby

Abby said...

I'd like to suggest another website for you and your family to consult. I think Lynn Conway's website -- http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/conway.html -- is the best resource on all things transgender on the 'net. Of particular interest for family members may be her pages and pages of photos and biographies of successful trans women -- http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TSsuccesses/TSsuccesses.html -- (and men -- http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TSsuccesses/TransMen.html) all over the world and in all kinds of professions.

Lori D said...

Wow, this was touching. Bravo girl. You are a brave one.

Hi, my name is Michelle. Welcome! said...

Hi Abby and Lori, Sorry for the delay. Its been a while since I've been able to get back here. Anyways. I wanted to thank you for your comments and support. No you both are the brave ones. Your doing much more than I am at this point, but I'm working on that :) Slowly but surely, right! I posted this letter last night on the family yahoo group and waiting to see if I get any feed back now. I don't know how many of the family actually use the group, but I'm sure the word will get around, lol. Anyways thanks again. BTW. Lori, does your brain ever stop? You little blogger you :) Going to try and catch up tonight. Talk to you all soon.
Hugs Michelle

Hi, my name is Michelle. Welcome! said...

BTW, I'm not sure how brave I really am, but I'm just getting tired of the duality living, so I have to do what I'm doing now to prepare myself for the future. Talk to you soon.
Hugs Michelle

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