A Trans Ally...For You.
I am a transgender woman and I’m guessing you probably aren’t—at least not if you’ve come to this site as the SOFFA of a transgender person.
So what would I have to say to you that would make your life any easier? After all, have I walked a mile in your shoes?
The answer is no, not exactly. But maybe by sharing my transition experience with you, and listening, really listening to your story, I can help bridge a huge communication gap that often exists between partners, and even those professionals trying to help.
For Maisie and I, our gap was more like the great San Andreas Fault. It started way before I began hormone therapy, in 2012, before we decided to divorce.
I liken that time in my life to a song by John Denver: “Leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…”
That was me. A big, bumbling, supersonic mess ready for take off at all costs—or die.
I realized I’d landed about a year later, and after a few trips around the world (literally, I had my surgery in Thailand in 2014), when a video Maisie produced for my company years earlier came across my desktop screen again. Watching the art form she’d created brought me to tears. How had I not noticed her painstaking effort before? How had I lost sight of her?
There is a lot more support for trans people than there is for SOFFAs. Throughout the first year or so of my transition all of the advice given to me by counselors, friends, support groups and tons of articles on the web, was about me, not about those I was in close relationship with. Looking at the video Maisie made, I had to wonder. Who did she have to support her through her own sleepless nights?
From that moment on I vowed to recognize her struggle, her victories, her new self, and especially her new passions. TransgenderPartners.com is just one of them.
So yes, now that I’m post divorce, post some friends, post some family members, post SRS, and recently, a post business owner, I’m able to look at my life in a different way. I can see that most of what happened between Maisie and I was the result of confusion, lack of information, impatience and just plain thoughtlessness. In the myriad of trails that all ended at my feet, there were some that were blown up bridges, some that were scorched earth, and some that had disappeared completely.
Feeling the pain and the confusion that I’d left behind in my determined march towards what had appeared to me as “freedom,” made me cry for weeks, months actually. When the tears subsided and I could bear to look again, I knew I had a lot of work to do if I was to going to take responsibility for my new life, the one that had been screaming to be let out of her cage.
If I had it to do all over again would I still transition? There is only a resounding yes! I’m happier, healthier and able to contribute to others in ways that were never possible before. So the better question is, how can I help others avoid what for Maisie and I became a devastating way to transition into a beautiful and incredible life?
The answer is, by sharing my story and hearing yours in the hope that transition might be easier and gentler for everyone.