I am going to take you on a journey back into time. A journey that brings back many strange memories and many firsts. I was born in 1981, the son of two amazing parents and an awesome sister. Everyone was excited to see the only boy born to carry on the lineage. Around the age of 5 I started to feel different, yet I had no clue as to what it was. I played with the kids around town, rode bikes in the rain, and did everything a boy was supposed to do but it just didn’t feel “normal”.
Many years passed and I still had that feeling of being different, I was an outcast that did not fit into the box I had been placed in and without the internet I was alone. As I grew older I had to hide my true self to fit into society. I felt alone in a family full of love and an empty shell of the person I should have been. Participating in football and the band I found a small escape from the mental pain. It only helped for so long.
I quit football in tenth grade and concentrated on playing in the band to continue the path of music but the internal struggle was becoming very deep and this is when I broke. I could not tell anyone about what I was when I did not know myself and the pain in my head became too great thus leading to the first of many attempts to take my own life.
I managed to make it through to graduate high school but what did the future hold for someone like me. I managed to secure a job working for a local heating and cooling business and also helped a friend in his business. I also manage to marry one of the most important people in my life. My wife and I have been together for 14 years now and I will say she is the strongest person I will ever know. A few months after the birth of our first daughter I had to sit her down and tell her the pain and she was the first one I let into this world of mine. The thought of breaking her heart terrified me more than anything because I had (and still have) true love for her. After her and I moved into our first place I started searching the internet fo clues, answers, or cures yet no magic pill was ever found. I did however find an amazing person that did not live to far from me who took me under her wing and helped me find the answer to my questions. Transgender… The label hit me like a ton of bricks. Like I was an actor in the Springer show, but I can’t be one of those people can I.
Hitting 28 I hit a wall. I was lost in a sea of thought without any outlet. Something needed to change, and with the help of my father I finally enrolled into BC3. If there was ever a change, this is the one that saved my life. In my second semester I had a professor of English who gave what should be a simple task… write a story about yourself. Well here was a conundrum, who was I to be in this paper, the fake male facade that I showed the world or the inner female. Well let me tell you that in that class I wrote about the real me, the frightened secret me who was hidden away for years. I managed to come out in front of a class full of strangers with nothing more than a professor who would not let me give up.
As I continued in my travels with school I was enrolled in a Psychology class with another amazing professor. She opened my eyes that there was more to life than just “normal” people in society. She forced me to become more than just another student in the classroom and as time moved on, she became an amazing supporter of me and has stood behind me to push me to the next level.
I sit here now as an almost 34-year-old who did not think I would live to see 21 with some amazing stories that I can tell. I will say that as this blog progresses I will speak more of the people in my life and the educators who made me the person I am today. I am Ali, the woman who I repressed most of my life. I have grown to learn that there is more to life than a label and not to use that same cliché… It gets better.