I’m back! I do apologize for the long hiatus but as in life there is no certainties. We purchased a fixer upper home and have been in the process of cleaning, remodeling, repairing and moving. What a rush it has been, but I’m finally back and ready to enlighten you all again. I also posted a picture to the title image so some can have a face to go with the words.
As with all things, progress has come with it’s complications. We have moved into a new neighborhood and area along with my children attending a new school so change in many forms has come our way and my personal situation is no exception. Things have progressed at a crazy pace and between the hormones, working out and losing weight. I am becoming much better looking (to me at least). All these combined have led me to be happier… I have not smiled this much in years and it shows even in my outward appearance to others.
This does not come without consequence in any way. As with anything there will always be some bad. No matter how good you feel or look there is always someone who still sees your old gender. Sure I have breast and have been called beautiful or pretty many times but some people see the male in me. They look past the Ali name tag and don’t hear others call you as a female. For these few, it is hard to be kind and respectful, but you must be for the sake of the whole. This however is when you see the other side of your friends and coworkers. I’ll withhold names, but after the customer started with “excuse me sir” I was polite, and assisted her in going to the proper department for her needs after I turned to leave she looked at the male employee and stated “He shouldn’t be working in retail with an attitude like that.” It was at this moment I heard the employee respond with “Well, if you keep calling her a man she may be more than a little upset, she happens to be one of the friendliest people here.” I love my coworkers.
I also made some new friends. There are few in particular that have really peaked my interest but all of them are amazing additions to my already amazing circle. Each of them are in different stages of life but when we started talking more there was more to like with each comment. Some dealing with anxiety of going back to school, some dealing with current family issues, and some who are just starting the journey and fearful of what lies ahead. All told, there are three at this moment who stand out in this new group.
J (that is what I’ll call her here) is an amazing gal who is just starting her journey. She reached out to me at first. She has been dealing with social anxiety, depression, and a host of other issues related to her gender dysphoria. There is just something about her that seems different. She has a spunk, a drive that I rarely see. She also has a great personality. So what was it… It was her demeanor. When she typed, I could feel her pain. I could relate to where she was. Just a bit outside of suicidal depression. In the past few days and weeks, i have had the rare opportunity to see someone go from where I was to full blossom in little time at all. She is working harder than most anyone I have ever seen to get her mind right and find her way. I also introduced her via Facebook to a great friend CJ and she has blossomed. I see so much of the old me in her it is crazy, but she is much more courageous then I ever was.
CJ was an interesting meet. She works for the same company I work for in another state. We found each other through a social community site at the work place and befriended each other on Facebook. I assumed at the start it would become a random back and forth about life and then have the occasional message day. Boy was I wrong! We took off to the races and (at least on my end) became instant friends. We like the same quirky movies, are interested in unique items, love working on cars, and both are married with children. We also share a connection in the realm of gender dysphoria. We can relate in so many ways it is like we are sisters. So what I once thought would be a random Facebook friend exploded into my closest friend. A girl I can confide in no matter how strange or off the wall. She is one amazing woman.
There was one other recent friend who piqued my interest in a big way. She was a former class mate if mine (a year or so older than me). She was out to dinner with a mutual friend and he mentioned my journey. She messaged me later that day and for the life of me I could not figure out who she was. She was in school with me, in the band with me, and I could not remember this girl. She then informed me we had our situation in common and dropped her old name. I was in shock! She looked amazing and nothing like I would have ever remembered. We talked more and found more links including work, a mutual friend who helped me, and her store manager was my former manager. Strange coincidences indeed but it made me realize that I wasn’t the only one in the same position. Same school, same situations, same connections yet we never knew. Strange how reconnection can form a bond you never knew existed.
This all leads me to something that I never expected. I ran from our school after graduation. I never looked back and only held the pain as a reminder of the cruelty that was youth yet as I reconnect with one person after the next from my high school I have learned that not only do people change, not only does society change, but the fact that I have not been rejected for being myself by them is the most amazing. This has even held true in a work out group that I am in. After posting my whole story and showing my progress the outpouring of support was unbelievable. Somehow as I look at my connections and support now, the pain of my past slowly melts away just as the weight has. In some small way it is amazing I am even here to see it as all I ever planned was to be one more statistic. One bullet away from the pain being gone, yet here I stand against all odds looking at the people in my life and imagining where the next road will take me.
Sure, some may hate me for who I am or what I must do for myself but in the greater scheme of life I am doing exactly what I must. I am supporting others, helping the next generation cope, and shining a light for the ones who feel like they are in the dark. I’ve become a compass to the lost and a friend to those who have few. I have grown because of the people around me and I have become exactly what I should have been from the start. Sure, I may be a transgender girl and I may still suffer some days in the silence but when I look at all I have, all I have done, and what more I can do… You will never hear me say the words “I give up”. I will be who I am no matter what and no one will ever destroy the person I have become as she is stronger than anything he could have ever been.