I am a transsexual woman, and these are only my views. I do not speak for anyone but myself.
I’m usually not that forward with the transsexual information. Aside from medical professionals, it’s not something that I usually open with. I have never, for example, said, “I, as a transsexual woman, would like the number 4 with fries. And a very womanly diet coke.”
I am also what we in the business call “in the closet.” I am a rare bird in my super exclusive club, in that I am still living as my birth sex, which is male, while having had SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery).
Oh, I’m married with children. I try to take on the role of adult from time to time, and make decisions based on what’s best for all of us long and short term.
My wife is aware and we have discussed each aspect of my evolution before it happened. I told her, because I love her and owe it to her. I may never get over the guilt I feel for dragging her into this, but if we were to stay together it had to be her journey too.
I also told her because, at some point, it would become really hard to hide.
The decision for hormones came early after my wife had just started to digest the information I’d presented her. There was a whole lot of crying involved, but finally I went forward. A year and a half later, when I started discussing surgery, it was one of the easier decisions to make, and I never doubted much if it would be right for me.
Surgery is not for everyone. And neither is a complete social transition. I have spent years in therapy learning that it was OK to be me, and trying to find a place where I could live comfortably day to day with myself. I am still very much a work in progress.
There are many preconceived notions about trans people among those with and without gender issues — one of which is that we all feel distress the same way and to the same degree. That’s not even close to the truth.
I have tried to help others dealing with the same problems. I have asked some of them: if they could keep all of their current friends and family and maybe throw on a dress on the weekends to help them deal with these feelings inside, wouldn’t that be preferable to taking body-altering drugs and coming out to the world at the risk of relationships and employment?
Slow. Steady. Safe.
But there are also times when the buzz in one’s head can become so overwhelming that action is needed. Inaction could lead to destructive behaviors such as risk taking, substance abuse, or even suicide. Then it’s better to do something.
If you are thinking of killing yourself because you want to wear a skirt, wear the skirt. If you are thinking of killing yourself because you don’t believe you can ever be happy living as you feel, try living the way you feel—no matter what that entails. Many have come back from the brink and gone on to find joy. Reach out to someone. Talk to anyone. Surround yourself with positive people.
As I progress on my own path, I try to look at each step and think about what I hope to gain and what could I possibly lose.
My decisions are always subject to change as I work things out, but I am currently very happy. I have love and family. That doesn’t mean there aren’t certain hardships, but all of my non-trans friends have hardships too. They’re the things that make sitting down with family and a cup of frozen yogurt on a beautiful spring day all the more sweet.
Kimberly Dee spends her free time alternating between dry kale salads and boxes of Nutty Bars.