Here I Am

Well, here’s my first post on this new blog.  In the past I’ve used blogs to vent, for self analysis and discovery, and to organize my thoughts and simply get them out of my head.  The use of this blog won’t be much different, except that these posts will all be centered around a specific topic.  Although this topic is one that I haven’t spoken to anybody of until very recently, it has been held deep within me for a very long time.  It will change my life and lead me down a long, difficult path, but I believe something wonderful awaits me at the end.

While this blog is currently only viewable to one person, I do intend to eventually make it public after a certain governing factors of my life have passed and I can be more open about things in my everyday life.  As such, I feel that I should give a brief history for anybody that has discovered this blog after it has been made public and decided to go through the archives and read from the beginning.

I was born a woman and by most people’s standards, I still am one.  I, however, do not identify internally as such.  When did this feeling within, this sense of not fitting into my own skin start?  It’s hard to say.  I have distinct memories of being a child and loathing being treated like a girl, wishing that I was a boy, feeling held back by my body.  I hated when my mom forced me to wear dresses, when my grandmother would buy me dolls, when it was assumed that I would want to play house.  I just wanted to go out there and play street hockey, football, ninja turtles, cops and robbers, and whatnot with my friends, all boys back then.  I loved it, they were too young to know I was weird, to them I was just another one of the boys.  I fit in.

Then came middle school.  We reached that age when kids began to mature physically – growth spurts, hair growing in weird places, body shapes changing.  I could no longer be one of the guys the way I had been in elementary school.  When the guys looked at me, they saw the woman I was becoming and they were of the age in which guys really start to take notice of women.  This made me very uncomfortable, despite the fact that I don’t have the most hourglass of figures or terribly large breasts.  What little I did have I did my best to hide under baggy, oversized boy’s clothing.  This carried on through high school.

As I started developing romantic feelings for people, I found myself very torn.  I often went unnoticed by those that I was attracted to and those that did notice me… well I usually wasn’t their first choice.  For a while I was just happy to be in a relationship when the opportunity came, but none of them lasted long as I quickly found myself dissatisfied.  Too often they would try to treat me like a princess, try to be my protector, and simply need me to be something I wasn’t, to fit in a pretty little box they had built for me.

It wasn’t until my early to mid 20s that I started to change the pattern.  Little by little I began changing the way I dressed, trying to find the compromise between femininity that was expected of me and what I could make myself be somewhat comfortable wearing.  The more feminine I dressed, the more attention I got from those I was wanting it from, man or woman.  I even attempted to change the way I behaved to a certain degree, trying to be more of what I thought I was supposed to be like.  My relationships started lasting longer, I even got married.  Still, nothing lasted.  The divorce was finalized and I came out to my friends and family as a lesbian two years later, thinking this at least would allow me to be partially myself.  Yet another box that I was trying to fit in.  The same problems loomed before me my first few attempts at dating in the lesbian world – expectations of others’ that I couldn’t meet despite my best efforts.

And then there was August, though I knew him by a different name at the time we met.  I could easily turn this into gushing over how amazing A is, how I can no longer see my life without him, how he’s the first person I’ve been able to be so completely myself with and how very much in love with him I am, but I won’t go any further than what I just said.  It’s all very true, but that’s not what this blog is truly about, though it is because of him that I have been able to come out about this at all.  August was my first real girlfriend, and is my future husband.  It was during a period of time in which we were trying to decide what to wear at our wedding and were contemplating both wearing dresses that he took the time to email me his feelings.  As I read the email in which he was coming out to me as transgender it all rang so true within me.  So, with my heart pounding in my chest, I replied to his email explaining that I felt the same way.  Even though he had already taken that first step and initiated the conversation, even though I knew he wouldn’t react negatively, I was terrified.  This was the first time I had ever told anybody this deep, dark secret of mine.  A was, of course, more than understanding and was relieved that his coming out didn’t change anything between us.

A hop, skip, and a jump and that brings us to the present.  The current situation is that both August and I have chosen new names to go by and are reworking our wardrobes to reflect the men we are.  We’re still planning our wedding, our future family, and saving for our future home.  We’ve talked to our close friends and family.  We’re both ready to begin our transitions, though August’s will be more immediate.  I won’t be able to start mine for quite some time still due to my current employment.  While at home I’m Alex, in the workplace I still have to identify as a woman and live to the expectations that come with that.  The wait is going to be hard, it already is.  Having come out to some people has made the feeling more urgent.  Not being able to come out to work without major repercussions, having that place where I can’t be myself and I have to put on that mask feels so agonizing at times.  On the other hand, I’m excited for August and am so glad I get to be a part of something so life changing and important to him as he begins his transition.  There’s a long road ahead of me full of ups and downs, excitements and disappointments, and eventually finding comfort and peace within myself.  So here I am, ready to start my travels and record them here.

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