I have a friend I met through this very blog. Her name is Becky and she lives nearly 6000 miles away in Scotland. However through the magic of the Internet we have become quite close. We communicate through Facebook and occasionally we can meet face to face through Skype. But there are times we wished we lived closer. The times one of us needs a hug or pat on the back. Even a run to the nearby pub for a pint and some crisps.
Becky is Trans* and rightly deserves that little gold star. Today is her first anniversary of coming out as herself. She lost her marriage over it but her wife has still remained her friend. She also got her masters degree in a foreign country while managing to co parent her two youngest boys. Becky claims to hate roller coasters but I would say she has learned to ride them like a pro.
Last night she got word that another trans* woman in her circle attempted suicide. Becky true to form has kept in touch with this woman to make sure she is ok. In a world where everyone seems to be looking out for themselves she stands apart.
Since this blog is about me I bet your wondering why I started out talking about Becky. Well, I too had my coming out anniversary this month. It’s been two years since my coming out to my wife. These last two years have not been easy for either of us. But we are still together. We both went through a year of me discovering myself all over again. A process which is at odds with our catholic faith and a lifetime of being told how things should be. It’s been a year and a half since I started to live a double life as a woman at work and as dad and husband at home. We have fought and cried over me being trans (sorry plain for me, I’m not that special). In fact it’s just over a year since I formally announced my transition. Anyone that has read this blog for a while knows I have been on testosterone blockers since then. I started very small doses of estrogen last summer. About five months ago I let my wife know that I began to take a full transitional dosage of estrogen. That was a night I would love to forget.
Today my hair is just over shoulder length. More times than not I have it in a pony tail. My face and body more feminine. My youngest son has been with me when I have been addressed as a woman more times than to be mere coincidence. In fact I have a part time job doing IT work as myself. My wonderful wife now looks me in the face when we talk. We can hug and she doesn’t flinch. But for all these things life has been a struggle.
This afternoon we were informed that our food stamps have been rescinded. It seems I make too much money. We have no Internet and tv since we are behind on our bill. We are struggling to figure out how to pay our car insurance. The final settlement check from our lawsuit with the former landlord came today. My cousin informed me this afternoon that my father fell again and broke a rib. Now I may have to find a way to move my dad to a VA home. I am at home with whatever this horrible viral thing that has spread through my work. And my wife has still not found a job yet. This may seem like a lot of whining on my part, however I am surprised at how we are taking in all of this. No panic, no accusations, my kids aren’t blaming me for the loss of YouTube and Xbox live.
Our family is showing its resilience and strength. And in some ways it surprises the heck out of me. I shouldn’t be that surprised though. Becky wouldn’t be surprised at all. Her constant reminders of what a good parent I am and what an even more patient and loving spouse I have been bolster me through these tough times. I also know she would tell me I deserve a little gold star too.