National Coming Out Day: I'm trans
Today is "National Coming Out Day"; so here is a photo from December 28, 2012 from the first time Jose "convinced me" to let him do my full-face and I pretended to begrudgingly accept his offer.
But 2012 was not the first time I realized I was different. No, that was back in 1993 (?) when Jose was 2 years old. I would lie awake at night, unable to fall asleep, wondering what it might be like to wake up as a girl. "Just one day as a girl," I told myself, "could that be possible?" My 9 year old brain was so confused. And sad.
I would smuggle bras from Mom's closet into my room and when I was home alone (usually after school) I would experiment with the perfect boob stuffing. Socks, underwear, cotton balls. Luckily, Deb always kept a stash of water balloons in the drawer downstairs (still, to this day, no idea why, any insight there, Mom??). Those worked great ;) I would squeeze into Julie's clothes and I would pretend, for a brief fleeting moment, that everything was alright.
In 1997, in seventh grade, I realized that I was attracted to boys, and my whole world got twice as confusing. "I guess it makes sense," I told myself: "boys who like boys just want to be girls." It all made sense, I told myself. All the pieces, they were there.
But how would I ever realize either of these "absurd", "abnormal", "weird" realities? I turned to the internet. And I sought out people who could "help" me.
Unfortunately, the first person I found, 13 years my senior, raped me (Something I have never said publicly). I spent a few hours throwing up in the street before gathering myself, and resolving to NEVER be gay, and DEFINITELY never be trans. "NEVER be different, again, Mike," I told myself. That was 17 years ago.
I finally had my first "coming out" in 2003 when I told Kirin that I thought I "might be gay," to which she replied "of course, we already knew this". Thanks, Kirin! ;) I thought life would be ok. I was gay, I could adjust to this. I could live "my truth" well enough.
Except that it was never quite right. The secret trips to CVS to buy makeup never stopped. The secret 2am visits to trans-related websites never stopped. The hours spent looking in the mirror wondering why I was given the body I was given and not the one I wanted racked up. The years spent pretending to be a girl online took their toll. The anger toward other people who were happy never stopped. The dysphoria never went away. The excuses piled up. Friendships were strained. The anger, the fear, the regret of living a life not worth living, never stopped. The lies never stopped.
I'm not proud to say that I've considered suicide more than a handful of times, and gotten very close to ending my life three of those times. In February of 2016 I met a delightful little trans man named Jake (Love you, boo!) who told me, almost right away, that I had better do something about this "trans stuff", or I'll always wonder "what if". On April 10 I almost ended my own life, and on April 11 I called my therapist, in tears, and confessed everything. I probably owe Jake my life.
On April 23 I told Jose - in a fit of tears - I told him everything. And he said: "I already knew. Three years ago." I told him I never wanted any of this to happen. That I was sorry for lying. That I didn't want to ruin his life. I told him if he wanted to leave right at that moment, he could. And he told me something that will stick with me forever.
He said, "Mike (sic), you don't understand companionship if you think I'm leaving".
I'm here today by sheer luck, I think. I'm here because people loved me, even in my darkest, stupidest, most trying moments. I'm here because people supported me, even when they shouldn't have. It was never going to be easy, but the years - decades - spent wishing I could just disappear for a year and come back as Mick were not in vain.
I'm also here today because our world has become a better place. It has made it possible for a little queen like 9-year old Mike, hidden in the dark depths of his own mind, prancing around wondering why he couldn't just be a little girl, plagued by unimaginable demons, to become a real-life queen named Mick. When I think back, I just want to give Mike a big stinkin' hug. Tell him life will get better someday. Tell him not to worry his skinny little self sick.
Never in my wildest dreams - the wildest of the wild ones - did I think I could be here today, in 2016, and say, to the entire world:
I am trans. And I am proud of it.
Find you truth, and live it, babes. x Mick