We slowly become aware that it will come to the surface eventually. We know this now, right? Sometimes, we were aware in our earliest memories. Sometimes, in our adolescence or in early adulthood – those private thoughts and feelings that we push aside because we cannot process them or understand them. Besides, it will go away and we will go on our life’s journey – continuing to ignore this feeling. We know that if we were to acknowledge it in any way, it would confirm that the inner core of who you are is bad. This is how I interpreted it growing up in my time. The relentless thoughts and feelings that only lead to more guilt and a shame-based identity. We have come so far in the last couple of decades in acceptance of others, but we all know there is still a long way to go. It’s absolutely amazing to me now that we can get on YouTube or our computers and find all the information we want on makeup application, or every detail of how to present yourself as female – even voice training. It’s wonderful and I am so glad for the generations behind me.
So here is where I would ultimately love to see us go, but first, I want to tell you of a life-changing moment that happened when I was in my early twenties. By the time I had come home from the Navy in 1972, I had become aware that not only were there so many more people like us, but there was a way to actually transition to female. OMG! When I found that out my heart began pounding and I began sweating. I questioned myself: is this real? OMG, OMG! I want this! But at that time, once again, there was nowhere to go and no one to talk to. So, on with life and holding your secret inside. But then, one day I saw an article in a magazine with a few excellent pictures of a businessman carrying his briefcase across a busy intersection in a large city. They talked about him being such a young, successful businessman during the day, but in the evenings and on weekends he became this beautiful woman. The following couple pages showed his transformation. She was stunning! So that was it – that was when I knew I could live both lives. So going forward, for all of us, I could see a time where not only can we have this wonderful website and all that it does in so many ways, but also there will be so much more understanding and acceptance of trans people. Imagine if we could post pictures freely; this is who I am at my workplace, this is who I am as a father, this is who I am in my neighborhood and with friends, and this is what my hobbies are. And this is me as Rochelle. And it would be so commonplace, so ordinary and so accepted in society that we can go on about our lives. Maybe it’s a dream right now, but I think it could be a reality in the future.