Recently I received an email from a reader that gave me pause. It brought into stark contrast the duality of the transgender blessing and the transgender curse. I haven’t heard back from her giving me permission to share, so I won’t post her verbatim words.
But I think her story is one that many can identify with. Living in a small town with precious little transgender support, without the financial means to change her life. Wondering whether death is the only release from the torment of trapping the woman inside for so many years.
Before I comment, I want to say thank you. Thank you for reaching out. Thank you for opening the dialog about a topic that is so important to many in the transgender community. Sometimes the transgender hardship is easy to forget for those of us in our 20s and 30s who live in a large west coast city. We’ve all felt the shame and confusion of being transgendered. Yet we may take for granted the plethora of transgender related resources at our fingertips, and our growing acceptance in society.
It can be even harder when you see other’s who fully express their inner selves while being unable to express yours. Whether it’s the town you live in, your financial means or social situation that prevents you from becoming who you are. Sometimes it may appear that death is the only way out. I can say with firm resolve that suicide is never the answer. You may feel trapped, you may feel that noone cares – but there is always a way out. Please seek help from a doctor if you’re contemplating suicide.
Hon, my heart breaks for you, for the situation you’re in. You have my empathy. Yet I guess there is still a male part in me dying to offer some suggestions and advice. I share it humbly, not knowing the full details of your situation, and not having lived a life as long or full as yours.
First, I encourage you to focus on what you can do. There may be no help where you live, but perhaps you can meet up for an evening with some girls from a nearby city, or attend a transgender event. You may not be able to present as a woman full time, but perhaps you can wear subtle makeup in guy mode, or woman’s jeans. You may not be able to become a woman, but perhaps you can work on improving your posture, movement and voice to better convey femininity.
Second, find a reason to hope, something to look forward to. Often the mountain before us looks insurmountable, yet each step along the path is well within our capabilities. The first step may be talking with other transgendered girls on the Internet for encouragement and support.
And finally, I believe that being transgendered is just one aspect of a person’s life. It has proved to be a crucial aspect of who I am, but it is not my sole endeavor. I have a career, hobbies, friends, family and God. While I would love to weave a transgender thread through all of these, I derive pleasure and satisfaction from each area of my life whether or not I engage in it as a woman.
My dear, I pray God’s richest blessings on you. That in your time of trial He will see you through, and what the world has meant for harm, may He turn to glorious good.
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