Hey, sisters! When did life get in the way?
For me, it’s been all of my life. I’ve never been married so I haven’t had to deal with the pain and heartbreak of loosing a spouse over the woman within. On the other hand, being a male-to-female transgender woman has time and again strained relationships with my family as family members have ridiculed me. I knew from the early age of four years old that I was a girl; I had no doubts about it. Growing up, my mom knew and supported me, and gave me extra allowance money to buy the items that I wanted. She even helped me select them. My grandmother (Mom’s mother) was another story, however. She would snoop in my bedroom while I was at school and steal my clothes just to humiliate me in front of the family.
It only got worse during my tumultuous teens as my grandmother ramped up her efforts to make me the young man she thought I should be. Depression set in and there were several times in my youth when I seriously considered suicide. I was taken to see a psychiatrist when I was fifteen, and I told him that if I couldn’t be myself and be free to express myself in the manner I chose, then I was better off dead.
Now, I’m in my early 40s and I have a new family member (a cousin’s wife) who for the last eighteen years has been bent on making my life a living hell. She has stolen my clothes, taken a box cutter to my breast forms, cut up my bras, outed me to my father’s side of the family, and recently told my boyfriend of two years that I have HIV/AIDS (which is a lie). My boyfriend succumbed to the lies a couple of weeks ago and told me that he wanted to break off our relationship even after I was tested for HIV/AIDS and the results were negative.
My father’s family is Spanish and most of them have disowned me because I’m transgender. I’ve decided that, at this point, I’ve taken all of the shaming and discrimination I’m going to take. I am not going to be depressed and moody because of other people who either can’t or won’t accept me for who I am. I am a woman, like it or not. The most beautiful thing about women is we don’t all come in the same size, color, or mold.
There are many times when life gets in the way but you have to remain strong, dispel the ugliness from your life and go on. I sat down in my bedroom in the midst of packing before I moved away from my parents’ home and reflected on my personal transgender journey. I wouldn’t change a thing in my life because it has served only to make me a stronger and more resilient woman.