Monday, December 1, 2014

Hi! I'm a T-girl! My name is Emily!

For most people the word transgender never enters their mind because it is not something they can relate to personally. Most people are comfortable with who they are and their body matches their internal concept of who they are but for transgender individuals that is not the case. Many who struggle with being transgender have difficult times relating to people and feel out of place. They just hate everything about them. They don't feel comfortable with who they are and they struggle every  day with those feelings. It is a fact that many who struggle with gender dysphoria and who identify as transgender have at some point in their life confronted suicidal feelings. I know I have growing up and it is  a very real pain we feel not being comfortable in our assigned bodies. We will do anything possible to change that if we could.

Many transgender individuals knew at an early age something was wrong and that they felt very sad and depressed about their sex, gender and body. It just didn't match to how they perceived themselves. Even as young as age 3 as I knew myself personally. I would wear my sister's clothes every chance I could and it just felt  right. I cried a lot as a child and felt all alone. I could not tell anyone how I felt and was very scared. I didn't understand why I had  these feelings but I knew something wasn't right. As hard as I tried to be happy it was  a constant struggle for me. I just couldn't relate to others and preferred to be alone. I found myself dressing in girl's clothes more and more as I got older and this never stopped. It was a big part of my life and my happiness even though it was done in secret.

For a male to female transgender girl transitioning is much harder because it is much easier to be noticed and trying to maintain a beautiful appearance requires a lot of work and time. That is why it is so hard to venture outside in the eye of the public for fear of being found out. It takes a lot of courage to come out and accept yourself but there is no greater feeling in the world when you do so. You have to take baby steps and work on feeling confident in how you present. It does not happen over night but it definitely is possible and you should not give up on your dreams.

I tried venturing out in my 20's and found it very scary. I was struggling with my depression and my self confidence so that affected how I came across to others. I general went out by myself and only to the shopping mall for a brief encounter. I was not at the stage of feeling comfortable so those outings were short lived unfortunately. I always felt envious of the girls and how sweet they were. I also admired them for their intelligence and their beauty. I always felt I wanted to live as they do and feel loved and accepted as they do also.

I had to keep my feelings to myself and I felt very depressed and lonely. I tried to mask my feelings and pretend to be someone I felt uncomfortable being. I did not feel comfortable as a guy. I despised having to live that way and was very unhappy and at times I felt extremely sad and very lonely. I was also very awkward around girls and did not feel comfortable around guys either so I was pretty much a loner growing up. I had a few friends but not many and I never told them how I truly felt about myself.

As I grew I tried my best to repress my feelings and carry on as young boys growing into manhood are supposed to but it never felt right for me. I hated becoming a young man and going through puberty. I felt severely depressed and suicidal at this time in my life and I cried a lot about it. I still had to go on but I was pretending and hated everything about being male. All the girls I knew were blossoming and I was so sad I couldn't experience what they were. They were so beautiful and just seemed very sweet and that is how I wanted to be growing up. I wanted desperately to be a girl. That is how I felt inside.

As I got older and went to college I had to focus on my studies and had no time to think about my transgender feelings. I had to put those feelings aside and put all of my time and effort into my studies. When I graduated college I started working and knew it was going to be difficult trying to live as a guy when I felt so feminine and desired to transition. I had no one to reach out to or talk to about how I felt so I went through the motions and pretended never giving clues to how I really felt. No one knew or could ever guess how I truly felt about myself. I was pretty good at pretending I guess. I did it for so long that it became second nature to me.

My only escape into my true self was having alone time to cross dress. I did that all my life and it made me feel like I was my true self. I really didn't fuss with makeup. I just wore women's clothes and I felt very comfortable and normal. The dressing helped but it wasn't enough for me. I wanted to dress full time and to start to transition. I wasn't quite ready for all of that so I had to just accept my situation and make the best of it.

At some point after losing my mom I needed therapy and I wanted to open up about my painful secret. It took me some time but when I did I felt much better. It was nice to be able to talk about my true feelings with someone and to admit how I really felt about myself. I was going for therapy once a week and was discouraged from transitioning and eventually was introduced to a young Phillipino girl who I fell in love with when I first met her. I never really dated because of my internal feelings so this was new to me. We got along well and eventually decided to marry and have a family.  I thought this would help me overcome my feelings and for a while it did. When we had our son I was thrilled and now we were a family and I was so happy. I didn't think about my transgender feelings for awhile but eventually it was hard to deny them and I had to try to balance those feelings while raising a family which was very hard for me. I certainly didn't want to hurt my wife or son by telling them that I was really a woman trapped. That is the hardest thing I had to deal with but felt like I had no real choice.

I finally decided I would have to transition after losing my dad, a close friend and suffering from a nervous breakdown. I had no choice. I had to start doing my homework and start finding a network of people who could help me. I found a therapist after being hospitalized for my nervous breakdown. I have been seeing my therapist now for 2 years now and find it very helpful. I also go to Callen Lorde in New York City for my hormonal treatment and follow ups. I am transitioning later in life but I am feeling more comfortable with myself and I am dressing as Emily full time which makes me very happy. My son is very mature and although he is only 16 he is very understanding and I love him so very much. My wife is doing her best to understand my situation and that is all I can ask for.

I believe we as transgender can learn from each others experiences and I hope those reading my story can relate, understand and accept me for me. I hope to share more of my experiences as a male to female transgender girl and relate my experiences with electrolysis, voice lessons and going to the hair salon which all girls love to do. I love you all.

emily iannielli on about me   

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