How did I get here: A trans memoir April 9th, 2017
As long as I can remember I always felt feelings of envy and jealousy of the girls and adult women around me. I grew up in a very religious family (Jehovah’s Witnesses), and my entire social circle was tied up in that faith. There were four major events every year (circuit assemblies, district conventions, and then their remembrance of the passover meal) where everyone dressed up in their finest. I, of course, always got put into a three piece suit, and I hated it. I hated the feel of it, I hated the way I looked in it, I hated how people would coo and call me handsome when I wore it. Meanwhile I’d sit there and gawk at the beautiful dresses that the women and young girls wore, so sad that I couldn’t look that nice.
My mother chose to keep me out of public school for the early years of my life. Not for religious reasons, but because she felt I couldn’t handle it. I was an “extremely sensitive” child, quick to cry and easy to have my feelings hurt. The school district we lived in was full of “salt of the earth” types, farmer kids and low income families. It had a reputation for bullies, and she decided it would be too traumatizing to put me through that, so for Kindergarten through Third Grade I was home-schooled. My father worked a lot of long distance jobs, construction gigs and the like, where he’d be gone all week. Thus, the only socialization I got was my Mom, and the Witness women that she went in field service with.
Because of this, I think she never really noticed how many feminine traits I was exhibiting as a child, or if she did she assumed I was just emulating the women around me. Unfortunately, I don’t have a whole lot of memories from this time period, so I can’t give examples, but I know there had to have been signs that I had a female gender identity. Unfortunately she refuses to acknowledge any of these traits, even the ones I remember, and claims that she doesn’t “believe” in gendered behavior.
The main reason I can’t remember is because I’ve repressed a lot of the first 10 years of my life. My father was and still is deeply misogynistic and highly abusive of my mother, both verbally and physically. When I was ten years old she finally left him; taking me with her to live in a neighboring town closer to my grandparents. She had to get a job to support us, so keeping me home-schooled was no longer an option, and I entered public school in fourth grade.
It was immediately obvious that I was nothing like the other kids. I had a horrible time socializing, I just couldn’t relate with anyone. I had trouble picking up on social cues, I didn’t get their jokes or culture references. I lost my temper at the drop of a pin and would often explode into tears. Today my mother believes that I was showing clear signs of autism, and she may be correct, but I’m pretty sure I was experiencing the beginnings of my gender dysphoria. I remember that most of the boys in my grade all thought I was gay, and I was frequently labeled a faggot. Of course, I was 10 years old and had no exposure to sexuality, so I didn’t even know what that meant back then. I just knew it was an insult. I remember in fifth grade being shoved into the girls bathroom because “that’s where you belong.” In 7th grade someone once pulled down my pants on the playground in order to see if I actually had a penis.
As a child I was always extremely skinny, under-weight for my age really. That changed completely that first school year, I exploded into child obesity. I also started refusing to wear anything that wasn’t loose fitting. For the most part that meant sweat pants and t-shirts. I refused to wear the jeans my mom bought me, and eventually she stopped trying. I still had to wear dress clothes to church meetings, but I’d strip off my tie and button up shirt the instant we were in the car. In fifth grade I found a pair of parachute pants at the local goodwill and wore those constantly until they fell apart. I also found this gigantic t-shirt from the local university (we lived in a college town), a 5XL shirt on a pre-teen body. I wore that shirt everywhere over my clothes for the next four years. I have sensory memories of standing on a hillside with the wind whipping it around my body. I remember twirling around in circles in order to get it to flare out like a skirt. It was basically the closest thing I was ever allowed to have to a dress. As I got older my mom made me stop wearing it in public, so I started using it as a nightgown.
I’m not sure how old I was when I began questioning my gender, but I know I was fascinated by the idea of changing your sex from a very early age. My school district covered sex-ed in the sixth grade, and as part of that my teacher held a blind Q&A. Students dropped their questions into a hat and she would pull them out and answer them anonymously. I asked how she would react if her husband wanted a sex change. I can’t remember her answer, I think she blustered and tried to pass it off. I was much more concerned because somehow my classmates knew that I had written the question, and were giving me significant looks. Did they know I was trans before I did? Later that year I remember suddenly being treated nicer by several of the girls in my class who had always hated me. Did they figure it out before I had.
When I was in 8th grade when I realized that the envy feelings I had been experiencing weren’t normal for boys. I started stealing clothes from my mom’s drawers, little things that I knew she wouldn’t miss like an old bra she never wore, a nightgown that had a hole in it, a pair of blue spandex leggings and hot pink bike shorts that were far out of fashion, a one piece swimsuit that she clearly hadn’t worn in years. I kept them in a shoe box that I hid above my bed in my bedroom’s the drop-down ceiling.
I wore the leggings, shorts, and bra under my clothes to school sometimes. One day during PE another student saw me changing out of the shorts in the locker room and started bullying me for it. I denied everything and told him he was seeing things (he thought I was wearing pink underwear), but I never wore them to school again after that. I also started changing into my gym clothes in the bathroom, and continued to do so on through my senior year of highschool. I used my mom’s razor to shave off any body hair that grew in, from my legs to my armpits. I once made the mistake of confessing this to a classmate I thought I could trust. It was all over the school before the end of the day.
I would also try on my mother’s dresses. She had no closet in her bedroom, so she kept all her hanging clothes in mine. I’d put something on and just wear it around the house for an hour or two. When she would go out of town overnight I would wear the nightgown to bed. One time she came home early and surprised me while I was wearing one of her more difficult to take off outfits. I jumped into the bathroom and feigned having just gotten out of the shower. I pulled the dress off as fast as I could and rolled it up in a towel before sprinting across the hall to my bedroom. I also experimented with her makeup from time to time until she finally confronted me about it because it was clear someone was using it (she claims she caught me using it, but I remember that being when I was much younger). I told her I was experimenting out of curiosity and she told me to stop.
I picked up sewing in order to try to alter clothing that didn’t fit me correctly. I had to keep all these projects a secret so that my mother wouldn’t know what I was doing, but I knew she would be out for a while I’d open up the sewing machine and do a little stitching. One project was to add a zipper to a one piece bathing suit that was too hard for me to squeeze into directly. It of course failed miserably because you can’t stitch spandex with any old sewing machine, but it was good enough to fulfill the fantasy. I felt sexy wearing something that unzipped from the front.
Eventually I decided that I wanted to be a girl. I wrote my mom a letter, by hand, explaining that I wasn’t happy as a boy and that I wanted her to start treating me like a girl. I wanted to dress like a girl and be raised as a woman. I hid the letter in the box with my clothes for two years, too terrified to give it to her. This was in the early 90s, the term transvestite was still extremely common, and all public presentations of transsexuals were as perverts or mentally deranged. Everything I found told me that to be transsexual you had to know you were the wrong gender, you had to see yourself as a woman in a man’s body. I didn’t see myself that way, I just really wanted to be a girl.
My feminine expression peaked in 9th grade. I remember deliberately walking around school with a hip swing in order to make myself seem more female. I wanted to grow my hair out but knew my family wouldn’t let me. I had also discovered online porn at this point and had launched a rather illicit porn smuggling business. I would load up 3.5" floppies with as many low res photos as I could and then sold them to my male classmates for $5 a disk. It gave me extra cash to spend on food after school. I never got caught, in spite of the fact that I did all my downloading on school computers.
When I was 16 my mom got a new job and we moved to another city. It was a this point when I finally gave up on my dream to be a woman. While packing up my things, I burned the letter and threw away almost all my clothes (I kept the nightgown). I vowed to embrace my manhood. I actually remember being excited when I started to grow a mustache, even tho I still hated having body and facial hair, and I asked my dad for my first electric razor.
As I got older I convinced myself that the crossdressing was just a phase, a teen boy exploring his sexuality. I wasn’t a transsexual, I just had a weird way of being attracted to women. My gender issues morphed into new kinds of porn addiction, diving deeper and deeper into more extravagant kinks. Eventually I discovered transformation porn, a fictional fantasy genre of pornographic art where people are depicted changing into other things (I created and still moderate Reddit’s r/transformation). The transgender sub-genre fascinated me and gave me the deepest rush of all. It was through this kink that I relieved what I now know to have been dysphoric episodes. Masturbation is incredibly good at relieving depression.
After graduation I completely forgot ever having wanted to be a woman. My brain worked really hard to repress any memories attached to those desires. The nightgown that I still had kept became a body pillow cover, which I used in the ways most teen boys use body pillows. One day my mother decided to wash my bedsheets and discovered the nightgown. She took it away and threw it out, telling me that it was inappropriate for me to have it.
In my 20s I started having problems with light depression. I had this constant sense of displacement, like something was just wrong with my life. From time to time I would be busy doing something and be hit with this intense wave of sorrow. It would make me pause in my steps and sometimes hit with such force that I’d start sobbing for no good reason. I believed this was because I was so lonely. I had no romantic relationships, every woman I started to show interest in either friend zoned me, or fate would get in the way just as things started to heat up (eg, I started to hit it off with a co-worker at the theater we worked at, and the next week the theater shutdown, before I had a chance to get her number). I was a 24 year old virgin with absolutely zero skill at wooing women. This was further exacerbated because I still lived with my mother, which meant I was still expected to engage in the JW faith. That meant only dating Witness girls, which were in short supply, especially for a man who took no involvement in the church.
When I was 25 my mom sold a house that we had fixed up, clearing more than twice what she paid for it. We used the profit to buy two mobile homes, one for her and one for me. This finally got me out of her house and living independently, thanks to a friend who moved in to become my roommate. I stopped attending the JW meetings and started trying to date. I wont go into my failed relationships, but eventually I met a wonderful woman via OkCupid named Katharine. We hit it off immediately and dated for 3 years before I asked her to marry me. A year and a half later we were married on October 10th, 2009, the day after my 29th birthday. Our wedding was gorgeous and we received comments from so many people about how clear it was just how perfect of a couple we make. I remember the first moment I saw her in her wedding dress. She was absolutely stunning, by far the most gorgeous she’s ever been since I’ve known her. I was positively smitten with her… but I also remember thinking just how much I wished I was in her shoes.
The feelings of envy and jealousy of women never went away. While I had forgotten ever thinking of myself as a girl, the desires that led me to wanting to be female never faded. Every wedding I attended left me wishing I was the bride, or at least one of the bridesmaids. I look back at the photos of my own wedding and see a stranger standing next to my wife. I know it’s me, but I cannot associate myself with the person in those photos. By that point I had crossed 300 pounds at the height of 5’8". I was and still am morbidly obese. I’ve hated my body ever since I started puberty, but I always believed it was because of how fat I was. The depression also never let up, but again, I thought it was because I hated my lifestyle. Every attempt to diet and lose weight had failed.
I came to heavily fetishize pregnancy. From conception to delivery, I saw the entire thing as a penultimate sexual experience. Seeing pregnant women turned me on, and porn involving pregnant women had an enormous effect on me. Today I have come to realize this was my own desire for motherhood manifesting through the only lens I had for managing dysphoria. I desperately wanted to be able to experience childbirth, but since everything related to my womanhood had been categorized as a fetish, so was this. A lot of that bubble popped after I experienced just how not-sexy pregnancy can be.
In September of 2012 my wife gave birth to our first child. During that pregnancy the depression ramped up significantly. I was despondent, frequently distraught, but once again I believed it was caused by something else. My wife had a very hard pregnancy, extreme nausea that continued right up until the moment the baby came out. She had to be hospitalized three times for dehydration, and the child was born a month early due to preaclampsia. My job at the time gave me absolute hell over taking time off following the birth, despite me giving them six months notice that I was going to do so. Then there was the horror of having a newborn at home.
Over the next four years I became increasingly prone to irritability and extremely impatient with our daughter. I also now know that I was having panic attacks from time to time, triggered by her behavior. I’m still not sure why she managed to upset me so, perhaps it was my own dysphoria inducing subconscious jealousy, but it eventually became clear that something wasn’t right with me. This escalated even further when we finally conceived our second child (we had fertility issues with both pregnancies). Once again my wife experienced a horrible pregnancy, but thankfully newer drugs helped to avoid the health issues… she was just miserable. My despondency at life kept getting stronger and stronger, and it got to the point where in the evenings I would just turn into a raging asshole and would have to check out for a while to keep from upsetting everyone in the house.
Finally, on January 8th of 2017, my wife confronted me about my depression while we were taking a shower together. She wanted to know what was bugging me so much, why I was so upset. I didn’t know, but I told her that I felt like my life had taken a wrong turn somewhere. She suggested that I should get a therapist, and I agreed. That night, I couldn’t sleep. I started thinking about the feelings I’d been having for so long. It had gotten to the point where just walking through the women’s section at Target would leave me feeling depressed. I had a strong idea what was wrong.
I got up and went to my computer and googled “autogynephilia”. I knew the term by way of my transgender porn circles, and that it pertained to desires and sexual fantasies of being a woman. From my google results I learned about the stigma attached to the term and why Ray Blanchard is so despised by the trans community. That was how I learned that the term falsely described a way that gender dysphoria manifests. I learned that night that I did indeed fit on the transgender spectrum, that what I had been feeling my entire life was my inner womanhood trying to manifest itself. That led me to Reddit’s r/asktransgender. I started reading personal accounts from others who felt the same way I did, and I knew that night that I was trans.
I tried to go back to sleep and eventually managed to get a few hours in, but it was very fitful. The next morning I continued reading through the subreddit, searching for things I wondered about, researching what transition involved. I found a thread listing all the things that a trans woman had experienced during her transition, the changes brought about by HRT. It was like a shopping list of things I wanted in my life. The stories I read jogged memories from my childhood; the letter, the crossdressing, the bullying. Not all of it at once, much of that has come back bit by bit over time, but so much of my lost girlhood returned to me. That day, January 9th, I knew what I had to do. There was no debate, there was no questioning, there was no internal struggle. The only way I was going to be happy again was to start hormone therapy.
I was positively euphoric for the rest of the day. My wife was blown away by how happy I was. I didn’t once snap at my daughter and was infinitely patient with her usual set of stalling tactics at bed time. That night, however, I couldn’t get a wink of sleep. I knew I had to tell my wife, there was no way I could hide this from her. She was 7 months pregnant at the time and constantly fighting manic depressive episodes as she struggled through the pregnancy. I couldn’t have possibly picked a worse time to make this revelation, but trying to hide it from her until after the birth was impossible.
The next evening we took a shower together. I stood there for five minutes struggling to find the words to say. Finally I said to her “I think I need to see a gender therapist.” Without batting an eye she said “Oh, ok.” I stared at her in disbelief for a moment, wondering if she got the significance of that. “Do you understand what I mean by that?” “Yes. I love you and I want you to be happy, we can work this out together.”
I was floored, she seemed completely accepting. We talked for three hours that night. I told her everything, every secret that I had been hiding from her for 11 years, 26 years of shame laid bare. I thought everything was going to be great, I thought I had her full support. I found out many months later that she had been in shock and had been reacting defensively. The next day my daughter came down with a 24 hour stomach bug. The day after that, my wife caught it as well and we had to go to the emergency room to make sure the unborn baby was alright. The next day, I caught it and spent all day in bed. During this entire week I caught about 10 hours of sleep, I simply could not make my mind turn off. That friday I had an appointment with my primary doctor for a checkup. I came out to him about my intent to transition and asked for a referral to an endocrinologist. Kat came with me to that appointment and, tho still visibly ill, provided emotional support. The next day the crying started.
Over the next several months she went through all the stages of grief multiple times over. How certain was I of this? (Pretty certain) Why did I hide this from her? (I hid it from everyone, including myself). During her depressive moments she would have intense fears and paranoia about what transition would mean for us as a couple. She inquired of various online support groups, but the stories she found there, the calamities that came from marriages torn apart by transition, it all left her filled her with dread. What if I found out I wasn’t actually attracted to women? (I still am) What if the hormones turn me into a raging teen bitch? (They haven’t) How will the world treat us and our children? (So far it’s been cool) Will I lose my job? (I didn’t).
Some nights were very very hard, on multiple occasions I was brought to tears over the pain I was bringing her. We vowed to keep open dialog with each other about everything, no matter how painful it was to talk about. It took a long time to repair the trust that was lost between us, she felt extremely betrayed. Even tho she is bisexual, she had always invisioned herself being in a heterosexual relationship. She wanted a simple cishet white upper middle-class “American Dream” lifestyle. She had a vision for what our lives would be, and in one night I had ripped that all away from her. To help build trust, I gave her the keys to my transition. I would take no steps without her approval, I wouldn’t come out to anyone we knew without her being OK with it. I did the best I could to give her control over our new life.
In February I started seeing a gender therapist, who confirmed on my first visit, without a doubt, that I am indeed a trans woman. Later in the month I came out to my best friend, who was my roommate from when I owned the mobile home, and the best man in my wedding. He was totally surprised but completely understood. Things with him have been awkward, and for a while I thought I had lost him, but he’s still my friend today. It was also during that month that I gained my new name.
I had struggled a lot with my name. My parents had given me two first names, and the second (Jordan) had become known as being more commonly a girl’s name than a boys. I had a bad history with that name tho, and didn’t really associate with it. My mother wasn’t much help, she confessed that when I was born they hadn’t even picked out a boys name yet, much less a girl’s name. I also strongly debated if I even wanted to change my name, thinking that I could simply drop the S off the end of Jarvis in order to feminize it. One day while we were driving home from the store my wife turned to me and suggested the name Jocelyn. I mulled it over, also considering what spellings I could use, and came to really like it. It was settled, I would go by the name Jocelyn. I am rather pleased that it was my wife that gave me a name.
Originally my plan had been to wait until August, six months after the birth of our son, before I would start on hormone therapy. By mid march it was clear that wasn’t going to work. Identifying my dysphoria made it significantly worse. Now I had a name for my pain, and that made the pain all the more visible. The stress from coming out in January gave me gastritis and with it I lost all appetite. I literally had to make myself eat each day. In January I lost 20 pounds and in February lost another 10 before I went to a doctor and got it treated. By march is was the lowest weight I had been in 10 years, and with that weight loss came a sudden spike in my testosterone. I could feel the effects of the higher hormone levels. I felt awful all the time. We confirmed in April that my T level had risen 50% from where it had been in January.
Seeing how much this was destroying me, Katharine gave me the go-ahead to schedule an appointment with the doctor I wanted to conduct my transition, and internist that my therapist had suggested. On March 22nd, two weeks to the day after my son was born, I called the doctor’s office and scheduled my first appointment for May 3rd. Kat also gave me permission to start laser hair removal, and I had my first session on April 13th. I remember laying down on the table, feeling the first few zaps of the laser, and thinking “Oh my god, this is actually happening!”
On May 3rd, armed with fresh blood work and a letter from my therapist diagnosing me with Gender Dysphoria, my wife and I visited the office of Joseph Caperna. The visit was not without its awkwardness; since I was presenting male, he initially thought I was trans masculine and there was some confusion about just what I was there to accomplish. Even after we got that straightened out, I was surprised when he initially offered me Premarin as my estrogen, a drug that is now strongly recommended against for transition because it is terrible at feminizing. He also was reluctant to put me on a testosterone blocker because the UCSF guidelines suggested starting without one.
Thankfully he was receptive to my desires and put me on 4mg of generic estradiol, along with a 25mg dosage of spironolacotone (note, this is the lowest dose you can get). The next day, May 4th 2017, I started medical transition. Within 4 days I felt more like my old self again. For the first time in 6 months I found myself able to reason about programming problems again. After ten days, however, I could tell my testosterone hadn’t budged at all. The low dose of spiro wasn’t having any effect on me at all, I might as well have been taking a sugar pill. I called the doctor’s office and asked to have my dosage doubled. Instead they quadrupled it to the standard dose of 100mg. Two days later I felt amazing! All of my tension, all of my frustration, my anger, it bled away like someone had pulled out a drain stopper.
The biggest thing everybody points out about being on an anti-androgen is how it makes your libido go away. A huge source of anguish for me all through March was just how incessantly horny I was all the time. No amount of masturbation abated it. Feeling that drive gradually vanish was like opening a window in a hot and stuffy room. The loss of that constant drive to fuck… anything was a massive burden lifted off my shoulders. What surprised me, however, was that I didn’t actually lose libido, my sex drive was still pretty strong, it was only that predatory demand that fell away. After two weeks I started to feel a new kind of sex drive, so polarizing that at first I didn’t even realize what it was. I felt this need to be held, a want to be pursued and desired. I felt horribly self conscious if that feeling could not be satiated. After about a week of this I suddenly realized this was my new estrogenic sex drive. Most people report not feeling it until 4-6 months into transition. I got it at 2 weeks.
That wasn’t the only thing that kicked off at two weeks. On May 19th we drove up to my in-laws’ house to have lunch with my wife’s aunt. The entire way up I struggled to stay awake while driving, and when we got to their house I nodded off multiple times while on the couch. I had to have Kat drive us home because I could tell it just wasn’t safe for me to be behind the wheel. I had heard of spiro causing lethargy, but this seemed ridiculous. That afternoon I put on a shirt and felt the cloth chafe hard against my nipples. That was when I realized just how hot my chest felt. An hour later the pain started. I had been exhausted because the breast tissue that I had left over from teenage gynecomastia woke up and came alive. My boobs were growing!
When my plan had been to wait until August for HRT, I had expected to be able to lose a ton of weight by the time I got there. After all, I had dropped nearly 40 pounds since January, surely I could keep up this pace. After I scheduled my HRT appointment I resigned myself to the fact that I was still going to be pretty fat once I started on E and I needed to measure myself for a bra sooner rather than later. Initial measurements put me at a 50D, but the first bras I ordered quickly demonstrated how wrong that was. After some trial and error and a whole lot of Amazon returns, I found myself comfortable in a 50A/48B by my 7th or 8th week. Five weeks later those bras weren’t fitting right any more. I re-measured and found that I had lost seven inches from my underbust and belly. My weight hadn’t changed at all during that time, it was purely from fat redistribution.
It was at this time that I decided to take the most scary step I had yet. I marched into a Lane Bryant and told a sales clerk I wanted to buy bras for myself. The experience was magnificent, they gendered me correctly the entire time (despite being in boy mode), got me a changing room with Jocelyn on the door, and made me feel awesome the entire time. I left the store with two brand new and super comfy 44DD bras. That’s right, at just 10 weeks, I was already a double D cup.
My body not only took well to estrogen, it craved it. After only a week on the 100mg spiro dose, my testicles completely shut down. No more random erections, my seminal discharge was clear, and my oily skin started clearing up. I noticed perspiration changes, both in terms of distribution of sweat and odor. Additionally I had started building out a new wardrobe and was dressing as a woman at home. After four weeks it became clear I wasn’t going to be able to hide this from my mother for long. I had spent weeks and weeks running scenarios in my head of how this was going to go.
I sat her down on the couch and asked her if she had ever seen signs that I was dealing with depression. She surprised me by telling a story I had no recollection of. I apparently wrote an essay in fifth grade titled “Five reasons I want to kill myself”. This event triggered a whole series of phsycho therapy visits, anti-depressants (which didn’t work), and all sorts of investigations. Ultimately they took me off the medication and nothing ever came from it. I then proceeded to tell her about the episodes I had in my 20s and how it had reached its peak, and then I told her I had Gender Dysphoria.
Her reaction was… not good. Initially she was convinced that my therapist had somehow tricked me into having these feelings and memories, much like the whole child molestation scandal in the 90s. She refused to believe that I was transgender and dismissed all evidence that I had which supported it. She then dove into 45 minutes of preaching to me about the end of society and how I needed to put away my desires and embrace faith. She ended the night telling me “You will always be my son, Jarvis.” After she left I cried into my wife’s arms.
Over the next week we engaged in email correspondence where I tried to correct her views about how and why I was trans. She told me that it didn’t matter that transition was making me happier and healthier, she viewed my transition like as if I had taken up cigarette smoking because it made me feel better. Weeks later I again tried to engage her on the topic, asking if she had any questions about what was happening to me. She responded that it didn’t matter, because nothing was going to change my mind. She criticized me for trying to convince her to compromise on her faith. As far as she was concerned, me becoming a woman who was married to a woman was a sin that she could never accept. Good old religious homophobia. I have not spoken to her about it since. For weeks she would avoid looking at me, refusing to even make eye contact if I was in a dress or skirt. She still engages with our family and babysits our daughter several times a week, but she made it clear that I’m not welcome in her home dressed as a woman. Some day this will come to a head, I’m sure.
My relationship with my wife has significantly improved. Starting on hormones had initially been far too real for her and we had some more rough days. We opted to start couples therapy and had our first session in mid June. Fortuitously, our therapist ended up herself being the wife of a trans woman who had transitioned mid-marriage. This connection had a profound impact on Katharine. Finally meeting another woman whose spouse transitioned and whose marriage had survived was an enormous relief to her. Sure, she had found people online, but that didn’t feel as real as having another woman there who understood what she was going through. This, plus her next session a week later, gave Katharine the push that she needed to finally get over her last hurdle to acceptance. She still had fears and anxieties, and still wanted a measured pace, but she finally started to accept it and find ways to even enjoy it.
On July 23rd, 11 weeks into transition, spurred on by my wife and the few friends I had come out to, I took my first huge step towards being myself fulltime. I went to San Diego Comic Con as myself, in full makeup, wearing a dress. It took me ten minutes just to work up the courage to open the door of my car and step out into the parking garage. This was also the first time that I had used a women’s restroom, and I was so nervous entering the bathroom that I accidentally cut in front of someone waiting for a stall. All that fear melted away, however, after a security guard called me “Miss”. I had forgotten to change my badge to that day, and he prevented me from entering the hall until I swapped it out. I walked onto the expo floor so incredibly thrilled to have been gendered correctly that I felt like dancing through the aisles. Two more times that day I was gendered correctly, until by mid-afternoon my makeup had started to run enough that someone called me “Pal” and I decided it was time to go home.
Bolstered by this good experience, I started presenting publicly much more often, almost any time I went out on my own. My trips to my therapist, shopping at stores, I even spent an entire morning in a Starbucks as myself. Katharine, too, felt encouraged to take more steps. On August 11th we both came out to her mother, the last person for whom I was still switching into boymode for in our house. She was completely accepting and had actually already figured it out herself. The positivity from that was enough for Kat to give me the green light on coming out at work.
On August 14th I went to the office as Jarvis, and I left as Jocelyn. Never again will I use the men’s room at work.
With every passing day I draw closer and closer to living as my true self. With each day comes greater and greater happiness. My wife now always calls me by my new name and pronouns. She’s taken to calling me Momma J, a title that she struggled to share until she understood just how much I longed to be a mother. I am now a better parent, a better spouse, and a better person entirely. The changes in my personality as clear and present, and my wife now looks forward to our life together as two women. I go to bed every night happier than I’ve ever felt in my life.
Transition is the best thing I’ve ever done.