I’ve waited 47 years to share this with you.
This is an interesting article to write and I appreciate your patience with the length of it.
If you’re offended easily or bothered by frank talk, please leave now. If not, you’re in the right place and let’s get this ride started.
I’ve spent much of my life confused within myself. I felt somehow broken on the inside but didn’t know how to explain it.
I got good at putting on a happy face while living with deep conflict.
Growing up I felt like a boy.
My very best friend in the world was my cousin, and he was just a few weeks younger than me. He and I lived across the pasture from one another, and spent our time riding horses, walking fence rails, playing in the dirt, building makeshift jumps for our bikes, and basically having the time of our lives on a 2,000 acre ranch.
All was well and good until my boobs began to pop out.
My world began to unravel.
I abhorred the way my body was changing.
I always preferred my hair very short. I wore men’s clothing, and spent most of my time in college hanging with the guys (with no sexual interest in them), they were my buds! We skied, hiked, biked, and camped our asses off. Loved that time!
I often said I didn’t want to get married or have kids because it just didn’t resonate with me, something within myself felt very off. (Having said that, I thank God for the kids I gave birth to and the kids by my relationship to Tiff.)
Now I understand why I felt the way I did.
When I married my ex-husband, things got even more clear about me being “broken” somehow.
We got along great as long as we were out on an adventure, but in the bedroom things were terribly wrong.
I lived in a state of shame.
I knew something was “wrong” in my brain, it always felt like I was wired wrong and often said that I felt asexual (which to me meant not identifying with either sex).
The years and years of fighting this “broken” place within, left me feeling hollow.
I knew that after falling in love with Tiffany and still not feeling like a “lesbian” that there was more to my story than met the eye.
I lived in a constant state of earnest contemplation about who and what I was, and what in the f— was wrong with me.
I became very good at pretending to be a girl, a daughter and a wife and mom. I lived in what I thought my duties were, many times shutting down so I could survive and do what needed to be done.
I mostly wore men’s clothing until Tiff and I met, at that point I tried very hard to act more feminine because I was trying everything I knew to figure out what the hell was going on in my head. I was willing to try anything to find myself, but at the end of the day I would always rip my bra off, wash off my make up, and put on sweats and a baseball cap, because that’s how I felt best.
When I first shared my truth with Tiffany, it was upsetting to her, but as we talked about it, our life together started to make sense.
My name is Jack. The name is mine and I’ve always loved it.
Today I know who I am and feel happier than I’ve ever felt before in my life.
I’m transgender…which means that I feel to be a different sex in my mind than what my body is.
The life of a transgender person can be very difficult.
Statistically 60% of transgender people take their lives because of the pain and heartache of never being “seen” for who they are, or for the ostracizing and abuse they endure if people know.
You could try to understand what I’ve lived with by imagining what it would been like to wake up one morning as the opposite sex but feel the way you do right now, and every single day people will call you by the wrong pronouns and treat you differently than you feel.
Tiff and I have had many conversations about all of this and had many tears as we navigated our way through this part of me. It’s been a long long road, but with a very happy “ending” … or should I say “beginning?”
It’s been a very rough road at times.
Tiffany is the greatest advocate and support of me being happy and living in the truth of me. I thank God for her presence in my life, every single day.
Here’s a bit of clarification… being gay is not being transgender, although many transgender people will be called gay because they find themselves in love with a person of the same “gender” as themselves on the outside.
Being transgender is a very different beast. With all the research we’ve done, and lived, I personally believe that transgender people when in utero, simply, for whatever reason, didn’t finish developing into the body that matched their soul. Kind of like a child that was born without an arm or deaf.
After many conversations, tears, and much deep deliberation for the last 2 years, I’ve made the decision to transition. This means I am using hormone therapy (testosterone) to change the sex of my body, so that I can finally be ME.
I started the hormone therapy just over 2 months ago. Tiff gives me a shot in the ass each week. We call it my “man juice.” Ha ha 😉
There’s a myth that testosterone makes people aggressive and violent. That hasn’t been the case for me at all. I feel calmer and so much more clear.
I have a mind/body connection that I haven’t ever experienced before in my life.
Within 2 years you’ll never know I was a girl, when looking at me. Legally I’ll have my name changed to Jack Walker and my sex changed on my birth certificate.
The shifts and changes are happening much faster than I thought they would, which makes me happy.
My voice is shifting very quickly. My muscles are getting stronger and stronger crazy fast. My face shape is changing. My body fat on my legs and arms is going away, and I feel good!
Next year Tiff and I will be getting married as a heterosexual couple. We’ll be Jack and Tiffany Walker: Parents of 6 kids, 1 in-law +, and the cutest grandbaby girl you’ve ever seen.
I wouldn’t ever go back and couldn’t be happier. Even if I knew that everyone I love was angry with me and didn’t want to be a part of my life I would still choose it because I finally feel whole!
We (I say “we” because Tiff and I are 100% in this together) came out yesterday on facebook with a video, and the support and love has been HUGE. Thank you!
What a beautiful surprise.
I am humbled by the positive response to me being my authentic self, thank you for being here.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with being transgender, please forward them this letter and let them know I’d be happy to talk to them. (They can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
You and everyone else has to “come out” at some point, and maybe even more than once. “Coming out” can mean anything that has to do with you being your authentic self, and sometimes the people you love the most will be the ones that walk away the fastest, and I’m here to say, don’t give up.
We’re in this thing together.