...thought i'd share this critical milestone coming out communication. this note could be considered a guideline for how to come out to a second tier level of your social circle.. this note proved to be fairly successful in terms of breaking the ice with people on the subject. funny to see how optimistic i was about the prospects of my career. sadly, i was so wrong about that. but looking back, pretty much every other prediction i made back then, turned out to be true, in terms of my transition time table. Enjoy!
Received: Saturday, November 10, 2007, 11:58 AM
Update from the East Coast
Dear family and friends,
it's certainly been a while since i have communicated
with some of you..
my life continues to get interesting for me. i'm finally settled into my new job and new life here in St. John's, Newfoundland. it's great being a big fish in a small pond here working for the Provincial Government. lots of opportunities to take on new responsibilities and assignments that most people at the Senior Analyst level wouldn't get.
i think they are already realizing my potential and they are quite anxious to secure me a permanent position, and hopefully grow into an official Management-level job a few years from now.
Additionally, as some of you may know, i have made a major effort to improve my health and fitness this year, mostly by way of taking up swimming and long-distance running. in 8 months, i dropped down from 240 to 180 pounds, and in the process, completed
several full-length marathon runs, including clocking official finishing results in the Mississauga, Cleveland, Buffalo, Toronto, and St John's marathons.
Although my knees have been quite overworked, i look forward to continued progress with weight-loss, overall health and fitness, and hopefully one day, a Qualification to run the granddaddy of them all, the legendary Boston Marathon.
i guess the other big news, as some of you already know, (and for those who don't, this will probably come as quite a shock), is that i am officially self-diagnosed as a transsexual. this diagnosis was actually made back in January of this year. i am just now starting to make this public and take appropriate action to deal with this difficult situation.
This wikipedia reference does a good job at describing the condition, and the solutions. the next 5 years of my life are certainly not going to be easy, heck, the
rest of my life is not going to be easy; but the good news is, that after 33 years of depression and confusion, i finally have hope that i can actually live a meaningful second half of my life.
the frustrating thing is not that i have to deal with this, but that it took me 33 years to figure it out. i've generally lived a very confusing and unhappy life. a life without comfort in social, romantic, and sexual situations; a life without confidence; a life
without meaning. ...and although there were clear indications of my transsexualism going back as far as 1982, it has taken me this long to officially recognize it.
The good news is that i am still fairly young, very physically fit, and in a very strong mental and emotional frame of mind to handle this. I know I still have a lot of meaningful life left in me and I intend to maximize these remaining decades.
My first major step in dealing with this has been my weight loss. Transition is a very physically demanding thing, and I know that I will need to be in the best shape possible to deal with this. As much as I enjoy the accolades of competing in marathons, that is
purely a secondary thing. This is all about weight loss and healthy living in preparation for the transition journey ahead.
My next step will be to start seeing a psychiatrist who specialized in Sex/Gender Therapy, who will help facilitate a referral for Hormone Replacement Therapy, which I hope to start sometime mid way into 2008. This will start with Testosterone blockers for 3 months, and then continue into Estrogen injections, which I will take for the rest of my life.
It will take anywhere from 3-5 years for the estrogen to do its job and literally transform my body in the form of: feminine weight distribution, change in skin
complexion, and yes, the growth of breasts. Additionally, estrogen will change my emotions and personality (as if i wasn't already soft, sweet and sensitive enough! yikes!)
There are also things that the estrogen won't do, which means i will have to have a series of medical procedures done: laser or electrolysis hair removal on various body parts, potential facial feminization surgery, voice retraining, i will also have to do something about my male pattern baldness, as hormones won't fix the damage already done there, .....and then the big one, the genital reassignment surgery, which will be the last of all of these things, which i hope to have done 3-5 years from now.
all of this is in scope for me and all of this MUST happen in order for me to become the true real person that i know i really am, a woman.
I'm also proud to announce that at some point within the next 2 years, I will be having my name legally changed to Jennifer.
other than all of this, i will essentially be the same person you know well and hopefully like and love. i will continue to love my 70s rock music and my
football, i will continue to have my crazy sense of humor, and i will continue to do wild and crazy things, like run marathons, go swimming in frozen ponds, and take driving trips all over the world to see NFL games and rock concerts..
so far, although everyone is shocked to learn this about me, the majority of my family and friends have been very positive and supportive. i'm certainly going
to need all the love, support, and friendship i can get, as i deal with this very difficult and socially-taboo issue.
The other major obstacle will be to roll this out at work. i have already told a few people at work, and i am going to chat with my boss and the CEO very soon. i have tons of faith and confidence that this can and will work for me in this office. this office, and this city in general, seem to be a very open and accepting place. Amazingly enough, St. John's, Newfoundland seems to be a great place to have to deal with this.
Being transsexual is definitely not a "choice". This is clearly something i was born with. The only "choice" i am choosing to make is to take corrective action. There really is no alternative. Untreated transsexualism often leads to severe depression and suicide, and i certainly don't want to go down that path.
I often tell people that Sex is what's in between your legs, and Gender is what's between your ears. As we all know, our brain represents life and our brain dictates who we are and how we feel. although we do get to make many choices in life, there are others that are chosen for us. we don't get to decide our height, we don't get to decide our eye colour, we don't get to decide whether we are left or right handed... we don't get to choose our sexual orientation, and we definitely don't get to choose our sexual and gender identity.
Also, as the wikipedia article states, Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation are two mutually exclusive things. The topic of my sexual orientation is a whole other e-mail that i won't likely even be able to write until this transition process is complete, (i may think i know my sexual orientation now, but hormone replacement therapy has often been know to change this for people). In short, i am not actively interested in
sexual activity with anyone until i complete this transition.
So, anyway, if there's anything about any of this that you'd like to talk about, please feel free to let me know. i can't guarantee i will have answers to everything, as i am still in a learning phase of how to deal with this and what it all means, but i will certainly do my best to explain and reply to anything you'd like to know.
As your teacher once said, there's no such thing as a stupid question... and there's no question that's too personal or embarrassing for me to answer. i am willing to do whatever it takes to gain everyone's trust, respect, and acceptance of this.
Unlike being gay/lesbian or bisexual, this is something that can't be closeted. this is about identity. My body and wardrobe are going to change drastically over the next 3-5 years; and i think it's best that people know what's coming, well in advance, so they will be less shocked when they actually see it.
I don't know when i will see all of you next, and i have no idea what i will look like or what i will be wearing when this time comes, but i hope you can learn to feel comfortable having Jennifer in your presence.
Please feel free to pass this information along to any other family members or any of your close friends that know me. and do encourage them to get in touch with me if they'd like to have a chat to discuss this further.
Additionally, if you'd like to learn more and follow my progress, i encourage you to sign up to facebook and add me.
all the best,
Jennifer Jefferson Gordon McCreath