From the beginning of this blog, I set out to keep it as professional as possible. I’ve been down the more personal “diary” route before (oh the teenage livejournal memories) and had no desire to go down that road again.
I’ve been homeless for a month now, living on couches and “squatting” at a cabin in the mountains before being snowed in (and subsequently evacuated/forced out) and with no end in sight, it’s time to just “check out” of life. And this post can tell my story, and serve as my “note.”
The worst part is that this wall of text isn’t exhaustive, there’s always something that gets left out.
While people love to deny that it’s possible, I was basically fucked by birth.
I was the third (and last/youngest) child to an emotionally dead/absent mother and an alcoholic father. From my first memories at four years old I knew I had gender identity disorder (though not knowing the term for many years.) The why and how isn’t terribly important, because my family was also poor, so transition as a child, when living a “normal” life may have been possible, was never in the cards. Though we were objectively poor, my mom was always desperately trying to pretend/fit in with “middle class” communities. That may have even played a significant role in my brother and sister both managing to break the cycle of poverty, but it was too little too late for me. By the time I was 8 we had already been evicted/moved 5 times and done a stint of several months homeless.
When I say my mother was emotionally dead, well, my sister and I have both commented that she showed more affection and love to her dogs over the years than her kids. Nothing we did was ever good enough for her, and life was constant fear of when would she yell at us for whatever we had unknowingly fucked up that day. While my dad was absolutely an alcoholic, he wasn’t violent, just an absent parent; he drank all night in the garage, didn’t really spend much time with us. From my earliest school memories I was the social outcast, and being the youngest of three was always failing to live up to the legacy of my older brother and sister, both were honors/AP students, etc. Plus they both resented me; in their eyes I was somehow my mom’s “favorite” child, because she bought me “shut up” toys. I realize now that it was just that I was an easy target for their own loneliness and craving for love/validation that they weren’t getting from our parents, but that doesn’t change the fact that their resentment had very real effects on my life. While my dad wasn’t violent, my brother was, I was pretty regularly bullied/”beat up” by him. And my sister was just outright mean to my face, seeming to take pleasure when she me made ashamed of the few interests I had (e.g. star wars, rollercoasters, computers, etc.) All of that lead to me being suicidal pretty much from the time puberty hit, eventually I dropped out of high school, started smoking and drinking heavily when I was 14 or 15.
But even throwing all of that aside, and just focusing on my adult life, I’ve tried and failed at basically everything, including moving out on my own, simple retail work (was fired several times) constant struggles at community college (it took me 4+ years to finish an AA) then failed out of university (UCSB) and eventually joined the navy when I was 25, only to be separated after six months for depression and anxiety.
After the navy, I knew it was time to try and address the gender identity issue. Over the past six years now, I had one brief period of happiness the first few months on hormone replacement therapy, but from the first day presenting female in public I’ve been mis-gendered constantly, pointed-at/laughed at by kids and adults alike, and sometimes verbally harassed. So that happiness is long gone.
Given that the mis-gendering and outright harassment continues to this day, it’s safe to say that I will never actually pass/be accepted as female. Along the way my brother disowned me, my few close friendships have been strained or ended completely, and my depression and anxiety basically developed into agoraphobia (granted this was only ever ‘diagnosed’ by an MFT intern, so not official in any legal situation/context.) Then there were the online games (LotRO & GW2) really the only social outlet I had. Of course, it’s the internet, so from the first time I opened my mouth on voice chat, people knew I’m a tranny, and I’ve been constantly harassed there too. At one point I was even ‘doxxed’ (people found my private information, phone number, pictures, etc. and made them public, posting them to facebook, etc.)
And the US government being what it is, I was denied unemployment after the Navy, denied disability, and until the ACA denied health care (more on that below, I still don’t have health insurance thanks to loopholes in the law.) I’m effectively unemployable now; 32, trans (but pre-op, which is an HR nightmare) with no college degree, an RE4 “Other than Honorable” discharge from the Navy, and severe anxiety/agoraphobia. Nobody has responded to a resume or job application in 6+ years; not even fast food chains or Starbucks.
And there have been very real financial costs for this. Hormones on average cost $30/month, so $2000 for 5.5+ years, ignoring the higher price I paid the first few months when I had to buy online. Plus the last ~$1500 I had on electrolysis and laser hair removal which was only ever ~80-90% effective. And all of the women’s clothes which went almost entirely unworn and were re-sold on eBay for pennies since I bought most of them when I was still hopeful/idealistic; before I understood how little hormones would do and how ugly I would be.
And there’s no way to sugar-coat my physical appearance, I am fucking ugly, plain and simple. I look like a fucking man in drag on the best day. Nobody today will ever point and say I’m female. No girl ever grows up saying, “Wow, I can’t wait to be fucking ugly, get mis-gendered/mistaken for a man and laughed at.”
Mentally and emotionally, I don’t relate to anyone anymore. I have envy/jealousy bordering on hate towards most women, and fear, distrust and alienation towards most men. And the fact that I feel this way makes me hate myself even more. I can’t have kids and wouldn’t know how (or trust myself) to be a parent anyway. Even if I were employed, self-sufficient, etc. I couldn’t attempt to date or have any kind of relationship. I can’t ever answer/respond to “M4F” personals, because I don’t pass for female, I don’t sound even remotely female, and I know full well I’ll never afford surgery. When people post like that, they are implicitly excluding trans women, and I sure as hell don’t trust anyone specifically seeking a tranny as ugly as me.
And then there’s the “end game” goal of gender reassignment surgery. The state of health care in the USA means I’ll never afford it. (As an aside, I went the first few years post-Navy without any insurance, until the ACA/Obama-care expanded state run/subsidized plans a couple years ago. Being unemployed, I qualified, except that in October 2015 my coverage was cancelled as the social services department re-classified me as a “Medically Indigent Adult” because I’m not pregnant, nor a single mother, nor permanently disabled in their eyes.) Beyond all of that, after nearly two decades of online research, it seems that very few doctors have good ‘success rates’ with surgery in the first place. The only one I see recommended online with any frequency (and at this point the only surgeon I’d really consider) is actually in Thailand, “Dr. Suporn” and flat won’t be covered by US health care in the first place. And even if someone just dumped $30,000-50,000 in my lap for surgery, I will still just be an ugly tranny, still not have had female upbringing or socialization, still have a male voice, etc. Surgery might eliminate one source of anxiety (genitals/tucking) but it won’t make me female, the rest of the world will still just look at me as a man in drag/pretending to be female.
So every dollar I had from the 6-months in the Navy, and six years of my life wasted. I’m still horribly lonely, I’m depressed, I’m not happier, and arguably my life is worse than ever. And when the last therapist I saw told me, “You don’t deserve help (in the context of government assistance; e.g. don’t deserve disability, health care, etc.) because other people have it worse.” It’s just time to give up.
And the final nail came in December when we were evicted. My mom lives on less than $2000/month from her social security and pension/retirement, and there’s just nowhere left. My dad is dead. My brother, sister, and all of my extended family with any spare rooms have all refused to let us stay with them, and the only shelter my mom’s church could offer was a cabin in the mountains with no internet access, no television, no cell service, etc. The first day we had no power, and frozen water pipes. Those were fixed for less than 48 hours before we were snowed in (3 feet over two days) and lost power for a week, at which point the local sheriff evacuated us because the access roads in the area are considered “closed” and won’t be plowed until April.
So now it’s constant bouncing between cheap motels, living in my mom’s car, and sleeping on my aunts couch (when it’s available.)
I have nothing. I have no future. My life doesn’t matter to anyone. For happiness to ever have been possible, I would have had to have been born genetically female, and I wasn’t. The world doesn’t want me or need me, and I am just not a strong enough person to deal with this life.
So I’m done.
Maybe this can offer some kind of insight into how broken this world is.
And my advice to anyone that’s struggling with gender identity, transition before puberty, or be prepared to live a life where you’re treated as less than human.