I was asked for my Coming out story but there is coming out and there is “Coming out.” But first I have to first start with correcting some grammar. A story is a work of fiction and my life is not fiction, I have lived it and therefore let me rephrase the original request.
This is the account of my life and how I came to come out.
There, that’s better isn’t it dear reader? It all started as these things do in my early childhood, my earliest memory is from just before my 3rd birthday. I awoke that morning, on a chilly January day (just after the new year had started) and as usual there was no heating. I remember that morning all too clearly, Mum had not put my clothes out or came in to get me dressed so I got myself dressed. I put my sisters clothes on went down stairs to the kitchen. What I remember very vividly was that the kitchen was freezing because the Coal fired Aga was unlit. Mum turned as I came into the kitchen and upon seeing me she became very upset. She started screaming at me and stripping my clothes off, then she proceeded to teach me a very hard and painful lesson. (In short I was beaten). It lasted about 5 minutes and then I was made to stand stark naked in the corner of the freezing kitchen to await my Dad coming in. He was outside as we lived on a farm at that time. About half an hour later, me and Mum heard him come in the back door and Mum hurried out into the passageway to meet him. I remember hearing my Mum speaking and my Dad becoming angry. About a minute later he came into the kitchen with a face like thunder, grabbed hold of me and dragged me through into his study. That room was his room, no one went into it, not even Mum. The fire was blaring in the grate, the only fire lit in the entire house and he stood me in front of the fire. I would have been grateful because I had become blue with the cold but he stood me on top of it and it was burning me. My Dad launched into a terrible rage and beat me black and blue all the time screaming at me. Calling me names I did not know, accusing me of things I did not understand. He swore and cursed and told me that I was not his child because a boy does not wear girls clothes. The whole episode lasted some 15 minutes before Mum came in and took me from that room and redressed me in boys clothes. That dear reader was the start of my life and the beatings continued to happen virtually every other day from then on until I was 17. I could tell by the way my Dad came home and opened a door what mood he was in. I knew when he was angry the beating would be worse and the names I was called made more sense as I grew older. But it wasn’t until I was an adult in my 40’s that I understood what my Mum and Dad had dome to me. My Mum used to also beat me on occasion and I never knew why. But as an adult in my 40’s I understood. I will come back to this shortly.
At the age of 5 I had started to understand that my Mum was dressing me wrong. But right up until I was about 8 my Mum insisted on getting me dressed every morning and I realise now that she did that to stop me getting dressed as a girl.
Suffice to say that by the time I was 8 I had become very aware of the problem. I was a girl and not a boy but I had been terrorised into silence by my parents. I was called stupid, backward, a pervert, I was often told by my Dad during the beatings that I was a Transvestite and much much worse. I could not talk to anyone, I was on my own. I had been repeatedly told that if I spoke up that I would be taken by the police and locked in a nut house (Mental asylum) and never be allowed out. My parents insisted that they would run tests on me to find out what was wrong with me. Those threats were repeated at every beating over and over. Its no surprise that I started to suffer from severe depression, I was withdrawn, would not talk to people and kept to myself. I was branded a loner at school and despite being extremely bright (genius level in I.Q tests) I was also branded lazy and worthless by my teachers. I was bullied for being effeminate, I was beaten up repeatedly. I was made fun off and learnt to accept that as normal.
My first suicide attempt was when I was about 8 and a half. I failed but never let on what I had done. I was too terrified of my parents reaction… There were many more attempts all the way through school. Despite things being so very bad there were bright spots in my childhood. Being the only Boy in a gang of 16 girls for instance. And in secondary school I was recognised for my intelligence but the depression and isolation from people around me had grown so much worse. I left school and university and work was a nightmare. Adults can be even more cruel than children. I was harassed and bullied at work and at university. The names were much worse than my Dad had used and I was labelled as Gay.
At 17 things came to a head at home, something happened which led to me breaking my brothers nose and my Dad having to take him to hospital in his car. Something he would never normally do. The car was Dad’s and we never were given a lift. Mum had on many occasion had had to walk 8 miles or more because Dad refused to take her or pick her up, We were used to his selfish ways so you can guess how angry he was at me for forcing him to take my Brother to hospital and back. He came back into the house like a thunder storm and started to raise his fist to belt me black and blue for the second time that day. (Yes, that first beating was because of my brother and my Dad had worked me over real good). But he stopped when he saw my face, he knew then that I would fight back. Oh I know, I would not win, I would have lost the fight but it stopped him anyway. That was when I realised that he was a coward. We hardly spoke after that night right up until his death 8 years later.
I left home soon after. At 19 I met a woman and we got into a relationship. And I realise now just how abusive the relationship was. I got the blame for it all, everything was my fault and she was both verbally and physically violent. Something that I was used to. I could not talk to her about who I was so we never discussed how I felt. She never realised that the man she was with was in fact a woman. The depression was by this time unbearable. I could not cope, the suicide attempts got more frequent and I kept failing. No one knew and I could not talk to anyone. I was scared of Doctors and Psychologists because of how my parents had rammed it down my throat that I was a pervert and dirty and disgusting. That I would be locked up in a tiny cell and experimented on. Eventually the relationship broke down, with me taking all the blame. I lost everything at that time. I took years to build my life back up, but every relationship I had turned out the same. Violent and unloving. Eventually I gave up looking for love. I had never known love in my entire life anyway.
About that time I started to go back to church and started training as a Minister. That was the turning point for me but in an unusual way. Part of my training included me making a vow. Something I still keep too as a vow can not be broken once made. My vow was a simple one, I vowed to always be truthful. To not lie.
Well, it started out well but over time (about 3 years) I became very upset because although I was keeping my vow I was living a lie. I was living as a man and I knew that I was female. Well, long story short, I lost my place in the Church because I was disabled and they told me I could not serve as a disable minister so I was asked to leave. Soon after that I became so despondent and depressed that I determined to make certain I would not fail at my next attempt of suicide. This was something that made me very sad because my sister had made me promise not to make any further attempts on my life. She knew something was wrong but had no idea exactly what was plaguing me so badly. I got everything together, the drugs, the booze and made sure that I had a very sharp knife ready so that this time I would not fail. But first I had something to do.
I had to ring my sister and say good bye. The only time in my life that I would have left some sort of note to say why I had killed myself. I picked up the phone and for some reason I still don’t understand, I told her, Not good bye but my secret. That I was actually female and that she had a sister and not a brother.
Her reaction is still very clear to me, she was not surprised, she simply said “Oh so that is what it is.” It was like I had handed her the last few pieces in a 5000 piece jigsaw and suddenly she could see the full picture at last. She has supported me ever since. Something I never expected.
It took me two years after telling my sister that I was transgender, to research what was wrong with me. I found out that everything my parents had told me was wrong. VERY VERY wrong. I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t a pervert or diseased let alone stupid and backward. During the last year of research I started a relationship with a wonderful woman and after a few months I told her who I really was and surprisingly she accepted it. She had known me since childhood and me telling her my secret, just like my sister, explained a few things. She supported me and things were going well until once again a Church got involved. Having a Job in the Church she was told that the Church would not accept her or me if we continued the relationship and if I transitioned. They would view it as a Lesbian relationship and that would be against Church rules. So I gave her a choice to decide what she wanted to do. I would not be angry at her no matter what. The Church was more important so she made her choice and we parted on good terms but we keep in touch. She came up to see me at that time and at that point I was still presenting as male. I had not started my journey due to trying to decide something.
I was at a cross roads. I either had to turn right and kill the woman that I was which meant killing myself or turning left and killing the man I was pretending to be. Which would mean that I had to start living as a female. But it was hard. So very hard to work out what to do. I was bat shit scared because I still believed all that rubbish my parents had fed me and did not want to be locked up in an asylum for the mentally deranged.
This had got to the point that I had decided once again to commit suicide and make certain that I would not survive. I could not come out fully. Anyway, my ex partner came to stay and on the Saturday we decided to go into town. We walked into town and did a bit of window shopping before deciding to go for a coffee. Its at this point that something very odd happened. We bumped into someone I knew, someone I had known for 24 years. Someone whom I had worked side by side with for several years. HE had been an absolute bastard towards me, HE used to stab me with knives, HE had even tried drowning me, and much worse. But this day HE was now SHE. And she was a very lovely, kind and gentle woman. It was that and that alone that saved my life because I realised that I could be brave enough to start living as my true self. If HE could come out as female in such a male dominated environment then I could do so too. (Our place of work had been very Butch and Macho.)
Two weeks later I started living as myself.
And there in lies another tale that I need not mention today. Suffice to say that my first day out as my true gender was an odd affair. Scary but odd.
That dear reader, is what I meant by my comment at the start about there being two types of coming out.
The second type of coming out is much simpler and was for me much easier after the Hell that I had lived through. A year after I started living as my true self I came out as a Lesbian. That attracted quite a lot of hate from certain quarters, even from within our LGBT community. I was told that I was just a “man” dating women.
Comments like this hurt and are in fact illegal in this country. But I have had much worse thrown at me so I can ignore those comments.
It been a hard 4 years since the day that I started living as myself. 2 years waiting to see a specialist at the G.I.C. Getting onto medication and being messed around by doctors. I have had doctors refuse to treat me because I am trans. I have had doctors get rid off me because they would not deal with me. I have been told that I am a sexual pervert by doctors, threatened with being sectioned for wearing women’s clothes… well let’s just say that all the aforementioned is illegal by law. I have had records lost and destroyed and generally messed around but it’s all been worth it.
I am a lot less depressed. I am for the first time in my life happy and content. I feel comfortable in my own skin and unafraid of going out my front door. I have found love and understanding which has been unknown to me. That wonderful women I met when I went for coffee is now my partner and fiancée and we support one another. I will never be able to repay her the debt that I owe to her. You see, she saved my life that day we met at the coffee shop. It had been her first day out as her true self. And I know just how scared and frightened she was so we might never have met and if she hadn’t plucked up the strength to go out that day as herself.
Lastly I just want to say this…
I am a woman. A woman who just happens to be transgender. I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and its not a mental disease. Its just a medical condition caused by a number of medical factors. The treatment is simple and sadly long winded.
And thank you for reading my account. Its not easy putting it down for public view but I believe that being open with you will help you understand just how awful and soul destroying living with gender dysphoria, with no help or support, actually is.
You only get one chance at life. Screw it up and you don’t get a second go so you had better get it right the first time around. Rose xxx