A little history may be in order.
My name is Kerri. I was born in 1958, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
I arrived early on a warm July day. Ok, I really don’t remember if it was warm, but being July, I think that’s a safe assumption to make.
I was up and out of my mother’s hospitality by 6am. Because of this, I have never been a morning person. I wasn’t planning to get up that early, but my mom’s alarm went off and she shoved me out of a nice warm and dark womb and into the cold light of this world. Thanks mom! 😛
I was born with, and this is important so please take note, a penis.
According to the custom of the day, I was therefore assigned as a “Make” by the hospital – I know this because on my birthday this year, my mother gave me the receipt from her hospital stay. Apparently, I cost $30. They must have marked me down because they knew I wasn’t a premium model.
When they realized they had typed “K” instead of “L” they tried typing the “L” over top, but, really, “Make” was more telling.
You see, I was born a boy on the outside, but not on the inside.
It wasn’t that I KNEW I was a girl. I didn’t know anything, other than a mistake had been made.
In tracing back, with help, I have some clues about when things went wrong. I have no evidence why they went wrong, but I do have some guesses.
You know we all start as female? Yeah, it was right about the time that the deviation started in my growth towards the male, that my soul underwent her first crisis of this lifeline. It’s always stressful to start a day off wrong, or in this case, start a life off wrong.
I had three brothers. My mom was the only female in the family, well other than me, but I didn’t really count, because back then I had bought the wild tale they told that I was also a boy. Seeing as I didn’t differ all that much anatomically from my brothers, there seemed no real reason to doubt that.
So that’s how I pretty much saw myself as a very young child – a boy who SHOULD have been born a girl.I did KNOW that part, the should have. I just never framed it as “am a girl” until much later in life, and those little words shifted my entire life.
I was fortunate enough to have a semi-girlhood. My best friend for years was a tomboy, and most of the girls I knew let me hang out and play with them. One year Santa even gave me the doll I had begged for for Christmas. Of course, that was after I had a huge meltdown on being told that dolls weren’t for boys. I went out to the driveway, looked up at the sky with tear splashed eyes and screamed to God that He had made a mistake and I was supposed to be a girl and I hate my life and I want to die!!!! I remember that moment very clearly, the tears streaming down my face as I stood in the driveway, yelling loud enough for not only God to hear me, but the neighbours too. To this day my mom swears she didn’t buy me that doll, and I seriously doubt my dad would have. Not my dad who was so mortified, when his child was once spotted, fully ‘crossdressed’, singing and skipping down the street with one of the neighbour girls, that he forbade me to ever play with girls again. No, I think it must have been Santa who brought me that doll. 🙂
It wasn’t just my dad, but also the world around me which convinced me to bury these things, and get on as best I could being a boy. The 60’s were not a nice time to be openly transsexual. I remember reading about Renee Richards, and thinking how brave she was, and feeling so bad and scared for her as everyone tore her to pieces and mocked her. That wasn’t going to happen to me, so I did my best to remain invisible and just accepted that I was ‘different’, and that was just the way things were.
But you can’t keep a good woman down! I crossdressed all my life, but it was a shameful, dirty secret. I kicked my way out of my own closet when I was 48. I didn’t know what was happening or what I was doing, but I was being driven by something that was emerging from the deep like a hungry kraken. This time, instead of jabbing at it with spears and forcing it back down, I opened my arms and let it wash over me, and when I opened my eyes I understood I was intrinsically female, and that I couldn’t pretend anymore.
My journey has been one of a sometimes graceful seeming, but often awkward, transformation. Encapsulated, it went like this: dissolve my defenses, stumble around in panic, find others like me online, start understanding and accepting who I am, tell family, friends and co-workers, find a gender-experienced therapist, start testosterone blockers (anti-androgens) to see how it made me feel (calm, relieved), start estrogen to see how it made me feel (alive, real), add progesterone, exalt in my body’s changes, figure out that I can pass as female after all, legally change my name, change my gender marker on most things (I need SRS for some things), and start electrolysis on my facial hair (skipped that step in the beginning, which is when many people do it). On the horizon is SRS. I hope to be approved and have it done by 2012, if not earlier.
I’ve lived female fulltime for over a year and it has been more amazing and wonderful than I ever imagined. I feel alive, real, in my body, free and happy. People notice the difference right away. It’s not a small thing. It’s like everything clicked into place and it has given me a knowing of self, and the world, that I never had before. It has allowed me to really love myself and do the other work that I needed to do, dumping off all the baggage I had been dragging around with me, all the neatly bundled hurts and hates and harms.
Fear was a shadow that kept me cold and unseen all my life. It froze me. It held me down and suffocated me. Somehow, and I am still amazed this happened, I was able to stare it down one day. I still get afraid sometimes but now I know I can walk through it.
The greatest gift of my transformative journey so far is that I have discovered how amazing, compassionate, loving and generous people can be. My partner, my family, my friends, my co-workers, my community, everyone has been so supportive and encouraging. I know I am blessed, because I have read and heard so many stories of heartbreak from others.
That’s one of the reasons I want to have my own voice added to the mix. I want to inspire and embolden others. I want to share whatever it is, besides luck, that has helped bring into my life all the love and acceptance I have received.
We all deserve to be happy 🙂