WHY? Me.

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Why would someone who had it all…suddenly and irrevocably give it all up? It makes no sense. It defies logic.

Why would someone who was a reasonably decent looking, athletic, healthy male surrender his gender for “2nd place”?

Why would someone who, to all outside appearances, had a happy and long-term marriage give that up?

Why would someone who has a fantastic job with a major broadcast company risk losing that job and the six-figure income that came with it?

The story is long but the answer is simple: So I could look in the mirror and see “ME” looking back. So that I could love and accept myself. So that I could be truly happy.

I didn’t choose to be transgender. I have always been. I did choose to deny it for a very long time and it just about ate me alive from the inside. It made me keep secrets from everyone…literally, everyone. I hated that. Imagine the biggest thing on your mind, something that never goes away, ever, and you can’t talk about it…with anyone. Life has ups and downs and like “Dexter’s Dark Passenger” the knowledge of who and what I am is there constantly.

In good times, it was there but easily managed. But there are times when stress piles on, from the loss of a job, money problems, moving or any of a hundred other things that cause stress, “My Secret” always added to it, making it worse. It was like a ticking clock, knowing it would eventually win, but I tried to hold it off.

I’ve heard the dysphoria I felt described like a toothache. It’s always there, but sometimes it just hurts a little, other times it hurts so bad you want to jump out a window just to make it stop.

Being transgender isn’t a choice, but make no mistake, I did make a choice to finally do something about it. I did this for me. 100% for me.

On January 18th, 2014 it will mark one year since I sat alone in an empty house with shaking hands and tears on my cheeks and applied my first dose of Estrogen and took my first Testosterone blocker. I felt nothing – and yet I felt everything.

The physical effects have taken shape over the past 12 months and will continue to for the next three or four years. I call it my “slow motion miracle.”

The psychological effects were immediate and lasting. Initially, I knew I was finally doing something to bring relief. I was calmed right away. Since that day there have been many other new and wonderful experiences. I am clearer mentally than ever before. I am way more in touch with my emotions…all of them. My sense of smell and taste has returned. I have not experienced anger in a very long time. I finally love looking at myself in a mirror. Not for vanity’s sake, but to see looking back at me the person I always felt like inside.

So, why would I give up virtually everything? Things that most people, including myself have worked a lifetime for? As contradictory as it sounds, I did it for ME. To finally be completely happy.

To look into the mirror and look that girl in the eyes and honestly say, “I Love You.”

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That is worth everything.

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