ORIGINALLY POSTED 6th DECEMBER 2014
Future me here *waves* Just wanted to say, in this diary entry I was still living as Kevin Preston, and would refer to myself as having a separate female persona named Sophie. It’s now 2020, and we’ve all managed to put an end to the conflict, merging ourselves into one being :)
*end of future me*
I have so much I want to say about being Transgender but I guess the first thing I should say is that I have been Transgender since the beginning of time. I always knew I was different, one of my earliest memories is when I was about 6 at School, I sneaked off to go to the toilet during class and remember just sitting in the girls toilets feeling completely content, like this is where I really belonged. That was when I was a little kid, and the feelings never ever stopped. No matter what I tried to do, or how much I tried to resist or change who I was, my female persona would always be there.
For the longest time I hated her, I felt like I was cursed, I denied it, I tried to kill her, I wanted her to go away and leave me alone… she was suffocating and there was just so much suffering, I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do, I felt helpless and confused, but no matter what, she just wouldn’t go away I see now she is part of who I really am. It was made worse by the fact that becoming a female full time didn’t feel like it would 100% be the solution.
I certainly feel more content as a female then male, I think I would have been a lot happier had I been born female, but being Gender Fluid means that I sometimes feel like a female, sometimes like a male and sometimes like neither. It is an incredibly difficult thing to deal with and even explain, I’m only really just starting to understand it myself, but it is one of the main reasons why I struggled for so long trying to make sense of who I was. I thought you had to be either male or female, so when becoming a female didn’t feel like it would necessarily be the solution, I was left wondering what to do. Gender really isn’t black or white, it’s actually very much a grey area, a nice mid tone done with a HB pencil if you will :)
I feel like I could do separate posts on the guilt, shame, denial, the hiding, and all the many other emotions related to being Transgender, including the very good feelings such as the joy, contentment,, and connection, but for this post, I’m going to concentrate on something I began to notice around 2007, that is, that there is a cycle of denial that seems to play out time after time. I’ve noticed a lot of other Transgender individuals suffer from the too.
It’s a cycle that I am now finally breaking out of thanks to Art, Meditation and this Website, this cycle though was on repeat for years, and no matter what I did it would always play out the same, it’s like that Albert Einstein quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
This is why I’m so happy to finally be breaking the cycle, we are in control of our lives and I want different results, but the cycle that kept playing out for me went like this. I would escape to the world of video games to try and hide away from the truth, but all the time there was this uneasy feeling inside, a feeling as if I wasn’t being true to myself. I would resist, I would pretend I couldn’t hear it, but even in the world of video games I would find myself creating female characters, or playing games with lead female characters like Tomb Raider, or spending all my time buying clothes and dressing up the female characters in game, I just couldn’t escape the feelings even in the virtual world of video games.
Than I’d start hearing the whispers of my heart wanting me to be free, to embrace who I really was, but I’d pretend I couldn’t hear them. Thing is, the whispers become so loud that you have to act. You dress, you feel such joy and contentment, knowing this is part of who you really are, an indescribable feeling. *I know now this feeling was a deep connection to source, to your spirit, to your true/ higher self* You start to grow your nails long, you shave your legs etc, but then you start to feel guilt and shame. You feel like when you’re around people you have to hide who you really are, not tell anyone what you did at the weekend for fear of embarrassment or shame.
You feel like you’re living a lie, you have no one to talk to and you just become more and more anxious and on edge. “Did I get all the nail polish off my nails?” you ask yourself, “Will anyone notice my shaved arms?” Little things like that start to consume your every moment when around other people. These feelings become so overpowering that you realise you have 2 options, you either accept who you are and be open about it, or you deny it and run away.
I was never strong enough to face it, and so would always end up running away and hiding. This would always be the most saddest of times, as it would mean denial, and trying to convince myself I could change who I was. This always resulted in throwing all my clothes away and vowing never to dress or embrace my femininity again. Obviously this becomes expensive, but more then that you know deep down in you heart you’re just playing out the same cycle again, and vowing never to dress or embrace your female side again is actually impossible, as that is part of who you really are.
You feel incredibly sad realising this time isn’t the time when you will have the strength to face the truth and set yourself free. However, the anxiety, shame, and guilt of trying to fit into society and hide it was so consuming, that for a little while you convince yourself you’ve made the right choice. The thought of telling the world who I really was back then didn’t even seem possible, I would rather have been dead then have the world know my secret.
So then you spend a period of time not dressing or being feminine, this could be weeks, months, and back in 2004 it was actually a couple of years, but the thing is, during those weeks, months and years, the feelings never ever go away. You may not be dressing or being who you really are, but your heart never stops whispering, you even wake up having dreamt about it. I remember I always used to imagine Sophie being inside of me and when I was in this phase of denial I would see myself putting her into a bag, putting chains around it, putting the bag into a chest and throwing the chest with weights around it into the bottom of ocean. Believing she would be gone forever, but I always knew that the chest would always be there, and Sophie would always be waiting for me to return and set her free.
I knew all along that one day I would be strong enough to open and get rid of the chest for good, letting Sophie, and myself finally be free. I am so thankful to know that day has finally come, I feel like this first step of breaking the cycle is actually the biggest and hardest step, for you are literally stepping into the unknown. Earlier this year, I noticed that the denial phase was starting up again and I almost buckled and went back to repeating the cycle, that’s why I had such a break down in August. I actually cried so much, I didn’t even know you could cry like that. I was crawling around on the floor sobbing, just in such a dark place it was quite scary.
Seeing Heather, my counsellor, I was sure, I was convinced in fact it was going to be different this time. There was something inside of me that felt different, like I finally had the strength to face this and deal with it. All year I had this massive feeling that change was on the horizon and I could feel I was close to making a massive breakthrough in my life, and so when in August I began to think I had to hide Sophie away again and just give up on trying to make sense of being Transgender, I felt like giving up full stop. I even said I’m going to quit drawing and go back to playing video games and just wait for the clock to tick tock to the end. I remember I kept saying to myself, I thought it was different this time… well it was, and I only had to wait a few weeks to realise it really was different this time.
For not soon after my breakdown, I received a letter from the Gender clinic for my first appointment, a letter I had been waiting months for and had almost given up on. I guess I just needed a few weeks rest after the stress of the previous couple of months. The universe has a funny way of doing things, but how this year has played out is actually incredibly beautiful when I stop and think about it, it’s flowed up and down so seamlessly it really is like a story being played out. I’m so glad I was able to dig deep and make it through the pain to be able to break the cycle.
The universe obviously saw I was strong enough to deal with this, and my only hope now is that I can help others feel the same way and see being transgender as a wonderful gift to be cherished, not a curse to be destroyed. I believe it all starts with a baby step, of really wanting change, accepting who you are, and breaking the cycle of denial.
So while it has never been easy being Transgender, I really feel like it has made me a much kinder, stronger and nicer human being and I feel will make me a much better Artist in years to come. There is so much suffering associated with being Transgender, but I truly believe you will be rewarded with a beautiful life, and a great outlook and perspective on life if you can just dig deep and make it through the suffering. I remember back in 2004 someone asked if being Transgender was a curse or a gift, at the time I would have said a curse, and for many years I would have stuck with that, but I now truly see it as a gift. I wouldn’t have my life any other way, I wouldn’t even trade in all those years of suffering, for they have got me to this moment in my life.
I’m actually starting to love the fact that I’m Transgender, for it has shaped who I am, and I love who I am :)