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Monday, August 9, 2010

Transition Thoughts & Reflections - Becca

I'm truly at a loss of words for the introduction of today's guest post.

Becca is a close and dear friend of mine. I have known her from just about the start of her transition....a friendship that makes any friendship I have had with guys just seem superficial. What we have now, and have had from the beginning, is a true female-to-female friendship. I have not other way to explain it and I cherish it.

She transitioned quickly, but it was very well planned out. Our girl is smart and does things very methodically. She endured pain and frustration but has reaped the benefits of the focus and hard work she put into her transition. Her voice, for instance, has changed dramatically since the early days....and that just did not magically happen. Hormones will do little to change the voice of late transitioning MtF. Attaining the female voice requires training, practice, and constantly focusing on how you speak. Becca's voice is just never questioned. It is the voice of a woman.

I'll stop blabbering and just mention that the pictures she gave me, to go with this guest post, simply do not do her justice. Becca is a beautiful woman, not only in body, but in mind and soul.

I encourage you to visit her blog, Rebecca's Thoughts, along with the T-Central Facebook page. The link is at the bottom of this page.
- Calie
My Name Is Rebecca

One of my closest and dearest friends, Calie, asked if I would be willing to write a guest post about what transition has meant to me. I was honored, but really couldn't think of a good approach to take. So, please forgive me as I ramble a bit, and hopefully get my thoughts across well...

I originally started writing this post in a similar manner to several of our other wonderful guest bloggers - by telling my history. But then I realized that this was supposed to be about my thoughts and reflections on my transition... and that made me realize how much my transition is a part of my past, just as my male history is my past. And I thought I would reflect on that a bit.

Although I started my life as a boy, grew into a young man, became a husband and then a father of two.... Although all of that made me who I am today, and I have very few regrets about any of it, and actually quite a lot of great memories because of it.... I am a woman now. I know, we've heard that before from so many people in the community. But honestly, there isn't a single bit of me that feels male or even trans anymore. Sure, this history will follow me around forever, and I can't allow myself to ever forget it, deny it, or pretend it didn't happen... but it feels like it all happened to someone else. It doesn't even feel like a dream or a nightmare. It simply doesn't feel like it ever really happened to me.

My past was similar to so many others, and yet different from most. I didn't cross-dress. I didn't lurk on the forums. I didn't experiment with sex, drugs, alcohol, hormones. I didn't have depression issues. I wasn't even close to being suicidal. I didn't body-build, join the military, sleep around. I lived as "normal" a life as I possibly could manage... all the time suppressing who I was as hard as I could. Sure, I was drawn to all the gender-bending movies and books. And yes, I struggled on some level every moment of every day. But consciously, I didn't know what was going on. I didn't recognize my reflection, nor my image in photographs - but I thought that was normal for everyone. I had to monitor my mannerisms at all times, because I knew I was naturally feminine, and had always struggled with being the "sissy" in the crowd. I wasn't nearly as masculine in any way as all the other guys. All the other husband, fathers, and boyfriends. I hated sports, and enjoyed fashion, cross-stitching, flowers... But I knew I wasn't gay. I was just "a nice, gentle guy." I tried to be a father, a husband. And I always showed immense love and commitment... but I was about as far from a father and husband as I could be. I made no effort to be masculine, as I felt that you should be accepted for who you were.... But the lack of self-confidence all of this brought to my life left me a co-dependent mat, moving from bad relationship to worse, ending with my daughter and I the victims of an extremely abusive 8-year relationship. And that's when my bell finally rang.

My kids were adults. My relationship was beyond over. And I had been stripped of every ounce of self-esteem and personality that I had ever had. I hit rock-bottom, and my system rebooted. And when it started up again, my subconscious death-grip on my true self was gone, and I finally knew who I was. Everything I had always struggled against finally made perfect sense. At that point, I had a decision to make. Terminate my life, or risk everything I had built to start over as a woman. It took me several months to fully admit what I was facing and make a choice - but when I did, I moved at lightning speed and moved my life completely from male to female in just three months. Successfully, and "passing". Any semblance of maleness was gone in a blink. I didn't have to learn mannerisms, speech inflections, walking, nothing except retraining my voice... because I had struggled to hide my natural femininity my entire life, and was now just simply not doing so anymore. The social transition was extremely difficult, and I will be paying off the extreme debt from the physical part of the process for several more years.... but it was by far the best decision I ever made.

It's been just over two years since I went full-time, but I am and have been for well over a year, 100% integrated with society. And other than my closest friends and family, and some people in the workforce, my history is private, and I intend to keep it that way. I can go where I want, do what I want, and be completely accepted and treated as a woman. Not a woman who used to be a man... but as a natal female. I deal with misogyny daily, risk of attack (physical and sexual), bias in the workplace and the dating realm, bloating, cycles (yes, cycles!), body image issues, dieting, clothing issues.... and I enjoy the benefits of chivalry, flirting, smiles, cute clothing, compliments, the power of sexuality, and so many other perks and freedoms that come with being a strong-willed, confident, attractive, sexual woman.

My trans history is just that, and honestly doesn't cross my mind. Ever. Well, except when one of my friends brings it up (which is totally cool, as long as it's in private.) It simply isn't a part of my life anymore. I often run across old pictures from my male life, and although I recognize the person, it's like looking at another person, from another life. I just don't associate myself with that image or life anymore. When I reminisce with friends, or about past events, I remember them simply as events from my life. Not his life. Just mine. Rebecca's. And sometimes, if I'm talking with a friend, something will remind me that this person used to know me as a boy, a man, a father.... and it just feels.... weird. Strange. Like someone else's past. I wonder how all this must seem from their point of view, and I'm amazed at how normal it seems for me. Because although what they remember used to be me, I was always Rebecca - just trapped in a prison, and unable to even scream for help. Perhaps this is because I was so disassociated with my body and self image all my life, or perhaps it's simply because I subconsciously refused to accept the maleness that society imposed on me... all I know is that my transition is about as complete as it's possible to be. Mind, spirit, body, friends, family, society - all woman now. As it should have always been.

No regrets. Not a single one.

Sure, living my entire life as my true self would have truly been a gift. But it wouldn't have been without its own set of issues, and I would be a completely different person now, too. And I can honestly say that I love myself now. How many people can say that? I risked the successful life I had worked so hard to build in order to flip society the bird and become who I was meant to be, despite their issues. I fought the fears, the issues, the relationships, the surgeries, the expenses, the dating realm.... and I won! I kept my life, and built it back into the normality I enjoyed before. Only much better! I am fully and completely in love with a wonderful woman, and she with me. And God willing, we will spend the rest of our lives together. I have friends who I love dearly, and who love and need me too. I have a good career, wonderful children, and a future I wake up every morning looking forward to living. And I thank God for each day I have to fully appreciate life now.

Sure, I still have bad days, struggles, and issues that arise... but everyone does. Trans, cis-gendered, gay, straight, disabled, ethnic.... Everyone has burdens and issues, and has a choice to make of life what they will. That is what transition was all about for me. Making a conscious decision to do what I needed to do to be as happy as I deserved to be, and making it happen now. And that's the mantra I live by now, and plan to continue doing for the rest of my life.

My name is Rebecca. I am a lover, a partner, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a granddaughter, a friend.... and I am happy. Finally.


  1. What a great post. I've always enjoyed following your blog Rebecca, and you inspire me because you show me what's possible and what can be accomplished. I'm really happy for you that things have worked out so well and that you're happy.


  2. Dear Rebecca
    A wonderful post from a beautiful woman!
    I am so pleased for you.
    Debbie x

  3. Hi Rebecca. Well done! Congratulations! I found it interesting that you talked about a "disassociation" with your "former self". I raised this question with Alex, who also successfully transitioned relatively late in life.

    Like I told Alex, it has been decades since I have even had a picture of my "former self" to look at. Like you, I recognized the picture and it's setting but could find NO connection to that person in the picture.

    I also relate to your total and complete dis-association with your "male self". About 4 years ago I was speaking about my life and my transition. I was asked if I "hated" my former "male" self. Now this question was put to me during a Q&A after a public presentation.

    In trying to answer that question, I tried to "remember" that individual. I tried to remember who I was, who I had been. I could NOT. Try as I might, I could just NOT remember that former self. I had absolutely no memory. Strange as it sounds/seems....I no longer have a "male" past. Cool, huh?

  4. I can relate to so much of what you write! I have definitely come to view my life as always having been this way. It will be interesting when I finally meet up with old friends whose memories I don't truly share any more.

    So glad that all is going well for you! Thank you for your story.


  5. That's a great post. Wonderful last line as well :)


  6. Thanks for sharing! It was very interesting and caused me to stop and reflect.

  7. Very well put Becca, and as stated earlier, also well ended in the last line.
    I wish you continued happiness hunni.
    Alex. x

  8. Always thoughtful and insight ful Rebecca... You are truly an inspiration to me


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