Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To whom it may concern...

Dear Reader,

I have been cheated, but just important, or maybe more so, you have been cheated too. When I was born transgender, it set into motion a pattern of failure for me. It isn't that I'm not intelligent enough to have been a success, on the contrary, I let myself become engrossed with the constant thoughts of wanting to be female distract me from everything that would have helped me be a success. I never studied in school, and still was a 'B' student, but I quit before I graduated because I couldn't take anymore ridicule from my classmates. (In a crazed fit, I'd plucked my eyebrows into the thin lines you see today and wore a little make-up. Showing up at school was nearly the death of me.) I joined the Army with the intention of learning a trade and not being in the family business of masonry work, which I hated. I quit the Army before my 2yr enlistment was up, because, on a 30 day leave, I let my trans issues sneak into my life and I had to tell, (too much plucking again) and they were glad to see me go. My work history was sporadic, to say the least, again because of having to try and satisfy those trans issues. This is why at age 55, I don't have the resources to transition completely. My trans issues kept getting in the way.

So why tell you this. In 1969 I was taken to see a psychiatrist. Granted, back then they didn't know much about transgender issues, but too, we were poor, and when they wanted more money than we could afford, I couldn't go anymore. (after the Dr. felt me up, I didn't want to go anyway.) This is 2009, they know a lot more about being trans than before, but still, if you are poor there are no resources for help. (our community counseling center charges $60 for 40mins.) I wonder how many grew up like me, and how many more will grow up like me, an intelligent individual that never reaches their full potential because, being poor, they can not get the help they need to control the gnawing in they're head telling them they are in the wrong body. Here in the USA, we need services provided by other governments that deal with this issue. Who knows what contribution a well adjusted, intelligent trans person could be making to the betterment of society today.



chrissie said...

I could not agree more, Steph. It's a damn waste.

Get your visa stamped and come to the UK to live, pet. Seriously...!


alan said...

My hope is that somehow healthcare will be drug kicking and screaming from the hands of the profit mongers and actually begin to take care of the patients instead of the shareholders. If (and the if seems to grow larger every day) that happens it needs to include everyone who needs care, not play the game of exclusions and exceptions that already exists in the for-profit schemes!

If it doesn't happen, the UK or Canada may become the only alternative for anyone in our income brackets!


Keri Renault said...

Last year the AMA adopted a pro-transgender health care position. It now advocates for inclusion of transgender benefits in health care insurance policies. That's a huge step in the right direction, although there's no telling when the AMA's pressure will effect substantial change within the insurance industry.

All the same, it's change for the better. I see a world that's more open to diversity and questioning traditional sterotypes than ever before. We have more breathing room to be who we are...and arguably more opportunity than at any time in our lives to make something of ourselves beyond the "transgender agenda".

We are where we are today and there's no changing that. So I say we celebrate that we've "come a long way baby"... Use that credo as a bit of an impetus of empowerment. The seed of positive change has to start somewhere. That somewhere may as well be inside our hearts & minds.

We've made it this far in life against seemingly insurmountable odds, Stephanie. We can successfully take the next step forward if we believe in ourselves---followed by another...and another. The past is behind us and we certainly can't predict the future. Let's enjoy today for every little blessing we've received in transition:)