We all have a story to tell. Some of which we tell the world and some of which we keep more private. I am very vocal and public about being a lesbian, but there are other pieces of my story that I only share with my queer friends and allies. That is because it is very personal to me. It is the story of how I found myself and in the process became a much better person.
The following is the short version.
I was born in San Diego California, designated male at birth. From a very young age, I knew that wasn’t right. Unfortunately, around 3 years old I had a very traumatic experience that caused me to bury who I was. I buried it so deep I hid it from myself. From then on I tried to fit into the box society would have me conform to. But I constantly failed miserably.
Much of my childhood through high school was horrible. I had no friends and became very introverted. As a young adult, I got married. From that point forward I focused on my wife and growing family. By immersing myself in family commitments I could avoid enough of those things that just didn’t make sense to me to make life work. As the years went by I slowly learned to ignore many of the things that caused me confusion and pain. I just accepted that I was odd and would never fit in.
Then one day, a few years ago, one of my kids came out as trans. At the time I barely knew what the word meant but I knew it was the answer to so many parts of my life that so totally didn’t make sense to me. It was like a jigsaw puzzle blew up backward, all of the pieces came together to form a picture that was me. At that moment the picture was fuzzy but I knew in this there was an answer to all of the messed up parts of my life
Shortly after that revelation, I moved to Utah. My wife and I spent about a year exploring what it meant to be transgender. When we had got to the end of what we could do on our own I started seeking out professional help. I could manage to pretend I was someone I was not as long as I had buried who I was. But now that I was openly exploring who this person was that I hid from so long ago it was becoming increasingly difficult to pretend.
Finally, in November of 2019 I came out to the world as myself; Jasmine-Arabella. That was and continues to be, amazing and wonderful. Like being let out of a cage. My family, coworker, and friends were so wonderfully supportive.
Since then I have grown and changed so much. I hear many trans people say they “are still the same person”. I am sure that is true for them and I am glad for them. But for me so much has radically changed. For sure there are things that are the same; I am still a morning person, I am still very family-focused, I am still very analytical and a neat freak.
But in so many ways I am a new person. Sometimes I think the gender change is one of the smaller one’s even though it was the impetus for everything else. My political view have gone from the ultra-conservative perspective I was raised with to the left of liberal. Along with that, I have gone from only looking out for me and mine to caring about everyone. Sometimes I feel I have decades of caring that need to get out. I am most definitely not an introvert, I can’t seem to get enough socializing.
I seem to be constantly growing and learning who is Jasmine-Arabella. This isn’t to say there have not been difficult and painful times, or sure there have. Growing can be very painful at times. But over all the results of that growth have been wonderful.
Right now I feel like this super hybrid between the little girl I was never allowed to be, a teenager going through all of the joys and difficulties of adolescence, a young adult discovering their social world, and an older adult with all of the experiences and resources that come with time.
With all of that, I am grabbing as much of what life has to offer as I can get. I am constantly growing and learning new things. I am still discovering parts of who I am. The ride isn’t over yet. I hope it never ends. I want to spend the rest of my life learning, and growing and learning to give.