That is a fairly common expression. It is almost a cliche. Often it seems to be referring to something much less than life or death. But in my case, it was quite literal.
A while back when I was still trying to figure out what part of the rainbow I was, things started getting very intense. I don’t know that I was cognitive of it at the time but I was trying to find any answer other than M2F Transgender. I would consider just about any other option. I wanted an option that was simple that wouldn’t change my world.
My wife and I would look at one thing or another and consider did it fit. Could I account for my messed up childhood and so much more if I put myself in that box. But one by one the other options slowly proved to be wishful thinking.
As the reality of who I am got more and more obvious, my stress went higher and higher. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be who I am. Deep down I already knew who I was. Part of me was screaming for it.
But part of me wanted anything but to be M2F Transgender. This had been going on for a while when finally the reason for this intense contradiction came to the surface, I would lose my job.
My ability to get a job was based on 20 years of experience that was all tied to my birth name. Then there was the haunting questions of what would happen at my current job. If I accepted who I am how long till I would lose my job and have no way of getting another one.
This terrified me and it grew as the other options fell away. I was slowly coming closer and closer to becoming suicidal. I felt trapped between the realization of who I am and my need to have a job and support my family. I felt I had no choice but to continue life as I always had, even though doing so was slowly tearing me apart.
I had no idea what I was going to do, but God did. He sent me His answer in the same way He revealed His Word to us, a story. One day while I was going through my email at work I saw an invite to a storytelling time. It wasn’t just any storytelling; it was one solely focused on the lives of some of the LGBT employees where I work.
It was my savior. As it all slowly sank in I realized my company was not just LGBT allowing. They are not just LGBT accepting they are fully pro-LGBT. To the point that they wanted to give their LGBT employees the opportunity to tell their story to the whole company.
That first storytelling time saved my life. It pulled me out of the abyss that I was slowly sinking into. It gave me life. It gave me the courage to accept who I am. There will never be words enough to say thank you to those that put together the storytelling. How do you thank someone for saving your life?
The only way I think I can truly say thank you enough is by passing it on. By boldly being me and shining so that someday it will be my story that inspires someone else to be authentic.