There is a Native American saying: “Do not judge anyone until you have walked two moons in their moccasins”

I am woman, and I am man! I am every color, every belief, and every size! I am old, young, and everything in between! I have been here longer than you and not as long as you! I am a son. I am a daughter! I am married and single, a parent and without children! I am alone and surrounded by people I care about deeply!

And the saddest part about the above statement, although true, is the fact, that I must live with this!

In my struggle for transition, especially being on estrogen, hormones and Spiro, for as long as I have, I am no longer a man! Nor will I EVER be a total woman! I am stuck somewhere in between! After many years of therapy and being treated by an endocrinologist, I do know this!
Physically, emotionally, mentally, and in my heart of hearts, I am more a woman, which brings me a piece of completeness which I have prayed for since childhood! That is my painful reality!

And as of this moment! It has been proven that I am some sort of genetic mistake by the medical world! Just take one moment to close your eyes, and picture that it could be true, a person, could be born in the wrong body! Think about how horrid and painful that would be! To be incarcerated for ever!

Like you, I am a human being filled with joys, fears, frustrations, and hopes and dreams. I feel, I laugh, and yes, I occasionally hurt! And like you I want to be understood and accepted, and appreciated. The following is about opening up to you—-about sharing my feelings on just a few of the many aspects of my life and how they affect me. Perhaps you will to see me in a new and perhaps a much different light.

I wish that you receive this with the same level of compassion and understanding that you wish from me. Chances are we’re not as different as you may think. Hear me, understand me and at least walk one moon in my moccasins!

I ask that you read this, with the same level of compassion and understanding that you wish for yourself. Chances are you are not so different. And just maybe you can meet in the middle to hear me and understand me.

Like you, I have comfort zones that give me peace and a sense of stability. And just like you, my cage gets rattled when I have to change my habits by doing new and different things. You’re not the only one who is afraid of the unknown. But, I do know that we have to adapt, grow and keep moving forward.

And, I know you can’t please everyone, someone is going to be chapped. That’s a reality and I accept that. But there is another reality that comes with being human. I care what you and others think about me. I especially care what you think about me when it comes to honesty, integrity and fairness. You always hear stories about me, and without facts form an opinion about me. I can’t defend myself and the facts are usually skewed. I fully understand that I must earn your trust and respect, just as you must earn mine. And, I am working on that. Maybe you could give me the same benefit of the doubt that you would wish from me. But before you judge me walk awhile in my shoes. The only thing worse than losing, is being denied the chance to win.

And remember the saying by Louis Nizer! “When you point your finger at me, remember that three of your fingers are pointing back at you!

I used to think a lot about the future. But now, I just worry about getting through today alive and in one piece, figuring I would focus on crossing tomorrow’s bridges.

Do I have all the answers? No. In fact I have more questions than answers. I am so exhausted from thoughts of suicide, self-loathing and extreme isolation. I am a child of Diversity and I was born this way! The past is gone! The future is all that’s left.

This is what I ask of you! Appreciate the fact that my life is no easier that yours. I’ve got a tough life too. Don’t assume the worst of me. I don’t wake up in the morning asking “How can I make life miserable for someone today” I think neither do you. Talk to me instead of talking to others. With more understanding, we can meet in the middle, and walk the rest of the way together.

The best mind altering drug is the truth!

So many of us have suffered the loss of family in becoming the human beings we were meant to be.

There were so many times when I hesitated and questioned the cost of transition, not only the financial burden, but the true cost I would pay in losing so much of my former life.

Because others simply cannot accept, that their reality isn’t necessarily my reality. And that it is my reality, and not theirs, in which each of us must live in order to survive.

I have struggled to exist in a lie, because I was born with an identity that did not match my body.

I have gone to extreme measures to help others love me, by striving desperately to live their expectations for, and of me! I have even managed to live out nearly my entire life existing on the edge of sanity for the sake of acceptance and what passes for love in our society.

I don’t have that kind of strength anymore and I discovered that I didn’t need “that kind” of love, nor do I want to love anyone else so much that I am willing to sacrifice my sanity and eventually my life simply because they couldn’t accept me for who I am.

So I will quit questioning the cost of transition, because I decided that, what I am really “buying” is my own life.

There’s a quote, I like from a movie character that has often been satirized in the media, .the movie was Shawshank Redemption, the character was Red (played by Morgan Freeman) and the quote is simply this “GET BUSY LIVING OR GET BUSY DYING.”

I spent most of my life trying to sit on the fence in between the two, and what’s funny about that, is that there isn’t any there! There is life and there is death, and nothing in between the two. And the choice is mine to make. There is no pain in death; it’s one of the reasons so many of us look to make it our choice.

There is no love, no anger, no fear, no humiliation, no rejection, no hate, no depression, no loneliness, the list goes on for what there “isn’t” in death, and it’s a very long list because it incorporates everything in life…everything.

We have all made that choice and sometimes we struggle, but we’re here, and that means our realities exist, and are just as valid as those of the people who would deny me for the sake of their own comfort.

I need not ever face this kind of battle again, alone and isolated, nor do I need doubt that finding my true self and living as I choose to present myself, and feel it is ever wrong, it isn’t.

For those who find they cannot live with me, as I am, then let them live without Me, and in time they will discover the loss and feel the emptiness left, where My love used to be

It’s a void that cannot be filled by righteous indignation, self-serving feelings of betrayal, or immature embarrassment at the life-celebrating actions of another. It’s a void that will last a lifetime and be felt by the generations who follows and inherits the actions of their parents.

And, it is to them, that I must show the most patience and love, because it is through no fault of their own, that they were born in an age of intolerance and self-serving ego-centrism.

I will look to the future when my grandchildren have grown up, hearing about this mystery person, maybe half remembered, which became someone else, and was shunned for doing so.

I promise when they become young adults (teenagers off to college etc.) that they will want to contact me because, if nothing else, the curiosity will drive them crazy. It’s then that they will come to know me, as I would like them to know me, and not as those around them, may have portrayed me.

I feel I am a wonderful, courageous, and loving person! So I smile, knowing that I am here and that I care. I will make this my motto: Noli nothis permittere te terere! (Don’t let the bastards get
you down).

I am Jamie Lee!

She is me, and I am her!


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