From: Eva-n Scarborough
Subject: Update from Eva (hidden life) after ~2-3 years
Dear Aunt Jenny,
It is now August 24,2006 and I am 4 months into physically transitioning MTF - The effects of feminizing hormones is to the point I can't hide them completely under normal male clothing, so I can truly say the closet is nailed shut and I am not just investing time and a bit of money on fashion and Nair to keep the mohair-like head-to-toe covering at bay. I still invest in those, but I have now invested my whole life and being into becoming permanently female as much as technology and the current laws allow. After these few years of self acceptance I have discovered much to the chagrin of Fundamentalist Baptists and others of similar dogma that I can take hormones, dress as a woman and live life as such and God is still in my life (I did not self-combust) and He is not angry!
I have not been blasted into smoking bits of well-done toast, nor have traumatic disasters (of which there have been several since my first post) been able to shake me loose from my faith - it is stronger than ever!! In fact I feel it necessary to preach "Love thy neighbor as yourself" - even if the new folks next door are Transgender or they have "those awful body piercings" or they "wear all those chains and leather", right back in the faces of those who "Wield the Sword and carry the Good News" but don't have a clue who they are, who they are talking to or what is tactful, appropriate or delivered with the Love of God. How does one love one's self? How do you treat yourself if you do love yourself? I think most folks would treat themselves well, and when possible do the right things to be healthy and happy. (?) Therefore I have to take this path because I love myself and that Love is growing daily too and only now can I start to appreciate and love my neighbors in the same way. I can say without hypocrisy, "Hi neighbor, what are your hopes and dreams - may I help you find them? Or "you're crying, may I help you" or "Hello ma"am, may I carry those trash cans to the curb for you" or even "Hey! can I come over and sing with you?" even though I am TG_female now. Oh, my gosh! What if they are Christians with black suits and ties (like I was), what will I do then? Or Muslim fanatics or Hasidic Jews or Gothic or meth-heads or rock and roll musicians, drama freaks and hippies? Just what I have been doing for me now that I actually love myself and am out in the open - caring and trying to show it!
I am now able to worship in Spirit and Truth - He tolerated Evan, the hiding Gollum-like creature, but I love myself now and accept myself like my God does and He already knew that I would have to go through all these changes just to say this to you! That, my friends was His GIFT to me (all the years of soul-abuse I afflicted on myself thinking I had a curse, a demon, an evil thing ? phooey!) it took me 35 years from discovery at age 12 to accept it and now as far as my transitioning progress goes I am the approximate equivalent of a 15 year old girl (surprisingly it seems in many ways as I discover the joys of hormones, mood swings and bodily changes). Why did I wait so long? Maybe you need to hear this right now it is a good enough reason for me!
After the last ~3 years, virtually alone and struggling with what to do to survive, though remaining decisively self-accepting (and many days it was a stubborn act of will to hold on to me), I had to reach out to find what I urgently needed ? understanding companionship; I could not get through these changes alone. "They" would never have known I was here if I just kept silent & they did not come looking for me. I found a support group here in the "Inland Empire" area of Southern California. Transgendered_soul - a Yahoo group and meeting in person in the Riverside/San Bernardino area - I am finally not alone in my journey and I have a family again I am a sister to many and I have sisters and brothers that are so spiritual and blessed by "God" - that is how I define the universal powers that be - and you may read into that space your definition for you or none at all if that is your choice. You have made it here to "antijen.org" so maybe you are searching like I was ? well you are almost home. There are wonderful resources right here on Aunt Jenny"s site and others to be found if you search carefully.
We (including you that read this now) are brothers and/or sisters and I can tell you it is so good to be out in the sunlight with my skin fitting right for the first time in my life! This is where we all should be, tolerant of, if not outright embracing each other in full view (with a few exceptions for safety perhaps because there are still Neanderthals in the crowd - but we outnumber them now). I think everything but one reference in my first post is still valid. But I have more experience on the outside of that closet door now - it is nailed shut forever and never will I crawl back into that horrid place!
The only important change I would make to that first post was my reference to being a cross-dresser. No I was not and am not, though that is what I looked like when I was in secret coping poorly with the girl-child inside my man-skin. But I now know my "driving wheel" is not the putting on of outfits or perfumes or a wash-off persona, but rather it is the stripping away of the persona and cloying soggy fabric of unfounded dogma (learned by force or necessity in the 60"s and 70"s) and all the other learned trappings of traditional male-ness; I am uncovering the real Eva underneath! Transition is my gateway to a full and happy life right out here where everyone else is able to walk freely. King Solomon said, (pardon the "Eva" paraphrase if you are a nit-picker) "The whole duty of [a person] is to Love the Lord [his or her] God with all your being and to live and enjoy life to the brim!" That is what Eva is all about. I will not hide! I will not go back in the closet, I will live right out in the open and I will not be quiet for long periods of time, since listening is good too a few breaks are in order - in between my shouts of Joy and Praise and dancing and singing and loving life! Like King David naked before the Arc of the Covenant - I never could love life until now! I think I know how he felt that day.
I have discovered 2 new (and offsetting) emotions in 4 months of transitioning; one is to collapse overwhelmed in "weepy-girl-stuff" and the other is the amazingly good "squishy-melting-mmmm" like creamy chocolate (with caramel and whipped cream, mmmm-squish yum) rolling around on the tongue! As Evan I never had those feeling/emotions, but I would watch women, wide-eyed with wonder when they burst out in the one direction or the other or both simultaneously! (Guys ? don't try this at home)! Now that I am seeing and feeling the effects of being true to myself I get those too and I love it (I like the "squishy?melting-mmmm" the best but the other feels so good when the release is over and I will not willingly go back. And nobody told me how good I would feel in my own skin (and breasts of my own are just too "?mmmm" to describe even though very small yet ? if guys only knew, there would not be many guys left) and it is so joyful I want to dance and sing and shout about it - even on the bad days it is so much better than I dared to dream! One other little change - I have a new middle name, "Genevieve" (There was nothing to be done with "Kent" - sorry mom and dad ? I tried even with many loving suggestions). Call it Harry Benjamin's Syndrome if you like or use some other term, but first strip away the entire stigma and call me Eva or "Eva-Genevieve" - I am a lady and the outside will soon look right. In another year or so I will legally have the "F" box checked instead of "M" and then I am just "that lady" with a wide, loving, (shit-eating) grin! Yup, that's her!
Don't hide, don't be afraid to be yourself right out in the sunshine if you need a friend to stand with you, I am available regardless of your self-identification (if Aunt Jenny is willing. She can 'hook us up') and I can introduce you to several others if you are out here on the lower left side of the 'States'.
When you are true to yourself you're beautiful and you shine like the Sun! And that gives life and hope to others - Dare to dream and live boldly!
Yours with Love, Eva-Genevieve Scarborough.
July 23. 2007
Eva's 2nd Follow up letter
Dear Aunt Jenny,
Here I am, back once again with yet another update. Tomorrow I celebrate my first "full-time" year as Eva-Genevieve. I am now 15 months on hormones and still going forward as fast as is humanly possible (though financial limitations are still looming very large). It was on July 24th 2006 that I went to my first support group meeting and at that meeting I found such acceptance and welcome into my real family that I decided then and there that Evan was not coming home and he has not ? though there has been a bittersweet grieving period over his departure. He got me here in one-piece in spite of many harsh obstacles and so I celebrate his passing here too. He and I do have many good, shared memories to hold on to as well.
Perhaps in some other forum I will discuss my being a "two-spirit" but suffice it to say that Evan is still with me in spirit and only for the sake of simplicity I say he is "gone" though the grieving process was necessary so that a coherent and whole me could finally be born.
Again I look back at my earlier posts here and I see that indeed I was already onto the proper path. I could recount manywonderful and a few horrible encounters with people and bureaucracies (but one does not need to be trans to experience those). I am happier and much more mentally balanced than I have been in living memory even with a nuisancen ridden affliction of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. Sure I get depressed and/or "fragmented" and have sad or stupid moments but I have not one regret about being a girl and it seems that the down times are so brief ? punctuated with tears and sobs too, but I spring right back ? something unheard of in my former dark ?pseudo-man? days when I spent days and weeks hiding in the dark like Gollum holding on to his ?Precious? or hoping that a stray train or bus would run me down and end the misery.
I daily and sometimes hourly thank my God for this wonderful and joyous gift of being free to be me out in the Sunlight. I would not know this joy if I had not survived the darkness.
I was correct early on when I predicted that it would be the useless people that were filtered out of my life and my true friends would remain with strengthened bonds. My joy and openness about myself has won many new friends in many odd places ? Church, Grocery Stores, and Restaurants and even in several ?straight? bars (I seldom go to ?specialty? places now) ? even some road paving crew members that see me out regularly on my long walks call me over to chat with them. There is really life out here and most times it is great! I even was invited to be a guest speaker at a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) meeting at my old High School (Cleveland High in Reseda, CA) ? 52 young people crammed into a small room to hear and ask really pointed questions ? such a vibrant and alive group of future world movers and shakers! (This invite was the result of being a volunteer at last years Models of Pride conference about the same time as my previous update ? ref: "www.modelsofpride.org"). I felt so many of the old never stitched-up dangling ends of my youth actually reach closure that day. What an experience ? treading the 35-year-older hallways that the strange boy-child version of me walked, but as a lady now ? a very interesting day!
I now walk for my health ? almost 15 miles daily when weather and other things allow me the space to be so free (and I don?t own a working car so there are necessities like one mile to the nearest bus-stop). Lately triple digit heat keeps me in and so I gain weight cooking, and eating while huddled by the A/C ? I am an Idaho born girl and need cool to live. I discovered that I love to cook and am really good at it and the weight added on hormones goes mostly to places that "work" for me (I actually hope it makes my butt look big)! I am now working cleaning peoples houses and also am an IHSS (In Home Support Service) worker through the Dept of Public Social Services. I am building a whole new life and it is amazing to see it for myself ? it is like watching and seeing God?s fingers poking gently at the forming pot on the ?wheel?.
The amazing thing is that after this year I am very comfortable with just being me and I am now finding that I often ?pass? without even trying to. I am told by people that know about me of other people that remained clueless through an encounter with me, even though I still think I often resemble the ?bearded-lady?. Hair is still my biggest problem and I keep the cosmetic suppliers in business buying sweat-proof cover-up foundation (and trowels).
One friend of mine that was doing ?Zumba? Dance Workout demo at a street fair in Redlands last week told me that a friend of hers that had met me there that day did not know I was not genetic (though that friend of hers does know some other trans folk that work out with them ? what a self-esteem boost that news was). It does not bother me to be stared at unless it is extremely obvious and I have tried to be myself with style and boldly go where I want to, and it has apparently worked. I went to a large Square Dance meet just to watch a couple nights ago and was amazed at the wonderfully warm reception by almost everyone there (only 3 or 4 people out of about 100 shot me side long glances and avoided me). I may just have to take up fancy shoe, ruffled blouses, frilly petty-skirts and bloomers to join the choreographed pandemonium! Belly Dancing did not work for me because of an old back injury, but I really tried it too.
Hormones steadily for 15 months (and giving myself permission to feel for people and for my needs openly) has been interesting as I watch my attitudes and perceptions of the world and it?s occupants change. Progress is sometimes painfully slow and sometimes sudden and disconcerting. I even met a man I really liked and wanted to grab him up (for oh-so-many tender moments) but I have not the equipment to support such a one (yet) and so sadly I have to step back and let go
I am looking for a ?husband?, but it ceased to be a boy/girl thing during this year and is now clearly a matter of heart and spirit only. (What would the world be like if the gender prejudice vanished all around us)? Any presenting gender is OK ? I am not suddenly forgetting what I am made of or how I am getting here, but I just don?t want to be the ?head? of household. No Way ? I tried that and failed miserably before. My 2 wonderful boys wound up getting the brunt of the collateral damage from that 14 year doomed attempt to be a ?real man?.
If you drive a Volkswagen Beetle that has the wiring harness of a Cadillac in it, beware ? there will be some dysfunction naturally happening! So I am still seeking the Cadillac body-transplant as soon as I can.
I also feel the ticking of time daily as I watch the miracle that God is doing here in my body and soul ? I am 52 years old and when hopefully ?finished? with the physical parts of transition in a couple more years I will not have all that long to live healthily and free in the world and all too soon I will be elderly. I don?t want to be alone ? I have this great deep-seated need to be committed to sharing my life with one (or ones) special while I have something really good to share. (Even for the uglier parts of my transition I would love to have someone there with me). If I could go back 20-30 years and start this then Perhaps I would not be in such a hurry or so thirsty for a life-partnering.
To all you young readers of this (and all the rest) that know beyond a doubt who you are (and that emphasis is paramount) ? you better be sure transition is right before you start and have a support system too. It is for your benefit I still echo and amplify everything I said in my last update at 4 months:
?Don't hide, don't be afraid to be yourself right out in the sunshine...? and, ?When you are true to yourself you're beautiful and you shine like the Sun! And that gives life and hope to others - Dare to dream and live boldly!?
I am so happy now it makes up for all the unwitting torture and confusion of my first 50 years. Something to do with living right and living well - finally!
Subject: yet another update to post if you will
Dear Aunt Jenny,
I figure it is about time for another update to my little corner of “the hidden life” section of the Anti-Jen pages, so I’ll jump right in…
Dear Aunt Jenny and all who read this,
Today is April 2, 2008 – just a few days away from my 2nd anniversary of starting HRT. I still have absolutely no regrets about transition, though there have been many frustrating moments with insurance companies, Medi-cal and Medicare providers, mental health “gatekeepers”, legal hassles from the past and so on (but these will be overcome in due time I am convinced). I have met surprisingly little opposition from people I know and society in general – even most of my family and relatives seem to be tolerant and some very supportive. Becoming the woman of my dreams is the very best decision I have ever made – it is wholly right and correct for me, both before God and all humanity.
I believe my decision to transition openly was the very best way to proceed and now basically it is finances that stand between my surgery and myself. Sadly, so much in today’s world depends on money – my surgeon of choice charges 18,000 for the basic MtF “bottom” surgery and I yet have many long hours of electrolysis and still have many other options for cosmetic fixes too, but I am well on the way to wholeness in spite of being financially challenged. Hopefully within a year I will have that long sought surgery, but I guess we will see.
On yet even more of a personal level, I believe I have found my soul mate. I am engaged (yes, “Bling!” on the ring finger) to a wonderful trans-man. (I am so in love with this guy it is hard to believe I had it in me after all the madness and mistakes of the first 51 years). My only fear is that my feelings could change after the surgery, but I am hoping that they only become stronger and more loving.
What a change from being so independent and freewheeling as I was for so many years, and now by necessity depending on another person for much of what I need in life. Now I am learning how to be a man’s wife and stepmother to his kids – not an easy task. Shedding yet more preconceptions and learned behavior from my first 51 years has been difficult but very rewarding too – I still almost daily have to evaluate things I simply thought would be a certain way but that are not at all as I imagined or was told they would be. There are age and cultural differences too – he is African-American and I am Caucasian and 17 years his senior too – imagine the reactions of a crowded restaurant when a black man with a tall, older white woman on his arm come in with 4 children, 3 of whom call her loudly “mom” and then feel the rage of the haters as I walk my 8 year old step daughter into the ladies room. (I believe it is still the race difference that most react to and I just can’t fathom the rage that it obviously sparks in so many, but the age, race and gender combined guarantee that every head turns and that is so sad... For them).
For myself I can still say that the worst and the most damaging behavior was all the hiding I did. Always being afraid to be seen, afraid that my “little secret” would get out and destroy my life– it was that fear that skewed my thinking and was crippling me more than any other obstacle. I still believe that the single most important thing anyone can do is to simply be yourself, right out in the open before God and mankind.
Warm regards to all who read,