Kyra's letter to her family
To my friends and family,
What I am about to say is quite possibly the hardest thing I will ever have to say to you all. Before you read any further, please sit down and open you mind.
I have reached a point in my life where I am at the biggest crossroads a person like me has to face. I have done well in my life thus far. I have succeeded in the places I have been, done things that I will always remember with a certain fondness, and spent times with great people?every one of you. Each person I have known has had an impact on me in his or her own right, and I thank you for that. However, until now, I have been living a lie. It has been a lie to myself, to you and to the world. The time has come for me to face this lie and correct what should have been corrected a long time ago. What I must do now is something that no amount of influence, coercion or meddling could either have caused or prevented.
Some of you already know that I have been seeing a psychiatrist for about the last 7 months. For those who do not, please let me explain why. Since I was a child, I have always felt different. I did not make friends easily and often felt removed from my peers. I was expected to do boy things like play sports and act tough. I was called a sissy and a faggot in school simply because these were not things that I liked, but all boys were supposed to. Over time, I learned to appreciate them, but not necessarily for my own pleasure, but for that of others. People gave me encouragement when I did well in these boy things, and degraded me when I chose to do something that was perceived as girlish. As is only natural for a child, I chose to try and get as much of a good feeling from other people and chose to ignore what I felt on the inside. I became so adept at this that I even managed to bury my inner self and even attempted to purge it, thinking I was some sort of freak because I did not fit into societies cookie cutter molds. I nearly believed this myself, except that I felt a powerful urge to be something else, someone else.
This feeling never left, and as I got older, I began to explore it. In my teens, I found enjoyment from doing things that girls typically enjoyed. This was not a sexual enjoyment, but an inner feeling that I was complete; I was who I was meant to be. I would read women?s magazines, be around girls as much as possible and, when the opportunity presented itself, dress like a girl. However, I had no idea why I felt this way. I hid it when I was around friends because I was expected by society to act like a boy. I played the part well. But now, I can no longer act this part. While at college I was able to explore all of this. I learned about what is going on inside of me. Now, it is time I come out to my friends and my family and tell you all who I really am.
As if by now it is not obvious, I am a Transgendered Person. Simply put, I was born male, but feel like, identify with and want to be female. This is a medical condition known as Gender Dysphoria, and subsequently why I am seeing the psychiatrist. I have spent my life thus far living as someone I feel I was not meant to be, and now I am choosing, after much deliberation, to fix what nature messed up.
How will this affect what I have done so far, and how will it affect my future you ask? The first is that I will be changing my name. While I will not be doing this on the legal spectrum for some time, I have chose a new name to present myself to you as my female self. The name I have chosen is Kyra (pronounced Kira) Lynn Olson. The reasons are simple. Garrick is not a girl?s name. I have always liked the name Kyra. I find it to be a beautiful name, and one I am proud to call myself. Lynn is in memory of my late mother. I only wish that she could be here to see the daughter she always wanted.
A great many other things in my life will be turned upside down by this. First and foremost, I am putting teaching aside. It nearly kills me to do this, as this is the other half of what I am meant to do with my life. However, teaching and being Transgendered do not mix well. I have watched several cases of teachers who have tried to make the transition while teaching. Despite overwhelming support from students, faculty and parents, they have been forced out of teaching by a handful of people who insist that having a teacher who is Transgendered will somehow infect or corrupt their children. I will not knock their belief, but I find it sad that a miniscule minority can undermine the desires of the majority. That in mind, I will try to reenter my chosen profession after I have completed this long and arduous transition. My present employer has been good to me thus far, and I have entrenched myself into my job quite well. When the time comes, I will inform them of this as well. However, for now, I will keep the cat in the bag while at work. I feel that to come out too soon will decrease my chances of keeping my job. This is probably the biggest gamble I will take for now, and I feel I have read the situation well enough to judge that this is the best way to handle the situation.
Physically, I will develop into a woman with the help of hormones. I have not set a date to begin them yet, as there are still several hoops that I will need to jump through to begin my transition. I will have all the emotional and physical attributes, though in some cases to a lesser degree, as most women have as a result. This is by far the largest under taking, as it will culminate with Sex Reassignment Surgery. This is still at least 5 years away, and is still only a portion of a much larger journey that I will make. I am sure you have specific questions, and I will be happy to answer them.
This is no one?s fault. No one is to blame. This is something that begins and ends with me, and me only. Some of you may say that God put me in the body for a reason. You are welcome to believe that. I spent many a night in prayer, and even considered joining the seminary for a time. I dug deep into the very being of my beliefs to find that this is the challenge that God has put forth to me. I believe that He has intended for me to face this challenge and become a greater person from it. You may believe that I am wrong for this. You may believe I will go to hell as a result. I respect your beliefs, and all I ask is that you respect mine. I feel that this is something that I was meant to and have to do. I have chosen to accept this and will face it head on.
Some of you may by disgusted by this prospect. That changing one?s sex is outrageous and is an abomination. Some of you may not. All I am asking for is your emotional support. Nothing more. If what I am going to do with my life does not agree with you and you cannot accept this and will have nothing more to do with me, I wish you well. I respect your opinions, and ask that you respect mine. This will not be an easy process for anyone. Accepting this may be difficult. Please remember that even though I am changing on the outside, the very core of who I am, the caring compassionate, funny and loveable person you know still exists, just in a different manner. But for those who will be there, I thank you in advance for your help. I want you to know that I will answer any questions you have about this. I will provide resources and do my best to help you understand this. Please do not be afraid to ask questions of me, it will help us both if you ask whatever is on your mind.
This is only the beginning of this journey and the more we know, the easier it will be.