As I write my blog entries I find it important to focus on my son and all that he goes through in his daily life encountering a world he only sees and one that most of us don’t understand because we are not autistic. I am trying to give my son the love and support he needs and I find that no matter how hard I try to understand what goes through his mind I will never know what it is like to be autistic but I know I love my son and I will do everything in my power to help him in every way I can.
I do have experience in my own life where I have struggled and found myself not being truthful or open with my family with my own personal situation. I sometimes wonder why I had to bear such pain and feel so alone. I can certainly relate to my son in many ways because I too felt all alone as a child and I felt I could not talk about my inner feelings. I felt painfully shy and isolated because when you have feelings you are different from others you tend to keep them bottled up and repress them and you find yourself all alone with no one to share them with. When I think back to my childhood I remember a 5 year old kid who was very shy and felt all alone. I remember when I tried one of my sister’s dresses on that was hanging in the laundry room I was very excited and happy. I remember this as if it was only yesterday and it was a life changing moment for me. It is very rare to equate something that happened at such a young age as a life defining moment but I say this because it is very true. I remember as a young child that the times I was most happiest was when I was wearing girl’s clothes. I did not understand at the time why I was more comfortable dressed this way but I knew it made me happy and I did not fight it. I remember crying myself to sleep many nights and the only times I did not cry was when I was dressed. I was a different child when I was dressed in girl’s clothes and I was so happy.
For years it was like this for me and I remember not wanting to take the girl’s clothes off. I always was content at night when I was dressed and I felt natural and that it was so right for me to be wearing girl’s clothes. I felt the clothes were a way to be in touch with the girl I felt I was. I wondered why I had such feelings and it was quite a struggle for me and it was a very confusing time as I approached my teenage years. I remember being very depressed as my voice started to change and I started growing as a typical male while my friends who were girls were blossoming into young women. I cried so much during these years because I was so desperate to become a girl and I knew that it wasn’t going to happen. It was the time I really wanted to die because I felt cheated in my life. I felt that I was cursed with a female mind and a body that wasn’t true to who I was. After struggling with these feelings I had to find a way to learn what was going on with me. I remember a breakthrough I had when I was at the local library and I read an article about Christine Jorgensen who was a male to female transsexual. I knew when I read her story I could relate and that I too was so inclined to be considered transsexual. I really did not fully understand the gravity of the situation but I knew I had to explore what I needed to do. I was always trying to read all I could about transgender and transsexualism and I remember reading about Dr. Harry Benjamin who was an expert in this area and he prescibed a protocol that transgendered individuals must adhere to before they are considered for hormone treatments and sex reassignment surgery.
Life for me was like a mine field. I was doomed no matter what! I was either forced to live my life out as a male until I die which to me is not what I want or I begin the process to transition so I can find true happiness and match my physical presence with my inner feelings. It would be a long road I would have to travel and it would be a rocky one at best. To me transgendered individuals are people who are misunderstood and I believe they should be treated with love and compassion. It is a very real medical condition and it affects a good number of people and most transgendered people are married with families who are hard working people, professional and special in so many ways. I believe it is time that transgendered individuals start to find acceptance and respect. There should never be shame or guilt associated with being transgender. As I write this I feel that I am finally being honest with who I am and I am finally coming to terms with it. It has taken me so long to find an inner peace and self acceptance. I have always known of my situation but I tried to deny it and repress it because I felt tremendous guilt and shame. I was also trying to escape this most difficult situation and had considered finding a way out so I did not have to live in pain. I wanted desperately to tell someone and find acceptance. I could not do this alone anymore. It was killing me and taking all the good I could give away. I was finding myself hoping to die to escape the pain and lonely isolation.
I have always valued my family and I am slowly gaining acceptance from my wife and son. I have discussed my feelings and the pain I felt all throughout my life with them both. I am so very proud of my son because he understands and he is very sympathetic. It is very difficult for me to express this side of me with my son but I feel it is very important to do so and it is something my therapist said I need to do. My wife has known for a while but she was hoping it was a phase. It was never a phase for me. I knew from the beginning that I had no control over this. I was born this way. I would never choose to be transgendered. I am transgendered because God made me this way. It is not easy to identify as transgendered and I only hope that I can find acceptance in all aspects of my life so I can make the right decisions that will help me to be a better person and find what I always needed which is a good support system to help me transition to become a female which is what I have always been in my mind. I did not choose to be transgendered but I have to do what I have to otherwise I will lose the will to go on and most certainly will die of a broken heart if I was forced to live the rest of my life as a male which is not what I am in my mind, my heart and my soul. Once I am whole and can relate as a female completely I feel I will be a much happier person and I will be more able to help my son and that is what I have always wanted from the beginning since I started writing this blog. I find the title of the blog a bit ironic but even if I am able to transition to become a female which to me is a necessity I will still be the father to my son only I will appear more feminine and will be much more content. I believe in my mind, my heart and my soul I will be far more able to help my son as a woman and I will still be his biggest supporter and I will always love him and my wife with all my heart. I am transgendered but that does not change who I am as a person. I am still a loving, caring and hard working person and I will still be that same person only I will be much more happier and I will then be able to support my son in ways I could not in the past. My blog will still be a resource I use to help my son and I will still continue to write and I will still be as expressive in my writing and the love I hold within my heart for my son and family.
Edward D. Iannielli III