Transgender, Parenting and Hope

I am a loving father of a son who is autistic. I have always been supportive of both my wife and son and I am very loyal and have always been there and intend to always be there for them both for my entire life. I also have been struggling with gender all my life. I have tried to live with it and deal with it the best way I could. I have supressed my feelings through the years with occasional efforts to address my feelings in a way that confronts my dilemma. I have always wanted to transition from male to female as early as age 18 and had felt I was a girl since the age of 4 – 5 years old. Later in my life I had tried to transition from male to female when I was in my early 30’s and was seeing a therapist but was talked out of it by her which was very difficult for me but I was overwhelmed with the process and not sure how to go about it so I retreated. I was still seeing the therapist over the years and felt it was important so I could express my feelings. I was still living with my transgender feelings but tried as best I could to supress them and hopefully mask them and live as I was supposed to. It was not easy for me but I didn’t know any other way. I was dressing as often as I could in womens clothing but it was in secret and all in complete isolation.

I was introduced to this “very cute Filippino girl” who I would eventually marry after meeting her which was arranged by my therapist and I was immediately attracted to her. I was very shy my entire life and I feel a lot of it was attributed to my transgender feelings. I very rarely dated girls but felt attracted to them and I always admired the way they were strong and how beautiful they looked. I also loved the clothes they wore and felt more connected to them in a way that most guys do not. I felt more like one of them and I was very attracted to the kinds of clothes they wore. I was very content when I could dress and it felt right for me too. I was living in pain though as I was not able to tell anyone how I truly felt inside and it was taking its toll on my mental state. I tried to find peace and dressing was my way of dealing with my situation.

Life is a wonderful gift and we all should be happy and appreciative for what we have and I can truly say I have a lot to be grateful for but I always felt I was born with a girl’s mind and a boy’s body which really caused a great deal of confusion and sadness for me. I was very upset and I cried a lot over it. I felt all alone and very isolated and I always wondered why I had to live with such pain. It was a pain I knew very well but no one else did because I hid it as best I could and pretended through a low key and sensible way of interacting with others. I tried to develop a sense of humor as well though I was very serious in how I approached life. I also lived 2 very distinctive lives. In private I was a girl dressing as often as I could in total secrecy and in public I was one of the guys playing the role I was entrapped in. I truly felt free as a girl and smothered as a guy. I felt so upset sometimes I just wanted to die but I forged on dealing with my transgender issues hoping one day I would realize my hope of becoming a woman to fulfill my needs and to cure my gender dysphoria.

As I am married, a parent and a working professional I realize my life has meaning and value. I truly love my wife and son and am grateful for the employer I have and the people I work with who are very dedicated and hard working professionals. I am very lucky and yet I feel such emptiness not being able to express the real me and dress the way I should, as a woman. I have struggled with these feelings all my life and it is so hard to find a sense of peace when this is an every day occurrence for me. I struggle with my gender today as I did when I was a 4 year old. Those feelings never truly go away and I have tried many times to deny them to no avail. Therapy really just makes me realize more how much I am struggling with my gender and my therapist agrees I am a male to female transsexual and I must move forward in transitioning for my own happiness. As I am in my early 50’s my time clock is ticking away and this is my last chance to transition and find my true sense of happiness and match my physical presence with my mental grasp of being a female. I am truly transgendered and my only chance at being happy aside from seeing my son graduate college, find a career and marry is my transtioning to become a woman.

I wish I was not transgendered but what good will that do for me. I have lived in denial for so long and now that I have come to accept who I am and have found people who can help me I have a sense of some peace now as I start on my transition. I also realize how much my family mean to me and I will still be there for them and hopefully we can work through all the confusion that will occur. I am new to all of this but I feel it is far better being the woman I have always felt I was rather than a victim of a broken heart. I pray that everything will work out and we all will find peace as I go through my own personal journey of self discovery.

I also will stand strong and proud and I will be there for my wife and son and I will still have the very same work ethic I always have. I will not change and I will be happier as I finally live as I truly felt inside all my life. I just hope all the people in my life will understand me and accept me because I will still be that sensitive, caring and honorable person and I will also finally be the real me.

Edward D. Iannielli III