Yes, it’s happened. It had to happen.
And so… This is it.
Content Warning: Gender Identity, Coming Out — You’ve been forewarned. The bell that rings cannot be un-rung once I click “Post.”
This isn’t an easy thing to talk about, but it’s the post I’ve been meaning to make on here for ages. It’ll lend some insight as to why I’ve been somewhat dormant on here for the better part of a decade.
I expect to lose some friends over this. (Even though I’ve filtered a couple out from this post – We’ll just let things sort themselves out in that regard.) What will be, will be. I don’t have anyone else’s expectations to live up to.
So, without any deep explanation or beating around the bush… I am transgender.
I identify as female, or at least genderfluid. It’s a part of my life I’ve been dealing with for nearly four decades.
For those who were wondering – Julie Anne Morgan is me, and I am her.
I’m still the same person, I still like most of the same things I always have.
I’ve just been devoting more of my energy there, because switching back and forth between accounts got really old really quick.
(Plus I have multi-factor authentication set up, so that makes it super extra fun. “Was this login you?” YES, that was me, stop hassling me!)
My dad knows about this. (I came out to him in the Trauma ER in the hospital in October 2017 after a near-fatal car accident, because I figured I was going to die that week, and I wanted to leave the world with a clear conscience.)
My two uncles know about this, one’s not too keen on it, and it’s pretty much “the elephant in the room” with my dad and one other uncle.
At least 30 people connected the dots and figured it out, finding my other FB account, and adding to their friends list. (They’re absolutely cool with it)
So, about Julie Anne… I figured it was better than “Michelle,” but I haven’t ruled out “Michelle” as an additional middle name. I started out being curious, and dressing up (raiding mom’s clothes) around age 13/14. She caught me several times, and thought I was seriously messed up. I didn’t know what I know now, or even 25 years ago. I grew up with a level of shame that kept me deep in the closet until around age 40.
Mom asked me, nearly 40 years ago, if I would be happier being a boy or a girl? At the time, I was dealing with her and dad pulling me out of public high school because of excessive bullying, and paying to have me attend a smaller private high school.
I lied to mom, and told her I wanted to be a boy… And I set in motion a chain of events that led up this moment, and an adventure that continues onward.
But, I’d give almost everything to take back that moment in time. I know mom and dad would have done anything to give me a chance at growing up as a woman. At the same time, my life would have been on a different path. I may have not met some of the people I’ve met over the past 40 years, or even experienced some of the things I have.
And why “Julie Anne”? — That was the name that was a choice if I had been born female. It suits me well. “Morgan” was because I was in fear of being found out. That fear is fading, but it’s more of a professional name for me.
The internet was a gateway that revealed that there was a considerable transgender community out there, on photo sites like Flickr, on Facebook, community sites like URNotAlone and PinkEssence, and eventually YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and other social media presences out there. I realized that I wasn’t a “freak,” and I wasn’t the only one who felt there was something different about me. It was empowering to see others expressing their true, authentic selves.
It became a question of, “If others are out there, what’s keeping me from doing the same?”
It’s been over a decade in the making, but I’m out there as Julie Anne. I’ve been out in public as my authentic self since late 2000, I’ve been a part of a crossdressing/transgender support organization/social club up in Sacramento, CA, attending gatherings up until my move to Arizona in 2012. I still keep in touch with several people from the group in Sacramento.
Over the past decade, I’ve figured out what works for me (and what doesn’t work) in terms of clothing, footwear, makeup, and hairstyles. I’ve been growing my hair out since early 2015.
I have been out and visible, and continue to do so at any opportunity. It’s like I lived a life in black-and-white, and color came in suddenly.
Did mom know? Not entirely, but she suspected, while she was still alive.
(I love you dearly, and still miss you, mother, but long hair doesn’t make you seem unkempt and sloppy. I wish I could have come out to you when you were still alive, but, on some level, you knew. Not coming out to you at age 14, or even later, is still one of the greatest regrets of my life.)
I have a girlfriend, whom I came out to at the beginning of our relationship, and she’s absolutely accepting and loving, no matter how I present or identify. ^_^
I figured I’d always out myself before anyone else outs me. In this case, it’s a temporary account restriction on the Julie Anne FB. It’s laughable, but it’s unfounded. There’s 500+ friends strong on the other end, and the social and support network has been very, very helpful. I have a superpower that nothing and no one can ever take away from me.
The generations after me are the ones who make me happy. I’m glad they’re growing up in a different time, where they don’t necessarily have to hide. They deserve love, friendship, and protection. (From hate, bigotry, and legislation to restrict or erase from existence. Society still needs to be fixed.)
This isn’t about me being brave. This is me getting stuff off my chest, and unifying and explaining stuff that has been semi-hidden for years. I know some people will cut me loose, perhaps some people will want to know more, and accept me. I just want to be happy, and not hide anymore.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. I leave it up to you where things go from here.
I am me, my life has value, I have self-worth, I am loved, and I am surviving, no matter what curves life throws at me.
And now, let’s see what the tide brings in… Follow your bliss.