Soooo… I have debated for almost 24 hours what to write about today. See, September 30th is always a weird day for me. There are a lot of mixed emotions and I sometimes struggle to address them all. Since last year, its been an even more intense struggle in my head. See, September 30th is a day filled with memories of joy and pain.
So…where to start? I have no idea. I guess we will start with the pain.
Right about this time, many years ago, I was an 8 year old child who worshiped her daddy. I adored Daddy. I never doubted his love for me. I never questioned my place in his world. He never spoiled me with physical gifts but he spoiled me with love. Daddy was my rock…my hero. He was an amazing man. Sadly though, on this day all those years ago, an 8 year old girl was told that her daddy had died.
I was crushed by his death. In the aftermath, I was left with feelings of abandonment and loss that took me years to address. As I struggled with my gender identity, his loss impacted me more. I so wanted to begin transitioning years ago but the spirit of an 8 year old girl kept telling me I needed to do whatever I had to do to make Daddy proud. That meant years of suppressing my need to transition and denying myself being who I really was. Fortunately, I finally overcame those hurdles and when, as an adult, I finally truly addressed my feelings of loss at his death, I realized that Daddy would want me happy and healthy…whatever that meant. That was a huge step in finally accepting myself and beginning my transition.
Ok…now that I finally spilled that out there…let’s talk about something positive.
In the spring of 2006, my sister announced she was engaged. Needless to say I was overjoyed for her. My sister is such an amazing woman and influence in my life. She had finally found a man who treated her with the respect she deserved and they were truly in love. As she shared with me her wedding announcement, she asked me two things. First, she asked if it would bother me if she got married on September 30th, the anniversary of Daddy’s death. I told that of course I didn’t mind! I was so happy for her and I felt that no matter the memories of Daddy’s death, we needed something positive within our family on this date.
So on September 30, 2006, my sister married her husband. Twelve years later, they are still together, have the most adorable son who is one of the lights of my life, and she is one of my best friends. That day was made even more special by the fact that my sister asked me to give her away that day. With Daddy and our older brother gone, she wanted her baby brother to give her away. She had no idea I was her sister and not her brother at the time, but I was never going to turn down that honor and so on that day, I walked my sister down the isle and gave her away to an amazing man. This day was truly one of the happiest days of my life.
So obviously, this day is filled with both joy and pain and every year, I take them both in. I feel them. I acknowledge them. I grow from both experiences. However, over the past two years, since beginning my transition, I have found new emotions that creep in on this day.
With Daddy, I do wonder how he would have reacted to me announcing my transition. I believe he would have accepted me, logically, but there is still that emotional question of, “Would he?” I also wonder that if Daddy hadn’t died when I was so young, would I have found the strength to step out of the proverbial closet and begin my transition sooner? I have no way of knowing. Deep down though, I do believer Daddy would have accepted me. I think the saddest part for me though is that Daddy never got to know me as his daughter and all the father/daughter things most get to experience in their lives, I will never have with him.
As for my sister, when I think about her anniversary, my mind always comes back to a conversation she and I had in July, 2017. I was visiting her and we were talking about my transition. As we were having a rather humorous conversation about what my clothing style would be when I began presenting, we both looked at a picture she has up in her house of me walking her down the aisle. I remember watching as her face shifted some. She just stared at the picture, got quiet for a moment and then said, “I know that a lot of people, after they begin presenting, want anything removed that reminds them of their ‘dead self’…pictures, anything with their former name, etc. Are you going to ask me to take that picture down?”
In that moment, I reached out to hold my sister’s hand, looked at the picture with her and said softly, “Please don’t ever take it down. Giving you away was one of the proudest moments of my life. Nothing will ever change that and I would never want you to remove a reminder of that.” It was an important moment for she and I as we both got to acknowledge that, despite her complete acceptance of me as her sister, she also needed to grieve the loss of her only living brother.
So yeah…September 30th is a day of mixed emotions for me. I confront the emotions and process them. I acknowledge them for what they are. More so though, I am grateful that as I have found peace within myself and balanced my hormones out the way they should have been since birth, so that I am more aware of the emotions, can identify them easier and am able to work through them in healthier ways.
September 30th will always be hard. The great thing though is that with the support of people like you, I don’t feel alone like I used to. Thank you for that. ♥
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an lar [poses] – The Lola Series – Three (m)