Being a transgender person is not easy. Its hard for most to understand how a person can believe they were born as one gender and identify with another. It is a difficult path for those that believe that were born in the wrong body and they are not what their outside appearance shows. The path to self-discovery and acceptance of not only of who they are, but acceptance from those around them, is a long journey that often leads to depression and suicide.
Transgender people have had to deal with abuse, ridicule and the belief they must be clinically insane. This is especially true in years past when there were few role models that a trans person could identify with, making them feel as if they were the only person on earth who felt they were born in the wrong body. As Allison Annalora, a transgender woman who wrote the book, Late Blooming: My Gender Journey, has shared, she felt like she was all alone in believing she was a little girl in a boy's body. She kept telling her parents and friends that she was a "girl" not a "boy" which led to abuse and bullying for her from a very young age.
It seemed that no one would believe this cute little boy was really a girl. She was trapped in a boys body, but knew she was a girl. The way Allison viewed the world was as a girl. She loved to play with dolls and hoped that someone would give her one at Christmas. But she kept getting trucks, which she never liked to play with. And she loved to dress as a girl whenever she could in the privacy of her grandmother's apartment. Her grandmother allowed her to be the girl she knew she was as long as it was where no-one who could see her.
Allison went through years of pain and being beat up by the neighborhood children. She grew up in a small town in Washington State, where even being gay was a sin and something that the folks of the town would call a sissy. There was no way that Allison was going to be able to live her life as the girl, so in her late teens, she decided to live her life as a very feminine gay man. She moved away from the small town where she was raised to Seattle and began her journey as a hair dresser and living life being gay. She eventually met a wonderful gay man who she remained in a relationship with for many years.
Yet, Allison was still miserable as she knew she needed to be the "girl"she always knew she was. She was in a loving gay relationship with a man who adored her, but she didn't know how to move on toward becoming her authentic self. One day, she went into the garage and turned on the car engine, closed the door to the garage and waited to die. She couldn't go on living her life as a man. Gay or not, she was a woman. Allison almost died that day not becoming her true self. A story we hear way too often in the transgender community where suicide rates run high.
Allison's boyfriend saved her and they had a long talk. He loved Allison and encouraged her to start the transition into being the woman she always wanted to be. By now, she was in her 50's and it was now or never to make her transition. Today, Allison is living her life as as a transgender woman. She has a long time boyfriend who is a straight man. And has a close relationship with her former gay boyfriend who loved her enough to let her be who she is, a woman.