Exactly one year ago tomorrow, I began my medical journey towards becoming my true self. On August 11th, 2015, I stopped into a Walgreen’s and picked up my first doses of Estradiol & Spironolactone.
This milestone is cause for a great deal of self-reflection, both on the past 12 months and my life as a whole. In the spirit of that, I want to try something new. Inspired by USWNT star (and World Cup champion) Megan Rapinoe, I’m going to pen a letter to my 10 year old self.
Dear 10-Year-Old Edgar,
If you’re reading this, this is your future self. Yes, I’m not some long lost aunt you didn’t meet yet. I’m you! Your name won’t always be Edgar. I know, that’s sorta confusing, but I’ll explain.
Also, yes, we somehow figured out time travel in my time. I hate to break it to you, but your soon-to-be-favorite TV show, “Quantum Leap”, got it all wrong. Sorry, kid.
I think about you a lot, little guy, and it breaks my heart to see what you’re going through. I remember how it felt. To so ardently believe you weren’t who you meant to be, you would get Mom & Dad’s Bible and pray to St. Jude, in tears at times, that you could one day wake up as a girl. I remember how you longingly looked through Mom’s old JC Penny catalog, wishing you were one of those models showing off the season’s latest fashion for girls. I fondly recall you closing the door to your bedroom as you watched episodes of “Jerry Springer” and “Maury” to catch a glimpse of hope, in the women who were born in the wrong bodies and fixed it.
I know things are terrible for you now, and I know that you feel lost. Without hope, without a chance to be yourself. You feel like you’ll always have to be the good son, relentlessly being pushed to good grades and a career…because it’s what Mom & Dad want for you.
Well, I have some good news for you. Great news, even. Eventually, your life will changes in big ways. First off, you’ll lose the weight. You won’t be a chubby kid forever. Secondly, your asthma gets better. Way better. You’re going to wind up living in Northern California.
The biggest news of all for you is this: you will achieve real happiness. Know that the anger, fear and sadness you feel inside won’t last forever. A good while from now, your name won’t even be Edgar. It’ll be Alexia. Your birth certificate, your credit cards, everything about you…you’ll be a woman. A happy one. Yes, you wind up pretty too. 🙂
The hard part is this: you’re going to have to go through a lot to get there, and you’re going to work harder than you ever though you did. You’ll have to be braver than you ever imagined. However, you absolutely can do it. You need to remember one thing. It’ll be hard to hear but it’s the absolute truth.
Have faith. In yourself. In your family. In your soon-to-be friends.
All the work that Mom and Dad push you to do? It pays off! You wind up being completely independent. You become fully in control of your own life. You can make your own decision, and you will…plenty good, plenty bad. Mistakes are how you learn…about yourself, about others, about life. Soon enough, you see that life is really make you make of it, and you’ll discover that the biggest thing you want out of life, the one thing you’ll always wanted to fix about yourself, will happen.
It’ll take a while. A good year, and there’s plenty to do after that. You’ll have to be on medication for the rest of your life. Really, though, you were going to do that anyway with your asthma. That’s how it gets better.
You’ll also be surprised by the people around you. Dad, Erny and your entire family will be supportive. They’ll open your eyes as to how much they love you, no matter how hard that is to hear right now. People will see how brave you are, and will be inspired by it. Following your dream will help make the world a better place. You just have to be patient, as you always have been.
If I had a way to see you in person, I’d hug you as hard as I could. I’d sit you down and show you how life gets better…so much better. All you need is faith. The things that make you “you”….your intelligence, your kindness, your patience…will guide you way.
You can do this. You WILL do this. Life won’t hurt for long. That, I promise you.
Your future self,