out-and-about, transgender

Truth, Purpose & Letting Go

Hi friends. It’s been a little while since my last post (I feel like I keep saying that).

For what it’s worth, I’ve been struggling to find the right topic to write about. I always have a tendency to write about what’s top of mind for me, but there’s been so much going on lately that it’s hard to pick just one thing. So, to get back on track with regular updates, I’ll share my thoughts on a pretty big moment for me.

This year, I was asked to be part of the entertainment lineup at San Diego Pride. Specifically, I would be one of the DJs at the new Free Rainbow Zone area. This was a big deal for me. To come back to my hometown, do what I love to do, and represent the trans community in a very public way? How could I say no to that?

Word got out quickly, and I was contacted by a journalist from the San Diego Reader. He wanted to do a profile ahead of the festival, on one of the performers, for the print & online edition of their publication. Being trans, a DJ, and originally from San Diego, I seem to fit the bill. However, in my conversations with him, it became clear that I would need to do more than talk about myself in the current sense. I’d have to reveal my past – who I was, where I’m from, my old name, etc. I’d essentially be doxxing myself. People from my past would know where I had gone. My past, my innermost feelings on transitioning, even where I went to high school; it would all be there for public consumption.

Most trans-people that I’ve met choose to live a private life, and for good reason. They struggle so much with just being accepted and getting to a place in life where they can live day to day without harassment and scrutiny, a quiet existence blending into the crowd sounds like bliss. To some degree, I had managed to accomplish that. While my friends all knew about my past, the general public would see me and not assume much beyond my short stature. Why risk that all now? Why put it all out there, and put myself up for open discussion this way? Why give up control of who knew what about me?

I did it for a reason bigger than myself.

If you read most media coverage on transgender people, you’ll often notice a recurring theme. We’re often portrayed as down-on-our-luck outcasts, living in the shadows. I wanted to do my small part in breaking that narrative and show everyone that being who you truly are is not an automatic sentence to a lifelong, personal hell.

Perhaps more so, in coming out, people who know me now have a personal stake in the struggle for full equality for the trans community. It’s often said that people don’t pay much attention to an issue unless it affects them personally. Sharing my story connects everyone who knew me before, and now knows about my transition, to the struggle in some way.

A fellow DJ at San Diego Pride asked me if I would let her share the article on Facebook. She revealed to me that she has a transgender stepchild, and she wanted to show that trans people can be successful, and can live openly…proudly.

Right at that moment, I knew what I had done was worth it.

(If you’d like to read the story, click here and take a look.)

 

coming-out-to-family, hormone replacement therapy, transgender

I Came Out To My Father And The World Didn’t End. 

Yes, you read that title right. I finally told my old school, Mexican Catholic father about my transition. I’m happy to report the world didn’t end and I still have a loving father. You’re probably thinking…

Pretty much.
 
Apparently, for me, it did work that way. I couldn’t be luckier or happier. 

My amazing little brother (who’s known for a while) and I hatched a plan to give him the news. Having a decent meal first seemed like a logical choice, so we took Pops out for a late lunch at our favorite taco shop. (Sidenote: honestly, if you’re not full of love after street tacos, you should probably see a doctor). After a lunch that consisted of way too many adobada & carne asada tacos, we went to a nearby marina for some privacy. 

After a walk for about 10 minutes down a boardwalk, we found a bench with no one around. We sat down & chit-chatted for a bit. I could feel the weight of the world bearing down on me. For a minute, I sat in nervous silence as I stared off into the setting sun against the horizon. Once I found a break in the conversation, I took a deep breath. With a heavy sigh, summoning as much courage as I could, I told him there was something important I needed to talk about, and it’s the reason for bringing him out for the day.

I choked up at least twice, and the second time came with you don’t have to say it if you don’t want to” from my father. I think he sensed that I was coming out as gay. I had come this far, though, and I had to get it out. I explained, through heartfelt words, about my journey thus far. I paused towards the end and, with the entire world fading into nothing behind me, uttered the words that I’ve been struggling and agonizing with for so long: “Dad, I’m transitioning genders.”

A hush fell over us. After a minute, his initial reaction surfaces. 

“Did you get the surgery?” 

“No, that’s not even on the table yet”

I don’t think he fully understood the extent of what 6 months’ worth of hormones would do, essentially not requiring the surgery. For some reason he pleaded not to have the surgery. I reluctantly agreed. 
In the end, after a couple more questions, we shared a big hug and a few tears. He pulled me in close and said to me “I’ll always love you, and you’ll always be my son to me.”
It’s a start. More than that, though, it’s as best an outcome I could’ve hoped for. The world didn’t end, and I still have an incredible, loving and remarkable man I get to call my father. 

Dad, I love you…no matter what. 

coming-out-to-family, transgender

This Is The Day. This Is The Hour. This is…THIS!

This weekend will undoubtedly be one of the most difficult of my transition, and likely my entire life.

In just a few hours, I will be boarding a flight back home. The purpose of my trip? To finally talk to my father about my transgender status and my transition. I am a nervous wreck, to put it mildly. I’ve replayed every possible negative scenario out in my head, and I’ve shed more than a few tears already.

I will thankfully have two very caring people by my side – my brother and his girlfriend, both of whom have been incredibly supportive of me. However, part of the tension comes out of trying to anticipate his reaction, good, bad or indifferent. I keep swinging back and forth between wanting the support I’ve come to see consistently among the friends and few family members, and simply asking for him to respect my decision and to remember that none of this means I’ll ever stop loving him. I’m also having a hard time dealing with the possibility that all of my accomplishments in life will suddenly become meaningless to him and I’ll be seen as nothing more than a freak or an outcast, one that will bring shame to the family.

However, through any and all of the possible scenarios that could play out, nothing changes (aside from the fact that I’ll be completely out to everyone in my life).  I’ll hit 6 months of HRT on Tuesday. My name & gender marker change are legal and binding in less than 3 weeks. This isn’t happening, in the sense that it’s something I can be convinced out of with enough pleading – this is a done deal.

As a reminder of that, I only need to do one thing – look in the mirror. In front of me is the woman I’ve struggled and fought my entire life to become…

me-theater
This is me, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

…and no one, not my father, not a relative or stranger, not anyone can or will ever take that from me.

PS – If you know the artist who’s album I referenced in the title of this post, chances are the late 80s and early 90s were awesome for you.