by: Allison Mitchell
Her name was Hormones. She sat by her phone, not exactly knowing the moment, but she knew the number. Her usual pickup point had produced a small envelope, inside a piece of paper. On it were just a name, a phone number, and a date. She never missed an appointment.
It was three o’clock in the morning and I sat bathing in the warm light of a computer monitor, absorbing all of the knowledge I could find on a life I knew very little about. I understood so very little of what it meant to be trans, and I had an insatiable thirst to know more about myself as a person, and as a woman. From the very first time that I read other women’s stories of struggling with their identity, I may not have known exactly who I was or who I was to become, but I knew what I had to do to get there.
There I found myself, researching all aspects of the journey before me. At first it was quite daunting. A lot of numbers flashed before my eyes, usually with dollar signs attached to them. I had no clue how I would manage to pay for it all. Then one day I found out an amazing piece of news. Once I get out of the military, the VA Clinic would provide services for trans people. I couldn’t believe it. After living in fear of the military finding out about me, they would help me out once I departed from my brothers in arms? That was the motivation I needed to be able to embrace my real self.
Now almost 8 months later, my H-Day is rapidly approaching. I got my diagnosis for Gender Identity Disorder from my therapist. Leaving the clinic that day was like climbing the Himalayas and planting a flag of triumph on top for the whole world to see.
As I got into my car though, a wash of emotion came over me. My excitement turned to fear, and anxiety. Could I really do this? I wasn’t sure what to do. Suddenly after I had spent all this time obsessing over it, how could I know if I was ready? Would I be able to deal with leaving behind friends who would just never understand the reasons why I need to do this? Could I deal with the very real possibility that I might not have a job while I transition?
I don’t know exactly what the future holds for me, but one thing is for certain. When the phone rings, and that sweet voice is waiting on the other end to tell me that today is my day, I will be there to answer the call.
Allison Mitchell is transgender, currently serving in the armed forces and living part time as a woman. Mostly just living life day to day and trying to sort through everything that’s thrown her way. Got any trans* questions or just want to simply chat? Email her at email@example.com.