Guest Author - J. Ruel
Thank you all for taking the time to read this. What I am about to write is the most raw and honest thing I've ever written in my life. I hope you read this with an open mind, and an open heart. These words were not penned lightly, and shouldn't be taken as such. And thus, my heart is on my sleeve, as they say.
You know me as Jase, a 35 year old gay man. You've known me to be out and open and being me. I am unabashed in who I am, and have had people accept me as I am and reject me. Thus is the flow of life and one I've come to accept as a LGBT person. Some have known I have struggled with Bi Polar Type 2 disorder. I also have issues with OCD and Sleep. I've been in therapy years and on medication to help me. These therapeutic measures have helped, and they have also helped mask the underlying issues. The issues I never wanted to share because I'd rather chose to make everyone else happy instead of making myself happy. Don't get me wrong, I've done things the way I've wanted them but also thought about how others would think of me first.
From my young years I have always felt "different" for a better sense of terms. I've never felt just right. I have felt that I was outside the box instead of inside the box. Instead of cops and robbers, I wanted to play house and dress up. Instead of playing with cars and rough-housing, I wanted my sisters Barbies and to dress them up, fix their hair, and act out their lives. I imagined Prince Charming rescuing me as Snow White. I imagined myself replacing Cinderella and living happily ever after. I imagined myself a housewife raising her two children while caring for her house and husband. Yes, I put myself into non-traditional roles. Yes, you might say "oh he's a confused little boy. He's probably gay". That is the same conclusion I came up with when I came out 22 years ago.
Since then, I have had a few amazing romances in my life. I have exchanged vows with a man whom I thought I'd live my life with. I lost him three years later to a freak medical condition. Then I lost one of the most important women in my life, the woman I called mom, and then 18 months later, the man I called dad. I was lost and alone and I did what I did well. I pulled into myself and hid. I survived. I focused my life on taking care of others at the cost of myself. I still harbored these feelings of unease and hate inside myself, and prayed to God they didn't seep out.
What people didn't know is inside, I hated myself. I hated looking into the mirror. I hated having to go to the store and buying the things I did. I felt ugly. I felt dirty. I felt wrong. I didn't want to see myself without my clothes off. People said embrace what you had, but I felt ripped off. I felt cheated. I felt unwanted and like a joke. Inside, I was dying, outside, I was functioning. I would look at catalogs from the mail and dream of buying that dress, those shoes, that jewelry, that hair piece, and that hand bag. I wished I could buy them all and wear them because I knew then I would sort of feel whole. I would partially feel complete. I also had similar feelings when I would be in drag. No, not cross-dressing, but performing on the stage in drag. It started when I was 18, when I first pulled on those control top panty hose and put on some glitter and jewels. On stage, I was ALIVE! I felt free. I felt almost whole and complete. I got to ignore what society and those around me expected of me. No boy clothes. Just ME clothes. And, when i finished my performance, reality hit like a ton of bricks. That was only a fantasy. A dream. A cruel and sick reality. A joke where I was the pawn.
No more! Today, I sit here in front of my computer after having some serious heart-to-hearts with the most important people in my life. The love of my life Matt and my best friends Krystal and Sabrina are my core. They know me completely and unabashidly. And now, they know the whole truth about me. Tonight, I share that with you. There is no more hiding. There is no more pain and suffering by myself. I will not hide in the dark dealing with it on my own. Tonight, I open up my arms and my heart to you. Tonight, Jase exits stage right, and enters Jules.
Hi, My name is Jules. I am a trans* woman. I identify as gender queer and gay. I am biologically male, but will take the steps to make the outside match the inside. I came into life not complete, but will leave life as I should, a woman. I will take the steps to transition when the time to move to Alabama comes closer, so not today, but soon. I ask that you accept me for who I am. You don't have to like me, but you have to respect me and my decision, for it is not entered into lightly. I may lose family and friends, but that is a risk I have to take. A risk I am willing to take for my own sanity and for my own happiness. I have those who love me, and now it is time to love myself. Will you love and accept me too?