Thursday, May 21, 2009

Truth, Lies & Blog Posts

As you all know, Word Garden is a poetry blog. I try very hard to keep it a peaceful place that people can visit and enjoy. Some of you may also know that I am not very fierce most of the time. Make a loud noise and I'll jump. Stand in my path and I will try to go around you, or even just turn around and go back home and make tea. But...

If you hurt someone I care about, then it has to end. Then, you're going to hear from me. And that has happened. Someone, and not the person I thought, has been upsetting my friends, simply because they are my friends. Someone, who has never even met me, has decided to tell the "truth" about me, despite not knowing the truth. It ends now.

This post will surprise most of you, I think. It may anger many of you, who will ask, "Why did you never tell me, Shay?" More on that later, ok? I'm on a mission. And when I am done, the haters will have to find another target. I am here to blog, to display my poetry, to make friends, to share every day ups and downs with the people I have come to care about so much.

I am a woman. Always was. But I am a woman with a transsexual history. I have changed my name. I have changed my body. I have changed nearly everything in my life, at great expense. I have lost my entire original family except for my mother, and that relationship has been rocky, to say the very least. I have changed all my friends. Along the way, I have been, at various stages, stared at, laughed at, physically attacked and insulted. Along the way, I have been embraced, accepted, loved, graced, and freed. I didn't make all of the changes I have made in order to deceive anyone. I know all about deception. I pretended to be a male for many years--after all, I had the body for it and was expected to live that way-- and it brought me addiction, depression, and despair, and it took me to the very edge of suicide, more than once. It made me be a stranger to those closest to me. It left me unable to feel anything but a horrible numbness.

From my earliest days, people around me did their best to kill off that sweet core within me that I knew instinctively was my best self. From being forbidden to play with my best friend, the girl next door, through being forced by my family to enlist in military service, I kept the best part of me alive, somehow. There were times, many many times, when i felt I would break apart from the sheer pain of being in the wrong life, of being expected to be someone I could not be, and did not want to be. For ten years of my life, I managed to get through by staying drunk. But when that almost killed me, too, I got sober and all the same feelings came back.

I got married. But before I did, my future bride looked at me one night and said, without prompting, "You're a woman in a man's body." And I thought I was covering so well. "How do you feel about that?" I asked her. We were married for 13 years. We raised a son, the light of my life.

In 2001, I found myself alone again. I tried to date, but women would walk in my front door, take one look, and decide there HAD TO BE a wife or girlfriend tucked away somewhere someplace, who had decorated all that. They didn't know they were talking to her.

I made a hard decision. I thought, if i were ever going to live my life authentically, this was the time. I had a job, a home, friends, family, and some savings. I decided to transition and live as my true self, but I kept my plan to myself at first, until physical changes became undeniable.

Listen...I have spent just piles of money. I have heard my mother say "I never want to see you again." I have never stood in the same room with, nor been invited to any family function by, any of my other family members since the day they found out my intentions. I have walked out my front door and into the world as a woman. I have walked into my job of many years, as a woman. I have changed all of my human connections and relearned my natural femininity while unlearning my unwanted male training. I have been up to my eyeballs in female hormones for years now. Some person sending hateful emails, and who has never met me, does not scare me. Not much scares me. Not anymore.

There have been sweet and also funny things that have happened. My first day at work as a woman, in 2004, three of my girlfriends came to me with three great big smiles and a huge gift, beautifully wrapped. It was a make-up case filled with every sort of cosmetics under the sun. How sweet was that? I'll never forget it. There was the co-worker who said to me, "You are the bravest person I know." There was my son, who, when I told him , said, "I already knew, and I love you."

Most of all there is the joy and incredible kick of, for the first time in my life, seeing my SELF in the mirror every day. There are my customers, who love their mail lady and give her all sorts of nice smelling girly glop every Christmas. There are my girlfriends, who offer me the sort of true and natural friendship I always wanted so badly. I just only ever wanted to be one of the girls. Now I am.

I've made mistakes. I've been afraid to tell people, even dear beloved friends, what my story is. I have entered into love relationships and still not told, until the telling came so late that it hurt them, and hurt me. I am sorry. I can't fix any of that. But I can say, right here, right now, this is me. I am a woman. I am flawed. I can say to my friends, I love you all, please stay. Please forgive me for not trusting you enough to tell you before. And I can say, haters, there goes your ammunition. I can say, leave my friends alone.

I have found that people can be incredibly cruel. I have found that, to some people, because I am a transwoman, every bad thing is automatically entirely my fault, and they needn't examine themselves. I have found that there will always be people who consider that I am "really" a man. I have found that people will judge me. I know that one in 13 transpeople dies by murder. Telling is no light thing.

I have found that people can be incredibly kind. They will include you, help you, love you. They will even call you "chica." ;-)

I have found that my poetry, dormant for twenty years, came back. I have found that, though I am attracted to women, I "get it" about men in a way I never did before. I like men. I just don't want to sleep with one.

I have found that a person can exchange one set of crippling restrictions for another. I am done with that. My business is really no one's business. But I've chosen to share it here, now.

That's me. Take me or leave me. I am here to blog, and make friends, that's it and that's all. I am not here for drama, intrigue or deception. All that ends right here, right now, with this post.

I love you my friends. I truly do. As for anyone who doesn't like me, it's a big world, move on.





Anonymous said...

You are %100 feminine. You are Shay. And I love you.

pheromone girl said...

I have cried so many times, Darling, for the words you say and share. You are the most amazing human soul, wrapped up in whatever packaging you choose.

I chose you, Beautiful, for that soul that you share and set free every day, every time. And beautiful you are.

Anyone who wants to mess with you has to go through me first.

Scarlet said...

Chica, I am amazed by your candor and courage! I can only tell you that it is always a pleasure to visit The Word Garden and find the most brilliant thoughts and poems expressed and written by YOU, Shay.

You know about my friend's suicide and how difficult it was on my family, especially my mother. It all stemmed from rejection and a lack of understanding.

I can only hope your readers see beyond the sex thing and look into your soul where your true spirit lies and find the warm and compassionate person I've come to know.

Your co-worker is right. It took a lot of "balls" (so to speak) to write this post...but yeah, you are the bravest person I know.

Onward and upward, Chica! :)


Your friend,

Riot Kitty said...

Wow! You have amazing courage - even more than I knew previously.

And you are such a girl! I think it takes a much, much braver person than I could ever dream of being to take the steps you have taken, to have written this blog, to live life as your true self.

Lots of love and hugs!! And happy early! (Can I link my request to your blog now?)

Riot Kitty said...

PS Pheromone Girl and I like to say that we are sisters who have chosen each other - because real family are the ones you choose to love!

T said...

Shay {{{hugs, big hugs}}}

You are and will always be Shay.
We love you. I don't care what anyone else thinks, well I think you know, people that call themselves humans, disappoint me at every turn. This person and all the people in your life that have turned their back on you or spread rumors, or hurt your friends, whatever, well....they are all sorry excuses for human beings.

You are Shay, I have come to care a great deal about you. You have been a great friend, and I take friendship very seriously.

You have my number...

Much love and hugs,

Pouty Lips said...

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Shay, Happy Birthday to you.


We'll certainly have a heart-to-heart outside the comment box, but suffice it to say - I'm your friend forever.

I keep thinking about the GF's with the cosmetic box. Mine is pink, of course, and I have a matching glam eye glass case to match. You know me, I'm the girlie-girl.

I love you! Hugs! Kisses!

Pete said...

another brave step
I admire that
take care

Shark Butt said...

You go, Chica! With your brave amazing self!

Love, Sheena and the Sharkbutt

realwoman said...


You are one brave gurl, chica!! I am so very proud of you!

Forget those haters - they have no power over a woman as strong as you!

Rock on, be YOU!

Lots of love


jinksy said...

All power to you for showing such strength. The only thing that matters with any human being is how they behave towards others, and how bright a light they have within themselves. Keep shining! x

Shadow said...

i love you honey! this took courage to write, i think...

bumblebee said...


And that's all I have to say about that!

Love you always, biggest hugs, Bumbly XXXXX

Mama Zen said...

Jesus, Shay! I thought that you were going to confess to being straight and Republican or something!

You shouldn't be scaring a girl like that . . .

Anonymous said...

I love your poems and I love your blog.

I'm sure I'd love you too if we ever met in person.

Very brave post.

And for my two cents, I just want everyone to be happy in their own skin - whatever that takes.

Nichole said...

O, my friend. How anyone can hate you enough to harass not only you but your friends is just beyond me. But there are times we place out trust in those whose hearts and minds are blighted and sad.

I admire your courage. But crap, girl, who can read those poems or talk to you for two minutes and not know exactly what you are?

You know, a woman. LOL!! I mean, isn't that just evident?

So, Shay when you gonna call again?

Love and my deepest respect fpr you. That doesn't change. And yes, you are a "sister-by-choice." And for that, a lot more intimate with my life and contentment than the estranged blood-sister.

Kay said...

It's a big world, move on! haha I love it!

Well, I guess you have technically "outed" yourself????? thoughts, so what! We all have secrets in our closet, some are just more noticeable.

One thing I have been enjoying on this blog site is that there has not been any "haters" and I am sad to hear that is not so...

Being blind is sometimes so much easier. Hope the hating stops for you, but you may have just fueled the fire! GASP!!! :)

Keep writing and take care.

g-man said...

Incredible courage...
Incredible talent....
Incredible Human Being...
Don't you DARE let any ass-hole run you off the web, and deprive us of your spendid Creativity.
Yesterday does indeed become crystal clear now...Thanks
G-Man is ALWAYS at your service...

Fireblossom said...

The love that each and every one of you has shown me will remain with me forever. I am just absolutely blown away by your kindness, love and support. Thank you thank you thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I love you. To me, each and every one of you are angels and superstars. Thank you again, SO much.



... Paige said...

saddly there are people out there that for what ever sick reason like to stir the pot-o-crap, then fling the spoon in all directions just to see where the shit lands. And those of us with crap on our sholders need to hold fast that one day their pot will over flow onto their own feet. It has to because that is what they are full of, in their teeny little hearts and minds.

Hold fast to who you are

Daryl said...

A body is just a shell, til its the wrong shell .. then it must be discarded so the 'right' more comfortable shell can be embraced ...

I always thought you were a brave soul and now everyone knows ... xoxo

Changes said...

Hi Shay,

I've never commented here but I read you. What a brave thing you just did. Bless you and keep on writing.


Granny on the Web said...

I have just happened upon your blog, and read this post. I am very sad you have had someone hate-mailing you. Threats such as this are a cowards weapon.
You are who you feel you are, and you obviously feel feminine.
So stuff the horrors who are trying to intimidate you, you have removed the ammo from their guns... Good for you.
Love Granny

Anonymous said...

i love you, Sis! but i will forever be jealous of your young boobies!