This is the start of Sifan’s Journey, my beginnings:
I am the second oldest of four siblings. I had a brother 10 years older than me and mom had told me about a miscarriage, a girl, that would have been a few years older than me. Mother told me that because of this, they were very worried about me. She said I was breach and they had to use forceps to turn me around. It was a difficult pregnancy and labor. She never mentioned what medications she was given. I also have a brother three years younger and my only sister is seven years younger than me.
My brother, being 10 years older, had all the typical boy toys: erector sets, chemistry sets, trains, etc. However, these were too ‘precious’ to allow a small kid like me to even touch let alone play with. But I was intrigued by the creative things that could be put together along with the mystery and the animation they allowed. It seemed like there were two parts of me that enjoyed this, a ‘figure it out/build it’ part and a creative artistic part.
My mother was a seamstress – not professionally, but for our neighbors and her friends. She also made almost all of our clothes as I was growing up. I would watch and help her and learn. I figured out that I could do that! So I designed and laid out a pattern from scratch (Mother never did that part!), gathered the material, buttons and zippers and sewed it up, put it on and pinned it (I remember this stick that you could squeeze a bulb and it would put a chalk mark on the material), then seamed and hemmed it. It was perfect and beautiful and it combined my two sides (creative and ‘figure it out-er’) perfectly. Mother came home and I proudly modeled it as she came up into the room. Well – the look on her face told me right away that something was terribly wrong. She screamed at me for dressing in a ‘skirt’ and demanded to know where I got it from. It only made matters worse when I explained I made it. From pride to shame in 0.3 seconds! Mother was a very strict German and very tough on us. I don’t remember much more about this incident except I knew not to ever be caught with girls clothes or to externally show any interest in feminine anything after this. I was scared of her.
There were an equal number of girls and boys in my neighborhood. We had a nice large park about 4 blocks away. They had a good staff there and kept all of us kids busy with games and activities. Most of my memories are of playing with the girls. I was not competitive and just did not fit in with the boys much. I loved the activities where we would draw or paint or cut things out and glue them together. My favorite were these pictures of children with different clothes items that we would color, cut out and carefully bend the tabs behind the cutout to dress them. I remember helping to make a little house in a small area under a deep thicket of bushes where only small kids like us could crawl in there.
It was at the park where I first found out that boys used the restroom standing up. At home it never mattered and I always had sat down. The public restroom seemed very strange and well, ‘not healthy’. Being used to sitting and having privacy, this communal restroom was hard to use. I usually ran home and back rather than use that. I suppose I was a bit strange to my playmates. Worse was the swimming pool and no privacy at all.
There was a neighborhood girl who lived only 3 houses away. She had this huge sandbox – only the park had a larger one. I would play with her in the sandbox creating intricate patterns or structures, collecting sticks or flowers to decorate our creations. It even had a canopy that kept the hot sun away. Her mother would bring out cold drinks and fruit for us.
Now and then they would try to get me to play with the boys. I really disliked the competitiveness. I was always teased that I threw a ball like a girl or ran like a girl. I was also ‘accused’ of playing cards like a girl, in the way my hands would flip or handle them. I didn’t care, it just didn’t bother me. What was interesting however, was that the neighborhood bully always protected me and was my friend. Even when he moved away, the new ‘tough guy’ did the same. So the teasing was in fun and never cruel or harmful (everyone knew better!). But the boys could never sit still, they had to keep running, keep showing off, keep competing with each other. I liked to sit, to be part of a group, talk and make things together. The boys would always destroy things and make fun of what we created.
I have a fond memory of my cousin’s family and mine getting together (she was not really my cousin I found out much later in life, but that does not matter). Whether at her house or mine, we would ask for a bed sheet and put it over a large table, then go underneath and play house. We had so much fun. She was my age and it was ‘ok’ for me to play house and dolls with her. These are some of my best memories from then.
Oh dear, a Catholic school, in a conservative ‘redneck’ northern city in the 1950’s – not sure what more can be said except “eeeeeeeek”! I watched and learned quickly as classmates would ask challenging questions, usually about religion, and get mercilessly beat up by the nun. These were usually very innocent questions: young minds trying hard to grasp what we were being told to ‘believe’ or ‘have faith’ in. What I learned was to keep my mouth shut, don’t ask but also that these were crazy nonsensical things we were being taught to take on faith. So I only believed what I saw to be true … and kept my mouth shut: survival. At this time I was introduced to science and how everything was based on provable fact. Oh did this interest me. What a difference this was to everything else being taught. Science became my outlet, my sanity.
Life got tough, not just school but the kids as well. The differences between the girls and the boys were now widening: the ‘camps’ established. You either belonged to one or the other or were queer – a very very bad label.
Society at that time, church, family, friends etc. did not have any place for trans-anything – it simply did not exist. If you confessed having thoughts about yourself being anything other than your physical birth sex you were told that simply was not possible – you don’t know what you were saying – you are just confused and don’t worry about it. Now go say 20 Hail Mary’s and 5 Our Fathers …..
So, growing up I was a boy. My Mother scared me into being a boy, the school taught me to mind my own business and keep quiet (but to know and keep my own truth inside) and society had no options – period. I tried to fit in and mostly I did. I conformed: I saw myself as a boy, but special, I had these, ummmm, talents the other boys did not have. I seemed to be able to, in so many situations, be a ‘bridge’ between the sexes. I was different from the rest of the boys, but that didn’t bother me and I didn’t see that as anything significant. Luckily, due my ‘excellent’ (cough) training at school, neither did anyone else.
Up until I was seven, our family had just the three of us boys. I had always thought about how ‘ugly’ I was ‘down there’. Why would the divine creator make a boy with sensitive organs that could suffer the most extreme pain and have them hanging outside the body – in the middle of the body – just where they could get hurt the most! It just never looked right to me – there just shouldn’t be anything there – it should be smooth. Remember, I had nothing to compare to – we were all boys in my family. Yet this is how I felt. Then along came my only sister. What a huge surprise when I saw her the first time. She was just so right – so perfect. As she grew I was intrigued by everything she did, everything she got, everything she wore. But I was 7 years older and beyond the toys and dolls she was playing with. I was already indoctrinated thoroughly into boyhood and the society that surrounded me. Yet, I took notice and watched as she grew.
It was getting towards 8th grade and the end of grade school back then. As best I tried to fit in, I was still different. I was not good at sports, was not picked for teams. Even though the word ‘geek’ was not invented yet I suppose that is what I would have been labeled. I was starting to get picked on by the new class bully. He had a following so this made life difficult for me. One day on the side of the school (funny how we can remember exact spots, colors and smells from significant events….) he and his ‘gang’ surrounded me. He started to push and antagonize me. I am not a fighter – I have always been good at defusing situations, at negotiations and understanding. I remember so vividly how I was trapped between them, totally surrounded, being pushed from one side to the other. Then someone deliberately pushed me into the bully and he started to swing. That was it – I wasn’t going to let that happen. I let go of an intense barrage – shocked not only myself but everyone around. They backed off – I continued. The nun’s came out and broke us up. We were both bloodied – I was nowhere near as bad as he was. Next day at school I was a hero. He never showed up again – there were too many ‘strikes’ against him and he was expelled. I had mixed feelings: on the one hand I was vindicated and praised on the other hand I felt terrible – I would have rather have him as a friend. Many years later, we ran across each other and did become friends. It turned out he was jealous of my accomplishments and that detracted from his ‘king’ of the school image (alpha male…).
I was an achiever: first place in the city science fair, earned my Eagle scout at an early age, and was the master of ceremonies (co-hosted with the reigning Miss Teenage America!) at a national scout convention. I was branching out, summers were spent on national camp staffs far away from home. I was experiencing life beyond the small conservative town I lived in. I was opening my eyes and widening my vision. Like finding science back then in school, this both confirmed my suspicions and expanded my horizons.
There wasn’t a middle school back then, I went straight from 8th grade in the Catholic grade school to a Catholic all boys high school (across town there was a Catholic all girls high school). The freshman year I was fortunate to once again be under the protection of the ‘alpha’ male. The dreaded hazing was awful for me but I’m sure it could have been much worse. The sexual attitudes of my friends were changing. It didn’t help that this was an all boys school – that just accentuated the differences. Their view of women, their comments and objectification of women offended me. Some were worse than others, but what shocked me was that every one of the guys was like this. Was I that different?
I liked girls, dated, went steady – but I respected them – after all, unlike the other boys, I did not see the girls as anything different from me. I could tell from the guys and gals I was around, that I was very different in how I dated than other guys did. I was (am) very romantic, sensitive, supportive, I listen and felt like we shared a common bond. Almost all the girls in our circles trusted me and would share their feelings and issues – things they would ‘not’ dare talk about with other guys. My early ‘training’ as a boy was quite comprehensive. So again, this just highlighted for me that I had these ‘extra’ talents or feelings. Nothing a few more Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers could not solve ….
It was talking a toll on me however. In the later high school years I remember wishing that I could skip the next 5 years and magically be married, have a house and nice job. Well, it took 5 years … I got married, found a great research job at the university and built a house. We took 7 years to settle in before we had two wonderful boys. Raising them was a joy. I was able to use my compassion and express my nurturing side with them. I remember bringing my eldest son into work with me when he still less than a year old. I had this cloth ‘pack’ that he could sit in that had shoulder straps. He could sit facing me or facing out. He loved to sit in that, as I managed the computer systems, sometimes trying to imitate me and type things on the keyboard.
I moved on to jobs in computing firms, eventually becoming a manager. I was awarded honors both from my employees and also from management for my style and ability to manage. My social skills and sensitivities were put to good use. I was able to draw on all those times playing/talking/interacting with the girls in my youth and later being the support and the person my teenage peers turned to for consoling. I believed in empowering and growing everyone – helping them be what they saw for themselves, with a bit of a stretch to pull them ahead. One woman in my department was helping to clear out a room of a lot of old heavy equipment. The guys would not allow her to help, especially to lift anything. She was athletic, but really, she knew what she could and could not do – not them. I basically told the guys to back off and I stayed with her both to keep them at bay but also to lend my moral support.
I switched to a job where I managed a global technical training organization (computers/IT). We had classrooms around the world – most notable in the far east, Europe and in the US. I was traveling and was overseas almost 1 week out of 4: it was intense. I started to notice, everywhere I went, regardless of the culture, that I was much closer to the women, much more at ease and accepted so much quicker. It was an affinity that I shared my entire life, but now I was starting to see something more, something deeper. It was dawning on me that I shared some very basic traits with women that transcended culture. These ‘extras’ I had were starting to match up on a global scale. I took notice…
The woman manager of the Beijing office asked if I could meet her and others for a special dinner, after I finished class. It was a quiet, beautiful restaurant with old Chinese charm. I think it was once a favorite of the Chinese Empress. There, waiting for me were the other women from the office plus some from my class. After a small ceremony, they presented me with my Chinese name: Mo, SiFan. The manager then proceeded to explain the lengths they had gone through to get this official name and its meaning. It took over three weeks to get all the various temples, geomancer, officials etc. to agree and ‘bless’ this name. There are so many ancient rules that a name must satisfy (allegorical: goddess that comes down to the earth, four elements: water, auspicious: good fortune, meaning: one who thinks differently, and a bonus, pronounced in Chinese it sounded like my name: Mo, SiFan). I could not believe the effort she had gone through to do this. This was a very high honor and a very high point in my life. She took me aside after and explained that this name was (I wish I could remember her exact words as she was very diplomatic about this) ‘not masculine’ – but they felt it ‘was’ me. Oh my gosh – I was so honored. And looking back, this was the opening, the crack in this male persona that I had carried around all my life. Little did I know that I was/am Sifan! (Even now, I tear up remembering this). They could not have chosen a more perfect name.
As I presented classes I would usually need to use names for the examples I would cover. Instead of the normal Joe or Jane Smith I would use Sifan Mo. They loved this in China especially when I would write it on the white board in characters. When teaching anywhere in the far east, on the first day of class, I would write my name on the white board as Sifan Mo and my Chinese characters under it. Then I started doing this everywhere I went. My nickname was changed to Si and I became known everywhere as just Si.
It’s sad to watch a huge global company disappear before your eyes. I found a new job as a senior instructor. One day the vice president of the firm came in and told me about this virtual world that was the talk of the tech industry. Everyone was jumping on board. They wanted to know if this virtual world – Second Life – could be an effective way to hold remote or distance training as well as business meetings. I was asked to investigate. So of course my name would be Sifan. Unfortunately, they had a limited number of surnames you could choose from – but Shan (means mountain, and I’m a technical climber) was available. So, I became Sifan Shan. Then, the next question ……. male or female! Without thinking I clicked on female. Wow, that was the life changing event as I look back now.
Mind you, I made up some very good excuses to explain my (non) choice. My teaching style was very feminine: I was engaging with the students, sat with them, supported them, went at their pace. The other male instructors were, well, the best way to describe them would be: drill sargents. There was a psychology of teaching that I matched in my presentation, classroom management and personal approach that would be best suited if my in-world avatar was female. Interestingly, the female employees, including the owners wife, would shut my office door and confide in me or seek advice or console, just as what happened in my teenage years. And as in my childhood, this was a perfect blend of my analytically/scientific and social talents. And so it was, and so my life from that point on changed …. or rather started to clarify.
A virtual world ‘does’ things for a person. For one, it’s immersive, we are brought into it and are surrounded by it. A good example is a paraplegic: in a virtual world they can enjoy dancing, surfing and being whole, who they are. For me, suddenly I was full-time Sifan, a woman and totally immersed. Not only that, I was completely accepted and I was ‘natural’ – this was ‘not’ role playing! That woke me up.
Just as I was an achiever as a child, Sifan was also in Second Life. I am widely known as an educational and business consultant that has experience getting businesses and schools setup and running in virtual worlds. There are a number of articles written about me. I was chosen to put together the World Wide Women’s day celebrations in Second Life. I even made it through the second round of the Miss Hawaiian Virtual pageant. Today I’m on the steering committee for a university’s virtual presence as well as directing our Astronomy outreach program in virtual worlds. All this as myself – a woman.
My boys were now grown and went through the cycle of moving out, moving back in and moving out again, finally getting married – and yes, moving back in before moving out to their own homes. They, along with my wife, witnessed my immersion as Sifan in the virtual worlds, and also saw the slow but sure growth of the real life Sifan within me. This coupled with the inevitable problems that arise once all the ‘birds’ have left the nest, started to put a large strain on our marriage. I was different, I was strange and each day the rift widened and the difference becoming more irreconcilable. The understanding and support of my sister during this phase was crucial. I had confided to her about my femininity. She is a psychologist and was able to help me in this very confusing and difficult time.
In Second Life I was a professional – I was there to do a job and to network, create contacts and create business for the company I worked for. I was not looking for romance or anything beyond my job and learning the ins and outs of this new world – becoming a mover and shaker within it. And then it happened – a women befriended me. Casual and platonic, but our friendship grew. We found these pose balls (which animate your avatar) underwater in this beautiful pond. Being innocent ‘newbies’ we went on those poses – oh my gosh – we both held our breath as our avatar’s danced a very slow sensual dance together. We apologized profusely to each other, embarrassed and maybe a bit ashamed. But that slowly lead to romance. Our first ever lesbian ‘virtual’ kiss – stole our breaths away. For the next year we were virtual lovers until a crisis in her family took her away from virtual life. I was devastated. Now it was all my other girl friends in-world that came to my rescue with support and understanding. I was one of them – a woman.
I started hanging out with my girl friends, going to dances and events together. Some of them were hostesses for weekly events and I started to regularly attend and help them with their duties. I was soon meeting lots of people and making new friends. Guys were also taking an interest in me and starting to ask me out and romancing me. One person was very persistent and actually proposed to me. He confessed to me that he was a she and I confessed that I was a he! Just goes to show how things can be complex in virtual worlds. We were engaged and had a long romantic courtship, but we broke up after.
Right after we announced our engagement, Kathy came to me, intrigued and wanted to know everything about our relationship. She was a ‘newbie’, was just starting a romantic sojourn of her own and wanted to know everything about love in a virtual world. She was in awe of the relationship I was in. We spent many hours sitting and talking, becoming best girl friends and discussing everything.
Just like mine, her romantic relationship eventually dwindled and disappeared. I felt so bad for her as I had just lost mine. I had another avatar, Sid, that I would bring in whenever I was giving mixed (real life and virtual world) presentations where people would be seeing me physically. I decided to bring in Sid to console Kathy. Well, very quickly Sid and Kathy were an ‘item’ as they say. Our romance blossomed. I began to notice however, that Sid was just ‘not’ me. My issue was more than just being used to being Sifan and missing being in-world as her. I ‘am’ Sifan and this was just not working being in as Sid. I had to tell her who Sifan really was.
Being Sifan in-world allowed me to be myself and to experience being a woman. That immersion quickly disappears when someone knows my real life identity as a male. Society has taught us filters that we use when interacting with each other, as an avatar as well. These are taken for granted and not even noticed, unless you are transgender. Even as a virtual woman, in this situation I will be treated as a man. So, my policy was not to tell people who I was unless either a relationship became serious or we were working on a project together or that we would meet in real life. It had come time to tell Kathy. She took it very hard. It took years before she could accept Sifan, but eventually she preferred Sifan and Sid now only makes occasional appearances. And then it happened – Kathy and Sifan tied the virtual knot – we were officially partnered as they say.
Our relationship deepened and crossed over to real life. I remember telling her she would have the best of both: a loving male that has the compassion and sensitivities of a woman. We began talking on the phone. Both of our personal lives were heading for divorce before we ever met, but now this added an impetus. We had to know if what we felt in a virtual world was real and could continue and flourish in real life. We had to meet.
I had an out-of-town training engagement for a week, so we arranged to meet. We were exactly who we were in the virtual world – it was like meeting someone we knew very well. It was strange and wonderful all at the same time. About mid-week she felt bad and wanted to leave. I gave her my full support and assured her it was ok. That was enough for her to regain her comfort and stay the rest of the week. It wasn’t long after that when we separated from our spouses, left our homes and moved into an apartment together, with separation agreements and divorces following.
Sifan started virtual life as a full-grown woman. A professional woman at that. But it turned out she needed to go through and experience most of the phases a girl passes through becoming a woman. Much to my surprise I was a giddy teenager or a moody pre-adult. One thing Sifan needed most was proof to herself that she was a woman. She needed acceptance. Then one day she met a lesbian woman. Their friendship grew until one day she asked Sifan for a dance. That was a turning point – Sifan got involved. She met and fit in with all the other lesbian women in that circle of friends and was fully accepted. We both agreed that Kathy came first – but that didn’t stop us from becoming romantically involved. Sifan needed proof of her womanhood – what better way then being accepted by lesbians as one of their own and sharing love with one. Sifan is a lesbian woman.
Well, the fireworks were awesome… took about a year and a half with professional help to figure out that last paragraph! Kath and Sifan survived and our love grew even stronger. A hidden plus was that I met a psychologist that understood transgender issues and I began working with her to understand who I am.
From the time I became Sifan, I had a number of turning points – gateways that required explicit permission from myself to myself in order to continue. I don’t know what the connection is, but all of these happened either in the shower or when taking a bath: I call these my bathtub moments! These progressed in stages, each stage requiring approval for the next it seemed. Each phase progressing deeper into myself and my womanhood. Just like one remembers where you were, colors and everything surrounding major life events, so it is with these.
As Sifan started to gain experience as a women in-world (and in me), I started to wonder where this might lead. Could this cause a split personality? Are there other effects of pursuing this that could be detrimental? Am I a woman and what does that mean? Or perhaps I just have a lot of feminine traits? Yup, bathtub moment – jacuzzi actually – I gave myself permission to continue, to follow this where it might lead.
I found personality tests, feminine/masculine tests such as the BEM appraisal. This ranked feminine and masculine traits on separate scales, 0 to 100 for each. The premise being that you could have 75 % on the male scale and 30 % on the female scale or 100% on both, etc. – these are not supposed to add up, they are separate. Well, I ranked 85% female and only about 30% male. That was an eye opener. Other tests and appraisals were similar. In-world at this time Sifan was in her romance stage and meeting men, something the real life me would not consider. Was this ok? How can Steph be one way and Sifan the other? Another bathtub moment – shower this time – I gave myself permission to ‘be’ a woman – to be Sifan, at least in-world and to explore this further.
Everything progressed, we moved to Maui, I started to express my feminine side in real life. I felt the energy of the earth around me. We met and became friends with very open and loving people here. I started coming out, letting them know that I was female and they were accepting of me and supporting. I remember one woman coming up to me after a get together and praising me for allowing my feminine side to show – I melted. I met and was accepted by real-life lesbians for who I was. At this point I saw myself as a female, surrounded by a male that protected her. I felt comfortable as a woman with this male body and didn’t really see any reason to change. But what am I really? Am I a woman trapped inside a man’s body? Perhaps a man with a very high degree of feminine traits and attributes? Should I become Sifan in real life – not just a virtual woman? Ya, bathtub moment, shower again.
As I allowed myself to become more of a woman, I started to notice something. It was more like my maleness was falling away then a femaleness was being attained. I was not becoming more of a woman, rather, like layers of an onion, my maleness was being peeled back. I started an intense campaign investigating my life, looking for clues in all the nooks and crannies of my life. I needed proof both that I really was a woman, but also that I was not making this up, that somehow I want this and am blindly finding anything to support this at the expense of other plausible explanations.
You guessed it – this time it was a bath in the bathtub… It all suddenly came together. I wasn’t ‘becoming’ a woman – I ‘am’ a woman, was one my entire life. From an early age I had built the male persona around me. That was all I knew, was all society would allow and I was trained exquisitely. Everything snapped, everything changed for me starting from that moment. It’s not that I don’t like my body – it’s a great body for a guy, especially my age. But it is not me and its more than just uncomfortable. For two years now I have been wearing dresses when I come home – so much more comfortable and relaxed. Now I see that this is not enough. At work I am slowly showing my feminine side, breaking down the male facade. As Sifan in a virtual world I saw and experienced who I am. Out here, my body does not allow me to express myself, to emote, to show my body language or to feel. I know what I am. I want that to come through.
My partner cut my hair as usual – it needed it, but I had asked to leave it longer. Well, it was longer in the back but for some reason I was having a very hard time with this very nice haircut. I was trying to figure out why I felt to terrible, what has happened to make me feel this bad. Ya, shower this time. Before this haircut, my hair was grown out enough to soften my face. Now not only was I looking very masculine (like a military drill sargent!), but I felt as if I lost something. This plus a visit to my psychologist allowed me to put the final pieces together and turn a corner. Everything fell into place – there is no longer any questioning of who I am. I remember a key piece of ‘evidence’ for me was how I felt about the GRS operation. Just the fact that I look forward to that separates me completely from a natal-male! What I do not understand is that all of the analysis I had done, all the critical thinking that brought all this up before – and still it basically took a hair-cut to bring me to that ‘uh-ha’ light bulb moment. Well, maybe it was that bath-tub ….
I came out to a woman friend here at work and her response was “don’t be surprised if some us knew this before you did”. She agreed to be my sister here and help me with womanly transition issues (she already gave me a lot of advice). She has a cousin that is a post-op transsexual woman.
I have come out to our friends and everyone in my department at work. I am totally surprised by the support, ‘protectiveness’ and understanding I found in everyone. At least 60% know of others that are transsexual either within their families or close friends.
I belong to a transsexual support group here. There is even a married couple that are both trans (a transwoman married to a transman)! They encouraged me to join an elder transsexual online chat group. Some of these people have been post-op for over 20 years! Both of these are wonderful – so much support and love and embracing of who we are. It’s great to see and share with those that are like oneself.
My psychologist is the sweetest person. She has helped me to go through all of this with the most patience and thoughtfulness. I am truly fortunate in so many ways. My sister has been with me every step of the way, what a blessing she is!
My partner is with me, lovingly with me. She needs time to adjust and come to terms and that is in both our interests. We are looking forward to being married in a year.
The more I relax the maleness and express myself truly, the freer and happier I am and the more accepting the people around me become. Everyone knows who the virtual Sifan is – and the dots are pretty easy to connect.
This brings my history up to the starting point of this blog. I expect to start hormones in one month, living full-time en-femme in 6 months and having GRS in a year and a half. I’m a ‘128 girl’ right now (en-femme all the time except for the 40 hours at work).
So, the process has begun … wish this girl luck!
With kindness and much Aloha,
Epilogue: So you see I grew up a boy. Lots of hints throughout my life (some were more like a 2×4 across the back of my head), but none of these broke me out of this “I’m a man with this extra sensitivities” box. Not too long ago I watched a youtube of a TED Conference where this big muscular black man got up on stage and proceeded to talk about the ‘male box’ – a set of conditions and expectations placed on a male by our society. He was addressing how men objectify women and other ways a man views women and explains how this happens. He was advocating that we all ‘see’ this box for what it is and to transcend it. By this time, I had already known that I was Sifan – a woman, but this concept of a ‘male box’ really hit home hard. I don’t have the same box he is talking about – I do see that most of the men around me, now and throughout my life, as having that box however. I also see that I constructed my own ‘boy-box’ and that was used by me to view the world and worse, to interpret the world: “I’m a man with these extras”. This was after my break through as Sifan, but this helped to really frame what I and society had put together. Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s don’t cut it anymore!
Postscript: Wow, it’s now a year and a half later as I write this postscript – time goes by quickly. I’ve been on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and have had my SRS (sex reassignment surgery in Thailand). As I write this I’m 3 months post-opt and still recovering. Theoretically my transition has been completed. I am now a woman physically, mentally, hormonally, chemically, physiologically, psychologically and sociologically – wheeee, a long journey with many changes indeed. Many insights were gained that were totally beyond my comprehension when I first wrote this beginnings post. The posts that follow outline my journey, all the steps taken, my feelings and emotions, insights and ah-ha moments, pain and joy and discoveries both about myself but also about gender, as I made my way, step by step. We are all different, that is why I publicly created this blog to tracked my journey so that others might benefit from what I have gone through. I hope this brings clarity to those that are also on this journey. At 64 years of age, this should show that it is never too late either. I wish for you, that you find the road to discovering your true self earlier and have more of your life to enjoy living authentically as who you really are. I hope your journey is safe, enlightening, not too stressful and most of all – successful!
With much Aloha,