My first step in self acknowledgement was in 8th grade when I came out to my mother, telling her that I was attracted to men but did not like being called gay. My attraction was like any other girl my age. Later on, I met my first transwoman at the age of 14. She was a pageant girl from Atlanta, and she was absolutely beautiful. I was fascinated with how she became who she was, and the more she and I developed a relationship, the more I knew that this was who I was; this was the answer to all of my questions. I experimented with dressing up in private on the weekends, when I was with friends, and I felt so comfortable, so confident, so me. It was a breath of fresh air, only suffocated by those moments when I was forced to return to the world that knew nothing of my trans-identity. My transition officially began in 2007-2008, when I got away from home and was able to be out on my own in a college environment. I began to experiment with dressing up more frequently, but I was miserable in my school’s small town. In 2007 my mom fell ill and almost died. It was that moment that I realized that I must improve my condition of life, so that I might be happy.
My first hormones were purchased from the black market. My godfather helped me put together my first regimen, and I never looked back. In less than a year of transitioning, I met a guy that I thought genuinely cared for me. Unfortunately, I was wrong, and the consequences were more dire than I ever imagined. After a difficult relationship and some time working in the adult entertainment industry, my family helped me get back on track with my transition. My mother and godfather stood by me since day one of my transition, and these two individuals will continue to support me throughout. My SRS is the final stage of my metamorphosis. It will complete the picture that I have been painting since childhood. It will make me the woman that I know has always lived on inside of me.
The Jim Collins Foundation grant is the opportunity of a lifetime. It has given my dream of completion wings, and set the stage for the next act of my story. In a single phone call, and a few short words, the floodgates of my imagination came rushing open, and I realized that all of the hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and prayers I have invested were not in vain. Though the steps leading up to this point were less than perfect, to know that soon my dream of completion will be a reality makes it all worth it.