As far back as I can remember, I refused to wear girl clothes. When I hit puberty I really felt that I was ‘different’. In school, especially high school, I was bullied because of my appearance. I never knew much about transitioning or that it was even a possibility. In 2005, I started to understand more about transgender issues after listening to a guest speaker and viewing photos of different stages of transitioning. In 2007, I knew for certain I needed to transition. My first step was getting a binder since my top has always been my biggest source of dysphoria. I struggled being honest with myself and others around me for a long time. After coming out in 2014, my 8-year relationship ended because she couldn’t handle it. My family was still unsure of how to handle my coming out (they’re amazing now!). Mid 2015, I met a wonderful woman who loves me for me. I packed my things and moved from St. Louis, Missouri to Michigan to begin living as who I knew I was, I couldn’t hide any longer. We married, and I took a job working 60+ hours a week to support our family and try to save for surgery. Once I started living as the man I knew I was, it became easier to be open about trans issues. I started mentoring other trans guys, helping them through difficult times and getting them in the right direction to begin their journey of transitioning. I’m 2 years on hormones and without surgery I’m facing the same challenges as before, sometimes worse. I legally adopted our twins and I want to be the father they need. The end of 2017, my wife and I lost our newborn son due to complications. This made the depression and anxiety I already face much worse. I feel like I’m held back from so many things in life because of my chest. I want to feel the sun on my bare chest and a shirt against me. Top surgery is life saving and I can’t wait to see how I will excel when I am finally whole, finally free!
This gift from The Jim Collins Foundation and the donors changes my entire world. I was speechless when I was contacted and still am in disbelief. They’re my guardian angels shining bright at the end of this dark storm I’ve been enduring.