With a story about time travel.
When I was 14, I told a story to people, a “hypothetical thought experiment” to help answer a question, how do you seperate the mentally insane from time travelers if all they have is human-scale information (don’t expect a 40 year old to jump back in time 150 years and tell you when it’ll rain outside to the minute. In any century…). As typical thinking out of the box me, I thought of a solution to this problem while sharing secretly something about me.
If someone was to go back in time, and present-day me had to trust them wholeheartedly and instantly, they would need some unique key, just like a database, or a entering a password. So, I would tell people that if i ever needed someone to do just that, to go back in time, all they would need to do is tell present-day me a secret, one I knew from the age of 14 and thought I would take to the grave till it all boiled out on this day. (this account written a few weeks later)
I knew I was transgender at the age of 14, not in that way explicitly though; my parents ultra-conservative nature stopped me having a vocabulary to explain it well. But i knew my mind and in a way, my soul was not the gender my body was not, and had a desire to want to change that. Of course in the social bubble that a mormon family have, I went to my mother about how I felt. She aggressively defended that it was just wrong, and impossible. This led to my therapist shortly after changing tactics and asking strange enough questions for me to go out of my way to use pre-google internet to learn more and find out its about sexual deviancy and risk assessments towards sexually hurting siblings etc. There was other things too at that time that I do not talk about but suffice to say, i was so scared of being thrown in jail or worse that it literally threw me in the transgender closet for literally 20 years.
I know i broke my promise to myself, but younger me would understand why.
By the time i was 19, and now sad to say, I was quite transphobic without even realising it back then, even though I was out as a very effeminate gay male. It took a special friend who was there from day 1 when my parents took me out of the family. Who I am still friends with to this day to crack that shell that gender and sex were separate, didn’t take much really than explaining intersex and the spectrum.
I tried experimenting over the years. I used to wear a lot of satchel/handbags in my late teens, grew my hair down to shoulder length when I lived in Beijing (locals were so enthralled by just the sight of a foreigner, they didn’t care if you presented masculine or feminine). I found some people that helped me explore a more external matching appearance in my late 20’s, just before I was homeless; never in a sissification or sexual way, just a chill in front of a fireplace once a fortnight and chat about the weeks events. This stopped suddenly of course when health and relationship issues led me to becoming homeless.
This was a turning point for my journey though. I knew at this point that I didn’t have to cave into pressure. I could stand my ground of whats true and not leave myself exposed. I never did come out to him, few months into being homeless, he cut all contact and got told by his father never to speak to any of them again. Yet the ripples of that moment set the rest of my life in motion, getting tired of putting others needs before my own wellbeing, I learnt a lot to have balance in my life, to not just devote every waking moment to helping someone or something, but its okay to do things for myself.
I changed my name legally to Taylor after being homeless, intentionally to be gender neutral and respectful to my biological family. I knew I had still a few more years I wanted to give it a fair go to repair things between them and me, but after 17 years after they took me out of the family at age 17, they were still freaking out over a name change and the morality chasm between them and me reached too much. I ended up breaking all ties with them at this point. I cant keep hurting myself by allowing them to hurt others like that.
In the fetish community work, i focused wholeheartedly to some peoples confusion on all-inclusive safe space and creation of events. Toxic members in the community even resorted to lying about me in front of me, claiming i had stolen and used his testosterone steroids. But i kept my ground, and didn’t let him choose when its time for me to come out. But sadly people took that silence as guilt and kept losing a lot of friends, they couldn’t understand how i was focusing solely on them and they tried to convince themselves I had an ulterior motive. And it is true, I said it on live radio in 2017 as well and its the same thing I said just above. I just left out how i was creating these safe all-inclusive spaces so i can also feel safe to come out of the trans closet one day and be the real me on the inside and out.