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Emily's Story As A Male To Female Transgender

I have always been devoted to my family, always took pride in my work and approached all my assignments with eagerness, dedication and enthusiasm. I was always professional, responsible, loyal and very dedicated in all my pursuits including college and committed in handling and managing the financial needs that come with home ownership. I am now unable to work as I have struggled with depression and my gender identity since early childhood and had a recent breakdown and a painful realization of needing to transition . It is sad and unfortunate that people who suffer depression are looked upon as weak and considered to have a strike against them and are usually not even considered in the recruiting process. It amazes me how our society makes us feel less of a person if we exhibit any form of medical condition from the norm such as depression, transgender or other form of disability.

I feel I need to step up despite my illness and inability to work and develop a plan that will help us through this difficult period in our lives. It is of extreme importance that I take on the role of supporting my son's mental and emotional well being and act as his advocate and be the "glue" that keeps our family together. I just feel pain in my heart as our son struggles in so many ways. I feel selfish & burdened with guilt for being true to myself when my son's life is falling apart. I love my son so much and need to reinforce that we are with him and will do all we possibly can to help guide him and find the proper placement he deserves. We owe him as his parents to see that all his needs are addressed with a sense of urgency his future depends on the action and decisions taken now. We must realize that our lives are slipping by and we have no control over it.

I just feel that I have endured sadness & so much internal pain with my personal struggle with gender dysphoria, losing my mom at 49 through depression, my dad tragically to suicide who was a big part of my son's world and just suffering from lifelong depression and trying to please everyone. I finally found some peace when I came out at 51 knowing the struggle I lived through since age 4 and becoming Emily as I felt I was destined for my own personal health and emotional fulfillment.

I am very concerned for my son who shows no coping skills or street smarts and lacks discipline, focus and most likely will need to be cared for unless some miracle inspires him to do something in life as he truly has great potential but does not know how to channel his energies or find a sense of importance about something meaningful that will help him grow and mature. It seems he has struggled with autism since he was diagnosed at 3 and sadly aside from growing and maturing as typical kids his age he shows no promise of that currently as his behaviors have always been a problem. Our main concern now is that he is a teenager now and is expected to act appropriately and with a maturity level consistent with his age. Since his emotional behaviors are more reflective of a 7 year old it becomes more difficult for us and time seems to be ticking away as our son desperately wants his independence but has no skills to survive and needs to just realize the importance of school and that we are here for him for our lifetime.

I just know based on his actions and distortion of reality that he also is burdened with mental illness as well as a seizure disorder. I just wish I had the support and the answers to help our son but realistically I realize I have a limited life span and am in the process of experiencing many of my own changes in becoming a woman.

Sometimes I just question why life has to be so complicated and always feel that no one is really enjoying life as they work themselves to the grave. I was very dedicated to my job and my family. I went to college. I did everything I was supposed to and in the end I still struggle and my biggest fear is that I will continue to live with depression which would affect my ability to work, The sad reality is I really don't want to have to work the rest of my life just to pay my mortgage and then when I finally make my final payment I am obligated to a new loan to help finance my son's college if I am still alive or I'll die having felt the need to work and never truly enjoy living. As Emily I need to enjoy my life and find the time and opportunity to experience my life as the new me and not have to worry as I currently face the reality that we may lose our house with Citimortgage as we are desperately trying to avoid foreclosure.

I also am dealing with my son's inability to behave and of late he has become very violent nearly choking me to death. If it was not for my wife I would not be able to seek the medical services I need as she maintains me on her policy and I am very fortunate since I am unable to work and am dealing with way too much stress and I just need my time and space to be free and wear pretty clothes and not be tied to work pressures that resulted in my complete emotional and mental break down.

Now my only focus outside of addressing my own personal needs is to provide my full time and effort in my commitment to support, help and advocate for our son and hopefully it will lead to his future successes in figuring out his life and I now must take on the challenge alone with a sense of priority and urgency. For me that is a moral dilemma because I need to believe Matty will find his sense to live his life and find something to help him aspire to find his happiness and for me to not have to worry about whether or not he can. Our son is growing into young manhood but is not developing timely and we will need to allow him more time to grow without feeling pressure.

Who wants to live in a place where you basically have to work until you die to square all your debts. That would be a painful life and no one would want that fate. I write now to express myself and tell others that life should not just be work and sacrifice always. There comes a time when you just need to take a break and get away from the craziness and since I have no wealth, writing is where I derive my joy and happiness. It is my lifeline to the outside an a way to channel my thoughts and concerns in a positive way.

If I were asked why someone would find solace in writing I would say that for me it's about self expression and coming to terms with who I am and turning the corner. Writing is now an extension of my life, it is my addiction, my need to share and my way of reaching out. Life is short. We may as well make our mark or statement before it is too late. Most of all I need to see that our son will be ok before I do go to rest eternally. .

If I didn't find my need and passion to write I would have probably been gone by now losing all sense of hope. My wife is a very quiet and a shy person and finds it hard to open up but she is caring and a very loving and supportive mother and I am proud and lucky to share life together with her and Matty. It's not perfect but we are kind and loving parents even if there is adversity and personal struggles. No one can ever say they have the perfect life. It does not exist and never will and one day mankind will suffer as there is too much stress, violence, war and the wisdom of a 3 year old should be enough to prove we live in chaos and unless positive change occurs we will continue to struggle.

I just question what is the point of all our suffering. I am so grateful to my wife who is a sense of calm and reason as we struggle together as we promised we would when we took our vows together on our wedding day. I'm going for treatment at Beth Israel hospital but I have now come to the painful realization and understanding of why someone reaches that point of desperation and decides they can't fight anymore because they have completely lost all sense of hope and have no one to turn to. Yes, I go to doctors but realistically the bills will mount and I will just lose all that I believed in, With all I mentioned I never even made reference to discrimination but if by some miracle my son improves, I improve and my wife finally seeks the help she needs and I am able to work again I would face discrimination and societal views that portray transgender individuals in a bad light.

As a transwoman I have something to live for which is my family, my son and my journey to live as a woman evolving from the shy little 4 year old boy who just wanted to be that "cute little girl" that gets all excited to wear the dresses she could only dream of wearing as a boy. The little girl also always wanted to play with her dolls.

If only life was that simple. I am lucky as I get my life long wish which is to live and be female and no longer hide or feel shame. Ed is sweet and Emily will continue to be sweet and promises to dress nicer than Ed could ever do in public. It's not about the clothes. It's about the identity and in our society boys wear pants and girls wear dresses and I love to wear dresses because I am a girl and am so happy in expressing my self as one.

Hi, my name is Emily, so nice to meet you. I have a beautiful son named Matty and my best friend in life, is my wife and her name is Maria. I am a very lucky girl and guy but mostly girl.

The saddest of ironies is I never felt better despite my depression and my breakdown because I am finally free but what is freedom if your son wishes to die as I only know too well.. That is the saddest thing I could ever imagine so I must find a way to redirect him and help him rebuild his life and the sad truth, he is only 14 and takes on the pain of others to his detriment. It just is not fair. I must find a way to help him like I am being helped. If I was not getting the help I truly needed I would have lost my will just like my parents so now that I get a new lease on life I must live it and make the most of it and advocate for my son.

I just feel I can do so much in helping my son. I can advocate for autism related causes. I can advocate for transgender related causes. I have to believe again and continue to write to help me try to make some sense of this difficult time in our lives.

I will share two little "mini stories" that have deep emotional impact. One is in regard to my son and one is in regard to me growing up as a lonely teenager. I will tell you the very day my son lost his innocence and I say this with all sincerity. The day my son lost his innocence was 9/11/01 at the age of nearly 3 years old. Why you ask? Very simple, His whole view of the world changed that very day and though my son was not directly affected he has suffered ever since. He relives this as part of his daily routine being autistic as he has to reassure himself every day that in his mind and heart it never happened and if I try to explain the truth he loses his composure and acts out so in order for me to avoid or try to at least minimize his outburst on 9/11 I agree with him that it did not happen because he explains with his innocence and logic that something so horrific as that simply could not happen and if it did then he hates living because his feelings of being safe have been violated. That is something we are still working on and I brought him into the city the other day where maybe he may come to realize the painful truth as he wishes to visit the memorial. I guess he is seeking some form of closure in dealing with the tragedy so he can make his peace. The kids suffer too and we can never truly measure the psychological impact had but just from our personal experience with our son it really hurt and scared him.

He is very bright despite his emotional and behavioral issues and all the other family issues we are dealing with.

Now my little story which is something that brings a tear to my eyes when I think back to what could have been. I struggled as clearly discussed with gender issues since early childhood as my son struggles for different reasons and the only way I could find my way of coping aside from cross dressing underneath my male attire was to participate in sports. I played little league baseball and was pretty good as I played shortstop and second base. Well I was crushed when I missed the final cut from the tryouts for the high school baseball team which deeply hurt me because I did not know who I was and I was living a lie and was not able to be the guy I was supposed to be.

I did excel in school as math and physics were my favorite classes. However that was not enough for me so I started thinking of ways I would take my life and I remember the day as if it just happened yesterday as it was life changing and reaffirming and changed me in a good way. You see I was suffering from depression, low self esteem despite my good grades, painful isolation and total lack of confidence with the girls. I just felt I fit nowhere and asked what is the point of my very existence when I saw my parents struggling. I planned to overdose on a mix of aspirin and sleeping pills. Sorry for the graphic honesty but I feel the point I'm trying to make has to reflect the facts and I'm not good at sugarcoating things especially when it can help someone, the truth that is. As I said, I was planning to take the deep sleep as I knew where my mom kept the medicines and in those days there were no safety locks or safety caps. I was 16, desperate and it was one day before the weekend. On Friday early afternoon in the fall during the early start of the school year back in 1978 a teacher approached me as i stood in line for my lunch. He looked at me and in that moment of time his words were forever engrained in my mind when he looked at me in the eyes and said "I want you to run for me" as I looked at him in complete surprise and asked him what he meant. He turned to me and said, "son, I want you to run cross country for my junior varsity team" and I said ok and I was so happy that someone believed in me and it was my track and cross country coach, Alan Berkowsky, a graduate of Cortland College, a math teacher, an awesome coach and a wonderful man who made such an impact on me and changed my whole perspective.

He saved my life and he never knew the impact he made on me. Many years later I was on facebook and friend requested him and he accepted and then his daughter friend requested me which I accepted and I was invited to his 75th birthday party along with other teammates who I had not seen in many years. I had already started my transition but out of respect for coach I wore a suit and tie for the occasion and bought him some sports books based on baseball heroes and cross country and marathon running as I knew he loved sports and stories that inspire us to do our best.

When I first saw him and he saw me he pulled me aside and just gave me the biggest hug as I cried and he gave me a pep talk like old times and I related my story of how he truly made a difference in my life and in fact helped me when I was at a very low point and he helped me to believe in myself which is what movies are based on. It really was a special moment and we are friends once again and he has been introduced to my son and knows of his situation and he said to me in his firm voice that still remains that I can call him anytime and any day.

There are people who truly make a difference in our lives aside from our parents and family and Coach Alan Berkowsky is my role model, hero and life saver. I dedicate this writing to him as he truly made a real difference in my life. Now I need to find my son a mentor who will help him as I am just his "dad" who loves him and will do whatever I can to save him but am not able to break through to him and that is the sad part of autism.

Emily Iannielli
emmicd emmicd 51-55, T 1 Response Oct 6, 2013

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You said, "It amazes me how our society makes us feel less of a person if we exhibit any form of medical condition from the norm such as depression, transgender or other form of disability." I don't consider being transgender a form of disability.