Why I wrote my story.

My story and why I decided to finally write it. I can say right off that this is not the story of a heroine, because I am decidedly not such a person. There have been many memoirs written by women like myself, women of trans origin. I originally started putting words to my Pages app a few years ago, mostly because I needed to read my own words and work through my feelings and try and get a better understand of who I am.

When I began to transition, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders because now everyone would know this secret I so jealously kept to myself for decades, I had outed myself knowing how it would deeply impact the rest of my life. I knew that I could not go back and I didn’t want to in any case, I just wanted to stop pretending to be someone I never had been. My life was hitting rock bottom, I had no desire to continue as I was, I could no longer endure this shadow life in which I existed only for the satisfaction of others.

I did read a few memoirs by women like Jan Morris and Kate Bornstein and a few more, they were eye openers for me and I started to realize I wasn’t alone, that there was a community of people like myself. This brought me to search out a support group and I began attending weekly meetings in order to learn from my peers and figure out my next steps.

It was a difficult road to be on, yet far from the horrible life I had lived up until then. I was finally coming into my own and I knew who I was, always did only now I was open about it and glad to have found the strength to come out and announce it to family and friends. I did lose many of them in the process and I’m ok with this since I could not continue otherwise.

I came out in 1999, my youngest brother was my first supporter, we would go take small walks in the evening just so I could get used to this new outward presentation of myself. I will always be grateful to my young brother for his support when I needed it the most.

I wrote my memoirs for two reasons, the first is because I absolutely needed to get all these emotions and trauma out in the open so as to better understand what it was I had gone through over all those years, I wanted to figure myself out and see the path I was on. The second reason came a little later on, once I had fully transitioned. I got involved in organizing outings with other women of trans origin, no matter where they were in their transitions or how they identified. We would meet up at a restaurant in Montreal’s Gay Village once or twice a month for coffee and this gave everyone the opportunity to be in public, to be out there, this lasted for about a year or so. I would also table at events like Community Day to help spread the word about trans people, giving out pamphlets to people passing by. I got involved in McGill university’s V-Day event at which I gave a lecture and tabled, Did something similar with Concordia university, collected tons of clothes and create a sale for trans people and later gave the remaining clothes to a women’s W.

It was afterwards that I began to comprehend just how important it was to share this often hidden life to a larger audience. It took me a very long time to come out and more years before I was ready to write down my story. I had managed to write some bits and pieces about my life over the years though nothing cohesive. Around the beginning of this year ( 2020 ) I decided it was time and I got down to it and because I just about the luckiest person in the universe, I came across a wonderful writer who not only understood me but knew how to turn my writing into something worth reading. And so began the wonderful collaboration with Dawn Renee Greer.

And this is when I knew the second reason, it was to help others who were living something similar to me, maybe they were struggling in their transition. What I had to share could be helpful if only to highlight what not to do. So, here I am hoping that people who read my book will find solace and empowerment, that they will see that they are not alone, help is out there and people can be good. I write my memoirs because I want every person who identifies as trans to know that they are valid, their lives matter and that they can be loved. I know because I walked that path and there is life afterwards, do not give up, do not listen to naysayers, live your authentic selves, it’s the key to happiness. Today I can say that I am a woman because that is my identity though for others in transition, they may have  their own pronouns and identifiers, this is also something to celebrate and cherish. I recognize myself now after being invisible for forty five years and I hope this will be of help to whomever needs it.

My book, I hope, will entertain, bring you to tears, laughter, and many other emotions culminating with a sense that there can be light at the end of the tunnel and I truly wish you the very best. Do not be afraid to reach out to friends, family or even strangers, you have so much value and you are beautiful any way you happen to be.

love,

Joelle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s