A Trans memoir, a human story.

My memoirs, what I wrote of my life from the point of view of feeling trapped in the wrong body is influenced by all manner of things, among them is the book Conundrum which I read when I first began my transition.  One aspect I seem to have borrowed from her writings is that I have to some degree, lessened the trauma and pain I experienced throughout. This is in part because I wished to be encouraging of others who are going through similar life changing events and also it’s from the way I am as a person who tends to show a brave exterior even when I might be a mess.

I have been sincere in my attempt to convey my journey to womanhood, to having a body that fits with who I am. I also wanted to have humour and a sense of hope in spite of anything that could have, of its own, broken me. I simply didn’t want my story to be one of unimaginable sadness and destruction, I saw my struggles as ultimately freeing, of breaking away from the shackles of conformity to a body that had always been wrong for me and I suppose this feeling coloured my whole life, in every area that I walked in. I put forward how I was vulnerable to being influenced the outside world as I at first sought to fix myself, to find a cure as it were to my transsexuality only to finally accept and acknowledge that that part of me wasn’t broken, all that was needed to some physical corrections and embracing who I had always been … a woman.

My memoirs can be framed in the trans literature universe while also being universal in scope and can be understood by anyone who is going through a rough patch or who can sympathize with not being allowed to be themselves out of fear of retribution or judgment. A reader and friend recently shared with me how the part of my story in which I am a young child and deeply envious of my cousins pretty white shoes brings me to have a crying fit under a table, had her remembering experiences in which she was so sad and cried for not being able to wear certain shoes because of a physical disability. Why I mention this is that her reaction brought it home to me in a big way that my story is relatable beyond any one category of human experience and that feels so good. We both, my friend and I, though different, each experienced this awful sense of being denied that privilege. This conjunction of shared lived experiences crosses specificities and encompasses who we are as humans.

Though I am not very politicized, I am also not invisible and have a voice and hope that my story reaches past the boundaries of gender, sexuality and other human areas in which discrimination and bigotry force people to hide. My story is not unique as far as being a woman of trans origin goes though I think I do bring my very own slant of it. It is my sincere wish that my memoirs “ Breaking free: 45 Years In The Wrong Body “ brings you hours of good reading and engages you mind to a life that you may not be familiar with, and opens hearts to diversity and healing.

Joelle

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