So for two years now I’ve debated about coming clean and blogging about myself personally. This has been something that has weighed on my soul, if you will, for a long time. I recently outed myself on Quora when I started answering questions about Transgenders and I didn’t think twice about it. I’ve come out on facebook and to some of my family members via snail mail and I came out to a few of my coworkers but I’ve waffled off and on about posting it on my blog. This is supposed to be about writing… and my transition impacts my writing.
My birth name was Jason Everett Flint, it has now been changed to Janice Elizabeth Flint. Legally everything that was Jason is no more or will be gone soon, my SSN and my Driver’s License has already been changed. All that is left is my Birth Certificate and I already started that process, I’m just waiting to hear back on that one. It has been one of a scary journey for myself. How could it not be? For 34 years I was a guy, but on my 35th birthday I became the person I wanted to be. And it has been an emotional rollercoaster. A lot of firsts for me and I’m thankful that I’ve gotten a chance to have them, I’m just sorry it took so long for me to get to this point.
If someone were to have asked me where I saw my life when I was a teen, and they did, I always told them I’d be dead by 35. I wouldn’t live to see my 35th birthday. I was adamant on this, because I was so unhappy with myself. I had been unhappy with myself since I learned that there were differences between men and women. I found out in sex ed. They broke the boys into one group and the girls into another. I thought it was weird that I was left behind with the “boys”. They explained all the changes that would happen in a guy’s body and I that was when I realized that something was wrong with me. I couldn’t articulate it until I was 13, even if I could who was I going to tell? But as puberty hit I hated it, hated myself and the way my body was betraying me, I grew jealous of girls because they got to do the things I wanted to do. They got to wear the clothing I wanted to wear.
So I hid all that, tried to at least. And for awhile my writing was my only outlet and it worked for a few years. My first short stories were about a boy turning into a woman. There was no horror to having changed your gender, there was no chagrin. It was all acceptance for that character. There were confusion in the minds of the supporting cast but ultimately they’d accept the character regardless of gender, and the stories turned into books. The way my characters were treated was what I was hoping for. But growing up in a conservative military family made me paranoid. I heard the way my parents talked about homosexuals, and I didn’t want them to think I was broken. Not different. Broken. I didn’t want anyone to know because I never really felt safe, even with my family. I knew they were searching my room for material and to keep myself safe I invested in buying porn, even though I never really liked it. Luckily my writing was enough of a release for a few years. But I had to have more, I needed more. My older sister still lived with us and so did my mother and there were times I thought about trying on their clothes, jewelry and makeup but I was too scared to because my father was one who was heavy with the whip so to speak. Luckily this was about the time of the internet and I found acceptance being myself in chat rooms. I might have lied about some things, namely hair color and height, but in my heart that was who I was. My name was always Janus online. For the Roman God of Portals, Openings and Closings, Endings and Beginnings. Janus was my spirit name, if you will, and I would rise from my ashes like a phoenix someday.
I prayed and wished on every day, most minutes of the day, on every wishbone, every birthday cake, every x-mas, every shooting star that I would wake up in my proper body. I grew to hate birthday’s and holidays. Not because of my family but because of myself. Because I couldn’t have what I wanted. I was going to be forever denied my heart’s desire. I grew bitter on the inside. And then Everquest came out and I grew very close to a few of my guild mates. The three I thought I could trust I told. 2 of them stopped talking to me, I still don’t know if they’ve ever gotten over the betrayal. One… went so badly that I attempted to kill myself. It wasn’t going to be my last attempt either, sadly. I survived and convinced myself that I was wrong. I started to work out, I developed an interest in the Armed Forces, developed an intense desire to join the WWE and become an ideal that other men could look up to and say “That’s a real man.” Because that’s what guys did. I never really got there. I started playing roleplaying games again and I really have to thank and hate my best friend for introducing me to this. I was luckily enough to be allowed to play a female character, in my current body, with other guys. And there were other guys who played female characters with me! I wasn’t so mistaken, maybe I wasn’t that different than others.
Then I started to hate and resent my female characters, Mirlinth Loth, because she had something I would never have. She had a husband and a child, Starkdhar. I knew at that point I had a problem. I knew that if I was jealous of my fictional character that I needed to take a step back and just reevaluate my life. I’d told a few people that I was in the wrong body and I think more than anything they just humored me. Transgenders were not the main stream, we were people who were butts of jokes. But I continued on. Resigning myself that I was going to be miserable day in and day out. I’d long ago learned to hate sleep. In sleep I was my real self, not the facade I put up. Oh sure I looked happy and content but I wasn’t. I was a mental wreck. I don’t think anyone knew how much I was actually drinking to keep things together. I could polish off a bottle of Jack and look for the next bottle to keep going. I learned to play drunk well even though I was stone cold sober. I was to afraid of drinking with others, serious drinking, because I didn’t know if I could keep it together and if the dam burst would I be able to put the pieces together again, would I be able to keep my friendships.
I have always been something of a hot head, because guys had to have either anger or humor. You couldn’t cry or grieve. My dad actually was angry that I wasn’t distraught when we lost a dog when I was 15. I told him point blank to his face that Men didn’t cry. He just smirked at me. What was I supposed to say? He’d taught me by example. Verbal and emotional abuse had taught me that men had 2 emotions. Oh sure, I cried myself quietly to sleep each night, slept in only 2 or 3 hour chunks because I was afraid someone would come into my room and see me curled up in a fetal position. I was by all accounts a pathetic person.
And it kept getting worse and worse. There was a portion of myself that was always putting me down, even the stupidest little mistake would be a day of ripping myself apart. On the outside I had to be perfect, on the inside I was the biggest enemy I had. I couldn’t do anything right and I would admit that nothing I did would get better, even if I did magically get my wish to have my female body I was still a fuck up and unworthy of such a gift. These negative thoughts were always with me. I tried my best to keep upright but being that I didn’t put faith in others, I couldn’t trust others, I couldn’t lower myself down to their human standards because for years I’d been tearing myself down.
Finally I broke. It was about the time my dog Maggie died that the cracks started to really happen. There had been signs I think to everyone but those signs were all pointing to me being homosexual. I was getting to the point where I defined myself by those around me, because I was afraid to stare into the maw that was myself. And in June of 2015 that I’d had enough. I spent the entire night before crying for myself and what I had become and I hated it. Hated everything about it. I stood up, braced to give the last of fucks. I went into work and told my boss I wanted to transition. And we started the process. I found a therapist who has been incredibly helpful and on October 27th 2015 I started on Hormone Replace Therapy. One week later and I was feeling so much better. Now there wasn’t a cognitive dissonance in me. My brain and body were working in harmony and I loved it. Oh I still had bouts with depression, but as I came to fully understand them these bouts were actually just the dysphoria I had been feeling. I could put names to my demons.
I had long stopped standing to pee, I had for the majority of my life been unable to pee standing up and I would tense up and have to go into a stall and sit down, when I had to stand to pee I forced myself to pee as quickly as I could. That ended up giving me a hernia which was painful and I actually now physically have a much smaller bladder because they had to cut away a bit of it cause of all the years of pushing to pee standing up. Because I’d always felt like I didn’t belong in the men’s room and I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. I don’t ever really recall peeing in school to be honest, I know I must have but I can’t for the life of me remember when. Changing in the locker room with other guys was embarrassing because I had breasts, and I was pudgy but I was pudgy so I could have breasts. I hated watching movies and TV because seeing the women on screen would just remind me that I wasn’t ever going to look like that. All of these things were subtle indications of the dysphoria I had. I even jerked off multiple times a day, not because I love my penis, because I had heard the more you did that the smaller it got. Maybe it worked, I wasn’t the largest of guys and I didn’t want to be. When my two boyfriends commented on their dick size they turned to look at me and I just shrugged. Nothing about that conversation had been comfortable to me.
My entire life has been uncomfortable. But now that I’m finally myself I’m finding new problems. I have no female friends I can really hang with. The few I’ve hung out haven’t done much to make me like being with them. Either them constantly questioning my reasons, wondering why the hell I’d want to be one when it’s so much better to be a man or just flat out thinking I’m weird for wanting to be comfortable in my own skin. I tried dating twice, both times I had to force myself to even the most casual of intimate acts. Kissing, hugging or simply holding hands made my skin crawl because I wasn’t comfortable with myself and nothing I did fixed that. I used to keep people at arm’s distance because I didn’t want anyone close enough to touch me.
Now I don’t mind someone being in my space. I love wrapping myself in covers and I love the thought that someday I’ll have a significant other I can cuddle up to on the couch. I still get terrified or dysphoric about things. I’ll always be. I went to pee recently in public and fully expected someone to throw me into the street and tell me to piss there like an animal. I went into the girls room at the movie theater and was expecting to see an army of angry boyfriends and husbands who wanted to kill me for daring to be a normal human and pee. I worry about my make up choices and how well I really pass. But the thing that gives me the most moments of dysphoria is my voice. I have worked for 2 years on it and it’s ok, but when someone in a game is says something that makes me think they think I’m a guy I just can’t stop processing that and I shut down, I mute my mic and I start crying.
So how does all this influence my writing? Because without my being trans I would never have started writing. I would never have sought to express myself in a written format had my body been in alignment with my mind. Much of my life would have been changed forever had I had just an ounce of the courage I had 2 years ago to tell my parents I wanted to be a woman. My mom and brother are on speaking terms with me after I came out to them. My sister thinks I’m the lowest of the low. A coward who couldn’t even be a man. And that hurt.
Because of everyone in my family I had hoped my sister, my brave and fantastic sister, would have been happy to have a fellow sister. We would have talked and she would have forgiven me for the things I said when I was embarrassed by her taking me to hooters for my 21st birthday and making me realize how far from my wish I truly was. She would have given me makeup and hair tips and clothing tips, she has always been the one to buy me clothing and so I thought our relationship would continue. My sister has always had my respect but when we talked on the phone she threw the arguments you hear all the time. “You’re just a guy in drag, you’re never going to be a woman, think about what this does to us, what do I tell your nephew?” And I took it badly. I had a million arguments in my mind to counter her, but to hear them coming from her hurt. And I fired back in a hateful manner. I only contacted her because she was too mad to contact me.
I haven’t told my father. He’s on my linkedin profile so I’m sure he’s probably seen I’ve changed my name and posted a new profile pic but he doesn’t talk to me very often and I haven’t opened up that can of worms. One of my therapists thought I was doing this so I would be as far removed from my father as I could be. And I will admit that I was never going to have children because I didn’t want to end up like my dad. And when I learned that the HRT would make me sterile I was glad that the flint line would pass on to my brother. Let him be the one to worry about if we’re going to keep our family name going. Frankly I could care less.
But like I said it’s not all sunshine and roses. When I was getting ready to come out at work I started pushing for training for the other staff and they kept pushing back and finally when I gave them the date and schedule some of my surgeries, a bit of FFS and a boob job, that I was coming back as Janice. They fired me shortly after. They were looking for reasons to fire me and I gave them a reason by sharing information on how I used to be. It’s given me a lot of time to think and be angry and worried and relieved. See it’s hard for a trans to get a job, who wants to hire someone who is going to have multiple procedures to feel comfortable in their skin? Who is a legitimate hotbed for social issues right now? But now I’m starting a new job and I’m no longer the person I was. I am now the person I want to be, and I get to introduce myself as Janice.
Part of being a streamer was to get comfortable streaming and talking in my new voice for up to 8 hours a day. It’s hard for me to do that but I like to think I’m ok… as long as someone doesn’t just flat out call me sir. That always ruins my day. I’m still somewhat of an emotional eater so I gotta work on that, but that’s better than crying myself to sleep and potentially ruining my makeup. Eyeliner is kinda a pain to put on if I’m honest. Lipstick, mascara and eyeshadow is way easier to put on than eye liner.
I’m glad I finally decided to come out. I’m not doing this for attention or to sell books. I’m just being myself and I’ve always felt safest on the internet. If it means an uptick in my books great, I need all the money I can get for the future procedures, most of it is cosmetic and frankly that’s a huge problem since it can cost me up to 100 grand to do everything.