So I don't know about you but I'm kind of over the numbered list thing. I'm going to continue the story of my coming out process.
CHAPTER 3: I Don't Want a Penis Anymore - Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Commit to Change
I'll start by talking about gender dysphoria, and this is a hard one because it's like trying to drive a nail through a plume of smoke. How can I describe to you the aching that a woman might experience living her life in a man's body? I've often said before that I am a goddess of love and beauty born into the body of a Greek hero. The world sees the hero and expects one thing of him, but the goddess feels another way, and can't imagine going out and leading the Argonauts or slaying Medusa. She seeks the golden bangles and flowing dresses that will express who she is inside, but realizes that the world expects her to don the helmet and breastplate like the other men. Can you imagine how ridiculous a towering man with the strength of an ox would look like in a dress? What a fag! But surely... there had to be other people who felt this way, right?
When I was young I ventured out into the wide, psychotic bazaar of the internet in search of people who felt like I did. I found forums, I found news articles and I found other goddesses who had shirked the expectations of society and cashed in their breastplates for bangles. Think this is where the story gets happy? not quite.
When anyone tries to wear makeup for the first time it is hardly ever a success story, and that's what I found when I entered these forums: young people and old who were trying makeup for the first time. It was such a mix of emotions, because on one hand I found my tribe but on the other hand I realized that this confirmed everything I had felt about myself: I am different. In fact, I was almost as different as it is possible to be, and the beauty I sought was about nine feet beyond the furthest reach of my desperate fingertips.
I am such a fag. I will never be beautiful. Look at this body! How can I make this figure appear feminine? Is this the life I'm going to have to live? No one will accept me if I tell them how I feel. If I dress like a woman I will always stand out and I will always be ridiculed. I'll be a hiss and a byword, the joke of songs and movies and whispers will rise up like a chorus in the wake of my presence.
Thoughts such as these ran through my head in the dark hours of the night - the only time I felt safe to make such searches on the internet. In those moments I made a decision that would affect me for the rest of my life: "I will tell no one. God gave me this struggle so that I can overcome it and return to him with honor." you must remember that I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons, LDS etc) and this is the purpose of life that's given to you: put on blinders to "The World" read your scriptures, follow the commandments and march on in a single file line. I mean no disrespect to anyone who currently practices the faith, but it's truly a very restrictive lifestyle. There's a list of things you must believe and it is not open for debate. If you are different than what is binary (male or female, priesthood or relief society - no in between) then you are not going to be treated well.
Let me explain my last sentence, because I can hear you balking at it. There are bishops who have the milk of human kindness flowing in their veins. There are members who are truly some of the nicest people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. When I was in the most desperate place in my life, a family in the ward gave up a room in their house and let me live with them rent free while I worked and saved for my future. These are the kinds of acts that you can expect from members of the church and I respect the fuck out of that. But the doctrine will not allow you to find yourself, or come to terms with the true person you are beneath the masterwork of pulleys, levers and chemical compounds that is built around your soul. That is the predicament that all LGBTQ+ people find themselves in when it comes to the LDS faith. Boys wear ties and girls wear dresses.
So I soldiered on in the breastplate and helmet like I was expected to, and deposited Aubrey the goddess into a prison cell in the darkest corner of my heart. Perhaps my angst and self-loathing were the echoes of her cries for freedom? After years of confinement her shouts finally climbed the stone staircase and reached the ears of the scared, insecure person who sat on the throne of my mind. I left the church in 2014 and in 2016 I talked to my wife about dressing in drag so I could express the femininity inside of me. I was 28 and had wasted 18 years acting out a role whose lines I could hardly read from the script. In today's gun riddled society that's all the lifetime that some people get to live.
I think I've mentioned before the flush of pure excitement that rushed through me when I talked to my wife about crossdressing or doing drag once or twice a month and she said that this would be something we could try and make work. I immediately began looking through Pinterest for dresses that I'd always wanted to wear but had been off limits to me. I told people at work in special confidence, and even telling one person made me feel so powerful. All it took was a moment of holding the scepter for Aubrey to assume control of the legions and the senate and Derick, that scared fool of a ruler, knew that his time on the throne was at an end.
I came home after a long day of work and Mallory knew something was wrong. I had a glass of whiskey in hand and was watching the TV like I wished life could be as simple as all the stupid sitcoms: beginning, crisis, punchline, resolution and the credits. She asked me how I was doing and I lied. She knew - she always did, because she had a way of reading me and telling me what the next three paragraphs of my emotions said. I took a sip and told the truth.
"I don't think a weekend here or there will be enough." I was still staring at the TV. It could have said Obama was going to give everyone a million dollars and I wouldn't have known. It was all flashes of color and light to me.
"Do you want to be a woman?" She was afraid of the answer because she probably already knew it - she just had to hear it.
"So you want to cut your penis off and live the rest of your life as a woman?"
Another sip and another slide deeper into the jacuzzi of truth (please drink responsibly lol)
With that single word Derick abdicated the throne. His statue in the square was toppled, and Aubrey's banner was raised around the capitol. The next day we called our friends and family and told them that we were getting a divorce and that I would be transitioning to live life as a woman.
Keep in mind that at this point I had no idea how beautiful or hideous I would look as a woman. I only had in my hands the smallest, most potent kernel of truth, and it was one that I had always known and poured over in fascinated horror: I AM a woman inside and I must live that way even if I look like Fiona the ogre.
The next day I went out and expanded my already extensive makeup collection (I did theatrical and cinematic makeup as a hobby that I had planned on making a career) and did myself up as Aubrey for the first time in my life.
I'm lucky in that I already had the skills of a practiced makeup artist when I did this. I'm so vain and self-possessed that I shudder to think what the outcome would have been if I had botched together a makeup look and thrown on a $15.00 halloween wig. I might have backed out. I won't tell you how much I spent on a decent wig and some fancy makeup lol.
When I was finished, I looked in the mirror and saw the goddess shining through my features and life has never been the same since.
I am Aubrey Marie Kesler, the heiress who has come to power after 28 dark and dreadful years of captivity. If my frame is large, it's only because so much soul cannot dwell in a smaller tabernacle. Someday I will have breast implants and sometime after that I will undergo Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) and will have a fully functioning vagina. I say this boldly because I'm not afraid of this anymore, and I wish that I had paid attention to all the goddesses and their proclamations when I was 10. Perhaps I would already be a complete woman at this point.
If you are reading this and you are in doubt about yourself, do something about it. Do it now, before you can talk yourself out of it. Do not waste another day in unhappiness when you could be spending your time sailing into the golden horizon of the future. Do not be so concerned with beauty standards as I was that you let time blow your years away like so many leaves in a cold wind. You are beautiful for who you are and who you get to become. Now, get up off your ass and go and do that which your life requires of you. God didn't make a mistake when he poured me into a body and he did not make a mistake when he did the same for you. Learn what he wants you to learn by spending your talents on developing who you are and finding ways to help others to whom he has given a similar quest as your own.
It won't be easy, but it will be worth it (GAG that's such a cliche my fingers hurt just typing it... but it's true lol)
I hope that all of you have a wonderful day, and that this encourages some young woman to come out of her shell and be the flower she was meant to be.
Love to all!
~Aubrey Marie <3