June 26, 2013

Off-Topic: Yup, I'm Trans.

I've been posting to this blog for over five years now, and as my regular readers know, this has always been a very personal blog. Dave Krieg's Strike Beard has always been more about my personal journey as a Seahawks fan than anything else, but there's been one huge part of myself that I've hidden (for the most part) from y'all. In the wake of today's historic Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage, I simply can't hold this in anymore.

I'm transgender, and I'm in the process of transitioning from male to female. Now I'll follow in the footsteps of trans sportswriters like Christina Kahrl, Bobbie Dittmeier and Christine Daniels, and I hope the vast majority of you will still be interested in what I have to say about our beloved Seattle Seahawks.

A few years ago, I realized that I was DEEPLY unhappy living as a man and I decided that I needed to transition and start living as a woman. It didn't come out of nowhere- Since I was 8 or 9 years old, I have felt “different” and for a LONG time, that was it. Something was wrong, but I didn’t have a name for it. I battled severe anxiety and depression for years. I tried therapy, I tried Zoloft, etc. Nothing worked. But once I started taking steps towards transitioning from male to female, I wasn’t miserable any more. For the first time, I had real hope for the future, rather than a nebulous hope that following the social script handed to me from birth would work out somehow in the end.

About at year ago, I saw a doctor who pronounced me fit and gave me a prescription for Hormone Replacement Therapy, which I've been on since then. It’s a combination of estrogen and testosterone-blocking drugs that will, over time, change my appearance substantially. More importantly, they have almost completely eliminated the depression and anxiety I have been burdened with for decades. I am more relaxed and happier than I've ever been at any other time in my life. I’m also undergoing laser hair removal to eliminate my facial hair.

I’m intentionally taking a “slow-and-steady” approach to this process, and I intend to keep my given name, only changing the spelling slightly. It’s important for all of you to know that I’m not becoming a different person- I’m just becoming a happier, more well-adjusted one. My personality and interests won’t change. I will still love the Seahawks, I'll still nerd out about movies, TV, politics, and I'll still be with my incredibly wonderful and supportive girlfriend, who has been 100% behind my transition since the day we met. This has always been something I have struggled with mightily, and confronting it is one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life.

Why am I announcing this on my blog? I'm hoping for support and encouragement- If you can't give that to me, I'd prefer that you keep those feelings to yourself. I'm coming out to an ever-growing circle of people over time, and it just feels like the right time to come out to my fellow Twelves. I'm still not officially out in terms of my job or day-to-day life yet, and I hope all of you respect that decision, as well as my privacy. Finally, this is your chance to ask (respectful) questions (within reason) about what I'm doing and what my plans are, if you'd like.

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for your support.


Dux Draconis said...

Will you have a fake scruffy beard to wear during playoffs? ;)

Cee said...

Wow man, super proud of you. This had to be a very tough choice for you to make (to announce it on your blog/twitter). Count me as a reader you WILL NOT lose because of this. I'm gonna keep praying for you - not that you'll see the light whatever, but prayers of support, and that you'll get whatever strength you need for this. Hopefully, there won't be too much work backlash. A few questions (just because while there is a lesbian cousin in our family who has children - but as far as I know there are no transgenders in our family).

1-does anybody from your work or anything like that read your blog/twitter? That would be my only concern, especially since you want to keep this quiet (towards your work/job(s))?

2-it seems like a tricky situation to handle with your kids - are you going to hammer home that you're still "daddy," you'll just look a little different from now on.

3-Was this one of the deciding factors in you hitting the gym like crazy the last year?

Lastly, keep working out, keep being you, no matter what the obstacles, know that you have people rooting for you, even if they are just a random reader of your blog. Don't let'em grind ya down, and Go Hawks!

DKSB said...

Ha! Probably not. It was a glorious beard, and as a dude I think it looked good on me, but it was just a disguise.

KB said...

Good on ya, DKSB!

DKSB said...

I'm a bit concerned about people at work finding out about me, but not deathly afraid of it. I'd prefer they didn't yet, but if they do, I'll deal with it then. It's getting harder to hide every day.

I've been pointing out the gradual changes in my appearance to my kids for a while. My therapist and I are game-planning how to come out to them at some point in the next few months.

I like working out mainly because it helps tamp down my depression, but losing 50 points in the last 2.5 years is a nice side benefit. I certainly don't mind the idea of being a "curvy" gal at all...

starzz said...

So HAPPY that you are finally enjoying life and happy! You are an amazing person!

Brian said...

Cheers! Keep blogging friend!


Laird of Madrona said...

I will *always* be interested in what I have to say about our beloved Seattle Seahawks.

Cheers and congratulations,

-The Laird

A.Ho said...

Supportive vibes and continued readership coming your way.

Paul Pendlebury said...

We've never met. But the openness and raw honesty of your writing makes it feel like your a friend, not a random stranger on the internet. So I'm really happy for you. Congratulations on discovering your joy and good luck on your journey.

Banjo111 said...

I have been reading this blog and your Twitter feed from the start but have never commented. Thanks for often being the only optimistic voice in the darkness surrounding several past seasons.

You have my full support in your journey. Glad to hear you are on the path to truly being yourself, which is where happiness dwells.

Go 'Hawks!

DKSB said...

I can't believe the level of support and encouragement I've gotten from my readers the last couple of days. You guys fuel my hope and optimism! :)

Scott said...

If the guy who came up with the greatest name ever for a Seahawks blog wants to be the gal who came up with the greatest name ever for a Seahawks blog, cool by me. Hang in there and keep on blogging.

Zandra said...

I do not normally read your blog (as you probably know) but I wanted to make sure I read this entry and offered you my support. I've known you for years and can testify this is the most positive I've ever seen you. I'm happy for that! Like I've said before you have my support.

I was blown away by the support you've received from people you only know through the interwebs and I have to say my faith in humanity just grew a little.

Keep doing you!

kbs said...

Digging your Seahawk blog!

kattinar said...

Hello! Keep bringing the passion for the Hawks. Just don't wear one of those stupid pink jerseys.

DKSB said...

Kattinar- Fuck no, dude! I hate those things! :)

DKSB said...

Thanks! That means SO much to me :)

DKSB said...

Thanks, Brian! :)

neurocell said...

Good luck.

Sorry, I wanted to say something, but it was too long. I'll have to break it into a couple of posts.

Now comes the hard part. Not for me, but for you.

I'm sure you've already run into some friends, or whatever, that didn't know how to act. I'm going to tell you about an experience that I had last year. The only reason that I am is so that if someone is an idiot, and they later come to you to apologize, you'll know that maybe they made a mistake, that they weren't the total jerk that they appeared to be.

Last year, I had my 25th high school reunion. I wanted to see as many people as possible, but there were a couple that I really wanted to see. One was a guy named R.

I didn't approach people until I knew whom they were, especially after one devastatingly beautiful girl approached me and I couldn't remember her. I did after I saw her yearbook picture, but by then it was too late.

There was one girl that looked familiar, but I couldn't place her. I didn't approach her because she was very timid. She's about 6'2", with broad shoulders. I remember a girl that looked like her, but I was sure it wasn't her. I also remember coming to that other girls aid because kids made fun of her.

This lady seemed scared. I didn't want to frighten her more, so I was a social butterfly. Eventually she approached me. We spoke. She was happy, if timid. She asked me if I remembered her. I asked her name. It was loud in the bar, and I was just drunk enough to not be able to hear her clearly. I asked her to repeat her name twice more. Her last name was similar to the guy that I really wanted to see. His name ended in an "l", hers with a "d". I apologized for not being able to remember her. I felt bad, because she was a really nice lady.

We spoke for a while longer, she went to get a drink, and I drifted over to some activity with the yearbooks. One of the girls that was popular was trying to find someone in the yearbooks. It was the guy that I was looking for, R. I told the popular girl that he didn't have his picture taken once, and the other times he was late, so they'd be at the back of our junior yearbook section. She asked me how I could remember that? I asked her how she couldn't?

neurocell said...

After she found the picture, she said so that's what he looked like. I asked why she was looking for R. She just wanted to know what he used to look like. Then she asked me what it was like talking to him. I was confused. I hadn't talked to R. at all. I didn't even know he was there. The popular girl said that I'd been talking to him for the last 20 minutes. "No, I didn't. I was talking to ******" That was him. He had a sex change.

I immediately stopped talking to her, and went looking for R. I was an idiot. The one person I wanted to talk to, and I'd totally fucked it up. (Sorry for the swearing, but I'm still mad at myself.) I asked around, and she'd left. I ran outside, and checked the parking lot. She was gone.

I tried finding her. I contacted the guy that set up our reunion, I left messages for every ****** on facebook, and I called anyone that might know her. I didn't find her.

I periodically try to find her. I've basically given up because of the actions of a few that night. I felt lick Huck Finn when he was absorbed by the mob. He didn't do anything wrong, but the perception was that he did. I love to explain this to her. I'd love to be her friend, again.

What it all boils down to is that her perception of me is very poor. I'd like to think that we'd be good friends, but I may never get the chance. I really want to make it up to her.

R. is a lady now. My degrees were in neuroscience and psychology. I understand about GID. I understand how not fitting into the world's view of you can hurt, both professionally and personally. What I don't understand is how I can make it up to her. And she is a her now. I need to tell her that I'm sorry.

If someone does this to you, if they come to you looking for forgiveness, look into their heart, and forgive them if they're trying. Just give them the chance. That's all I want from her. I don't want you to lose out on something because of a mistake. if they deserve a second chance, please, give them one.

Best of luck in your transition.

DKSB said...

Wow. What a moving comment. Thank you for sharing that, man.

I really don't think you should feel bad about what went down. Your intentions were clearly pure. It's too bad that you haven't been able to reconnect. I hope you get to do that someday. I hope you keep trying to find her every so often.

Thanks for your support, too. That means the world to me :)

neurocell said...

Anytime. Thanks for the great blog.

I'll keep trying to find her.

Happy Independence Day.

Geoff said...

Congratulations on doing what makes you happy! We all support you and couldnt be more happy for you.

DKSB said...

Thanks, Geoff! I'm overwhelmed by the support I've gotten from my readers so far :)

Josh Tover said...

I've read your blog and others since I got my iPhone last year and I realized I hadn't read yours in about a month
I saw this and honestly?
Even if I was a bigoted a hole I don't think I could be mad another person has found happiness
Power to you johnnie I wish you, you're gf and kids are able to make it work

Jeff said...

Congrats on doing what is best for you and what makes you happy. It takes some serious guts to do what you are doing.

I will always read this blog and follow you on Twitter. 12's for life!!

bleedshawkblue said...

Always the best, O Beardless One. You look pretty smokin' hot as a girl, and you are an awesome catch in any configuration that pleases you best, and we are all most fortunate to bask in your considerable awesomeness, so stay on it and remember: This is the International Year of Not Taking Any Shit. Just like next year.

Win Forever. And don't take any shit.