June 4, 2019

My Story

My Story

Life is complicated and even more complicated as a trans person. In this episode I talk to you a little about my journey and life. We will go through some of my triumphs and hardships. I want you to get to know me some since you will be tuning in each week to listen. As an avid podcast listener myself I realized I don't really know much about the individuals I listen to on a weekly basis. Therefore I decided to dedicate the first episode so you learn a little about me. Of course over time my goal is that you find me to be a good person and a huge advocate for the trans and LGBTQ community. I hope I will get to know all of you as well. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss an episode. Hope you enjoy!


Transcript

[Transcaster Radio theme music plays]

Intro: You’re listening to Transcaster Radio, a podcast about trans-life and all that goes along with it.  You can listen to the show anywhere you enjoy podcasts, and we would love for you to subscribe, rate, and give a review.  It helps us reach more people and we greatly appreciate it.  Now here’s your host Kayden Taylor.

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Kayden: Hey Transcasters!  Yes, you heard me right.  I called you all Transcasters.  Let me know what you think of it.  Shoot me a message on social media, or email me.

Anyways, welcome to this week’s episode of Transcaster Radio.  I am your host, Kayden Taylor!

I listen to a ton of different podcasts.  Yes, I’m a podcast junkie.  One thing I realized is that I don’t know anything about the host.  I do not tune in every week to listen to.  So, I decided to take the time in our first episode to tell you a little bit about myself, and my journey in life so far.

Typically, I’m not one that likes to talk about myself.  But, I think it’s important for you to get to know me if you’re going to tune in every week.  You’ll hear some of my hardships and some of my triumphs.  Over time, I hope that you get to know me, and I get to know you all!  I hope you come to find me as an honest, forthcoming, and true advocate for the trans and LGBTQ community.

Have you ever thought life was easy?  Have you ever woken up in the morning thinking, man, this is going to e the day everything is going to be perfect?  If you have, congratulations!  You might be the only one on the face of the planet to have ever had a perfect day.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had some amazing days, ones I will never forget.  But perfect.  Hell no!  Perfection is a false narrative that as a society we try to live by.  Honestly, once Eve bit into that apple, there was never going to be perfection again. People, situations, nor things are perfect. We work so far in achieving perfection, that we don’t embrace what is right in front of us.  Don’t you think life is complicated enough?  I certainly do.  I don’t think there’s a reason to try to add perfection into what is already a complicated life. The reason why I bring this up is because life is even more complicated and hard when you are a trans person or identify somewhere in the LGBTQ community.

My identification in this community started at 15, when I came out as a lesbian.  My life of a roller coaster ride and self-acceptance started the day I wrote my grandmother an email telling her that I was a lesbian.  Several days after I wrote it, she approached me with mixed feelings and altered body posture.  Instead of embracing me and telling me I still love you because you are still my grandchild, she instead told me I was confused and was too young to know how I identified.

I think of this today and it makes me laugh.  This should have been a huge warning sign for me of her non-acceptance of my life then, let alone how she would be when I came out as a trans man.  A few weeks after I told her and my grandfather, I started to come out to my friends and the rest of my family.  My life changed that day.

At the time, I wasn’t sure it was for the better, but now, I certainly do. At 15, you are at a vulnerable stage in your life, trying to find yourself in every aspect.  So, losing a friend or friends is a huge thing to someone at that age.  At least it was to me.

After my friends found out I was a lesbian, they went home and told their parents.  What else were they going to do?  I asked myself, why the hell did the go home and tell their parents?  Honestly, I’ll never understand that.  Unfortunately, I grew up in a conservative town, and my friend’s parents made the decision that I was no good for their children.  They forced their children to not talk to me, hang out with me, or have any association with me at all because they felt I was going to rub my gayness off on their children and that would be a sin. 

Even though I identified at that time as a lesbian, I was only 15 and still trying to find myself.  This time in my life was a struggle.  I struggled with my own identity, my family dynamics, I was struggling making friends, and the friends I did make were no good for me.  I was so desperate for a people connection, friends, and love, that I got involved with the wrong crowd.

Now that I look back, I think if my family had simply accepted me and embrace who I was at that time, maybe I wouldn’t have gone in with the wrong crowd and do things that I shouldn’t have been doing.  I try not to regret things, at least things I’ve done in the past because I feel that everything happens for a reason.  But even if I don’t regret them, that doesn’t mean that what I did at the time wasn’t wrong of me. During this time, I hurt people.  Especially the ones that were closest to me in my life.

The next five years I lived my life the best way I know how. Ups and downs, lefts and rights, it was a rollercoaster ride, to say the least.  Continuously trying to figure myself out along the way.  

People saw me as this butch lesbian, an identity that I could never wrap my mind around because it never defined who I truly was.

At 20 years old, five years after I came out lesbian was the first time I heard the word transgender. A news article I was reading was about a transwoman and her coming out story.  I thought to myself, what is a transgender person? I was completely intrigued and quickly started to look up transgender people.

After reading through stuff for an hour or so, I realized that I was transgender.  It was like a lightbulb went off in my head.  After all these years of trying to figure out who I was, it was right there in front of me.  I had gone through years of self-discovery, and I finally found a word that identified who I was.

Don’t you find it odd that as a society, we need words to describe who we are as a person?  But at that time, it didn’t matter to me what the hell the word was.  It was the simple fact hat I had a word to tell people how I felt and who I was.  Everything was finally clear.

There was one problem with finding this out.  I was not ready for the world to know.  I started having all these questions.  They were swirling around in my head, I thought I was going to have a headache.  What was life going to be like as a transman?  How would my family and friends react?  How would they treat me?  Would they treat me differently? Would they treat me the same?  How is this going to affect my job?  Would I be able to keep it?  Would they fire me when they tell me I can’t use the men’s bathroom? All these questions were going on in my head.  These are just some of the questions I asked myself.  I felt like at that time, I had asked myself 1000 questions in my mind, going around and ground and around. In that moment, I didn’t know what to do and unfortunately, instead of taking it and running with it, I stuck the fact that I knew I was transgender in the very back of my brain and forgot about it.

Three years later, as I am struggling through my identity, I tried to commit suicide. My grandfather found me that day lying on the bed, half dead.  At that moment, I didn’t want to live anymore.  The thought of coming our and living authentically was eating me alive inside.

I spent 10 days in the psych hospital, and even after 10 days of spending that time in the hospital and trying to commit suicide, I still made the decision to mask my identity.  I medicated myself to the point of numbness.  I moved on, like nothing had ever happened, or that I was trying to hide anything or who I was. Of course, now when I look back on it, this was extremely unhealthy for me and my mental health. Despite that, I continue to live a lie, hiding my identity.  Ultimately came back to bite me in the ass.

Five years later, I attempted suicide again.  This time, my best friend found me.  I was half dead on my bed again.  She looked at me through the window and thought I was dead as my dogs are barking at the window, trying to get her attention.  She tells me to this day, that she’ll never forget what I looked like and that she prays to Gold that never happens again.

I was fighting internally with my identity of being trans.  Honestly, now I realize that I was transphobic towards myself.  I couldn’t accept the fact that I was trans.  Something that was not a topic of conversation.  I know that sounds crazy, that a transman would be transphobic on themself, but I couldn’t find self-acceptance.  I couldn’t accept the term trans.  I had a hard time accepting the word lesbian when I came out at 15, let alone being trans and it being so much harder to live a life as a trans-person then it would be as a lesbian.

14 days after being in the psych hospital, I realized for the first time that I needed to do something, or I was going to do this again and that time I wasn’t going to wake-up.  I had it, I was tired of living, I was tired of living this lie.  I knew that if I didn’t do something, I was going to try to commit suicide again and, and I’m not sure I would have made sure I was dead.

For the next two years, I went to therapy every week, sometimes more than once a week.  I worked through my transphobic thoughts, and the demons I was fighting.  I had to start focusing on myself.

My personality has always been a caregiver.  I’ve always put other people’s needs and once before my own.  It was the first time in my life that I was taking the time for myself and I was finally discovering who I was as a person.

Turning 30 was a big deal.  I mean, to most people turning 30 is a big deal.  It was like truly entering adulthood to me.  It was no longer in my 20s my 30th year on this planet was a big year for me.  I had finally made the decision to come out as a transman to the world.

I had finally found self-acceptance.  I was no longer transphobic towards myself.  I have two different coming out stories.  One as a lesbian, and one as a transman.  I asked myself, which one was harder.  To be honest, they were both hard because both times I was in a different spot in my life.

The last 10 years I had been struggling with my identity and was still concerned about how my family, friends, coworkers, and society would take the news and how they would treat me.  I went back to those questions, those thousands of questions I had when I first realized I was trans and I started asking myself them again.

Hurdles were destined to come my way; I was sure of it.  And did they? Of course, they did.  Not as many as I thought, and certainly it wasn’t as hard as some trans people deal with. 

The very first person came out to, was my then girlfriend, who I had only been dating for a few months.  She identified as a lesbian, and I thought this wasn’t going to be for her.  It was going to change who she was, and frankly, she had every right to run away.  Telling her was important to me though because I didn’t want to drag on when I felt like what’s going to be the inevitable that she was going to walk away and that it wasn’t going to be for her.

Despite my own assumptions, she didn’t go anywhere, and we’re getting married in December!  Her acceptance was important.  It gave me the ability to know I had support to tell other people in my life and that’s why I say, I know I didn’t have it as bad as some people do. Some people get kicked out of their house.  Some people get disowned by their family, their friends, and the people closest to them.

So, I had somebody close to me that I loved, that was going to accept me regardless of what anybody else said.

Over time, I told my friends and family.  I received a mixture of responses from them. Some I expected, others I didn’t, which was hard.  I was living authentically though for the first time in my life.  I had finally found myself and allowed myself to be me, to be Kayden, to be the man that I had always know I was.

Everyday I learned something new about myself.  The process is never ending.  A little side note on the word that has always been a bit contentious to me, is transition.

Life I said before, I was allowing myself to be me, to be who I’d always known I was going to be. As a trans person, we allow ourselves to live authentically and be our true selves.  It’s not about transitioning from one gender to the other, in my eyes.  But, having true acceptance of yourself, to let yourself live the life you’ve always wanted.

Society uses the word transition, which is fine, and you will hear me say it a lot throughout my podcasts, I’m sure.  I just think that trans people don’t see themselves as becoming something else.  You’re already that person.  Maybe you want the outside to match the inside.  Maybe you want people to say the right pronouns and the right name that you identify with.

For my trans listeners, let me know what you think about this.  Do you like the word transition?  Send me a message.  I’d love to hear all your responses.  

My social and medical transition happened quickly after I came out.  I think I had fought so long with myself that I was so ready to have my outside body match what I felt for so long inside.  I certainly know that not everybody wants this, that not everybody wants a medical transition.  But, this was my preference.

In June 2017, a year after coming out, I started testosterone, and almost to the day, literally, they were two days separate a year after that I had top surgery.  Like I said, everyone’s transition is completely different.  We all transition in our own way.  Some don’t medically transition, some only socially transition, some do both.  All surgeries are available to him, or only a few.

My personal transition will never be over.  Will I have more surgery?  I’m not sure at this point, but I do know I am happy with where I am.  Which is the most important thing to me at this time.  I think my transition honestly will never end because I think as human beings, we’re always discovering something new about ourselves.

Since my transition, people see me as a straight cis male, which I don’t identify that way.  Being seen as a straight cis male was a dilemma for me in the beginning.  I had enjoyed and embraced my queer identity.  It was hard for me to let that go.  I do identify as a queer transman, and even though people who are close to me, and now all you know, but the average person walking down the street who sees me, doesn’t know that part of me.

I certainly don’t take my male privilege for granted.  I did live 30 years of my life as a woman who is also a marginalized group of people in society.  I have a passion for educating people about the trans and LGBTQ community, and I will continue to do so, regardless of how society sees me.

If someone is willing and able to listen to me, I will talk about it.  I will talk about my journey.  I will talk about what I’ve gone through, and the hardships and triumphs I have overcome.  I will talk to anybody who’s willing to respect us because if I can say one thing, we all deserve respect.  That’s regardless of whether we’re trans, or gay, or lesbian, or non-binary, or bisexual. Even if you’re heterosexual, you’re a cis heterosexual male, you still deserve respect.

Since by coming out, I have made a promise to myself to live authentically, as much as I possibly can.

Hey, it took a decade to get to this point of self-acceptance for me.  I’ve embraced my triumphs, as well as my hardships because to be honest, without both, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  

At the end of each day, I am thankful for what I’ve gone through because it’s made me, the man I am today, not what society expects from me.  Everyday, I wake-up, I tell myself I’m proud of you.  I’m proud of the progress you’ve made.

Make sure to tell yourself that.  Make sure to wake-up every day and tell yourself how proud you are of yourself, especially if you don’t have a huge support system.  Having the knowledge of knowing that you are proud of yourself is important. I know sometimes progress goes by slowly, but I promise it’s well worth the wait.

My masculinity is defined by myself, not by how society expects me to be because I am a man, but I am the man I want to be.  Living authentically isn’t always each.  You must be honest with yourself and understand that things might change.  Just remember that every day you like, you make the decision to live authentically, because I certainly do.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys today.  Make sure you tune in every Tuesday at 10am to check out that week’s episode.

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So, remember, until next time, love life, live authentically and always rise up!

Ending: Thank you for listening to Transcaster Radio!  Be sure to visit Transcasterradio.com to access the show notes and discover awesome bonus content!

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