Latest News: Jaye officially became Julianne in August 2011, and is now glad to be living and working fulltime in her affirmed gender role...
SO, why write a bio? After all it might seem somewhat narcissistic, but then it may also be cathartic, a log of ones journey... and if on the way it helps understanding, or even helps another person on their journey, then thats also good. So here goes, in no particular order, but more a stream of consciousness... which I will add to as and when I can or feel inspired to... in the hope that it will in turn inspire others.
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Why? If this even really needs to be addressed at all, because there are many things that people do without asking or needing to know why they do them... Well the first thing to say is: for me its like that scene in Billy Elliott, when he is just leaving the audition for the RBS and they ask him what it feels like when he dances. Initially, he finds it hard to put into words, but then it comes to him: I feel free... like electricity running through my body... That is in a microcosm, how I felt when I was finally able to allow Jaye to express herself. It goes far beyond clothes, fashion, or style, even femininity: it runs from something far deeper, an inner yearning.
Many of us have gone through phases of purging at some point
in our lives, probably for all kinds of reasons. From my background
of having grown up with an intense, personal faith, I find the very
term purging curious implying a sense of cleansing,
and therein a notion of perceived uncleanness! Maybe that was how I
felt, unclean, or that it was wrong? But is anything ever that simple?
I am sure that each of us will face or hit all kinds of challenges throughout
our lives, and likewise we will probably handle them in different ways
too. But what I do feel different about now is that I found a sense
of belonging, of community like no other that I can draw on for support.
Belonging: For so long I felt that I was alone, a freak, perhaps someone who was ill? Even when I discovered the wonderfully diverse transgendered community on the Internet which proved to me I was NOT alone I still came and went with emotional peaks and troughs, creating and terminating online identities several times, and returning the clothes to drawers or cupboards (I am lucky in that I have never actually binned anything!)... Only to return some weeks/months later. However, deep inside my confidence was growing, although at this point I hadnt truly allowed "her" into my world. It was only in mid 2004 when I experienced my first real makeovers and started to venture out in public for the first time as Jaye: that itself was some kind of 'birthing' experience...
To be honest I dreaded looking in that mirror that very first time:
I really thought I was going to look dreadful and I would easily be
able to just walk away and never even want to do it again. But it says
something for my friend Lindas delicate and thoughtful makeup
skills... and for something like 20 minutes I sat speechless gazing
at this familiar but changed face who was looking back at me. Those
of you who know me will recognise that I am rarely lost for words, well
this was such a moment.
Conflict: It was then that I began to make some life-changing decisions and probably the main one was to stop fighting and allowing "her" to flourish. Hence I also withdrew gradually from my spiritual struggle, to ease the sense of perceived conflict I was experiencing. The reality for me was that I just could NOT let Jaye go even if I had wanted to (which to be honest I didnt): it would have been like killing a real person.
accepted that she was inside me, as much a part of my world as any other
aspect. For me this has been a huge revelation, and reaching this point
has meant that so much of the pain I felt over the years has eased.
Sure, it hasnt answered anything like most of my questions, by
any means. But that sense of conflict has been removed, and many friends
have told me I look and seem healthier and happier for the outcome.
I certainly feel like a new person, and even my wife and sons have said
that I am generally easier to live with now.
One thing I do know is that I would not want to change my past years of experience all that much, especially being part of one and having had a lovely family of my own. Life has for me worked out the way it has, and I have chosen not to have too many regrets or overthink the "what ifs? It has also been a privilege to meet, befriend and support, where able, many other people in a similar situation to mine.