May/June 2001
Picture Hereby Miss Ayme

I don't think there's a morning that's gone by during the last ten years, that I haven't marveled at the deliciously cruel joke that God or Nature or the "Force" has played on me. At first it wasn't apparent as I was too busy caught up in the excitement and challenge of transitioning from male to female. But here it is Easter morning, a time when the whole world celebrates a rebirth of some sort, and I find myself amused at the parallels I can draw between the cycle of renewal and rebirth and the cycle I've had to fashion for myself.

Deliciously cruel in that some One or some Thing stuck his/her/its spoon in my genetic soup and gave it one final stir before I emerged as flesh and bone that summer morning back in 1956. And here we have a boy! The first born of the clan, destined to perpetuate the family name and inherit all. And from as early as I can remember, all I ever wanted was to be a girl instead. But by the time I could form that cognitive thought in my head and understand what it meant, I also instinctively knew that to express that desire would do nothing but bring shame and humiliation and guilt and abuse.

The natural reaction that ensued was to hide it away, lock up the secret and live in constant terror that it would one day be discovered, and then everything I feared would come to pass. And a lifetime then spent going through the expected motions prescribed for me from day one. You're a boy, you do boy things. So I became what everyone else wanted me to be, the pursuer of the hetero dream, the aggressive posturing, the high school quarterback, the front court shooter with the nice outside shot, cruising with the guys looking for girls. I proved my masculinity over and over again, to show my family and my friends and my teachers that I could hack it. I put on weight and filled out. I grew a beard. I got married. But deep inside me there was this little kernel irritating the flesh, like a grain in an oyster, wishing it was me the boys were pursuing, wishing it was me in the pretty clothes that caught their eye, wishing it was me that would be soft and wet and yielding. And over the years each successive layer of the lie coated it, to protect it from outside exposure, but also to keep it trapped away where it would never be found. Only I knew it was there.

The lie got bigger and fatter and more irritating. It was like building a sandcastle - carefully constructed with care, paying attention to the fine balances needed to build a structure of immense flimsiness. Only I knew that it would take the next tide to knock the whole thing down. But there was nothing to be done except continue to build it higher - it was what was expected of me - and so I did, knowing all the while it was doomed to failure. And I became angry, and cynical, and bitter - oh so unhappy inside with having to put on the brave face of manhood; take it like a man, be a real man, boys don't cry. Yet each night crying silently at the unfairness of it all…this cruel joke; to brand me as male because I had a penis between my legs, and having to live a predetermined existence because of it. What a crock of shit.

But this Easter morning I find myself looking back to that moment when I dug that irritant out from its deeply embedded hideaway. The pain had grown so great, like a cancer it had to be excised, and it was high time I took a good, long hard objective look at it anyway. So I ripped at the layers, slashing away the rot that had accumulated, and with shaking hands grasped it. My family and friends were horrified that I would so willingly mutilate all that I was. But I was not to be deterred - I was going to hold it up to the light of scrutiny and it terrified me. So much was riding on this, it was positively sacrificial. Blinded by tears of shame, and gulping down the bile in my throat as the fear overwhelmed me, I knelt before all and held my true self up for inspection. It was an offering. It was a plea. It was all I was or wanted, and I put it out there expecting the worse, not knowing what would happen. Only that I had to do it, or die. I was dead anyway, I thought. Nothing to lose now.

And nothing horrible happened. No dramatic clap of thunder, no raging tempests howling around me. I opened my eyes and blinked and it was sunny, and calm, and bright, and clean, and there cradled in my hands was this lustrous pearl, shiny and new and perfect…and there was my mother saying she'd try to understand and she loved me anyway. There were my friends saying they were proud of my courage and were glad I was happy. There was my (ex) wife saying get out of my life you fucking faggot. OK, maybe that wasn't one of the better parts, but at least we both got on with our lives. There was my brother crying when I asked him to loan me money for my breast augmentation surgery, crying because he felt he was losing his brother, but happy to help because he loved me. There was my father, not pleased at all about seeing his son in a dress, but finally coming to terms with it when he equated what I was going through with his own struggles with homosexuality. And my sister analyzing the whole scenario about Nature versus Nurture, and becoming fascinated with how our typically middle class nuclear family exploded into dysfunction but somehow coalescing back into a loving and supportive unit. Better than it ever was when we all still lived together.

And you, Dear Reader, left wondering what all this has to do with the D/s Lifestyle. Well I look at it this way: when I realized the Truth of my Life and then took steps to live my life within that truth, my existence became one of personal integrity and honor. Yeah, I still have a penis (and it remains the final obstacle to my integrity as a woman), and it presents problems for me when I want to form intimate relationships. But I figure if I can be honest with myself about my gender identity, then I can also be honest about what turns me on. And BDSM definitely trips my trigger. Kink is what floats my boat (and women with cocks are decidedly kinky). Yet the societal stigma still associated with those dark desires, those filthy perversions, those unnatural acts - causes many of you to embed your own little kernel of truth - each with your own nagging irritant that causes those defensive layers to build up. You don't have to be transgendered to know a life of shame and humiliation and guilt and abuse. But you don't have to hide your pearls any longer either. With forums like this one, with societies of pervs sprouting up all over the country, there are countless numbers of people searching for some acceptance and validation in their lives - and finding it. Acknowledge the pearl, the truth within - if only to yourself (you gotta start somewhere!). Then you'll know what true rebirth is, what true freedom is, what true love is. And how integrity and honor are such vital linchpins to our Creed of Safe, Sane and Consensual play.