Over the past several years, I have made a number of very positive changes in my life leading up to the most important life change I’ve ever made.
In a nutshell, I’m transgender and have struggled from a very young age with Gender Dysphoria – my gender identity, how I feel inside, does not match my gender assigned at birth. Being transgender is not a choice, but what you do about it is.
After two years of therapy, and a great deal of soul searching, I realized that I could not achieve my full personal potential until I began living my life authentically as a female. As a result, in 2010 I began taking permanent steps towards this end.
After August 1st, I will finally begin living permanently as Stacey Gillian Vetzal. “Steve” will cease to exist.
Initially I realize this may be a little awkward for some. For those of you who have known “Steve” for a while, it will take some time to remember to use female pronouns and my new legal name — and that’s OK.
I already live much of my life as a woman, in fact I have many friends that only know me this way. However unravelling 40 years of socialization as a male doesn’t happen overnight.
The wikipedia page on Transgender gives a great, if academic explanation of the term, but for folks close to me I keep a copy of Joanne Herman’s excellent and brief book – Transgender Explained for Those Who Are Not – for lending. Because transgender describes such a wide variety of people, it is hard finding resources that I actually relate to. I generally discourage people from using Google and the Internet at large to learn about transgender, it’s not very helpful.
Unlike many transgender folks, my life is at peace. I have an incredibly supportive family, very supportive friends, and a great work environment. Because I am an entrepreneur my transition is a bit more public than I’d have originally chosen, but when seeking personal growth it’s important to step outside your comfort zone.
The reality is I’m the same inner person I’ve always been. My interests are the same, my hobbies are the same, and my work ethic is the same. I will now simply be able to do these things with a greatly improved sense of inner peace and dignity.
I look forward to continuing to work with all of you, and welcome any questions you might have moving forward.