Finding My Way

As y’all know, this has been one crazy year so far. Let’s catch up a bit!

One Sweet Wedding

When I first recognized that I was different, I was around 12 years old. No matter how much I would pray and plea, nothing ever changed. As time went on, and people came in and out of my life, I’d come to accept that love was just impossible for me. Not only could no one love someone like me, but that I couldn’t find love in others. Sure, I had platonic love for my friends, and cherished my pets. But romantic love was just out of the question. I always thought I was broken, and couldn’t accept myself nor anyone else.

And then I met Nikki through my FFXI blog. Over time, we’d come to spend countless nights together on Skype. We would chat until the wee hours of the morning, scolding each other for not getting enough sleep. Waking up to messages from each other, wishing that we slept well and would have a good day. As years passed, she moved halfway across the continent to live with me. Which, yeah, was about as awkward as you would imagine at first. But we found our way.

She helped me accept myself for who I am. Through her warm, incredible heart I learned that I’m not broken; that I can love and be loved. That someone like me could spend her life with someone and be truly happy from the bottom of my heart. We took on each day as it came, through plenty of challenges along the way. And on February 14th of this year, we were married. We were blessed with the presence of truly wonderful friends and a lot of our family.

Sacrifices

I’d always heard so much about what you have to risk to live as your true self. Many other trans folk have lost their families, their homes, their jobs, their love, kids, and pets. Many more have lost their lives. It was an intensely difficult decision to accept myself for who I am, and an even harder one to tell Nikki at first. Coming out never gets any easier. I’m so amazingly grateful for everyone who has remained in my life, and cry happy tears about once or twice a week that Nikki is one of those people. I love her dearly.

And yet, there’s still some sacrifices we’ve both had to make. Oftentimes we are not seen as a couple, or are treated with a little less than a welcoming attitude. We’ve not run into trouble yet, fortunately, as the area we live in isn’t that bad. While I dress the same as I always have, the effect now is that I only look like a tomboy. When I first started hormone therapy I was positive that I could hide it for years and never have to tell anyone. That uh… that definitely has not been the case, in my experience.

Nikki has had her own fair share of sacrifices to make. When I came out, it was no doubt an unimaginable struggle to come to terms with that. To figure out how she felt. To wonder how her family would see us. She already gave up so much by moving out here, and she’s often homesick. Doesn’t help that we’re in quarantine mode now and can’t go see them. Yet, we’ve also had to discuss a hard reality for when we do go see them. Where her family lives… we’ll need to be extra careful.

Two Years

Today marks two years since I started HRT, or hormone replacement therapy. Aside from a few missed doses here and there thanks to my single brain cell not cooperating, it’s been a great experience thus far. Early on I had significant changes that I would discuss each month in either tweets or by posting here. Eventually those changes would plateau, and I’ve not really seen nor felt much of any difference in a long time. In all likelihood, things happening now are more internal, with structure and whatnot.

Nikki has noted that I’m looking softer and/or more feminine with almost each passing day. And the last time I was regarded with any masculine pronouns, I had to do my “yare yare” voice just to be heard over a crowd. Even then they didn’t say it with the utmost confidence and revised how they addressed me afterward. So my face and overall appearance are coming along quite nicely, which is great and sometimes kind of terrifying. I’d have preferred to live with a little more safety, but this is part of what I accepted.

I’m seeing a new endocrinologist now. Planned Parenthood helped me along tremendously, as the major hospital system where we live doesn’t know what to do with trans folk. While I’m grateful to them, their methods were starting to become very concerning for me personally. Each time I’d visit I would rave about how wonderful my mental health has been, and they would wave it off and ask about how my breasts feel. Like… I’m sorry, I know that’s what many trans women want but it came across as super creepy.

Streaming!

Most of you know I’ve been streaming off and on since August 2013. Heck, this makes it seven years since I started streaming on Twitch. I didn’t get my affiliate status until January 2018, and that was only because friends who were playing with me would watch the stream they were on. With some indirect inspiration from a friend from the FFXIV Twitter community, Hoshiko, I picked up Vroid Studios and began to work with no idea what I was doing. And on April 27th of this year, I had my first stream with my avatar after having it checked by Nikki, Alma, Luna, and many other dear friends. To call it a debut would be mostly incorrect! It was just a test.

And yet, that test and the subsequent streams have helped me so much. I’ve been introduced to so many wonderful friends and extremely creative people. My little server that only existed so I could use my Twitch emotes on Discord has blossomed into an amazingly wholesome community. The people there encourage each other, learn from one another, play games with each other, so forth. They make me cry at least once a day, just by reading their honest feelings towards one another.

The Virtual World

Becoming a vtuber, or vstreamer if you will, has been one of the greatest decisions of my life. I’ve always loved the experience of playing games with friends around the couch, y’know? Even if we’re watching one person play single player games, or doing co-op games, I’ve wanted to get that feeling back. Streaming emulates it so much, and I try to work my hardest to carry that feeling on in how I play and interact with everyone. It’s helped me maintain my schedule, which is something I always struggled with before. I look forward to every day I get to spend more time with the friends I’ve made and my incredible community.

Around four months ago, I was around 100 followers built up over years on Twitch. I streamed mostly to those I was playing with, and had countless days of 0 viewers. In this short time span, even with a temporary model, I’ve been incredibly blessed. We’ve been able to reach out and touch so many lives, and I’ve had my own changed in so many amazing ways. Every time I end stream I’ve got to tell everyone how thankful I am that I can be here and do this. How grateful I am to everyone spending their time with me. I want to keep working hard to earn what I’ve been blessed with, in hopes that I can make one more person smile each day.

Since you’ve come this far…

I know it’s hard out there. 2020 is a stressful year, and you’ve been going through a lot. Probably many things you can’t tell anyone about, or even acknowledge yourself. But look at how hard you’ve worked, how much you’ve struggled. You’re here, awake, and reading what I’ve typed. You woke up today, even if just out of pure spite, and are here now.

Don’t sell yourself short–that’s incredible. I hope you can continue to carry on, to enjoy all of the things you’ve come to love in this world. Your favorite song, book, or show? Those cute animal videos you’ve found on YouTube? If it has meaning to you, it’s truly great. Know that you’re loved. That we love you, here and now, for who you are and who you can be.

Stay nice and comfy, and I hope you have some happy adventures.~

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