by Grace Anne Stevens
Shhh!!!! Even though I really do not want to tell people about it, I must admit it! Yes, it is true, I am a boomer!
It seems that it is easier telling people that I am trans than telling them that I turned 65 this year. And what a year this has been for me with GRS, Breast Augmentation and a bit of Lipo to throw in. All this coupled with the decision of whether to sign up for Medicaid or not.
Growing up in the 50’s and 60s, along with knowing and hiding that I am not a boy was, as many of you well understand, a challenge. My drug of choice to escape was my family’s Dumont TV that was more or less my parent. Sitting in front of it for many hours each day is where I learned about the world. Even though there was not the almost infinite choice of cable channels that are available today, the content was more than sufficient.
Every Saturday and Sunday morning there were movies of one fairy tale after another, and I was glued to them. Magic and sorcery…and dreams coming true, and living happily after after…. What better escape for a young, hidden trans child?
Good always triumphed over evil – so the heroine was saved to live happily ever after (am I wrong in that they mostly saved the girl?). I would dream about when and how I would be saved! Perhaps I was just never good enough! Drat!
Like sleeping beauty, I lived my life for decades not being fully awake and engaged with the world around me.
Like OZ the Magnificent, I hid behind a curtain and manipulated the people in my life without having any real power.
If you are from my generation, you may remember those great live broadcasts of Peter Pan. I remember when Tinkerbelle is dying and Peter asks all of us watching to believe, to truly believe in fairies, which is the only way to save her. Of course I joined in and Tinkerbelle was saved – but I always wondered who will believe in me and when will I be saved. Who could or would love me, and save me from the monsters within me? Would I ever have my dreams come true and live happily ever after?
The years turned into decades. I married and raised three awesome kids. I continued to hide…and to dream…. But it became harder and harder to find a way to escape……
Then….through a variety of circumstances and situations I knew I could hide no longer, and made the scariest decision of my life up to that time and dared to visit The Tiffany Club of New England in May 2008. I survived that first visit and through the summer I was told I must go to First Event. In January 2009 I made my first voyage through the Looking Glass and attended First Event. Yes, I was the girl whose jaw was dropping to the floor everywhere I turned. There were hundreds of people like me. Most were having the grandest of times. I met girls that had transitioned, and oh my, some who even had surgery!!!!!! They seemed normal and happy. I attended workshops and my head was spinning. There was magic and sorcery. Nothing was impossible! An old guy could change his face, his voice, his hair, his skin, his chest and his genitals. Everything is possible, and there were girls that showed it and were more than willing to share their experience and journeys.
At FE2009 I learned that dreams can and do come true. Now I had to figure out what my dream really was since no longer was anything impossible. My first thought was that yes, I want it all now! But as I thought and received advice about all the possibilities, I learned and accepted that it is best as a slower thoughtful process. By FE10, I made the decision to transition. By FE11, I had the plan in place for FFS and transition; by FE12 I had successfully transitioned in my 2 workplaces; now at FE13 I have completed GRS and BA.
For me First Event has been a place that taught me that Fairy Tales are real, and all your dreams can come true. They have for me. Now I am well into the next part. As I listen to a great song from those years by Sinatra:
Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you’re young at heart.
For it’s hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you’re young at heart.
You can go to extremes with impossible schemes.
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams.
And life gets more exciting with each passing day.
And love is either in your heart, or on it’s way.
Even though I am a boomer, I seem to be getting younger each day and, I am truly living happily ever after.
Grace Anne Stevens is Co-Chair of First Event 2013. This article also appears in the First Event Program Guide.