“Master, Master, the Invisible Man is here to see you.”
“Tell him I cannot see him.”
I recall hearing Dan Ingram, consummate disc jockey for WABC in the heyday of Top 40 radio, do that humorous bit.
Right now, I am still very much invisible to any reader of this blog who has not met me in person. So without further ado …
I am Lois Simmons. It was not the name I was given at birth. I named myself a long time ago. I will have more to say about that in a future blog post.
I never expected to be the author of a blog. I also never expected that I would find a way to live life as a female. It appeared to be so unreachable, that I almost stopped holding onto it as a dream. But on November 10, 2013, the first anniversary of living full-time as Lois, I was able to set up my blog with WordPress and start to post things close to my heart.
I am a Christian first. It is my eternal, spiritual identity.
Second, I am female. It is my gender identity. Approximately one year ago for the first time in my life, I began living in a way that matches my gender identity.
Third, I am transsexual. It is a biological fact about my birth anatomy. It denotes nothing more than that I was born with incongruity between my gender identity and my body. Nevertheless, that fact and the reaction to that fact by the society we were born in plays a major role in shaping who we are and who we become.
For the first sixty years of my life, I lived as a male in accordance with the gender I was assigned at birth by the doctor who delivered me. For me and other transsexuals of similar age, we had knowledge available to us about our condition from the moment we started to search. But at the beginning, it was very scant knowledge and much of it was discouraging.
Some of us were pioneers and transitioned as young adults. Most of the rest of us waited a long time. About two years ago when I seriously began to deal with my transsexualism, I found out that the two age groups that are currently most likely to begin transition are those under 27 and those over 50. It is my sincere hope that someday, American society will reach a point where close to 100% of transsexuals will transition by the age of 30.
Whether we transitioned early or late, we all had to cope with our condition. Some chose denial and tried to cure ourselves, others chose stealth, and others chose a more open alternative lifestyle: drag queen, showgirl, sex worker. We did the best we could. Some were ultimately successful and some met tragic ends.
I have been many other things over the years: child, friend, student, athlete, manager, publicist, employee, spouse, stepparent, commuter, renter, homeowner, trustee, elder, board member, treasurer, volunteer, stock broker, financial advisor, Certified Financial Planner, tutor, editor, author, fan, taxpayer, voter, and undoubtedly others that don’t come to mind at the moment. These identities have a varying degree of transience, and most of them no longer apply to me.
On the other hand, the first three I mentioned earlier in my post are immutable. I was born with identities two and three; I was born again with the first identity (Christian). People cannot be born a Christian from their mothers’ womb. You must be born again.
Currently, I do most of my work in the financial field as a tax preparer. Tax preparation was one of the last things I added to my repertoire of financial services, but it is pretty much the only one remaining. However, I do advise some of my clients on other financial matters from time to time. The vast majority stayed with me when I came out to them at the end of last year. It was very gratifying and a big relief, since I am self-employed. Almost all my income is derived from that line of work at present.
There were some exceptions to the acceptance. Some were painful for a time. Some were shockingly hostile. For the most part, I have moved on. It became another of life’s learning experiences. Even though I knew I would get rejections and some would be nasty, until you actually experience it, you won’t know what it feels like or how to deal with it.
I have dealt with many rejections in life. Half the colleges I applied to did not accept me. No one who has been a stock broker for any period of time (and I was one for over 20 years) can say he or she has not experienced rejection. Prior to coming out, the toughest I experienced was rejection by my spouse after less than a year of marriage. After nearly 25 years apart, we came together again, only for her to reject me twice more. But I praise God for the more recent experience because it gave me understanding and closure I didn’t have the first time.
Still, coming out as transsexual took rejection to a higher level. I was told that I was a bad person because of how I was born, not because of my actions or a transient identity. This kind of rejection cuts deeper than any other, and it takes a lot of strength to handle it. God is the source of my strength, ironic when many who rejected claimed they did it in His name.
I have been a professional tax preparer for about 25 years. About a year after I started preparing tax returns for a fee, I received the free gift of salvation, surrendered my life to God and now proclaim Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.
I was raised in a Protestant church. After about ten years of non-attendance, at age 28 I returned to church and even served in various offices. But I wasn’t born again until I was 36 years old in June 1989. It was at that time that I truly became a Christian, because it was then that I was adopted into the family of Christ. It was then that I recognized that Jesus was the answer to anything that I would face in life. It was then that I began to be grieved by my sins instead of trying to justify them or minimize their importance. It was then that I earnestly desired to turn away from my sins and live a life pleasing to God.
Every day, I am in love with God more than before and am more aware of His love for me. Every day, I am more in awe that God would save me and want a personal relationship with me. Before I was born, He knew everything about me from the day I was conceived to the day I breathe my last breath, and He reached out to me anyway. He sought me when I was in rebellion against Him. Even worse, I didn’t know I was rebelling against Him. He had to come to me because the last thing I thought that I needed to do was go to Him.
Since that time, my service in the church and God’s kingdom increased. I was also very active in a ministry connected to but not part of my church. Shortly before leaving that ministry last year (it is a men’s ministry: I finally recognize that I don’t qualify for it), I calculated that I was part of over 300,000 points of contact for Christ. Some of those contacts may have reached multiple lives.
There were a number of changes that occurred in my life as a result of being born again. One of the most important changed was that I was convicted of the need to read and study the Bible on a regular basis (as close to daily as possible) and to read all of it from cover to cover. When I get to the end, I go back to the beginning and start again.
The Bible will far and away be the primary source of my theological positions that relate to being born transsexual. I will discuss my overall views of the Bible in my next post.
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. – Psalm 138:2