My First X-Mas As A Woman

I used to DJ all of The Vandals Holiday shows at The House of Blues On The Sunset Strip. Like many punk rock bands of past and present, they were on the forefront of addressing social issues years before the mainstream thought it was hip. In their song “My first X-Mas as a woman”, they describe the liberation of coming out as Trans to your family on Christmas. They speak of no longer having to live a lie. Consider this next entry an all-out attack on Why you do the things that you DO.  Listen to The Vandals here: Hi Mom I’m Trans!

 

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27 Years Old. DJing at HOB on The Sunset Strip. RIP The Good Times Had Under That Now Leveled Roof.

{What you are about to read is not for the faint-of-heart. My intention isn’t to shock or to provoke my opinions upon you. I want you to disagree with me if it’s what you truly believe! It’s meant to remind everyone that we have the freedom to do right by one another and still be true to our own values at the same time. We may not share the same beliefs, but I hope that regardless of our differences as a human race, we can learn to respect each other more than our current times seem to reflect.}

It’s December 27th and Strummer and I (my devoted four-legged best friend for those of you who don’t know) are sitting in The Del Villa Motel in Lone Pine, California. We’ve just spent the past few nights camping in the Alabama Hills, far away from Holiday miseries and traditions, and we like it that way. As you may have already guessed, I do not celebrate Christmas or any holidays for that matter. It’s not out of hostility, resentment, or an attempt to cheapen the sentiment of those who do choose to celebrate. But, it’s just that; a Choice. Believe it or not, we all have them.

Exactly four years and two days ago, on Christmas day in 2013, I sat in a Pho restaurant on Anaheim Street in Long Beach, California. I only knew that it was Christmas because everything else was closed. I was barefoot. Unkempt. Wide-eyed. I had been alone and  high on cocaine for 7 days straight. I convinced myself that I could eat something, but that wasn’t the case. My family was texting and I sent a string of lies for replies. I had been sober for the past six months and was painfully deep into what would become my last relapse to date. I couldn’t physically handle snorting the drugs anymore through my burned-bare nostrils because they were caked with dried blood and unable to pass air through them. So, I smoked everything I had left. Nearly an ounce. I ate anywhere from 10-20 pharmaceuticals a day in an attempt to balance the effects of the cocaine, losing my sanity, hope, and self. So, this is Christmas?

Those who know me closely really only know me for the woman I present to the world today, save one or two. They know that I’ve had a hard life. They know that skating, punk rock, and my dog saved me (again). They don’t know about the suicide wall in my old house. They don’t know about my Ex finding me naked and sobbing in my empty bathtub, twenty-five pounds underweight, desperate and begging for the love and help that I would never let anyone give to me. They don’t know about the sixteen people who left me by way of suicide or overdose or how often I consider joining them. They know that I live life on my own terms, because I nearly didn’t get to continue living it at all, and we have a mutual respect for one another based on that and other similar principles that we share.

So, why post something so dark around the holidays? Because it’s not dark at all. It’s actually the genesis of what drives me and the only thing I derive any hope from. For years, I had trouble celebrating holidays. I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in mass consumerism. I don’t believe in killing animals (your holiday meals). Most stringently, though, I don’t Lie. So why should I lie to myself, my family, and other people by saying “Merry Christmas” if I don’t believe in it? Why should I go into debt to feed an economy that fails me and is regulated by a Government that I didn’t vote for? Why should I pretend that holiday hams and Thanksgiving turkeys weren’t once living, breathing, beautiful creatures who wanted to live as much as I do? Why should I tell you to enjoy your meal when I truly just wish that someday you’ll find the compassion to stop supporting a murderous and financially motivated industry? Why? Why do we want to be continually Lied to? I ask this already knowing the answer: Because It’s Easy. Conformity is easy. Conformity is for the weak.

I am many things but I am not weak. I am sensitive and I cry and I know that this is the greatest display of strength. I know that standing for what you believe in often means standing alone. I know that people “talk” because of it, even pity those who’s strong values present everyday challenges or (god forbid!) an inconvenient lifestyle! If being down and out and on a suicide mission ~ alone on a holiday that’s pummeled into me the belief that I should somehow feel lesser-than because I lack company ~ and if all of the chemicals that I could get my hands on couldn’t stop me from surviving and Succeeding, than neither can a few traditions I don’t believe in. I beg you to ask yourself if the way you live your life is simply for the sake of history. Do you believe in your job? The government? Do you accept that a one-week vacation a year is a pittance and an insult to your freedom? Do you feel that you have the power to change within you? Do you want to wake up every day knowing that you will truly believe in every move that you make? You can. I did, and I am a human being just like everyone else.

And it always comes back to punk rock. It’s what taught me at a very young age to fight the good fight. It taught me perseverance. My parents never really told me that I Could, but they never told me I Couldn’t, so I was more or less left to my own devices. My worldview, from a very young age, was simple enough: People do remarkable things. I am not exempt from doing those remarkable things. Lastly, if you think, even for a moment, that it is too late or that you are too old, Fuck That. I was 35 years old when I started jumping into empty pools on roller skates. During a moment of self-doubt, a friend said something very important to me, which was this: “No one tries to get Publicly good at anything at 35. So fuck everyone. Skate.” For his encouragement, I am forever grateful. Things could’ve turned out very differently for me. So, I thank you, Morgan.

 

 

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Hugo says:

    I love ya Lady!! Well said.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike says:

    You’ve been through a lot, but you’re gonna be okay. Your essay will help numerous people more than you’ll ever know. Keep up the good fight!
    I’m an atheist too, although when I want something “Damned” I always ask God to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

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