A Thank You to Him
This was written on July 12th, 2019. It was the day of my legal name change. I would wake up that morning as Greg and go to work, and that evening I would go to bed as Lillie. I would be lying if I said i wasn't nervous, not because I was unsure of myself but because I had socially transitioned only 5 weeks prior.
I spent 43 years as Greg, hiding who I was so far in the closet I was finding Christmas presents (Thanks for that line Steph). I had no idea who Lillie was and I'm still learning who I am as a woman one year later. I was scared of the unknown and what my new role in this world would look like.
After I got home from the courthouse, with a smile on my face and tears of joy in my eyes I sat down and finished this letter. The end result you see here is nothing like my first drafts. As much as I wanted to (and sometimes still want to) hate the man I was, I have been told that I should show compassion for him. For he was doing the best he could while battling his internal turmoil in a world where women like me are seen as sub human, he did his best to protect me. This is for you Gregory,
There's no amount of words that can ever truly express the pain that I'm sure you've felt these years. You've kept me locked up, quiet, ignored, and worst of all - shamed for even existing. You have taken far more abuse from my internal self than is fair, even more than we have had externally. Some people have it rough in life, and you've made sure you had your fair share with your own self neglect and self destructive tendencies.
You haven't been able to ever be yourself, because you've had to be a "boy" because of the way your body has been. I don't know if it's entirely how we were born, but there are clearly signs that we have been living behind a mask of being a man. We may never have those answers. I will, however, live our identity as I am, not as we have been told to. That means you have to have the space to grow up and become the woman that we were meant to be, not the man that society says we are.
You have given me plenty of skills to succeed in this life and I promise I will do my best to not disappoint you as you hand off the torch to me. You have given me 4 beautiful children that I would not trade for anything in this world. I want you to know you have done an amazing job surviving in this world that can be utterly unfair and cruel at times. You plugged away and dug your heels in the ground and never gave up even though I know you wanted to.
Despite everything you dealt with and everything you were battling internally you did your best to be a compassionate human being. You struggled sometimes with your path but you always managed to find your way through. Almost 2 years ago you started to finally listen to yourself and found me hiding inside of you and I want to thank you for that, I was starting to lose my voice. But you listened, and let me start to come out. I know it has been a hell of a ride we've travelled, sometimes separately, sometimes together. Guess what? We made it. I'm proud to have had you in my life and I'm proud to have the strength you've given me to continue down this path of mine. Without you, without all your experiences in the world, this wouldn't be possible. Thank you again Gregory, I promise I'll take care of me now. I hope you will be proud while you watch me blossom into who we were meant to be.