In 2010, on the Fourth of July weekend, I officially closed what was left of my restaurant and prepared for an uncertain future. Bush's recession had gutted and ravaged the small to medium sized Rust Belt town I lived in.
Through the haze and uncertainty of losing my wife and three close friends to death a couple years before, I was lost. Ironically (or not so ironically) the only part of my life which was not a mess was the feminine portion. It wasn't so far before all of this I had made a decision to pursue hormone replacement therapy through the Veterans Administration. I was already under their healthcare and for the VA to provide me HRT would be a relatively simple process.
The only part of my future I knew for sure was I wanted to be a transgender woman. I knew too, I only had a fairly short couple of years to work before I could take my early Social Security and retire without coming out on a job.
So, the 4th of July ten years ago was truly the beginning of a new Independence Day for me!