Set Back to Come Back

Tom on Left with the Author
at a Witches Ball. From the 
Jessie Hart Archive

I have always rooted mainly for the underdog in most things I follow. Especially in sports. Nothing is as thrilling to me as seeing an underdog come back and win. Unless it is against one of my teams.

Lately, as we approach and go by the Fourth of July, there are no more visible underdogs these days as the transgender population. We are easy pickings or low hanging fruit for many politicians who have chosen not to know us at all. Then seek to gain votes by using lies against us. We are even still the weakest link in the LGBTQA+ field because of many reasons.  Primarily because we do not have the economic clout of the gay community. 

However, I didn't want to write a political post today, because you regulars (thank you) know where I stand on the subject of a certain political party which peddles hate of all kinds rather than offer any constructive legislation. Here in Ohio, where I live, they are even leading the charge to change any amendments to the state constitution away from a simple majority just ahead of a vote on abortion this fall. Needless to say, I will be voting no on the issue (one )to keep changes as a simple majority.  

Other than our rights taken away from us, I have other reasons to have rooted for the underdog in my life. The biggest one for me was facing up to the fact I was transgender at all. I took many years of gender experimentation to realize I was deep down a woman all the time just trying to act like a man. It finally took my wife Liz years ago to kick me over the cliff for the final time. I discarded all my male clothes, began hormone replacement therapy and never looked back on my old unwanted male lifestyle. Little did I know ten years ago, the amount of potential hate I could be facing today. Like it or not, I need to beware of my surroundings more than any other woman.

During the period of my life when I was making many mistakes with my presentation it made it more difficult for me to navigate the world as my authentic self or transgender woman. As I said, I still needed to make the final determination I was trans to begin with and what did it mean to me. I was fortunate enough to be just stubborn enough to keep trying when I was rejected as a transgender woman. Plus I found friends who helped me along. They helped me to come back strong when I was set back. Being the underdog they were rooting for, I needed to make sure I was worthy of their attention by doing my best to become a quality person. During that time, I became quite the gender "observer."

These days, as I have written,  I am trying to do more in the transgender community as far as out reach goes. In fact, in addition to the Alzheimer's committee I am going to serve on which spot lights diversity, I signed up for another Veteran's Administration group yesterday which will spotlight VA trans veteran care. My goals for participating in both are if I can help anyone who comes after me, it will be worth it. I don't want them to suffer the setbacks I did.

My setbacks were many and varied and can be turned into comebacks if I can help others in any way from my experiences. I just hope I can.