Cyber Connections Cafe\’

Real Stories of People Riding the Internet Wave

From Sexual Reassignment to Finding Acceptance – Jamie’s Story

Posted by Jeanette Juryea on August 26, 2006

My brother struggled with his sexuality his whole life. When he was a young child in the 60’s he’d dress up like Diana and spend hours in front of a mirror singing “Stop in the Name of Love”.

He became frustrated with the toy trucks and GI Joes my parents gave him and when he found more of the same under the Christmas tree, he stopped believing in Santa Claus.

Fifteen years later he phoned me while I was living in Baltimore. He’d just completed his second six week rehab at Northwestern after being picked up by the Philly cops while driving in the wrong direction on I-95 whacked on meth and whisky. He called to announce that he was gay, and that he was ending years of self abusive behavior, trading it in for an openly gay lifestyle.

Ten years later he showed up at my front door and sat my wife & I down. He slid a book across the table and asked us what we knew about Sexual Reassignment – sex change surgery.

You see, my brother’s lifestyle had changed when he came out, but his struggle hadn’t ended. His low self esteem and self abuse had continued, masked by professional therapy and prescription antidepressants. He had recently been screened by a team at the University of Pennsylvania, he explained, who concluded that my little brother, now in his thirties, was a classic case of a woman born with male genitalia, and he was a slam dunk candidate for sexual reassignment surgery.

But he didn’t have the money to move forward and none of us in the family had the money to loan him.

Nevertheless, he went on from that day living his life as a woman, waiting for the day he could afford the surgery. A few years went by and for the first time in her life, my sister appeared happy.

A handful of years later I approached her with the money for the surgery. Call it a loan, a gift, whatever, I was so happy for her newfound personal peace that I was thrilled to help.

She smiled and shook her head when I slid the envelope across the table. There would be no surgery she explained. You see, she had met a great guy – a regional director for a large chain of convenience stores, and together they’d bought a house in Delaware. Life had never been better for her and the best part was, her partner was happy with her just the way she was.

It turns out that my little brother, now forty years later my little sister, had gotten access to the internet through her home computer and found that people like her were not alone. She discovered other men and women in the same situation – living happy, satisfied lives in a gender middle ground, but no longer in limbo, loved for who they are, the way they are, by good people.

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