Coming Out Transgendered - Brittany James in Her Own Words

15 February 2011


I am writing this to let you all inside my world — my life — as a female who is trapped in a male body: it's a rough journey that is still going on.

I remember telling my dad, back when I was a teenager, that if I had the money I would have a sex change. Well, that is the case to this day still. After that time I did not bring it up again until around 2004 or 2005, when I was living in California and going threw a divorce. I even tried to get them to give me female hormones and testosterone blockers but that did not happen. They wanted to refer me to San Francisco, but that was 2 - 2.5 hours away, and I did not have the money to get on a bus or train to get there.

When I was in California, I even bough some female clothes and makeup, and started dressing as a female. And I found 2 free dolls in a box of stuff outside a church and I brought them home and played with them. I know that a person in their 30s is not supposed to be playing with dolls but it felt great to be able to do that. But still, not to be in the right body hurt so bad.

My ex-in-laws were trying to help me at the time. I wont get into how they were doing that, but when I told them that I am bi and a female trapped in a male body, things turned sour, because they are super ultra conservative Christians. So I got out of there and came back home, to were I was born and raised, to New Hampshire.

What brought up my trans feelings again, after the divorce, while still in California, was the fact my wife said I was not man enough to get her pregnant, and I got to thinking that she was right — and that I am female.

So I went to GNC [the vitamin and supplement chain] out there when I was in California and bought stuff that would make estrogen in my body. I even showed the doctors what I was taking, but they still wanted to refer me out to far away. I told my counselor about this as well. It felt like all doors were closing on me and I had road block after road block coming up. It was getting more and more discouraging all the time.

So before I left CA to come back to NH, I gave away my dolls and a dress I had.

When I got back to NH, I started on herbal estrogen from my herbalist. But then, when I moved to Burlington Vermont, either in 2005 or 2006, I kept taking herbal estrogen until it ran out and then I went ahead and ordered some prescription estrogen online. I only took it once and got scared, as I did not have a doctor working with me.

Then I said to myself, “well, the only reason I am feeling this way is cause my ex wife said what she said." But thats not true — it was just another way to push the feelings back down yet again, like I had done so many times.

My depression got worse, so I came back home yet again, from Burlington Vermont back to my home town in New Hampshire, to yet again live with my mom and dad. I then ended up going back to my hometown conservative church, were they made me feel horrible about who I was, a bisexual. I did tell them that at one time that I thought I was a woman, and that I took hormones. After hearing how they reacted to that, I either threw away or gave away all my girl clothes — they made me feel ashamed and guilty.

But after trying to keep pushing these feelings down all these times, and having them come back time and time again, I can see I need this transition — so my body will match my mind, spirit and soul.

After trying to jump threw all these hoops to get what I needed, I thought that I would stay in the same body and keep telling myself that I am a female trapped in a male body. And I thought that I could live with it that way. I thought that I could go on living my life this way, but I can not. It's too much. I must get this transition. I know it won't be easy, and some parts of it wont be fun with the hate I will get from people over this. I know that at times, it might even feel unbearable, but what would be more unbearable is to have to live in the wrong body the rest of my life.

I did say at one point, "what use is it to talk about this with my licensed nurse practitioner (who is also my counselor)?" because no one in the past wanted to or could help me. But I did talk to her, and she said she was glad that I felt I could trust her enough to tell her. And I am glad I did tell her this — for I've waited too long for this transition to begin. It's time to start and the sooner the better. I should never have let others tell me how to live, or to stop even when roadblocks got in my way. I should have kept trying. This is something that needs to be done. And the longer you wait, the harder it is on your emotional health. The person I see said she would do some research on this to see if my insurance will pay for the hormones and t-blockers, or sex reassignment surgery & etc. I know this is a slow process and won't all happen over night. But it needs to start somewhere, so the sooner I can start the better — I can't wait for that.

As I look back and remember when I was a lot younger, I now see that even before I told anyone, I would look at girls playing with doll’s and think, "gesh, I wish I could play with a doll." But back then I knew that boys play with trucks, girls play with dolls. Also I would see girls wearing some pretty clothing and wish I could wear that; or I would see a girl and say, "gesh, I wish my body looked that way." But I guess I pushed it to the back of my mind. I just did not say anything until I was a teen, and had forgotten about the really young times. I looked back and think about my younger days: did I ever play with girls toys? Or dress up in girls clothes back then? I really can't remember.

What also makes me sad is that I never got the chance to experience puberty as a girl, to grow up in the right body to match who I am, to have the fun all the little girls had growing up. I never had the experience of having mom or dad take me to buy my first bra or to have my first period.

I am well aware that this wont be all fun and games. I am well aware of the reality of the hate people will give. And I am well aware of all the hoops I will have to go through to complete this transition into the right body.

I am aware of how scary it will be to go out and present myself as a woman in the outside world while on hormones and in the very beginning stages of the transition. It scares the shit out of me. But I need this to live as "me" on the outside as well as on the inside.

This wont be an easy journey, but it will be one worth it. Will I lose friends over it? Yes I will and it will hurt like hell. But at the same time, I can't be something I'm not for someone else, to please them, while being miserable myself.

Will this make my depression go away? No but it will make it better, for at least one part of me will be where it needs to be, on the outside as well as on the inside.

I know I have a long road a head of me; and I am ready to get started, step by step, on this journey.

Now I've learned that the only thing the state of New Hampshire will pay for from medicare part D is some forms of estrogen and some forms of t blockers. They wont pay for anything else. But I did find out another state will pay for just about everything. I don't think the other state will pay for breast augmentation or hair removal, but I can live with small breasts and having to shave the rest of my life if I can get everything else. I've had to apply for low income housing. I do plan to start dressing and living as a female full time as soon as I have enough money to buy the clothes I need to do so. I know this change, in my small conservative little town in NH, won't be easy, but it is something I need to do for me.

Being bisexual and transgender/transexual in this town has never been easy, and never will be easy. Those showing hate don't understand. They don't get it and they don't want to get it. They are just so scared of what they don't understand, and are not willing to understand. The person I work with for health care and therapy has given me a bathroom note as so I can use the female bathroom. The person told me they don't think it will do me a lot of good in NH, but, if I am ticketed, Lambda Legal wants to try and help.

This is not an easy journey, and people don't understand its not a journey someone chooses to go on — it's a journey that must be taken to live — to feel complete — to feel whole. Will it fix everything in your life? No. And it might make things even harder, but its something I need with all my heart. I know that I need air to breath, but it honestly feels like I need this transition more then I need air.

There are nights when I will cry because I hate living in the wrong body. And I will ask, "why me?" I don't know why me. I just know that this is happening and I've pushed it down and tried to ignore this part of me for far far too long. And now its time to deal with it. I've finally accepted that this is who I am. Now its time to work on it. I am back on herbal hormones — they do a little not a lot — but it will help me to keep hope until I get to the state were their insurance will help pay for this. I choose not to say which state — I do not know why but I just do. But throughout all this, I am just so blessed to have supportive parents, who love me no matter what.

If you are not sure which gender I am, I was born biologically male but identify as female. Right now I am a non-op transexual.

I do feel cheated out of a lot of things in life by not being born in the right body — by having to go through all this — but I will get through this. I live with depression, anxiety, stress, worry, fear and PTSD [Post-traumatic stress disorder] every day and have for a long time. Being disabled just means that I struggle a lot harder to do things, as well as just to live, but, I still live — I still go on. It's going to be a scary change this spring/summer, when I start dressing and living as a female full time, but it's the next step I must take in this long journey.

My real legal name is Bradley James, Jr., but when I feel comfortable doing so, I go by the name Brittany James. One day I will make this my legal name.

I do hope that, if you know someone who is transgender, you may not understand it, but the best thing you can do for your friend is to be there to love them, support them, and understand that they have not made a choice, they just came into this world in the wrong body and are trying to fix things.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.