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Is it really that hard to understand?

Updated on September 20, 2013

My Emily pics and some of my former pics

Transgender & Ignorance

I sometimes wonder why there is such intolerance and hatred directed at people who are different (in whatever ways that may be) from the norm. After all they have just as much a right to carry on and be afforded the same opportunities and privileges as anyone else and just because they identify as different does not mean they should be punished for it. Believe me, they have felt deep seated guilt and struggled enough and endured pain all their life and they do not need to endure more of it from others who display ignorance and hatred for no understandable reason.

With respect to individuals who identify as transgender (in my case Male to Female) why is it that hard for others to understand that it does happen? It just strikes me as odd that most people are so narrow minded to believe that all males born (100%) identify or should only identify as male. That just does not make sense. Did you ever look up the words unique, different or special and for that matter transgender, gender dysphoria or tolerance of others?

That is what it should be all about which is understanding, compassion and finally acceptance. There is no reason to criticize or hate someone for being different because it is very hurtful and no one should be the subject or victim of others hatred or disdain simply because they don't agree with the ideals of those who identify differently from the so-called norm.The clearly misguided and misinformed have no right to inflict their ideals on others simply because they believe that should be the only way. I just find we live in a cold, close minded and cruel world sometimes and for the minority of individuals who face their personal struggles of being different it is just unfair and should never be tolerated and this has to be clearly communicated whether it is at the congressional level or taken as far as the supreme court to establish proper laws for their protection and stop with this mentality that currently exists today which I find quite painful, incomprehensible and not fair because it does affect all of us and those who are more sensitive and vulnerable could very well give up hope and decide there is no point to go on which could result in tragedy.

Many transgender individuals have expressed their frustration, feelings and have displayed courage in their attempts to ensure protecting and shielding themselves from this unnecessary abuse or discrimination and if they are so lucky have communicated it through their writings. Some sadly have said they would rather die than face the harshness and pain inflicted by others based on what society dictates. This could be detrimental and may lead to suicide. It is harassment, bullying, discrimination, mean-spirited and can lead to discord and this simply can not continue. The ignorance of others only motivate them to hurt and judge others just for their differences and what does that say for us as a people. What makes one person feel they are better than the other? We are all here and must learn to coexist and be more compassionate. How would you like it if the shoe was on the other foot? Not everything can be exactly defined as male only and female only. Life is far too complicated for that to ever happen and if that was the case then the world we live in would be quite boring.

Sometimes it is possible for a male to identify as a female or a female to identify as a male. It is not that inconceivable to be possible. Believe me, there are many more people than you may think that are transgender but for whatever reasons they just don't ever come out and they take it to the grave with them never really finding their inner peace or happiness.

That to me is a very sad and painful existence feeling "trapped" and never being true to who you were inside and for no one to ever know the real you! That is why many transgender take their lives which is so very heartbreaking because it does not have to be that way!

Just imagine if they were allowed to be true to how they felt inside and were accepted and supported by family and friends they would still be here today and that is far more better than losing them to suicide because of intolerance and ignorance.

It is incomprehensible that some transgender individuals are murdered just for being who they are and that is just unacceptable! That is the ultimate tragedy!! Society, made up of people like you, me and all who presently experience life have to sometimes realize that some people are just plain different and that is OK! What isn't OK is the contempt of those who bear hatred aimed at those who are different such as the transgender community. Why are some people so mean and hurtful and show no regard for another human being's feeling or ideals. Why does mankind always repeat the same mistakes of the past with respect to minorities or those identifying differently.

What's the major hangup of society to not understand that there are transgender individuals? Why is there far too much ignorance and discrimination directed towards the transgender community? It just makes no sense and it never will if nothing changes.

I knew I was a girl in my mind, body and soul from age 4 on but I lived virtually my whole life in pain, never telling anyone of my transgender struggle and I had contemplated taking my life in the process and in a couple of instances was so close to carrying it out but my belief that one day I would have a chance to be that girl gave me hope and so now even with a wife and son whom I love dearly I still have to transition or go to the grave with all that internal and emotional pain.That to me would be so very sad if that were to happen.

I do want to live and be with my family and have my friends and still be able to support my family. I just want to feel loved and accepted as I feel inside, as a female. One of the most important developments to happen in my life was realizing I was a girl in every way at such a young age but knowing I would have to struggle with the reality that my body did not match up to my internal feelings. That is something that not many people could ever understand but just because they don't understand it means that it isn't real for someone else. For me it is and always will be my life story which is still evolving and will continue to as long as I have the belief, the courage, the strength, the determination, the hope, the support, the love and most importantly the acceptance that I have been hoping for all along but throughout my life I was always afraid to tell anyone for fear of rejection, which I felt I have no control over.

The awakening of and liberation that comes with self acceptance once the repression and denial stages are addressed successfully and long gone is the tremendous feeling of relief and happiness that is so evident once you finally face the fact that you are transgender. To finally live your life as you always believed true in your heart is one of the most incredible and emotional moments you will ever encounter and that is truly living life as it was supposed to be. You should never feel guilt, pain or suffering once you have come to terms with it and finally admit to your family and friends you are only doing what you hid all your life and you should never let what others think or say cloud your mind or influence your decision just because they are too ignorant to understand. That is their problem not yours. The sooner you realize that, the far better off you will be in the end and that is what it should be.

We all have our journey in life and we all have to follow our heart and find ourselves and seek out the help, guidance and support we should have done a long time ago and we must realize that action must be taken immediately because the reality of life is that there is no guarantee of a tomorrow. You have to live now and express the real you so you can share your life with those most important to you as you feel most comfortable.

For some transgender, that day sadly, never comes and that is unfortunately more common than the successes of transitioning that the lucky ones are able to face with courage and dignity. It is indeed possible to transition and still manage in your life and still be there for your family. That is the most important lesson and one of the major challenges you will have to confront and if you are strong enough, young enough and courageous enough and mentally, emotionally and financially prepared and have the support of your doctors, your family, your employer and your friends then in the end everything should work out. For some that is just a fairy tale and for some that is their reaffirmation of who they truly are and to achieve that is truly wonderful, very special and very liberating.

My only hope is that we can learn from the courage displayed by those who may have struggled all their life but have finally found the inner strength to accept it and do what they feel is right for them no matter what others may think. We only get one chance at life, remember that! So next time you feel lost or alone by your burdens and struggles, which we all will face, no matter who we are I just wish to offer this tiny bit of advice.

Never lose hope even when you feel your very worst. Try to find something that will keep you busy and free yourself of your problems even if it is taking a walk, cutting the lawn or listening to a music cd. Do something good for someone. Spend time with a friend you have not seen in a while. Take a train ride into the city and appreciate life in the moment. Dress up! Hug your children. Live for today only.

The most important piece of advice I will leave you with is this: Don't ever feel afraid to reach out for help! There is someone out there or nearby who can help you in your time of need. There is no need to feel shame or that you have to face your problems alone. If you feel you had enough and struggle with suicidal thoughts and there is no one around then either call the suicide hotline which I will provide or 911. Just remember this, you are not alone and people will help you. I know because I have been that voice in distress on the phone and there was a friendly voice on the other side of the line who helped me to cope in that moment and comforted me so I could ease my burden and not do something that would be very sad and permanent and would affect family, friends and all who know me. Just listen and believe things will get better.

I have learned a lot in these past 5 months and I am working on getting better, seeing my doctors, spending time with my son as his dad, finding my wife to be more supportive and understanding, taking care of all my concerns and reach out to all the right people in the best way I can, maintaining a positive attitude, taking my medications as prescribed by my doctors, maintaining my female hormone replacement therapy, growing my hair out, trying not to let my current inability to work get me down, doing things I like to do such as writing and making videos even if they are amateur. It is important I express myself and free myself of my isolation and maybe say something that just might make a difference in hopefully a good way. Most of all I have come to realize that I should never feel ashamed or feel guilty for being who I truly am in my heart, mind and soul which is Emily, a sweet and kind person who has the same ideals, morals and nice qualities as my male self, Ed. I am just more happier being free to express my true gender which is female but wish to reiterate that I am still the same person I always have been. I am just expressing my outer being which is now more consistent to my inner being.

Thank you to my family, my friends and all my doctors and my advisers who truly care for me and have stood by me through this major crisis in my life and have embraced me as Emily and that is all I can ask for at this time.

With love,

Edward Donald Iannielli III

aka Emily Denise Iannielli

Emily on Male to Female Transgender - Part 1

Emily on Male to Female Transgender - Part 2

Angie, transgender teen, 17 years old, NYC, trans

Becoming Johanna

Emily speaking on the lighter side of Transgender


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    • ediann profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thank you ladies for your kindness and for taking the time to read my story. I am lucky to find nice, understanding people such as you, Pat and you, Rose. You both deeply touched me and even brought a tear to my eyes with your warmth, compassion and reassuring words. I am truly grateful to you ladies! Best wishes and I look forward to reading your hubs. Best regards! emily

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      This is such a great article! I can't begin to understand what you must go through each and every day living as a transgender individual, but I do empathize with the anger and frustration you must feel with the ignorance of individuals who don't understand or accept you as you truly are. Many individuals have suffered for trying to lead the lives they were truly born to lead because of intolerance and hatred. We can only hope that one day attitudes will change and tolerance and acceptance will prevail. Thank you for sharing! (Voted Up) -Rose

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      It is true....we all should be more willing to accept and understand others who are not like us. Just saying those words hints that I am judgmental. "Not like us..." We have our own notion of what male and female should be and then transgender.

      I cannot say that I understand what it must be like to feel you have been born a sex that you do not identify with. And my attempt to even try to give voice to what your life must be like must seem lame at best to you. I just know this...I TRY not to be judgmental. If I meet someone who is transgendered and they tell me they are, I know that I would have a lot of questions. Is that wrong?

      I would want to know so that I could understand. Understanding leads me to wisdom and knew knowledge.

      thanks for sharing this. How important it is that you say not to be afraid to reach out for help and to not be ashamed.

      Angels are on the way to you as you continue your journey. ps Shared


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