I want the courage to send this.


I think that what I just said is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to say.

I don’t want to push you away like that. Of all the times I’ve wished I

had an ear to listen to what I’m thinking or feeling, it’s yours I miss

the most.

You know I’ve started taking hormones. After five months, now, I can

tell you I don’t regret it a bit. For the first time in ten years, I can

look in the mirror without wanting to cry. I’d much rather be as I am

now, and know why it was I wanted to cry than to ignore it. I don’t get

dressed and undressed as quickly as possible anymore, trying to ignore

my body entirely. I can shower without feeling ill afterward.

I’ve worked really hard on myself for the past few years to become someone who can handle this. I haven’t been seriously depressed in a

year now. Even this July, when the heat made me feel terrible, I didn’t

end up in the black cloud that I have every July and August for the past

four years. I’ve been working on my thick skin, and on not falling apart

at the slightest provocation. It’s not entirely smooth sailing, but

looking back over the past few months, I can regard it as quite a bit

happier than the year before.

This didn’t start as a shameful thing — just me acknowledging who I am.

It wasn’t until I moved back to Ridgway that there was fear or despair.

Please don’t blame this on the friends I keep. Please don’t blame this

on NBTSC. This is entirely my own thing. I don’t get a lot of support

there, even if it is the most accepting community I can think of. It was

among the most scary things I’ve ever done, coming out to them. I was

the first person among campers to come out.

Not being able to talk to you is really bothering me, but I really do

need respect that this is my choice, and respect that I’m sure it’s the

right thing for me, at least, and understanding at best. I really want

to get past this. There are things that go on in my life that I would

love to talk to you about, but they tie into who I am. I don’t want to

not talk, but I’ll keep it quiet as long as I have to.

I wish I could share the pride I feel at being able to stand up and be

who I really am with you. I’m sorry it hurts you.

I love you.

Rick. Ari. Aria.

(I sent it a couple hours later.)