I met a person at the Pride School event. I took a moment to say hello and saw a person that epitomized the non standard lives we live. Transgender people do not fit in boxes and cant be defined by a box. Lykee is a wonderful, now, Woman whom was on a road to find a path to whom she was inside. And like Lykee, every road, and person, is different.
Below you will see a short glimpse into Lykee's life, as it evolved and how understanding can not be defined by a stereotyping...
When I was a child I played with Transformers and G.I. Joes, I loved Star Wars, and I made wooden swords to play with. I was a rough and tumble kid. As far as I knew this adventurous little boy would grow up to be an adventurous man. I had no idea what a wondrous adventure I would one day set of on. However, I always struggled to fit in, while at the same time I fought tooth and nail to find my unique identity. I hated clothes, I hated being in pictures; the only time I was satisfied with my appearance was when I was acting out a fantasy though dress up, even if it was dressing up as a soldier. I just never felt satisfied with my body. It was easy to pass of my discontent as resulting from the isolation that was often imposed upon me by my pears. My Learning Disability (LD) often left me the odd man out at school, but you know all things considered I managed the Disability adeptly. Then Things started to get complicated for me as the other boys around me began to change I did not, the joys of being a late bloomer. The difference between me and my peers led my parents to seek growth hormones for me. I remember wanted nothing to do with that concept I was ready to run had the doctor come at me with a shot fortunately this did not happen. My body never did catch up with the other boys and most my adult life I had a sense of disappointment in how I looked. Yet, I also became confident in not measuring up to the other boys. I did not like what I had become but did not want to become a man and as far as I knew there was no other choice. I was dealing with what I would latter come to understand as Gender and Genital Dysphoria, back then I had no name for it so It went unaddressed. I knew one thing though, I knew I had an attraction to boys and that I could not tell others about. I would come home from school having been called a fudge packer and I would read about homosexuality in the encyclopedia trying to figure out how that was not me.
By this time in my life I was attending a private religious school, (I am going to name them here because they need to know the harm they let happen to me), I attended the First Presbyterian Day School (FPD) in Macon, Georgia because of problems I experienced in public school. I was bullied and had trouble with the staff. While attending FPD I found myself constantly exposed to Focus on the Family and 700 Club rhetoric about the LGBT community. This hurt my self-image so much that it might have well been conversion therapy. I wanted nothing more to escape what I was now coming to understand as bisexuality. Every step of sexual exploration was followed by guilt for almost the rest of my life. The one exception was my relationship with the woman that would become my wife. Meanwhile, I remember thinking over and over that if I just cut my penis off maybe things would be better. The freedom of college loomed on the horizon.
I went on to college and became very active in LGBT politics until the moment approached to begin my teaching career and my marriage. I set my politics aside and began a working man’s married life. All the while the closet closed in around me and so did the guilt; worst of all was a hatred for God and myself. As far as I was concerned any God who would create me was not worthy of praise. I literally explained my Atheism as resulting from the belief that I could not be made because I was to flowed and could only love myself if I was a consequence of a accident of nature. Though all this internal strife I built a life and a family. The Guilt took over, depression set in and so did the anger, it was often not pleasant at home and that’s putting it mildly. I would go off for the weekend to sell my art and this offered opportunities to find out who I really was. I would come home and be unhappy knowing there was something else out there I wanted, not really knowing what that was. My wife could not do it anymore and the process of ending our relationship began.
And now I set out to find myself. This process was not without pain and this pain I know was felt by others, and I am sorry for that. I found spirituality first. My pagan community made me feel at home, even when I only went to their events to sell my art and refused to participate with them. Then It happened and I discovered my own path and a sense of value in my soul, I fell in love with the symbolism of wolves. It was this love of wolves that brought me to the world of Furrys who are fans of anthropomorphic animal characters. Most of these characters are developed by the fans and often bend gender lines. It was then I began to role play as Lykaios, a she wolf. Over the next 4 years I began to bend gender lines both in role play and in my real life. I also began two develop loving relationships with other people who let me explore things about myself. As I grew the marriage with my now ex-wife drew closer to its end. I began to realize that being a husband was not me but still did not know what was.
That is until I met some people who treated me as both boy and girl and let me really play with my gender identity in public and private. I began seeing myself as Gender Queer, I still did not really know what it meant; I just knew I liked the word. They gave me the idea of going to a convention as a character called “Apple Jack” so I did; I put together an Apple Jack costume. I was telling another friend about the costume on the phone when she said “so your going as a transvestite,”and “bam”, the walls went up and I said “no” in went through a hundred different ways of saying“no”. That was in September. November I came out as Bisexual, and wanted to be more politically active. I was at the Furry Convention and decided to buy “pride” patches for a jacket of mine. I got a rainbow flag for the right shoulder and a Pink Triangle for the Left, but the only triangles they had was one with a transgender symbol on it. I put it on upside down because In my mind I was not transgender. By the end of December, I was headed home from Iowa and stopped at a goodwill store. Instead of looking a girl shorts which I had been wearing for a year or so, I looked at a blouse. 10 below is too cold for shorts no matter how much you are proud of your legs. I have always liked my legs. I got this blouse, put it on along with a jacket I got. I got in the car and drove home. It is a long drive from Iowa to Georgia. That night I found out Ms. Alacorn ended her life. Now you got to know this, I have a big “Rainbow Dash” tattooed on my ass to remind me to stand up to bullies. I got it in support of Michael Morones who had attempted suicide after being bullied because he liked “My Little Pony”. I made a commitment to do everything I could to keep kids safe. I got home from this long trip and did not take the blouse off. I realized I would have to live my truth, and that was what I had to do to protect kids. I had to follow the teachings of Milk. I went to work and would come home and put the blouse back on. Now it became about figuring out how to live this truth when I still had a long way to go to understand my truth. Things were happening fast, 5 days later I had my first date with a boy in my life and I wore my blouse with some huge man purse. In the middle of dinner I just melted down and during this melt down just blurted out “how am I supposed to be a girl when I don't even have a real purse.” I said it. I said “I was a girl”. What did that mean? I got to work next day told the boss I had to go. I was getting a divorce and needed time to deal with some emotions. That day I went and bought clothes at Maurices where a very nice lady saw me looking and asked if I needed a dressing room. Sometime latter walked out dressed as a girl from head to ankle (though still needing shoes) with a smile on my face, I got my nails and hair done that day also. Things went bloody fast from there. Over the next 4 1/3 moths I learned that there had always been a real adventure waiting for me, a story of transformation, a story all my own. I could now name what I felt; I am a Gender Queer Transgender Women. But most importantly, I feel happy with my changing body. I find excitement in each new change I look in the mirror and I see me, I see a future for me.
This is by no means the whole story of how I got here but it will do for now.
Sarissa Farman is a Transgender Activist promoting equal rights and opportunities including normalization of the Transgender Community. A working, single Mom of 3 children she strives for equality and fairness for her family and others. She served in the US Navy as a Data Specialist and traveled to many countries. Early years of education were horribly difficult having a second grade teacher that preached how stupid she was. Education became pivotal for her and she absorbed everything. This drives her to be a better person and gives her the desire to believe in people and help made the world a better place.