Mardi Gras was right around the corner. I could only prepare myself. I had a friend whom I had told of my issues at this time. She pushed me to go out in public on Mardi Gras day. I was very unsure of it. I just continued to work as much as possible, and the season was picking up. Money was getting better. I invested in clothes for Mardi Gras. I worked for almost a week straight up until Mardi Gras day. I went to her house, got dressed, had help with makeup, and got in the cab and left for the Quarter. No one cared. I woulda never guessed. I drank and drank until i was too drunk to drink any more. I relaxed. I smoked. I drank some more. This was a day of total inebriation, and I loved every moment of it. I got a lot of compliments, but I was not particularly happy with what I had going. I needed to make this happen for myself.
I had one month until I left for Cleveland. I spent most of this time working on my suit to make it nice for this place. I repainted and readjusted some hinges. I worked through St. Patrick’s Day weekend and left the Monday morning after with my partner in crime, Jason, whom brought his girlfriend Cassandra. I stopped in Indianapolis for a night and a day and saw some family and friends. It was short lived, but I wanted to see people knowing I was coming out after I got back home. I had no idea who would reject me… I at least wanted this last moment. As we were heading to Cleveland we had a lot of issues that were supposed to be resolved before I had arrived there. My mom booked me at a place, but they wanted $1400 immediately upon arrival. I had nothing near that. I canceled that and found another place. Turned out, though, after we arrived that this hotel was 15 miles from where we needed to be. We packed up and got a room closer. I arrived at the IX-Center and was treated very well. I was shown around the place, and if I was about 10 I would have wanted to run around this place for days, but instead I knew this was all business. I came to work. We unloaded the suit and went back to the room before my extensive stay in this indoor theme park started.
The first few days were long and draining on me. The guy in charge told me not to overwork myself and that I didn’t need to work from open to close. I heeded that warning very quickly. Within a few days after starting I was feeling very ill. I had grabbed a cold from my step-mom. A total bummer for me having to wear this massive suit and walk around a mile by a mile large place. I pushed through it. I ate lots of cold meds. I was persistent t make this adventure phenomenal for these people who were paying me large sums of money.
After the first 2 weekends of work I was beginning to feel better. The only downfall was the next 2 weeks were straight work everyday. Now the whole time I was up in Cleveland, I was online telling as many people as I felt comfortable with about my coming transition. Somehow I managed to not fall apart in this time. I was all types of sore. I finished up my last day there and collected my cash. We didn’t even stay in the room for the last night we were supposed to stay. We packed up immediately and headed back to Indianapolis to stay just for the night at my mother’s. We arrived around 12pm and left around 8am. I was just ready to get home. I spent some time up in Cleveland purchasing a new wardrobe for myself since I at this point had made up my mind that I will not be presenting myself as a man anymore.
I arrived home to about 6 packages. I immediately got ahold of people and wanted to go shopping. I spent the first week buying whatever I could. New tops, some dresses, new jeans, new shoes… anything I could think of. I was practically buying everything neon that was available. I had set up an appointment with my counselor for the week following my arrival back in town. I was not working at this time. I was sore and wanted a break. I regret that decision now, but I did enjoy the time out of the suit. I started telling as many people as I could that did not already know.
I waited until Mother’s Day to tell my mom. I had not spoken to her since I left Indianapolis and wanted to wish her a happy Mother’s Day, but I didn’t want to lie to her. She did not care for it much. She insulted me and left me in tears. I was the devil in her eyes. I was “being selfish” and “inconsiderate”. She said I should have told her when I was up in Indianapolis and she could have acquired me a doctor that wasn’t “making” me seek transition. I figured at this point talking to her was useless. I messaged her once more on Facebook and said “I’m sorry that this isn’t working out. Goodbye.” I’ve not heard from her since. I gave up my medical insurance and my phone plan. Those are minor in what I am going through. Minor compared to the idea that I will continue on without a mother supporting me, but if I look back I realize that she never supported me. She hated what I was doing for money. She considered it as lowly because I was working my way up a ladder in a business. I was happy with my decision. Without a phone, though, I would have trouble talking to anyone unless they have internet access.
I’ve still not talked to my dad. I only talked to my brother twice. Now, from the day I came back I was trying very hard to get comfortable dressing as I wanted to. I would wear a wig and stuff a bra. I’d load on the makeup and I’d cower behind my group of friends. I’ve since become very comfortable with things. I don’t always wear a wig. I don’t always stuff a bra. Mascara and eyeliner I don’t live without, though. I’ve accepted myself as I am. I’ll change as I change. I dress how I want, but I live every day trying to be comfortable. Loading myself up with extra weight and insulation was not helping me. I am beautiful without all the aesthetics. Not because someone told me so, but because I feel so in my own heart. I only need my opinion alone. I only need my friends and their amazing souls. I’m working towards the girl I am. I’m being exactly who I am.
I AM JOSLYN.