Laila’s Introductory Post
Hello all! My name is Laila Ross and I am here to give you a look into the life of a gentle soul. This soul is transitioning from Male to Female. It is hard to describe the feeling that I’ve had all of these years, leading me here today. My life has been wonderful up until this point, but there has always been this very real and tangible feeling that there is something wrong. In the depths of my heart, a feeling of surreal displacement has plauged me every minute of every day. I will not say that my life has not been what I wanted, but I can contest that there has been a whole diffrent side to the life I’ve lived.
I have lived 25 years of my life as a Male very easily. I don’t want to discredit what I have done until now but I know it is not what I want, or wanted. As young kid, growing up was a blur. I cannot place why I have no ability to recall many of the events that shaped who I am, but I can truly say that I would not change my life in the slightest. What I mean is I have become a loving and thoughtful person that just has the biggest heart, a heart that will always put the feelings of others first. Even though it is not my intention, I let a quarter of a century pass without thinking about what I want most of all.
I made choices based off of what others thought my life should be, so I did not put much thought into why I have always felt a strong sense of disconnection with myself. I always figured I was just depressed more than most. Motivation has always been a problem for me as well. here I am just drifting away on a raft in the ocean of life without thinking ”Maybe I should get to shore and put my feet on the ground”. It was always easier just to push these strange feelings away. So together these feeling of depression and my lack of motivation just enforced that I was going nowhere in life. These feelings built up to a very dark monster.
I will now bring you to my teenage years. In high school, I became a social recluse. It was hard to even get out of bed in the morning. The dark feelings I was having made it an Olympic event just to get up in the morning. I had made friends based on their outward expression of their inner selves. I can easily admit it wasn’t the best crowd, but I did make life long companions. For every great person I knew, there was five that wanted everyone around them to suffer the pain they had. It was very easy for me to follow suit. I won’t fault them but I did not spend too much time living past the moment I was in. There was no real desire to plan for my future because I really didn’t care if I lived or died. I became suicidal. I hated myself very deeply and didn’t know why. At this time I decided to figure out what was making me this way. I talked to a friend of mine who was very good at seeing the true person in every one. She never failed at discovering
what kind of person was in us all. She was spot on every time. The first thing she told me to do was to sit through a tarot reading. Now I don’t believe in that stuff but I was seeking advice, so who was I to turn her down. The results didn’t tell me much but it led her to ask me to draw a self portrait. She started by trying to put me in a hypnotic state, then asked me to do this task. I will tell you that the resulting sketch was anything but a physical representation of myself. On this paper was a person with long flowing hair, wide hips, and … breasts? When I was finished she simply told me to pursue those feeling further.
This brings me to my suicide attempts. I never had the courage to go through with it but it did land me in a mental health facility. This scared me half to death. I swore from then on I would control my feelings. Well, I didn’t. I made it a few years down the road which led to my short Military career. I hoped this would bring the “man” in me out to the surface. I spent these years becoming a hyper masculine copy of those men around me. It didn’t take long to realize that my personality, and constant changes of style or groups of people I’d spend my time with, were fake. My desire to find myself grew to megalithic proportions. Where could I start?
I am now back to that portrait. I didn’t want to admit that what I saw that day was myself. Yet, I had spent a few years stationed in Hawaii, where there was a local population of girls known as “Mahu”. This means Transgender women, and there were hundreds. This showed me that there were many other people like this, but I never asked them what it was to be a Trans-woman. I was even close friends with a girl known as “Roxanne”, yet I never asked how she came to the conclusion that she was a woman, even though she was a born as a male. I spent the next five years reading, watching videos, and looking to the Internet for answers. I had come to the conclusion finally that I should not be male, or rather that I am a female, living in a males body. I was destroyed, and became suicidal again.
I did not know how to admit who I discovered inside, behind these blue eyes. I live in the deep south of the U.S. This is a very religious place where if you are different, you can expect to be hassled and harassed. I think this country has come to grips with what the gay community means and people here don’t bother each other based on this fact, but I let myself hide in fear of what could happen to me. I had finally discovered myself, yet let fear rule my life. This brings me to October 2nd 2012. I decided to end my life (don’t worry, there’s a happy ending to this story!). In the strangeness of life I was broke, and when I went to get to the location of my demise, I ran out of gas in my car. I didn’t even have the control of my own life enough to kill myself like I wanted. Then it dawned on me. I DO have control of my life! I knew if I came out as trans, then I would be taking control. I could lose friends and family, but I had complete control of where my life would go from there. A friendly highway assistance driver pulled up behind my broken down car and asked if I needed gas or a tow truck. I informed him of my vehicular issue and hes send me on my merry way with a free gallon of gas and twenty dollars cash, “I have a feeling you need this more than I do”, he said, then he left. I drove home and started the process of coming out to my family. EVERYONE accepted me instantly.
For the first time in years, I could smile. For the first time in years I cried. For the first time in my life, I can live… as the woman I was meant to be.
Laila R. M. Ross