I’ve never really had anything close to a social life, even when I was in high school. Even though I’m an extrovert I’ve spent most of my life in a reclusive state. Part of this is the fact that I am transgender, and the discrimination that I’ve faced because of it, part of it is because of my sensory issues, and part of it is the fact that I was never really allowed to socialize outside of the halls of my middle and high school. Growing up I was never allowed to have friends over nor was I allowed to leave home to go meet with anyone that could be considered a friend outside of school related activities.
Since moving to New York, and beginning to emerge myself in the world of the SCA, I’ve found something akin to a social life. There are people around me that understand, or at least accept my eccentricities and it doesn’t seem to bother them in the least. I’ve found something that I never thought that I would have, and that’s a community. I feel like I’ve finally found a place where I can belong not hide away from society as life passes me by like I’ve been doing for the past twenty years.
It’s past time for me to let go of what happened to me in the past and start working towards the future that I want for myself and for my family.
For the first time in my life I’ve joined a gym so that I can get into shape. I’ve started attending rapier practice within the SCA, and archery as well. While there has been a few bumps in the road, I am actually starting to look forward to the future with excitement rather than disdain or upset. Things are still rough, I’m still fighting for SSI because of my autism, in July of this year it will be two years since I’ve applied. I went into my final appeal in November of last year and that can take up to 15 months.
I’ve scheduled an appointment for the 22nd of March for the consultation for my chest reconstruction surgery, and my insurance here will cover it and all other SRS surgeries that I need. I can’t believe this year I’ll finally be able to take that step closer to being whole.
My depression was really bad for a while, but it’s a bit better now. I don’t wake up every morning wanting to die. I hope that this is a permanent change, but I know that there is the possibility that it isn’t. It’s just something that I will have to deal with as it comes along. I know I’m going to have to find a therapist and stick with them, but for once I have a few clear goals in my life that aren’t just ideas.
I have an idea of where I want to be headed by the end of this year, I’m not completely lost to the chaos anymore.
My name is Aydan O'Connor, I am a:
Father, Husband, Brother, Advocate, Transman, Author, Friend, Liberal, Activist, Human Being, Otaku, and a Pagan.
I am proud of who I am and how far I have come. I fully understand that there are people in this world that either don't believe in who or what I am or are terribly afraid of it and react to any of the labels I proudly wear with fear.
I challenge anyone with that outlook to engage in respectful and meaningful conversation with me. I am just one person, but one rain drop can raise the level of the ocean. A small difference for the better is still a difference. I assure you, I am like anyone else.