Who I Am
The short answer, the easy definition of me is pretty basic. My name is Chris Jen Kellam-Scott. I am a 36 year old trans woman. I am new to this, about three months into social transition and two months into hormone replacement therapy. I apparently have a pretty classical trans history too. I say apparently because after a lifetime of feeling like a freak I come to find out that I am painfully dull and average. Just another white middle-class transkid from the middle of the suburbs. I grew up in New Jersey and I live in Massachusetts. I am fairly well educated but that is due mostly to having educated parents, I hated school (because I didn’t fit in) and barely graduated high school. I did not go to college. No, instead I pursued my dream of being an artist while supporting myself doing manual labor in a vain attempt to be a man. I have now reached the level of fairly highly skilled labor in the Boston art world. I am a firmly aromantic asexual who values her independence and self reliance above all things. I am also an exercise enthusiast and an all around physical person, I enjoy using my body. I am also as clumsy as I am enthusiastic.
I have not pursued art making for some time, I lost the urge when I quit drinking. I was an alcoholic mess on the verge of suicide. Fighting off my trans self constantly hating and degrading myself. But I got sober, came out as ace and after a year of struggle and deep self examination I finally came to terms with what I had known with certainty for over twenty years, that I was trans. It was finally time for me to transition. And right there at the start, as I began to let the trans culture I had deliberately kept away from in, I heard other trans people talk about not hiding their trans status. Being unconcerned with passing or meeting patriarchal or cis standards of gender or gender roles. With being proud to be trans. And if one has the courage to share one’s story so that other trans folk can see and hear about people just like them. I start every day now with an hour or so of trans women’s videos on youtube. They have made these first months so much easier. And now that I am reaching a place where I am more comfortable with myself than I have ever been, I feel I can begin to try to give back too.
I have always been a bit better with writing but I am an ex spoken word artist so I am trying to work up the chutzpah to do videos. But like with everything in transition I thought I would start with a small easy step. I say easy because part of my journey to self acceptance was writing and sharing my feelings in blogs and on forums. I also penned my memoir My Life In Hetero: An Ace In the Closet under my male name C. Kellam Scott (I have since removed it from publication for personal reasons). I was trying to help the ace community. When I came out and discovered there were no memoirs by openly asexual people I felt compelled and duty bound to share mine. Just incase it might help someone. And it did, I received emails telling me how I helped folks feel normal. How I gave them someone like them to read about. And they in turn helped show me the hidden theme to my book. The bits of my trans past that peppered the entire arch of my life. The gender confusion. And that got me to the happiest I have ever been. So you see, I simply have to write more, to share more. I need to finish telling the story I began in my memoir.
I am working on that. I also want to share what my life is like now, as I make this most monumental passage from one life to another. Again just incase it might help anyone who might read it one day. But it helps me too, I won’t lie. Not lying anymore is one of the major motivations for me to transition. I felt so false all the time, even when I was alone. I worked so hard to be a good and moral person to fix that guilt and shame but it never worked. My friends and family told me I was a good person but it felt like they were just mocking me, like they didn’t think a piece of shit like me deserved the truth of of how wretched she was. I came out fast. About a week or two after I had accepted myself and begun talking with other trans folk online. I told my friends one by one, called my family, came out at work and on social media. I left Kellam behind and returned to being Chris. Coming out was a progression as was every step, and each step made me feel so much better. Every step relieved some weight, washed away some fear.
Once I started on estrogen and testosterone blockers I felt like I finally came home. Like an orphan who had never known her family or place suddenly waking up in her mother’s arms. Every day since then I have felt more and more like myself, more and more feminine if you will but also more comfortable with male mannerisms and tendencies that seem to also be a part of who I am. I am more fully me than I have ever been. I recognized myself in the mirror at last at the beginning of transition and I saw the potential and felt the hope I thought I would never find. Now I just recently saw myself in the mirror and thought I looked pretty and I realized I liked myself. I broke down in tears and tried valiantly to not smudge my eye makeup or be late for work.
My body has changed too, that is a big help. My male pattern baldness has started to reverse. My pheromones have changed. My facial hair has slowed and softened. My skin is smoother and softer. My ass and hips have plumped up and I have begun loosing upper body muscle mass. The one that really got me was of course breasts. I’m an A cup and they hurt all the time. They began tingling and itching around week three and the nipples began to change. By week five I could see the difference. I broke down in tears again. I was so happy and relieved. I felt so much more feminine and almost comfortable with how I looked. By the middle of the next week they were screaming with pain after a day of work. A good friend advised me that a bra would help and that yes she had noticed. That freaked me out. The realization that other people could see. Friends began mentioning the other changes too. I was upset because I realized that I had crossed a point of no return, and reveled in the knowledge that I would never have to be “him” again. Here at the end of my first two months I am very happy. I love the way I look and feel and interact with the world. I get gendered correctly more and more often. And even if folks aren’t treating me like a woman they have for the most part stopped treating me like a man. I am ok with being both genders in some ways. So long as folks see that I come from the feminine end of the spectrum. I love being the third sex too.
I know that I will never have the life experiences of a cis person. But, there are billions of them. That would be so humdrum anyway! I feel so lucky to have the good fortune to be born trans. Also the luck of being alive in this era of humanity, as gender variant people become more recognized and normalized in society. The negative image of the trans woman held me back for much of my life. I do see it as a duty that I do what I can to change those ugly untruths. We as trans folk need to do what we can to force society to stop trying to degrade, fetishize, sexualize, dehumanize and mock us. We come from everywhere, we are everyone, and we are just like you!