Updated: Jan 21
First and foremost, this is not a passing phase or a fad. Like most in the LGBT community, I knew I was different from my very earliest memories. When I was six, my favorite colors were pink and purple, and I loved all things frilly. I also learned at that young age that it was shameful for a “boy” to like such things. This was not my parent’s fault and they were not trying to be mean, it was just a different time and the common belief was that if a child conformed to gender norms, that they would eventually grow to be comfortable in that roll.
Consequently, I was quite shy in my teens and didn’t date much. I knew exactly why but didn’t feel I could share that secret with ANYONE! On multiple occasions, my parents caught me wearing girl’s clothes and were at their whit’s end knowing what to do. They had me do some therapy but again, the wisdom of the day prevailed, and I was promised that if I just served an honorable mission and got married in the temple, that things would work out. (Spoiler alert, they don’t!)
Serving a mission in the Philippines was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I've sometimes said that I was raised in Bountiful but I grew up in the Philippines! Ironically, transgender people there are widely accepted. My position as a missionary demanded that I condemn their lifestyle but I secretly longed to join them.
After returning home, I continued my quest to be “healed” by getting married in the temple. For anyone considering this option, please DON’T DO IT! It does not work! Temple blessings are a wonderful gift for many families, but they are a curse for anyone who doesn’t fit the mold or aspire to the blessings promised in the temple ceremony. A few months into my marriage I realized my mistake and came out to my wife. She did her best to be understanding, but we were young and there really wasn’t language back then to put into words what I was feeling inside. We had 18 good years together and 4 great kids but ultimately, this was not a journey she was not willing to take.
In an effort to save the marriage I enrolled in conversion therapy to change how I was feeling. I can honestly say that I gave it my best effort, but it was one of the most painful things I've ever been through! Never before had I considered ending my life until I was faced with the hopelessness of believing that I was broken and could not be fixed. Thankfully, I survived having learned many life lessons including grave humility. I still ended up divorcing, which hurt more than I can say but in hindsight, it was one of the greatest gifts I could have been given. I had the honor of being a single parent for 5 years and devoted myself entirely to my kids.
One of the things that kept me sane during this time was running. I have loved running since I was a teenager and have found solace and peace in the time spent both by myself and with my amazing running friends. It didn’t matter the distance or the speed, if you said, “let’s go for a run” I was in! Then in 2017, I dislocated my hip and just like that, running was off the table. This was an unexpectedly severe blow to my psyche.
Without running as a crutch and with my boys growing up and leaving the nest, there was a huge void in my life that forced me to finally face my demons. I made an appointment with my doctor and was prescribed a mild dose of estrogen, which has been proven effective in controlling the mental and emotional effects of gender dysphoria. It ended up being so effective that after a year, I opted to increase the dosage and undertake full Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and just like that, my transition was underway. My body started to change, and I became super emotional. It felt amazing but the physical changes were becoming more obvious and I didn’t feel like I could continue to hide it. So, as one friend put it, I stepped across the line that I had been tiptoeing toward for many years.
It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. All my life I’ve been taught that homosexuality was a sin that could be overcome through self-control and discipline. But I began to consider the possibility that this was wrong. What if being trans was part of my eternal identity and that the bigger sin is harboring shame and guilt? Accepting that THIS IS NOT A CHOICE meant that perhaps I could begin to love and accept myself just the way I am - If God created me this way, then I owed it to Him to lay down all pride and pretense and live an authentic life. I truly feel that doing so is not only the best way I can share His love with others, but it’s what I was born to do!
My intention is to continue to update this blog as my transition journey continues. For now, these are the answers to a lot of questions that you may have as we interact. If there is something I've left out that you are curious about, please feel free to message me. I am an open book and will be as honest as I can.
I may not know the end from the beginning but I can say that I am happier than I have EVER been and offer my sincere thanks to everyone in my life who has helped me get to this point.