For context: I manage my own tiny empire of small businesses, all of which were in dire financial straits before I transitioned, and a year later they still are, but no worse, and arguably better.
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Many of my business relationships are better even though people are aware I’m a transgender girl. These relationships range culturally from people who buy used auto parts to those who buy custom database software. My staff and long-term clients and family have worked through their issues with my transition. I’ve been warned by many that the roof would cave in when folks find out that I’m a transgender girl, and with each self-outing I’d dread the relationship ending, and every time it hasn’t (though in a few cases, it required some candor and reasoning). With genetically integrated females, the business relationships are now vastly warmer and more collaborative, and with males I generally feel … almost as if I’m protected. Most men are much nicer to me now.
Personally, I feel so much happier now that I live as the girl I am. I’m vastly more healthy, energized and productive … in contrast, I was depressed about the male image in the mirror, a bit more than a year ago.
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I’m also friends with many transgender girls nowadays, and I can see how the process can psychologically be a downward spiral to where the only option she thinks she’s professionally good for is escorting, and even in that context, there are downward spirals that get worse and worse.
I also have bad days and I sometimes still feel overwhelmed and it gets to me, at least enough to where I relate to where the downward spiral would go and what it would feel like. I’ve been in a store where some customers loudly remarked about the freak show and commiserated with the folks behind the counter because they were stuck there and had to deal with me whereas the customers were free to leave. So, yes, it’s hard. In the many, many places where bigoted people can close the doors, those doors are now closed to me.
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For many girls like me, is it a struggle and escorting might well the most viable way and not a fun choice? Yes. I have had weeks in which I either got at least a few stripper or escorting gigs or I’d be bouncing checks, and in weeks like that, every time-waster is a source of huge frustration.
As an example, I cleared my entire late-night schedule for one gentleman who was going to meet me at 11 p.m. or so. I was ready (which takes me a couple of hours). I waited and waited. At a few minutes after midnight, he finally contacted me to come over, but then conveyed he wanted the entire interaction to be free of charge. If he were represented by a voodoo doll that night, I’d have made it look like a porcupine.
At the bottom of the cash flow pecking order, life can be damn hard. Nowadays, my days begin mid-morning and end at 3 or 4 a.m. and in spite of working so hard, I’m still barely making it, cash flow wise.
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But, dammit, I’m going to keep struggling until I make it and to where escorting is purely for fun. And if I can make it, probably most girls can. In the end, whether or not a person makes it comes down to volition — choosing to be too stubborn to give up — ever.
And compared to that unstoppable force, however hard the journey is, and how many the obstacles are … that really becomes irrelevant.