Originally published on my Google+ and Facebook pages, back at the beginning of June…
This isn’t a particularly easy post to put out on the Internet, but here goes nothing…
In the next few days, I’ll be changing my name on Facebook and Google+ from “Rusty Haskell” to “Kate Haskell”. I’m changing my name here on social media because that’s the name that I’m now going by at my new job and in face-to-face interactions with people. I’m in the process of changing my legal name to “Kathryn Ripley Haskell” as well. I would really appreciate if you would use female pronouns (“she”, “her”, etc.) and feminine words (“woman”, “wife”, “aunt”, etc.) when referring to me.
I’m transgender. This means that, on some level, my brain constantly “expects” the rest of my body to be female. Since all the incorrect hormones started floating around in my blood during puberty, I lived every single day with an intense depression and feeling of anxiety/wrongness that doctors call “gender dysphoria”. I hid this from everyone as best I could because I didn’t want to burden anyone and I didn’t feel like my feelings were “real”.
This might seem pretty sudden to some of you, but I promise you that it has been anything but. I’ve been in consultation with various doctors about this for almost two years now, and Allyson and I have been dealing with this privately for longer than that. For the past eight months, I’ve been on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), receiving the hormones that any other woman of my age/build would receive, and within about a month of starting HRT, all of my dysphoria/depression just went completely away. I smile and laugh, and I actually enjoy life rather than just pretending to do so. Allyson and I are closer than ever.
I’m happy to answer almost any question you might have either here in the comments or privately. In addition, I’m happy to recommend books you can read about being transgender. I understand that it’s a very unusual condition, and I’m probably the first openly trans person that many of you have met. Don’t be afraid to ask whatever’s on your mind.
I heartily recommend this helpful brochure from PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) about being trans. There’s a lot of good information in here.