Connection

A few weeks ago I found myself on stage sharing a story about my mother’s death. I had been wanting to conjure the courage to do so because sharing stories is so important to me and my soul. I wish more people would share theirs. I want to really know and connect with the humans around me.

I feel as if often we really don’t even know one another. Not really. It’s only with feeling safe and opening up about one’s life that we can truly connect. Think about how many people you actually know in your workplace or your place of worship. Do they know your origin story? About your family or home life? Your challenges? Your hopes and dreams? I know for me most of the people I work with do not.

My favorite part of connecting with coworkers is sharing those more personal parts of ourselves. I feel like that’s when we actually transition from coworker to friend. And I’m grateful that over the last 11 years working for the same employer that I have several people in my life who have gone from one role to that next more connected role.

Today marks six years since my mother passed away. It was a traumatic moment in my life but one that I do not regret. Because my mother has been on my mind, I took a leap of courage and threw my name into a can at a local Salt Lake City storytelling event (The Bee, sort of like the Moth). The rules were that the story had to be true, had to be no longer than five minutes (but many go over), you couldn’t have notes, and it had to be on theme.

The theme that night was Adulting. Ten people were randomly selected throughout the night with only a five minutes heads up before they went to the stage. Oh, and it was lovingly competitive so there were three sets of judges to score the performance. Yeah, I know. No BFD or anything. Why the fuck would someone want to do this again?!

Whelp, this shy introvert with a burning raw story to tell entered his name that particular night. And for first-timers they put your name in twice. It was like Russian roulette but with two bullets in the gun.

I, of course, drank three adult beverages and probably would have had even more but my lovely saved me from my anxious self.

After I put my name in the can, which they call a hat, I was sweating profusely. Thank the universe my lovely was by my side to comfort me. She was proud of me and I was proud of myself.

I was the fourth name called up. And to my surprise I actually went up to the stage. I’m sure the adult beverages helped. ;P

But I think the internal need to share this story did as well. This need defied my personality and my usual clinginess to my comfort zone. It propelled me to let go of fear.

I got on that stage. I shared my story. I did it. And surprisingly it was fucking awesome! People laughed. Some even cried. After I told my story, audience members came up to me and thanked me for sharing it. Some even hugged me. It was surreal.

Thebee

Connection

Coming out…again!

Thursday morning of this week, I posted this message below to all my loved ones on Facebook. I’m in a place where I have enough strength, courage, and love to take this leap and set out on a more authentic life journey. After making this post, I have only received loving words of kindness and support. I am SO lucky. I am super proud of myself too. 🙂

***

Hey, everyone! I woke up this morning with this extra amount of courage so I’m just going to put this out there (before my brain fully wakes up).

I wanted to tell you each about this journey I’m on in person but that’s not really possible. To be honest, I’ve always been on this journey but I wasn’t ready to accept it. I have finally come out as transgender (but have been living as such for years now with my partner, Shira) and am transitioning (I have been on T for 3 months now)! 🙂 

I’m also planning to legally change my name to Aitch M. Alexandar down the road. There’s no need to call me by male pronouns right now because I don’t really feel my outside matches that part of me yet. One day it will, and then I will ask for everyone to call me by them. When that day comes down this very long, exciting, and intimidating road, then I hope you all will respect my request.

Simply put, for the longest time I was confused and thought I was gay but really I’ve felt trapped in the wrong body and gender. I have never identified with the terms lesbian, lady, woman, girl, chica, etc or the name Heather. Even in the military I loved that I was practically seen as one of the boys in my gender-concealing-blob uniforms and was able to go by my gender-neutral names of just Muirhead or Head.

This issue is something I raised in all my relationships quietly and with great trepidation as I tested the waters more and more after each relationship failed. But then I stifled it down out of fear of rejection or feeling like a freak. I was the one most afraid and ashamed.

I had also confided in my young teenage friend, Aiden, and told him how proud I was of his transitioning. I thought I was too old by then and that’s why Aiden’s death (and why I started No More Meanies) hit me so hard in more ways than one. That’s also why Holly leaving to be with a cis man hurt; it seemed to crush my soul for a while. I silently identified with Aiden on a personal level, and I secretly wished I was and looked just like Matty (holly’s current husband). I had so much love for both of these people and so many deep, dark secrets. I was scared to admit this all and didnt want to lose my loved ones. I’ve finally mustered up the courage and have the loving support I need (thank you, everyone, especially Shira, Shakia, and Shari) to live a more authentic life. I hope you all are a part of it too!

Xoxo h.

Coming out…again!