The Road to Jenny

A series about the journey of a transgender woman and her family by Jennifer Simmons.

I sat in the sanitized room looking at a sculpture of a heart with a worm inside it and listened to the muffled conversations from the hallway. Trying to make out what was being said, my nerves danced back and forth between excitement and absolute fear. This day had been years in the making. I was finally sitting in the hormone clinic. Most afternoons were filled with daydreams about the wonderful balance I would experience, and my nights were filled with the nightmares of the pain transgender people experience from society.

“LIVING IN THE BIBLE BELT DID NOT LEND ITSELF TO WIDESPREAD ACCEPTANCE, BUT I WAS DONE WITH HIDING.”

Living in the Bible belt did not lend itself to widespread acceptance, but I was done with hiding. The time had come for me to be proud of myself. My mind started to race. What happens if the doctor says no? Will I be able to afford a monthly prescription? Would Mandy be happy when my body started to change? Would our relationship suffer because of this difficult path or would it draw us closer? Finally, I heard the light tap, and the doctor cautiously opened the door.

Mandy sat in her cubicle starting at the clock on her phone. Her mind was with me in Georgia, far from her bank in New Hampshire. She thought to herself how great it will be for Jenny to finally look and feel like herself. As the office bustled around, her thoughts of worry took the place of the excitement she had felt minutes earlier. What if they tell her no? How much will it cost? How do I console her if they say no? An hour later, she found out that I had my prescription and the worry was replaced once again with joy.

“FOR AS MUCH AS I AM ON THIS JOURNEY OF TRANSITION SO IS SHE.”

For as much as I am on this journey of transition so is she. Since being with me on this path, she has changed and evolved. She has cried herself to sleep same as I. She has lain awake at night with the worry about things beyond her control. She has prayed and celebrated. She has come out to friends and family. She has sacrificed the same or more than I have. She has been the strong one when she didn’t want to be. She has learned to have a relationship outside of her comfort zone. She has stood by my side and held my hand even when we were 1,100 miles apart.

Our journey is about both of us, and we both deserve the same amount of compassion and compromise.

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