Copyright © 2004, Kim
Kim – Brand Marketer
Proud parent of three beautiful, loving, accepting children
Single, happily dating men and happily living alone
House, dog and TiVo owner
Career – Since Transition
Managing Partner – FULLcycle, LLC – Niche consulting company
Joint Managing Partner – C4 Corporate Communications Agency
Vice President, Marketing – GoodCents Solutions – Part of management team of Fortune 500 brand taken into private ownership.
Career – Before Transition
Senior Vice President, Caribiner International – Publicly traded $1bn US based international brand marketing agency.
Vice President – Imagination Ltd.– Largest brand marketing agency in UK
Founder – TRANS=ACTION, Georgia-based transgender advocacy groups
Founder – Georgia Stonewall Democrats
Member – Atlanta Mayor’s Special Community Cabinet Committee
Board Member – Young Audiences
Board Member – DeKalb Prevention Alliance
Board Member – Atlanta GLBT Center
Advisory Board Member – Atlanta History Center, GLBT Permanent Oral History Project
About Me (Really)
For many years, like many of the women on Lynn’s site and around the world, I felt alone. At first, the loneliness was that of a child with a secret too huge to be even conceived as being relatable. Then as a young married father, trying hard… and for the most part succeeding… to be a good man, husband, father, co-worker… all the things we all struggle with. More recently my loneliness appeared to be one of my own making. After several years of being an activist in the transgender community; being founder member of TRANS=ACTION in Georgia, Georgia Stonewall Democrats and writing and speaking on activism and community issues, I retreated. Retreated back to a world of deception and prevarication. While I still lived in the city where I had been prominent, while a Google search still brought up evidence of that persona, well known and referenced as a spokesperson for transgender rights, I told myself that I could hide…who I was and what I was.
But shining moments in that loneliness have always come to remind me that I am proud of what I have, what I have done and of myself. The first shining moment came at the dawn of the information age when in 1992 I discovered a thing called the internet. Along with it the friendship and acknowledgement of many of the people on this site, among them, my angel and life-saver Yvette Hirth (http://www.yvette.com/).
Through the years of my transition in 1997, my surgery in 1999 and the last six years of THIS life I have had cause to look back on those shining moment and use their power to buoy me as I felt the strength of fortitude slowly leave me. I was not regretting what I had done but seemed to lack the will to face what being ‘out’ meant.
So I started to hide, started to tell myself that living my life as I was, stealthily and guarded was just as good a way to be an ‘activist’ as marching under the ‘T’ Banner.
But of course it wasn’t… but now I know that its OK… But the drain on my will, facing the confused reactions of the ‘world’ was nothing compared to the drain on my pride. Not Pride with a capital ‘T’. Quiet and self-appreciating pride.
Then the shining moments came again, slowly, gently and surely. One of them was realizing that telling my story to people who had up till now accepted my womanhood unquestionably, but who I felt I owed it to, liberated me in a way that reminded me of the quest I had set out on. Another was reading the stories behind the happy faces of those women who had the strength to allow themselves to be seen here on Lynn Conway’s pages – success stories indeed.
I am proud to be here and to count myself among these successes. Thank you all.
For myself, yes I was born male,
raised by wonderful parents, was literally and spiritually a Golden
Child and married a great woman who bore me three children. I knew from
around the age of six or seven, that I was different. Of course I had no
clue at that young age what that difference was, nor could I, or did I,
express it to my loving family. I had no desire to jeopardize the
position I was in or express, what I increasingly knew as I grew older,
was a condition that would cast me as an outsider, an 'abnormal' being.
My spouse knew something of this before we married. My teenage years were incredibly confusing. I was a good-looking attractive male who girls wanted to be with. For my part I sought their friendship as females and did not date them. Neither could I express why I sought their companionship, my inner feelings as a burgeoning teenage female, my confusion at puberty, and my feelings for men. I knew what I was inherently but also knew that I could not be a "man" with a man. My spouse, who was, and is, one of my best friends became my ticket to normality, the weapon I grasped to ward off what was ultimately inevitable.
At the age of 32 I saw the fork in the road. Dithering and plummeting between deep, yet rational, depression, I planned my demise, charted my course – visualized the self-activated auto accident, another victim on the dangerous highways of Metro Atlanta, the loving, successful (well insured) parent, Vice President of a major international public company leaving grieving wife and children. Such was the depth and logic of my plan.
Then, I had that accident, not the one I had planned, but as I spun 360 degrees on a wet highway, careening into other cars, screaming and watching the image in my head of the 4 year old angel to whose dance class I was rushing, I saw all that I had, knew that I couldn't leave this life, and couldn't stay the way I was. I knew I had to seek help, from the medical profession, from a god that I had never felt even knew me, from my family and for myself.
I made that decision then, was spared and sacrificed all that I had. I lost my life, that life, the job, the cars, the house, the family, the status. But I gained myself. And slowly I built THIS life.
My children never left me. Demanding only love, they recognized, better and more quickly than anyone else, that they had my love, always. My physical being was of less concern to them than my continued presence in their lives as their parent, their loving parent.
And slowly I have regained all I had. My best friend is still my friend, my parents are still my loving parents and my life is rich and rewarding. The tremendous energy that had been spent hiding what I was, I can now spend being what I am.
This intimidates some, and I understand that. Some are wary of my candor, and I understand that. This intrigues some and I understand that. Others are confused. Of course I understand that. It took me the best part of thirty years to understand any of this myself.
Someone once said to me when I was struggling with a career direction after college, "If you WANT to be an actor, you should consider an alternative career. If you NEED to be, nothing will stop you.
I now have my own successful agency, have a career in marketing, live alone without loneliness and I'm a woman.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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