Authentic Self By Jeremy L. Wallace
Almost all of us have had times when we thought we didn’t fit in or belong to a certain group, or that life was just plain difficult, but for me, struggling with those feelings has been lifelong. Depression and anxiety began at
a very early age and followed me through my teenage years and on into adulthood. It wasn’t until I began to come to terms with my gender dysphoria, or disconnect between the gender I identified with versus the
perceived gender the world saw me as, that I began to see how life might in fact get better. For many transgender people of any age, self-loathing and suicidal thoughts are commonplace. In fact, within the transgender community, suicide attempt rates are astronomically high, as are the staggering number of those who have taken their lives. We as a society need to do better, and I myself have vowed to tell my story and be visible, to show others like me that it does in fact get better and we have so much to offer this world. Our journey to finding our authentic, true selves may differ from what others consider the “norm,” but through that transformation comes amazing perspective, resilience, and hope. It is never too late to become the person you were destined to be and to live a full and happy life. My book, Taking the Scenic Route to Manhood, is a candid look into what it has been like to grow up being transgender and all of the ups and downs along the way. I chronicle my experiences as a young girl, first feeling like I was the only one in the world experiencing the sensation of being in the wrong body, to finally taking the courageous leap of faith to make the necessary changes to become the man I am today. While in hindsight, my transition happened quickly, it definitely has had its fair share of trials, tribulations, and laughter. To give you a small sense of my experience, following is an excerpt from my book: Transition is a funny thing. I spent so much time actively waiting and searching for the changes I desired that I kind of missed when they happened. That probably sounds strange. How could I miss morphing from a female to a guy? Well, it’s more like I focused all of my attention
20 | Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine
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