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My Four Year Anniversary of Living Full-time as Becca

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November 1st was a special day for me because it marked the four year anniversary of when I began living full time as a woman. It has arguably been the most difficult and challenging four years of my life, and there were times when I didn’t know if I’d make it. But I did survive and have emerged out of the darkness with a new focus and purpose in life. And most importantly, I am happy with who I am, which is no small accomplishment. All of the struggles have been worth it to reach this point in my life where I can be my authentic self and finally grow and discover who I am, and to once again be excited about life.

Becca Benz prior to transitioning Becca Benz prior to transitioning

The decision to transition was a lifetime in the making but an easy one to make when the time was right. I started HRT in 2010 and things progressed well enough to where I had tentatively planned to start living full time on January 1, 2012. I came out at work in late October of 2011 and everyone was very supportive, so there was really nothing holding me back from going full-time as soon as I wanted to, and it was increasingly difficult to continue living as a guy. So, I made the decision to start living as my authentic self on November 1st, 2011.

It was a scary time and there were some awkward moments at first, especially at work. It was an adjustment for all of us and my coworkers slipped up at times with names and pronouns, which was to be expected, and I had to remember not to use the bathroom on our floor and instead to use the gender neutral bathroom on another floor. But eventually everyone grew used to the changes and things settled into an easy routine. I was happy and felt like things were going to work out.

Becca Benz early in transition Becca Benz early in transition

But losing my job threw my life into chaos, and being thrust into the position of having to interview for jobs when I was still adjusting to living as Rebecca and struggling with self-confidence was a recipe for disaster. Job interviews are stressful enough, but add to that the insecurities about being trans, and it was easy to see why I wasn’t at my best and not getting any job offers. And the longer the unemployment went on the worse my depression got, which affected how I interviewed, and it became a vicious cycle.

There were some really dark times. I was in therapy and taking anti-depressants, but that didn’t help much. I updated my will, assembled packets of important papers that my family would need, figured out how I would kill myself, and prepared to die. I struggled about whether or not to write notes to those I cared most about. It’s my nature to communicate and to make sure people understand and to have closure. But what could I possibly say that would even begin to convey what I was feeling? And would a note make things harder on them? But the thing which kept me going were my sons, and I am still alive today because of them, along with my friends who never gave up on me.

Becca Benz early in transition Becca Benz early in transition

Out of desperation I moved to Oregon to seek a fresh start, hoping that living in a more liberal state where people were more accepting would help improve my chances of getting a job. I felt it was a good move and was very optimistic, but I still couldn’t get a job and eventually the depression returned. My saving grace was that I was making friends and developing a social life and had a strong support system in Portland. As I grew more comfortable in social settings my self-confidence grew by leaps and bounds. It was amazing to me that people wanted to hang out and talk, and that I could actually hold my own and not shy away, and that is what ultimately gave me the strength to keep going. Self-confidence is a wonderful thing. My new-found confidence had a huge impact on how I interviewed, and I had some of the best interviews of my life, for jobs which I was very qualified for. But I still didn’t get any job offers, and it was that frustration which led to my venture into the world of porn.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined myself doing porn. Ever. But it has been such a positive experience because of the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and it has opened so many doors, and I have absolutely no regrets and would not change a thing. It allowed me to continue growing and gain self-confidence, and to find my voice. I’m finally learning who Becca is and to find my purpose in life. And that purpose is to work towards making a positive impact in the transgender community by helping to educate and make society aware of the issues the trans community deals with, and to help those who are struggling to find hope. I want to be a positive voice for the community, and I especially want to work towards preventing the many suicides which are unfortunately so prevalent in our community. That is what gives my life meaning and where my passion lies.

Becca Benz at the beach!

And for the first time in a very long time I can truly say that I am passionate about life and excited to see what my future holds. I’m excited to see what the next year will bring and what new opportunities will open up, and I look forward to seeing what I’ll be writing about for my fifth anniversary a year from now. It’s been an amazing journey and the best is yet to come!

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