This is strange.
I do not know if there is a proper way to share something so private with so many people.
I feel it is necessary to share something with you, because it is important to me and you are important to me.
To begin, I came across an article about two months ago that I strongly identified with.
I cannot even recall how I came across it, but when I was reading it, my heart swelled with excitement and something exploded in me.
It was an article about an androgynous gay woman that wanted top surgery, but did not want to be on testosterone.
There were words, feeling so niave, that I had never heard of. Terms, definitions, understand something I related to.
GENDER NON CONFORMING
I was almost stunned, like someone hit me aside the head. This is ME? Yes, this person is talking about ME!
I did not KNOW this was an option?? I did not KNOW that other people felt like THIS and that there was a NAME for it?
It struck me hard, because I did not know there was a "middle ground".
I never related fully to transmen that I know, because I had not felt the desire to fully be male.
HOWEVER, I have always felt like a boy. ALWAYS.
I suffered, from what I now understand, from gender dysphoria.
I have never related to my female chest ever since puberty.
I felt nothing but shame and disgust.
It was mentally and emotionally challenging at the highest level.
However, it was 1983.
What could I do?
Who could I talk to?
How do I cope with these confusing and aching feelings.
I did what one could only do. Try and disappear.
I spent a lot of time in my room alone. I submerged myself into creating art, listening to music, and watching films.
I needed to relate to something to someone through a song or a story.
I kept diaries. It was the only way to cope.
I still have them.
They are hard to read. Yet, they are so telling of where I am and who I am.
Not only did I struggle with my gender, I struggled with my sexuality!
Double fuckin' Whammy.
Let's just say, life has not been easy for me.
When I came out as gay, I was 17.
That was ground breaking for me, as it is for all of us when we finally have the courage to come out.
I feel like I am coming out ALL OVER AGAIN.
I am COMING OUT.
This realization within me is so defined and completely absolute.
It is like I found the missing puzzle piece to complete me.
I have been doing a lot of self reflection and deep soul searching. It all makes sense.
I am GenderQueer.
I am Trans*
I am many things that I finally feel a part of.
I am INCLUDED and VALIDATED
I am ACCEPTED and EMBRACED.
I used to just chalk it up to being androgynous, but something still was not right within my soul.
I do identify as both MAN and WOMAN. OK, maybe 70% male and 30% female.
I do not want my female breasts, yet, I am cool with everything else.
I like my voice, I like my lower lady parts, I like my character, I like being ALLI ROYCE SOBLE.
This will not change.
I have no pronouns to change, although SHE/THEY is perfect for me.
You can still call me ALLI, ALLI ROYCE, or just Royce if ya fancy!
I will still be the same jovial, artsy, funny person you have always known and loved.
I just will not be carrying around these DDD +++ anymore and I could NOT BE HAPPIER!
Just Alli with a flat chest and THE BIGGEST GRIN on her face.
I am going to be HAPPY, truly soulfully HAPPY.
July 23rd is the day I say goodbye to a large part of my former self.
I say goodbye to a physical part of me that has only brought me severe mental, emotional, and spiritual pain.
I will be fine, y'all.
I just felt the need to tell you this.
I do not want you to see me to two months when we run into each other in town and think,"WHOA, what happened? Are you OK?"
I am and I will be.
I thank you for taking the time to read this. I do care about you and I know that you care about me.
Social Media is a funny thing. It is how we have learned to communicate and interact.
Our worlds have become less intimate, but yet we know so much about each other...or so you think...
As active as I am on social media for my business and silly antics, this was not something I felt comfortable TWEETING!
I am open to any questions if you have them.
I may not have all the right answers, but there are not any wrong questions.
We are all learning about these new terms.
I am learning that there is a spectrum for everything in our world.
Each of us have our own way of accepting who we truly are.
Society can make it difficult to embrace things.
I am so happy that someone out there wrote an article that helped ME realize who I truly am.
Maybe I can do the same for someone else.
It's time to live. I will not wait any longer.
Alli Royce Soble is a 42 year old Native Atlantan, Lesbian, GenderQueer, and also happens to be Jewish too! She is a full time working artist and documentary photographer and lives and works in Inman Park, Atlanta, Georgia.
Alli's Website: www.alliroycesoble.com
Follow her on Instagram: @roycetakespics