Saturday, September 27, 2014

Coming Out One Year Later as a Gay Transgender Man

WARNING:  The links contained within this post will take you to sites with content for mature readers only.  However, this post is suitable for a PG audience.

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One year ago today my partner, John, and I came out together.  I made the announcement we were both gay, and I was a transgender man.  As a couple, we shared our now twenty-three year love affair with family, friends, and readers.  In addition, we allowed our private relationship  to become part of our public lives.  For those who have not had the opportunity to read my original coming out story, the post can found  at:  Coming Out as a Gay Transgender Man.
I still believe as I approach forty-one,  we have to be true to ourselves and openly live the life we are given.  As a writer and LGBTQ rights activist, I strive to be open and honest with my friends and readers across social media.  I am a direct and straight forward man who believes LGBTQ topics should be openly discussed.  Throughout this year, the words of Kurt Cobain still have had special meaning to me:  “I would rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”
For  over two decades, my partner and I lived in fear.  We both had circumstances where coming out was impossible.  The fact we lived in a conservative part of the South contributed to our decision to remain in the closet.  In addition, we had a young family  which have always come first. John and I love our son and daughter dearly.  They are our biological children, conceived through artificial insemination, and I gave birth to them by C-section.  
Andrew and John Website (225x338)Over the past twelve months, John and I have experienced many changes as a couple.  The first, and most important, was my legal name change to Andrew Kyle Jericho.  I will never forget my partner’s response, on September 5th, after I got off the phone with the circuit clerk’s office.  He put his arms around me and wept.  I am a firm believer that men can cry. While I don’t shed tears very often, I had a few that afternoon. After forty years, I can finally be recognized everywhere by a name that represents my gender identity. Others, outside of those who already called me Andrew, have to now by law. Also, whenever John and I are together in public, we are Andrew and John Jericho.
The name change also meant I was able to update my driver’s license at the DMV.  In Arkansas, residents can choose their gender without a legal gender change.  So, now I have a M on my license.   Elsewhere within the state, and on a federal level, that is not the case.  I quickly found out Social Security would update my name, but in order to change my gender marker I was handed a piece of paper with several requirements.  SSA requires either a passport with the new sex, amended birth certificate with the new gender, court-ordered gender change, or a letter from a doctor stating he believes the person in question is a transgender individual. Right now the most important thing is my name has been changed, and my gender marker is updated on my driver’s license. Soon, I will address changing my gender marker’s elsewhere.
The second change occurred in February.  I had a hysterectomy.  The  surgery was not only medically necessary, but  a procedure I needed to have done in order to feel more comfortable in my own skin. In addition, my reproductive history failed itself from the beginning.  The two children John and I created are true miracles.  I still firmly believe everyone transitions in their own way, and at their own time.  Gender and sexual orientation are not defined by surgeries and / or hormones, or the lack thereof.  Also, it has been almost eight months since the surgery, and there has not been a day gone by where I have not been thankful I made the decision to have it done.  The only good thing the deformed, misplaced organ ever gave me was my children.  The rest of it’s existence in a body it did not belong in was filled with pain.   
The final change is I have been consulting with a plastic surgeon regarding top surgery.  The most recent visit was on September 9th.  We are on the same page in our definitions of “flat.”  He understands I desire a masculine chest.  While he is qualified to perform the procedure, he has not done any top surgeries on transgender men.  However, he believes he can do the surgery, and is going to consult with his colleagues on the matter.  I have another appointment on December 16th to hear his final thoughts.  If everything goes as planned, he would like me to have the surgery at the end of January, instead of early to mid-February.  My insurance prior authorization expires at the end of February, and he feels I need to have the procedure complete and on the road to recovery before that time.  
John and I are excited to live the second half of our lives openly as a gay couple. We are also thankful for the opportunity to share our story.  In addition, we hope our message will help others who might find themselves in similar situations.  I have always wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.  If I have touched the life of just one person, then my efforts have been worthwhile.  I can say from experience it does get better.
I enjoy hearing from all of my readers, and look forward to your e-mails.  Remember Love is Love…Period.

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Andrew Jericho is a ManLove erotic romance author for Siren-BookStrand Publishing  and LGBTQ rights activist.  All of his work can be found at:  Andrew Jericho.  For questions or comments please e-mail him at:

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