Acceptance and love are two desires sought by every person who enters into this world. For a transsexual they are as elusive as an oasis in the desert. Over 99% of everyone born never questions their gender; they just know who they are. For someone like me there is no relief or understanding as to why my body was male and my mind was female. As early as the age of three, I knew I should have been born a girl. Within a few years the denial imparted to me by my mother, my religion and society itself forged an alliance. Once a transsexual walks through that door of denial their life becomes a living hell. All I hoped for by age 10 was for Danielle to go away yet no power in heaven or on earth could make that happen.
By accident, several times before the age of 22, I almost died. While I grew from a child to adolescence and into a young man I lived in fear of ever being discovered for who I really was. My inner source of God through my Catholic upbringing in the '50s and '60s allowed me to think one day Danielle would go away through the love of another person. While that would never materialize alcohol and drugs did for me what God could not, they numbed my pain and kept my female side at bay.
As I entered my early twenties my desires to become a woman began to take over and the obsession grew to near uncontrollable stages. My inner anxiety increased and I fled to Maui before my family or friends could discover my secret. During those years my self medication turned into alcoholism and drug addiction. Inner hatred of my male and female sides grew equally. I tried therapy during moments of clarity. This was met by betrayal of my first therapist and the sudden death of my second. As my inner insanity grew, a new person, the Mohawk man, formed inside me. His goal at first was to have me run away as far as possible but as the years passed; his true aim was to kill me.
At my lowest ebb in 1999, I found help and in 2001 sobriety. Through intensive therapy and work in a 12 step program, I found self love, first of Daniel then of Danielle. When presented with permission to become who I really am, I discovered it would always be okay to be me.
My life is a triumph of the human spirit and the will to live. My story needs to be told not just for those who are transsexuals but for their families and anyone who seeks an answer from alcoholism or drug addiction. I am hopeful my book will close that door of denial and open one of clarity and hope for those who read it. We all deserve to be our true selves. We all deserve love and acceptance.