It felt the moment I came out, it was “welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games.” I was not ready for the fun and games. So-called friends told me I was confused and every bit a man. Close family gave up on me. But there was hope even in darkness.

A gender studies professor from Northern was by my side from the get go. So was a friend from work. However,  in Holland, it’s Dutch conservative Christian country. Can’t throw a rock without hitting a church. So, I kept on going, wondering who was by my side and who wasn’t.

In August, I heard about Out on the Lakeshore, and they have a community center in town. However, couldn’t go because of second shift.

In November, I heard about Gender SAFE, a trans support group. Couldn’t go in November because of overtime. PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays) was mentioned too, but because of OT, I couldn’t go.

Finally got on first shift, and the world opened up. Out on the Lakeshore had open hours from 5-7 PM on Tuesday, so one night, I went to check them out. Was welcomed with open arms. Decided I would keep going. Found they have drop in on Thursday nights as well, so now I go after work. Plus, one of the volunteers is a 6 time Ironman finisher, so I’m trying to befriend her.

Was told about Gender SAFE (Supporting All For Equality) on Saturday. First week of December, I went. Told them all about Amber Marie. Got hugged. They have a meeting the 3rd Friday of the month too, so I went. Told them that it was time to transition, and got a recommendation for a couple of endocrinologists.

PFLAG meets at 7 on the 3rd Friday of every month, and they welcomed me. A lot of parents kind of adopted me right then and there. We even go out afterward.

At work, in October, I came out to the HR manager at work. I work at Tyson Foods in Zeeland. She held me and told me I could come to work however I want.  The Chaplain and the HR Department all love me.

So I have hope, friends, energy, and allies. Transitioning to Amber Marie full time will still be living in the jungle, but now I know I’m not alone in the jungle.

By adventureswithambermarie

Just a 38 year old trans girl roaming around Holland, MI. My old life wasn't as glamorous as my webpage made it look. Transphobic comments will automatically be deleted and you will be blocked.

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