For the first time in just over nine years I took a walk along a stretch of beach that had been incredibly significant to me for the longest time. It was along this stretch of beach that my husband and I walked as he told me of his wish to live as a woman.
I had never returned there not even for reflection as the years went on and our lives changed forever. I was always quite certain that no good would come of it, that I would fall into a heap at the site of it and it would prove too much. Turns out I was wrong.
Today is a glorious day on the island. The sun is out and the sky is the purest blue. The water is glistening like diamonds and with hardly a cloud in the sky the sun warms you gently right to your core. It is with these ideal surroundings as a background that I chose today to take that walk.
I held my breath and took the stairs down to the water. The tide was out so the sand was firm underfoot. I looked out towards the water and waited - nothing. I started to walk towards the seat where we'd stopped and I'd listened, without hearing, all the things that Colin wanted to share with me that day. I recalled the walk but not much of the conversation.
Then as I stood in that spot I recited in my head - "...what would be the worst thing I could do that would make you stop loving me?" I felt for sure that would be the end of me but no it seems these I just words now and the impact of them has been lived out over the last nine years to the point where I have nothing left to give.
There is no more sadness. There is no more anger. I have told my story and now that it's out there in black and white there is nothing left to feel sad about.
I have shifted my focus. I want people to read my book and know that there is now a better option for people who find they are in the wrong body. Young people, children are being given the opportunity to explore and understand their identity and this can only be a good thing. With the support and knowledge that is growing every day perhaps there will be fewer families who will live through the sadness we have experienced over all this time.
For those of you who are struggling with your gender or sexual preferences, for those of you who are yet to find your true identity, I ask that you read this story and realise that when you do reach your moment of truth there will be family and friends who will be deeply affected by what you do and how you do it. Keep in mind their struggles as you come to terms with your own. When you think of them, when you show them your love, you are giving them the opportunity to overcome their sadness in much less than nine years.