Coming out

Well tonight I just made things in my life very clear to my mom. She has been a thorn in my side for a very long time and has been a very critical influence on my decisions. So I’ve decided since Belle knows and now my Mom and my best friend back home its time to say fuck it. I refuse to hide any longer because to be honest it’s wearing me out.

I am going to use the letter I wrote my friend to explain what’s going on in my life. I have been trying gendersto be private and hide out of fear of reaction and rejection.
What I must tell you is very difficult for me and is taking all the courage I can muster. Your patience, understanding, and support, I treasure very much.

I have a gender identity problem that I have struggled with my entire life. Really no surprise I’m sure. I am just accepting it now. I have been in therapy for it for a number of years now and have been diagnosed as a transsexual. I have felt imprisoned in a body that doesn’t match my mind, and this has caused me great despair and loneliness. At times it has taken me to dark places that have been hard to deal with.

I have tried to hide this, and still do but now it is public knowledge here and I am not sure how to deal with it except tell you. I cannot begin to describe the shame and suffering I have lived with. I know you will have trouble understanding this. In truth, I’ve had to live with it everyday of my life, and I don’t understand it. I have tried hard all my life to please everyone around me, to do the right thing and not rock the boat. As distressing as this is sure to be, I need to do this for myself and for my peace of mind and to end the agony in my soul.

Through it all, I have learned life is and adventure, and I would like to think that the best is yet to come. I hope we can all enjoy it together still. This above all letters is the hardest one for me to write because of our friendship.

Published by mishsheppard

Michelle's powerful combination of self and community shines through the platform of radio which has helped raised the public profile and national dialogue of transgender, gender diverse and intersex issues on a national scale. Surprisingly nothing is off limits with Michelle who connects with her audience brilliantly; obviously through her humor and unapologetic blunt honesty. She is often labelled as an inspiring advocate and role model for youth and adults alike and hers is a powerful story to tell. We know that when a woman has the support of her community, especially her sisters, she is unstoppable. Michelle’s wider support from the women around her, LGBTI+ or ally alike, has helped develop her own unstoppable resilience and body positive confidence that she inspires others with. Now a sought-after public speaker Michelle is admired for her bold public representation of the Transgender community as works to break through the barriers of unconscious bias, cultural and structural issues to ensure equality of opportunity for all Australian work spaces. Winner of the ANZ Excellence in Business Award, ‘LGBTI Jobs’ a relatively new project, they pair LGBTI graduates and jobseekers to companies that embrace inclusion initiatives. “We’ve started a business that helps anybody who’s in the LGBTI Community. We go to companies and see what they are you doing. This isn’t just for me, this is for the entire community and we are going to make a massive change.” Michelle was recently celebrated alongside some truly amazing individuals from our community as part of the ‘The LOTL Power List 2016’ as someone who does everything in their power to make life that little bit better for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities: sometimes with blood, sweat and tears; and sometimes just by being themselves. Michelle is also a finalist for ‘MTV – LGBTI Broadcaster and Presenter’ in the Australian LGBTI Awards 2017. Awards Globe Awards 2016 - ANZ Excellence in Business Award The LOTL Power List 2016 (28/40) Finalist for ‘MTV – LGBTI Broadcaster and Presenter’ in the Australian LGBTI Awards 2017

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