I Thought You Were the Most Beautiful Person in the World.

I thought she was the most beautiful person in the world, an I tell ya what we made two more of the most beautiful people and I couldn’t be prouder of them. Those of us who are single parents seem to cling to one another and listen to each others stories of betrayal and pain and listening to the ongoing gender wars reminds me of the comic strip “Spy vs. Spy” from MAD magazine. We were a typical couple like most out there in how we were battling the ongoing gender wars of the household chores. I think the mental load of household financial responsibilities did wear us both down not just her. Whatever it was, we were both stubborn in our own ways and it didn’t last and we have gone our own ways. BUT despite me not folding the towels correctly or stacking the dishwasher the wrong way, I often wonder if my children, our children I mean, or their children know their parents did love one another at one point? While I had been pondering this since this past weekend I went to the family home to spend time with my children and my oldest has been working on scrap booking. I was surprised to see she received the creative genes from both her mother and me, and a lot of my sentimental streak. I found that she has taken old photos of mine from my bucket in the closet that I hold all my memories in and created a book with our pictures.


It made me laugh and gave me the feels a bit more.


Now I know my ex doesn’t do touchy feelly and that is fine, for me this is more about my daughters and our relationship. I also know she won’t read this but I want my daughters to see and know about the love that their mother and I used to share. I do have regrets at times. Those are when i see them from a distance in photos and I am not there with them laughing. I regret that I was the one to walk out the door and gave up. I regret that I wasn’t brave enough to come out properly before I was outed by others. But I never ever regret having them. I never regret the love and special times I shared with their mother (no matter how bat shit crazy she has made me. I am well aware that one of my flaws is being a sentimental sap and have saved everything from our relationship together. hell i still have my christening outfit from when I was a baby. There is a box with emails we saved from the early days, pictures we took throughout our relationship, letters she sent me before I moved to Australia to remind me of the love she had for me and how she was excited and waiting the day for me to arrive into Australia.

See I loved OUR story.

If the girls ask what will I tell them? Not sure. But it would be something like this.

Well we met one day while I was at work. I was bored and figured out how to get through the firewall on my work computer in order to chat on the old IRC (Internet relay chat) boards to kill time. And I bumped into this woman when I least expected it. I had not been going out much in the months leading up to us meeting and finalized my divorce to my first wife a year earlier.

I remember that day well.

I was at work and she was at a mates house playing with their new internet connection. I said “So how are things down under…” and it went from there. We spoke for 13 hours that day in a mix of  communication between phone calls and chatting on the computer. We spoke everyday. I still have the voice recordings she sent me one day one i came into work “Good morning its me just to say hi…you’ve got a lot of emails to get through”

I did everyday, and she was the most beautiful person in my world. I listened to them every morning.

We both were fans of the TV Show ‘Friends’ and at that time the delay in broadcast was rather ridiculous and she was a whole season behind me. So when it started on my end I remember rigging up my TV and web camera from my apartment in the US so she could watch TV with me. As time went on I remember working during the day and streamed her webcam on my computer so I could watch her sleep and I guess feel closer to her despite being 16,000 kms away from her. I remembered receiving letters from her written with multicolored textures, a blue Hawaiian shirt with her perfume on it, letters that were a puzzle and I had to put them together in order to read them. She had been one of the few people who had come into my life and saw me for me. I remember confessing at one in the morning that I was struggling with some kind of “gender dressing up thing” that I was wanting to put behind me and she said that’s fine, i really really wanted it to go away. I felt free and finally accepted for me. She booked a trip to see me in the US for thanksgiving and the build up and anticipation to see each other physically and to finally touch one another. I remember seeing her through the entire crowd, the benefits of being over 6 feet tall. I was a shit and pretended I didn’t see her and she knew it and her smile just lit me up when she finally held me. Oh my god I was standing there with her and kept looking at her in amazement, she was the most beautiful woman.


She was there seeing my life and despite the dysfunction it contained she saw me for me. We took a trip to Chicago and got away from everything and we laughed so much, especially when I took this superman leap in the air and landed on the hardest damn mattress that knocked the snot out of my head. I remember a day walking he city hand in hand and how much she beamed. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen on that foggy Chicago morning. The best turtle fudge ever, which we could never find its equal. A wall of various popcorn flavors that were under a Ferris Wheel. All on Navy Pier. She spent the rest of the holiday with me and my family and faux canned cranberry sauce. She still loved me after that.

I remember her holding me so tightly when I arrived in Australia 16 years ago and the first thing I heard in the car was the song “Murder on the Dance Floor”. This. This is the love I want our girls to see and hear, that their parents came together out of undying love for one another. They were made from the love we had for one another. It was seen in the struggles we had to have them and I remember seeing their mother in the hospital bed after the surgery she had just so we could have them. I remember looking at her and stroking her brow and hairline, and seeing she was the most beautiful person in my world.

I guess I never want them to know about the struggles we had. I want them to know I miss always wanting to be with their mother telling each other everything that happened in our day. I miss waking up to them everyday. Not the struggles I had. That I had my own loneliness and isolation coming here. The struggles with gender identity. The fact that their mother and I, we just lost it. It died. How do you tell them that you are sorry. Sorry for neglecting their mother physically and mentally, and that “I’m sorry that you don’t love me anymore”? I want them to know because of that love there is much less criticism in our lives. No promising anything you can’t give. Only messages of a gratitude and recognition because of feelings once shared.

What can I say to others going through this? It’s difficult.

Try to remember that at one moment in your life that person you’re so angry at was the most beautiful person in your world. Know in your heart that your kids now take that title and deserve all that love you once wanted to give your ex. They need to know throughout the years, we created the most beautiful memories and that they are the best memories you created in your life.  I hope to walk with them one day tracing our steps along the bay on the North Shore of Lake Superior where their mother and I once walked together. So to me those two little girls were love, and still are our love despite my heart shattering into a million pieces from losing the person who was once the most beautiful person in my world.





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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