You were called a boy (girl/boy) at birth.
When did you decide your assigned gender was not correct?
I don’t know if there was a specific moment of decision. More an awareness from a very early age that something was not right. It wasn’t until I was 20 that I began to question the veracity of the identity foisted upon me at birth and throughout the first two decades of my life.
Parents typically assign toys, clothes, and such for the gender they think you are. Were you conflicted as a child?
I did feel conflicted. I was exclusively a girl in my inner thoughts and self-play. I would pretend others saw me as a girl.
Give me a little background about the “processing” of your thoughts and feelings that something was not quite right.
Honestly, I repressed my feeling of dissonance regarding my gender. This repression led me to binge eat from middle childhood onward. Later, in middle school and high school, I repressed even my inner life as a girl. This ld to intense depression and thoughts of suicide.
When you started to realize something was not quite right, did you talk to your parents, relatives, friends?
No. I never spoke to my family or friends about this as a child. When I was an adult, I did talk to supportive friends and eventually came out to my family.
Was that a hard thing to do, talk to people about it?
At first it was hard. The more you come out the easier it becomes to do it.
How did people react to your decision?
Reactions varied. Most of my friends were like “yeah, I know.” My supervisor at work wasn’t surprised, “I’m a Clinical Psychologist, Darcy,” she said, “I’ve known for a while.” My dad was furious. He told me I was ridiculous and would never be a woman.
How did you/do you deal with the derisions and jokes, teasing and bullying?
I cried myself to sleep a lot. Still do. I started binge-eating again pretty heavily. I would stand in the kitchen and literally inhale food to deal with the stress. I gained 200 lbs post coming out. After four years of therapy, I’ve learned to self-sooth in healthy ways. I take long walks. I actually started my nonprofit as a coping mechanism. Writing support articles for other transgender people made me feel as if the suffering was worth it. It’s still hard. Honestly, I am sad most of the time even though I come across as really cheerful and happy. If you see me working myself to death chances are I am miserable and trying to cope.
What is the best thing that ever happened to you – regarding your transition – with a word of support from a family member or friend?
I rediscovered the things I love about myself. I have a very healthy relationship with myself, and getting to know her every day is a major blessing.
What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you – regarding your transition – bad words spoken to you by horrible people or stuff people said to you, those who just don’t understand or refuse to accept you?
A lot of bad things happened to me. I was homeless for a few months. I’ve had to do things I didn’t want to do to survive. I think the worst part is the loneliness. It eats away at me like a cancer. Friendships can be touch and go sometimes. Family relationships are awkward, and I often have to sacrifice my needs to maintain them. Romantic relationships are out of the question. Can you imagine having to disclose the state of your genitalia to potential partners prior to the first date? I do because I don’t want to end up dead in a dumpster after a date gone wrong. It’s humiliating. I’ve had several men interested in me who either run after they find out I’m trans, want just an emotional relationship, or play out some sick fantasy with me and use me like an object. Honestly, this is the worst part of my life post-coming out. I’m a 25-year-old woman, and I’ve barely had a relationship. What I have had has been terrible, soul-crushing, and frankly abusive.
What advice would you give to others who think they might need to transition?
Surround yourself with social support. Find a good therapist. Visit my website MyTransitionPartner.com.
I have interviewed several other trans people. One said something like, it’s not what the haters say but what your friends and family say that hurt the most. What do you have to say about that?
When you truly love yourself, it hurts when anybody rejects you or says bad things about you. It’s like if someone said something awful about your partner or sibling…you’d hurt. It is especially hard when family rejects you.
What can we do to advocate for transgender without looking or acting like butt-heads? Any advice for allies who might elect to stand up for a transgender person?
Listen and continue to educate yourself. My website has an entire section devoted to educating allies (MyTransitionPartner.com/ally)
I heard once in an LGBT forum that LG&B don’t treat T with respect on occasions. Have you experienced this?
All the time. There is rampant transphobia and misogyny in the LGBTQ+ community. I have cis gay men challenge me all the time in regards to gender identity. We are consistently ignored and silenced. I’ve endured countless vigils for victims of anti-LGBTQ+ violence where there were no transgender people asked to speak (we experience the most violence) or where there were subtle jokes about transgender people. It’s disgusting.
What about 45s latest announcement that he doesn’t want to allow Transgender in the military?
The President needs to learn to think before he Tweets and to seek wise counsel. His views are not based on empirical data or a sound understanding of the law.
When did you start your foundation? Tell us a little bit about why you started your foundation, and how, and where, etc.
I’ve been doing advocacy work since 2012/13. When I moved to ND, I started doing it more fervently and strategically. I spent the better part of two years writing support articles for my personal website, and a friend encouraged me to develop it into a nonprofit. We launched MyTransitionPartner.com in January 2017. My foundation is taking the money I’ve earned speaking and consulting (and money we receive from donors) and using it to maintain the site and provide grants to assist transgender people with transition expenses. We are also able to provide administrative support to other transgender, nonbinary, gender queer, gender fluid, gender nonconforming people who want to have their own outreach project but don’t want to go through the hassle of managing their own organization. I’ve been very lucky to get to where I am. I am really successful for a transgender person, and I have gotten to where I am really quickly. My successes, my ability to support myself means nothing to me if I cannot use that privilege to pull other people out of the hell I lived in for such a long time.
Resources provided by the Darcy Jeda Corbett Foundation. www.mytransitionpartner.com
North Dakota Resources:
US Resources, by state: