I have been told by many people whom I love that I over share. I have also been told by loved ones I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I suppose both are true. Believe me even as much as I do share I keep plenty to myself. I have secrets that will never get out there. I have regrets I will take with me to the grave. You can bet your bottom dollar I have skeletons in my closet. This is one I have to come to terms with. This is a confession I have to get off my chest.
It starts with political brainwashing. Before I get into that let me get the confession out of the way. I am a transgender biromantic asexual queer pagan witch. I am a loving partner to a wonderfully sensitive transwoman who has her own identity. I am a journalist, blogger and political activist. I try to fight for LGBT rights whenever I can. Largely via supporting others in the fight. Yet I have a big black spot on my record I cannot hide from. I voted for Donald J. Trump to be President of the United States of America. Both times. Let me explain before you cut me out of your life entirely.
First, I am deeply sorry. I regretted it tremendously both times yet I felt the heavy hand of my Christian right wing brainwashing. Keep in mind although I am fully out now, fully exposed and fully living my authentic life, in November 2020 I was not. At that time I was still living on property owned by my redneck right wing ultra conservative racist anti vax, flat-earther evangelical Christian former family. To say I was in stealth mode would be putting it lightly. I was one of them. Not racist, not science denying, not ultra conservative, but I was at my core a capitalist. I put economy over people despite the sinking feeling in my gut. Why? What motivated me to vote against my own self interests knowing full good and well it was going to hurt good people I loved tremendously? It goes back to that brainwashing. But it was also self loathing. I wasn’t just suicidal because I was trans and in hiding. I wanted to die because I loathed what I was. I hated being trans because being Christian and trans caused me agony. I hated how if I crossed the line into being out I not only faced exile from my family, which did occur by the way, I also was facing an internal political crisis I wasn’t ready to face.
I don’t want to get too deep into the brainwashing itself. It was thorough let me assure you. I tried to take my life many times because I just wanted to be “normal.” I prayed, tears in my eyes begging Jesus for forgiveness as I tossed my girl clothes in the trash. I felt disgust every time I sat in my house wearing panties, a dress and listening to Madonna. I was the right wing self loathing disgusting pile of human garbage you expect someone raised in that world to become. I was a coward. I was weak. I have no excuse. I wasn’t willing to stand up to my family, my church, my God or myself. I lived in fear of the hatred the right would direct my way if I stepped out of line. I lived in fear of the ostracizing I’d face from my LGBT family if they found out. I also lived in fear of losing the woman I love if she found out I voted for the monster who she partially blames for her fathers death. I regret all of it.
I deeply regret my actions. I already had a one-on-one confession to my beloved Christina. She found it in her heat to forgive me for my role I played in the state our world is in. I have to come to terms with the consequences of a life-time of regret and hatred that fueled me for so long. I am apologizing for my actions from the bottom of my heart. I know confessing this will lose me followers, trust and friends. I know it will brand me as untrustworthy by some people I love and respect more than life itself. I can’t even balance it out with the truth I did vote for Obama when I had the chance. It doesn’t matter. Real people were hurt by former President Trump. I regretted it the moment I left the voting booth in 2016. I don’t have a good excuse. I blame it on brainwashing I am still fighting to be completely freed from even now.
I am facing a lonely life moving forward. I have already lost my right-wing friends and family. I fear losing my friends and family on the left will leave me more isolated than I have ever been in this life. I hated Trump with a fiery passion yet I put his name on a ballot that contributed to his power. I deeply regret the first time I voted for him. I did that in a state of confusion. The second time it was so much worse.
I went into that voting booth fully expecting to check Biden’s name. I supported Biden. I hated Trump and what the Trumpers were doing to the world. I HATED my friends and family who supported him and the vile things they wanted him to do. I hated myself for checking his name even more than all that other hate combined. Then why did I do it? Simple. Denial. In November last year I was facing a real crisis. I was still male presenting to my family. I was still two months away from my legal name change. I had just barely gotten my ears pierced days earlier. I was seriously contemplating going back into deep hiding because I was afraid to lose my comfortable life.
Beyond the brainwashing I was also facing comfort. I was hiding behind my white privilege while I was secretly disgusted at myself. I was a television producer for a highly rated local newscast. I was well paid for the work I did. I owned my own home. I had my own land. I had a garden. I had trees. I was in the process of building a fence to buy a goat. And I had money. I was spending $200 a week on toys, DVD’s and video games. I was paying $130 a month for steaming services. And I was still hosting a podcast that had over 20,000 listeners. I was not ready to give all that up, move to a tiny apartment in the city living in poverty as I came to terms with my family shutting me out of their lives. I left the voting booth, drove to my sisters house, put my niece Ayvah on my lap and hugged her the last time I would ever see her. I went home and cried my eyes out. The next day I called my sister told her I was on HRT and that was it. That comfortable life was over in a flash. I made atonement for my sins but it isn’t enough. I walked away from a very comfortable life. I was a middle class home owner who was well respected in my local community. I regularly had lunches with businessmen. I shared a steak dinner with the CEO of a local oil company. I lived a pretty damn good life. Of course I supported having the man in office that would protect that lifestyle. I was afraid to give it up.
I can’t emphasize how good I had it. That doesn’t excuse what I did. I can try to hide behind brainwashing, believe me those suicide attempts were very revealing to my mental state. It doesn’t matter that I walked away. I gave it all up to be an underemployed trans woman living in the city alone. I gave up my family. I gave up my home. I gave up my rocking life. I gave up my career I worked hard to achieve. Despite everything I gave up none of it washes away the guilt, the regret, the despair I feel internally knowing I gave that monster my seal of approval despite knowing better.
I hate myself. I hate the person I was. I hate the things I did and said while in the closet. I hate that I had such a privileged life while others suffered in the first place. I hate that even though I grew up in poverty I turned my back on the poor to chase the riches I never had as a child. I hate that I endorsed a monster who destroyed so many lives, including those of people I love more than life itself.
If you wanted to know why my depression is incurable there it is. I can live with knowing I was a right wing Christian for so long. I can live with the fact I lived in denial of my white privilege. I can even forgive myself for the skeletons from my past I won’t share here. But I will never forgive myself for checking the name Donald J. Trump for President of the United States of America. I can only say one more time I am sorry. I can only beg for forgiveness. I can only assure you I lose sleep over it every single day. I let it eat at me. I let it tear me apart inside. I will never feel the comfort I had, the safety I had back then ever again. I will live out the rest of my life a trans queer woman living on the fringe of society. I gave up my privilege, status and family. That is not enough. I will never forgive myself for what I did. I ask others to forgive me only because I hold out hope they are better people than I was.