I started 2021 one with a slump. I was fired from my dream job day 7 of the year. Barely a week into what would become one of my busiest years on record I found myself unemployed and facing homelessness. That would be a running theme throughout the year. I ended the year unemployed too.
I made up a small timeline of events I shared on social media. That was only half the story. Last year I spent the first half of the year getting my name legally changed along with my gender marker on my identifications. I got a brand new driver license, cell phone, birth certificate, social security card, credit card and all my bills in my new name. This took the better part of the first 5 months to accomplish. That in and of itself was a battle. I had to fight the forces at play trying to prevent me from being recognized every step of the way.
I also started the year off filing for unemployment. This immediately put me in a weird position where I had to rely on the broken system to prop me up. Later in the year I was reminded how incredibly broken that system is when they asked for most of that unemployment money back as they claimed I over paid. Then there was my epic battle to get SNAP benefits as I went to war with Health and Human Services over my name change situation yet again.
I faced discrimination. I was shoved out of the way called sir by rude people. I was stepped on walking down the stairs with my cane as I limped my way to safety. I had more than one employer tell me they legally didn’t have to hire me on religious grounds. I didn’t even bother fighting those instances I just walked away with a pit of anger in my stomach. That anger fueled me as my relationship with my parents went south.
During the year I lost nearly all of my family. I managed to find support in my grandmother of all people. I won’t get into why but our previous relationship had been fairly rocky. Turns out she was the first person in my extended family to not only offer me support but to tell me she was happy for me. She is also the only one who refers to me as Stephanie. Others still fixate on my deadname. Oh well. I lost enough sleep over that time to move on.
Mere weeks into the new year and it didn’t matter my family had rejected me. I found a new sister. Her name is Robin Alura and she has been my best friend and strongest supporter since I moved to Texas. By the end of the year I had more found family including a trans daughter I adopted through Twitter. By the end of the year I had a whole new family to love me.
By the middle part of the year I had already gone through so many changes. I changed my name, my location, career, family, and was in the process of changing my podcast too. I cancelled my web domain and created a brand new website. This was scary because it meant leaving behind a lot of work I had done on a website I ran for several years. I had an emotional leave of absence from the podcast I helped start, helped watch it grow and become something powerful for the trans community.
Towards the end of the year the most important event in my life had taken place. I met the love of my life. The woman who has taken ownership of my heart and very soul itself. I have grown closer to her as time has gone. I have given her more of my heart, more of my time and more of my love day by day.
If all of that wasn’t enough change I also went through a religious transformation. I ended up leaving Christianity behind as I turned to paganism. I ended the year having celebrated several pagan holidays. My witchcraft has increased as well. I have grown closer to my deities, those spirits I commune with on a more regular basis. I settled on a path that follows chaos and nature. I haven’t done a ton of spell work but I have gotten to know my deities quite well.
The final big change I made for the year was launching a brand new news talk show dedicated to trans culture. This was the culmination of my entire professional career mixed with everything I learned as a trans woman transitioning while living in one of the most hostile states for trans people, Texas. I wanted to end the year on a high note by producing something that would offer hope to trans men, women, and others all over the world.
Now that 2021 is behind me I can say I tackled it like a boss. As I look towards 2022 I can assure you it will be even more grand, dare I say epic!