Good morning Everyone,
I’m sorry that I haven’t been in touch as much lately and more withdrawn. Nick Marino is not currently getting better. They discovered an unknown 3cm mass in his right kidney. We won’t know till the 12th if they will be doing a biopsy.
The 2 month before that was spent between MUSC IOP, Doctors, Specialist, Emergency Care, and the Emergency room. Usually screaming in gut-wrenching pain. I think he has dropped like 50lbs? In the last 2 months….
He is barely eating, drinking, in extreme pain, nauseated continuously, setting off migraines lasting days at best up to weeks, and has no motivation. There is an extremely high chance that it is cancer as he has lost 3 blood family members in 3 years to cancer. Let alone the 2 more not blood-related.
Him being in and out of the hospital has been really hard on me. As well as the likelihood that he may have cancer. The long nights have given me time to think though, and have decided that I want to talk about something serious, but my anxiety prevents me from being as articulate as I would like about this subject on the phone or in person. I know I’ve tried to have this conversation with a number of you over the years more times than I can count in the past.
So most of you will read this here, and I’m sure to share it with the rest which is fine. Due to the nature of the subject, I will not be proofing for grammar, mistakes, or spelling.
As you know It was a year a couple days ago that Momma died. It was also over a year ago that I came out to Momma the last night that she could talk when she was in the hospital. Nate slipped me in through the Drs corridor so that I could talk to her.
I was worried that she would die and that I would never know if she would ever accept and love me for me. So I went and sat down and talked to her for hours. I told her that no matter what anyone else may believe that first and foremost that I am a Christian. Also that I do not have to prove my relationship with God to anyone except him and me.
Though, I did explain that I am not an Evangelical Christian and do not agree with what a lot of the mainly southern Churches idolize. I’m a progressive Christian which the definition can is quickly looked up, but the most significant difference is that I believe LGBT people are gifts from God. Next, that the 6 verses in the Bible 3 old testament and 3 new testaments that reference gays have been ripped out of context. In reality, it is toward it being about gay rape, not healthy loving marriages.
So back on track, I revealed to her that I have been living two different lives and that I have felt like an underground Jewish person during the Holocaust I am terrified to be myself, but I am burnt out and exhausted from keeping up the facade. So I decided that today on October 11th, 2017 which is National Coming Out Day. I would be informing the family in its entirety who I am. This is already set in motion and short of the world ending before everyone wakes.
I have known since the furthest memory in my mind that I was born a boy, not a girl. I remember trying to tell everyone when I was little. You would just laugh for the longest time and shake your head and say to me that I’m just a tomboy or that it was a phase.
I hated wearing dresses, and I hated pink so much. The only reason I said it was my favorite color is that a boy at school said I looked like a boy and that if I were a boy, I would have a penis. He got angry when I disagreed, so he reached under my shirk grabbed by crotch gut checked me and then stomped my crotch repeatedly.
No one saw, and he was one of the assistant pastor’s kid. So I climbed to the top of the monkey bars and truth fell off backward. I landed on my tailbone and if you remember my ass and crotch were black and blue. Dr. Bird said it was because of bruising my tailbone. No one suspected anything else.
This moment is the first time I remember being suicidal and I don’t even think I was 8 yet….
After that, I tried to be girlie for a while or at least pretend to be. I still wouldn’t wear dresses, but I professed to love pink even though I genuinely hated it so much.
This patterned has continued my whole life. I spend week after week in church listening to how much God hated me from the first moment I can remember. A puppet show after a little boy wanted to wear a dress to church, but the pastor told him that was sinful. So then it turned into a Sunday school puppet show lesson. I remember getting so sick that I puked. I was maybe 5… It was at Dorchester Waylon.
Everything about my true authentic self-growing up has been deeply shamed, condemned, and degraded before I was even fully potty trained. So I began to hate myself. I started cutting and hurting myself before the 6th grade. I considered suicide on multiple occasions. I fought so hard to be the daughter, niece, sister, and aunt that I was supposed to be.
I tried to hide my deepest secret from everyone, but most of all myself. In the end, though I couldn’t ignore my soul forever.
I remember when RJ told me that he liked boys because I’m pretty sure we were in the 2nd grade. Gay this meant happy to us if we knew it at all. We were completely untouched by the evil of the world. I remember Kayla and me telling him not to tell Ashley because we knew she would tell. Well you know how that went he said it to her, she told Aunt Margret, and the rest is history.
Though the piece of the story your missing is that Kayla and me also “came out” out to him. He liked boys and wanted to kiss them. She enjoyed holding girls and boys hands.
Me? I hated skirts, but I could tolerate them. Dresses though I loathed with every cell in my body. I was furious that boys got to wear pants and I couldn’t. Worst of all? I hated myself the most. How I couldn’t style my own hair. That my body was wrong is all I could articulate at that age.
I expected her to hate me, but she didn’t. She said that she loved me and that no matter what I was still her baby. She said that she knew and that she wrestled with it for many years. That she prayed to God so many times to “fix” me, but that being in the hospital had made her realize that her prayers had been answered when I came out to her. She said that she understood the only fixing that I needed was to stop living a half-life in the shadows. I was beside myself and crying so hard. I was so relieved and happy that she accepted me.
She apologies for how she treated me as a child, and I told her that I wanted to become an ordained minister through the Universal Church. That I wanted to help other Christians to accept LGBT people like me.
I talked about my fears about coming out to the family. She told me that she would help me and that she would speak to all of you. Of course, she never spoke again after that night, but she would squeeze my hand and tell me she loved me before she couldn’t anymore.
So after she passed away before the start of the new year, I began transitioning after a year and a half long battle with Tricare to cover hormone replacement therapy. I jumped through 2 million hoops and red tape before on Oct 11th of last year Tricare rolled out its trans-inclusive policy.
It took me another 3 months to get in to see an endocrinologist and get prescribed Testosterone after having to see a psychologist for over 6 months. So I have been seeing a Christian psychologist for over a year and a half now.
His name is Dr. Randal Smies and is practice is in West Ashley. I have an appointment every Wednesday at 5pm to 6pm. Anyone that needs help wrapping their head around is welcome to come as my guest.
So just to recap and also clear up so things. I’m a transgender transman, and I am almost a year into my transition from female to male.
I asked Dad a week after starting hrt if he would be angry if I changed my name and you told me no because Momma picked it anyhow. I was hoping he would inform me of a male name that I would be if I were born with the “correct parts”… but he didn’t.
So instead of Rachel Annesley Marino, I am now Raidyn Lee Marino. I have been using the middle name Lee as a shorting of Annesley. My name is legally still Rachel, but that will not be the case for long. I plan to have my name and gender marker changed by this time next year. So instead of she/her, I use he/him, or they/them both are acceptable.
Female pronouns and calling me Rachel or Rache will no longer be acceptable. Accidents are okay I know it is an adjustment, but I will not be misgendered and disrespected. I love you all and do not want to lose you, but I know that I need to be me.
So in conclusion in by the new year, I will no longer be using my Facebook account. I made a new one last January that I have added those who know I’m trans, respect, love, and accept me for who I am. So those who choose to do so will be added to that account.
Last but not least I have made exciting new changes with my business that you can see if you go to cozykaleidoscope.com and check out my Etsy shop which will soon have my original canvas artwork available. As well as my RagnOn shop where you can get high-quality fashion art print clothing, home decor, canvas prints, and more.
If you would like to help support me then, please help me reach my goal of 500.00 gross sales on RageOn this month. Your continued support helps me pay my bills and eat, which I can not do without the support of my friends, family, and followers.
So in close. I have been awake all night typing this, and I’m hoping you’re all still sleeping. I am going to turn off my phone take my sleeping meds and go to sleep. Please comment here, text me, send an email, contact me through my business page, Facebook message, or snail mail if you must.
((((((((((((((((((DO NOT CALL!!!!!!!))))))))))))))))
If I don’t hear anything, I will understand and will still love you forever.
– 💖 Your Son, Nephew, Uncle, Brother,
Raidyn Lee Marino