How did I get here? How did I ever make it to this point in my life? Just two nights from tonight, I will be lying in a hospital bed thinking ahead to the morning. I will be facing the biggest step I have ever taken toward living my own truth. There are so many thoughts flowing through my mind tonight, so many dreams, so many feelings looking for expression; and I am not sure how to put any of them into words.
As I have reflected over the last few days on the events that have led to this summit, I cannot help to think about the people who have been a part of the journey. I am so, so blessed. Making this pilgrimage is a nearly impossible undertaking; indeed, without the support of many wonderful people, I could never have hoped to make it this far. I used to wish that I could have made the change sooner; that I never would have had to live in the prison of myself. I used to lament my past.
As I looked this weekend at all of the people I love so much, I realized just how misguided those thoughts were. I worship every moment of the life I have lived. I relish every experience I have enjoyed, encountered, and endured (well, not the electrolysis. I’m sorry Heidi, but that just plain sucks); because it was through each of those moments that I found each of you.
Trudi, Lisa, Kim, Tambra, Jen, J.T., Angela, Donna, Parker, Dee, Tawana, Tara, Sam, Henry, Paul, Jase, Michael; you are more than friends. You have been the family I needed, and I hope we will always be together and always be family and always be friends. Your support has been the bedrock of my / our transition and the source of great joy. If one day, I can be there for you in even close to the capacity you all have been there for me; I will count myself lucky. And Trudi and LIsa: I would be remiss if I did not add a special thank you to you two for being who you are, for allowing all of us space in your hearts and in your home. Together, you are godfather and mother hen to us all... I won't tell who is whom. :)
Kendra, Jessica, Julie; what can I write that could ever express how important you are to me? Julie, you have been a great friend, and your support has meant the world. Kendra and Jessica, you girls are my everything. I want you to know that no matter what may happen, no matter where we all go; you will always be my daughters, and you will always be first in my heart. You have given me so much, and I look forward to you both growing into confident and happy women who get everything from life that you truly want and deserve. I love you both so much.
And most importantly, Jamie: I would never have believed that one person could be so much to me. You have stood strong and have unflinchingly believed in me and believed in our future, even when I had given up. You held me up when all I thought I wanted was to lie down. You were my footprints in the sand. You have carried me when I could not or would not carry myself. You belligerently showed me hope when all I saw was gray sky. If we live another thousand years, I can never be all the things you have been to me in just a few. But for as long as we live from this day forward, I will be living for you… for us. It was not my strength that got us here; it was yours. I love you. And I will keep on loving you forever and ever on.
We are two days from history. We are two days from a new chapter – the next great installment. I will not hope to hurry those days away. Life has taught me that every day is a day to celebrate, and a memory to be made. And how lucky am I to have already amassed such amazing reflections? And how lucky am I to have such a wonderful and loving group of friends and family with whom to share an entirely new set of memories?
And boobs... an entirely new set of boobs.
I would like to thank the academy... and to my manager and producers...
See you all on the other side!
Peace and chopsticks,
Katherine Lynn DeLong