I’m Mitch Kellaway and I’m from Waltham, Massachusetts. I came out for the first time when I was 16 years old. I came out as a lesbian. I was at a high school in Newton, Massachusetts, probably one of the most liberal areas you can probably imagine.
I came upon this book in the library and I started reading for the first time about what being transgender means. And it kind of clicked in my head at that moment, I was 17 at that point, that this word describes me. I told about two people and then I just didn’t mention it again for six years. Not until I was 23, and that’s the same year that I met Jocelyn.
We actually met online, on the site OKCupid. We had this great dynamic from the start. I was, at the time, really like butch or masculine identified woman, and she is and always has been, remains, a really feminine identified woman. It wasn’t something even when I entered the relationship that I was thinking this is something I need to tell her about me. It’s hard to explain how I had compartmentalized that part of me and just put it somewhere else and it hadn’t come to the fore for several years.
So it was about a year into our relationship, and I decided–I just knew–that it was time to tell her. So she would be the first person that I had said those words to in six years. That night I knew when we sat down next to each other in bed to talk like we usually do before we go to bed, and I thought, “This is it, this is the night I’m going to tell her that I’m going to start transitioning and I’m going to live as a man.” I didn’t think I was going to feel nervous but in that moment I did feel nervous.I started tearing up a little bit and crying, and I didn’t want to cry. So we were just sitting in bed side by side, and I said, “I have something to tell you,” and I said, “I’m a man and I am going to start transitioning now.”
And she said, “Okay.” So she comforted me, she hugged me, it was fine. And the next morning we woke up as if it was any other morning.
One of the hardest things for me to face after I came out as trans* and I had my big happy moment, was the fact that, from then on, or until I decided to stop, I’d be facing a new medical regiment, and I had, knock on wood “had”, a terrible phobia of needles. And while some trans* men use gels, I was like, “I’m going to use the needles, they’re just going to be the most effective for me.” So I went to the doctor, got my prescription, and knew that I had to face this horrible fear that I’d had since I was a little kid.
That’s where Jocelyn really showed up for me, because she was there with me at my first appointment. I had to ask her, “Will you be willing to do the injections for me?” because I knew that it would probably be prohibitive. It would make it really difficult, if not impossible, for me to use the testosterone myself because that would mean I’d have to inject it in my own thigh.
She said, “Yes, of course I’ll do that.” I think even before she realized how difficult that can be to stick a piece of metal inside the person you love every two weeks.
It wasn’t long into our relationship that I realized, this is a person I could spend my life with.
On our third anniversary, we went back to the place we first met. We had both somehow independently decided that we were going to offer each other a ring and make it official on our third anniversary, so we both decided that the photo booth inside the cafe would be the best place to do this so we could have it on camera. So we sat in the photo booth and she beat me to it. She just pulled out the ring and said, “Will you marry me?” and I said “yes.”
About four months ago, we went back to our hometown in New Haven, Connecticut and we had a beautiful, simple ceremony on the beach. It’s almost like you don’t know what you need until you need it. I needed someone who just unconditionally loved me in order to feel comfortable enough to accept myself and love myself for who I am. And that was Jocelyn.