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Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This

Back when I was given authorship over here I promised to move my transition diary here. After much delay, that reality happens today!

For those who have not been following my diary, I first came out around Halloween in 2014 then launched into transition almost immediately after. It’s been a wild ride and there’s still more to come!

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Before you continue, a quick warning. This gets dark and mentions abuse and self harm.

Hobbies and Friends

For the past couple years I’ve gotten very much into motorcycling. At my peak, I was buying more than one motorcycle a month in 2018. In mid 2019 I stopped the madness and started finding my groove. Now I’m mostly focused on bucket list bikes and bikes that seriously interest me, rather than bikes that just look cool.

Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This

Currently, I’m looking to pick up an Oppo’s Suzuki Burgman 650. It’ll not only be my first EFI bike, but it’ll be my steed for the upcoming Gamblinball Run cross country Gambler rally.

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I’ve also fallen head over heels for diesel. I picked up this Passat TDI wagon for $600 back in November to make into a rally car. Well...I fell in love with it. So now it’s my daily and should I get the chance to fix it (more on that later) I want to tune it and have a hot wagon to play with.

Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This
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The Gambler 500 also continues to be a major catalyst in changing my life. Much of my current fearlessness and confidence comes from the Gambler’s impact on my life. For me, it is and will forever be more than taking clapped out cars into the woods and picking up trash. It’ll always be the place where I discovered some of the craziest friends and some of the best chosen family I could ever ask for.

Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This
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And in a world getting more and more divided each day, I find a well organized Gambler event is a bridge. It doesn’t matter who you voted for, who you are, what you are, or where you come from. For that weekend and even beyond, everyone is your friend. My Gambler family is close to my heart no different than my high school best friend and I don’t know what I would do without any of them. I sincerely love them and all!

Myself

Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This
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As I’m now just over five years into hormone therapy, there isn’t much to note in changes. The hormones have for the most part did the majority of the work they’re supposed to. I have an hourglass shape, hips, a round bottom (that was the most startling discovery I made only recently), and a rounded out face.

Over the weekend I was surprised to learn my breasts continue to grow. Mind you, I’ve never had any surgery and my body does naturally produce elevated estrogen, so they’re natural. Technically, I’m actually Intersex. I went into hormone therapy with C cups. As of this weekend, I now appear to be a DDD/E cup. Which, yay! :D

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Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This

Mentally? I’m happier than I’ve ever been. 2019 was my best year yet and 2020 has thus far been a solid contender for beating it. If you asked me a few years ago I’d ever be in this place I’d probably call you crazy. I never knew anything but depression. But two years of therapy gave me the power and the ability to kick depression to the curb. And when presented with a challenge, I work through it instead of allowing it to bring me down. Do I still get sad? Of course...but said sadness no longer persists in destroying me.

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Career

I’ve been thinking of switching up what pays the bills and allows me to rally around the country for a couple years now. I’ve been in tech for 8 years now and while I enjoy it, there are still other things I enjoy more. I keep being told that the more I climb the ladder the more I’ll enjoy it, but as I climb said ladder in both skill, pay, and position, I’m just not seeing it. I like it, but it brings me little in the way of enjoyment

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For the past year I’ve been writing for Out Motorsports and despite the fact that thus far it’s been not for pay, it’s some of the most fun I’ve ever done in a more professional capacity. It’s been more gratifying than any of my 8 years building a tech career. I’ve even been to my first press only party!

Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This
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Writing has been a lifelong passion of mine and I love being able to write with a purpose. Will I transition into auto/moto journalism? Maybe. For now I’m just seeing where it goes. My next step is joining MAMA and actually reviewing new cars and motorcycles. Thus far, we are making a real difference. LGBTQ people from all over contact us and tell us how we’ve inspired them to be out and proud doing their thing. They’re happy to have some prominent representation out there in a community (cars and bikes) that has historically been unwelcoming or even hostile to people like us.

A potential downside to moving to journalism is I may initially take a hit to pay. It’s easy to earn very good money in tech very quickly, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here and it’s not as if my tech experience will carry over. But again, this is something I’ll see what happens with. One of the first motorcycles I’d love to fully review is a Ural!

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Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This

Family

And now for the roughest part of every update. I came out to my family two months after coming out to the rest of the world. I knew coming out to them was going to be exceptionally hard, so I delayed it as long as I could to build a plan. But why?

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I’ve been a lifetime disappointment to my parents. From as far back as I could remember, I’ve never made them proud of me. They wanted an A student, but I was a lazy student and only bothered As in classes I liked. They wanted a manly man that drives muscle cars and gets women, but I was very feminine and liked quirky, unloved cars. They wanted a doctor or a lawyer, I went into tech. They wanted me to be the man they say god intended, I became a gay woman. Every big decision I’ve ever made in my entire life has disappointed them.

There’s a lot more to the story of my parents than disappointment. Due to my parents’ psychopathic tendencies, my childhood was especially damaging. If it wasn’t emotional abuse, it was never having a home. We moved 12 times from 2000 to 2013, sometimes more than once a year. Why? My mom likes to live like a queen...but doesn’t nearly have the income to support her lifestyle. So we’d intentionally move into a brand new upper class house we couldn’t afford, stiff our landlords on rent, then eventually have to move out, move away, then start the process over again. I would have rather had a constant childhood home that wasn’t a brand new McMansion than never really feeling like I had a home.

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But I digress, that’s a story of its own for a different time.

Since I’ve always felt my parents never approved of me and were never proud of me, I was desperate for any approval, anything my parents would tell me they’re proud of me for. When they approached me in 2016 to cosign a mortgage for them, I was still recovering from the worst self harm incident I’ve ever had. In late 2015 I found myself trying to drink coolant because I felt dying was better than living under the control and transphobia of my parents. Thankfully, another denizen of Kinja saved me and due to their generosity, I was able to escape the trap I lived in. I also got a therapist then, too.

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Back to the mortgage. I knew my parents were eventually going to default. I had 12 moves and 12 angry landlords as proof. I knew I would at some point face foreclosure. I knew this would threaten to ruin any life I would build for myself...but back then I was still desperate for my parents to be proud. They also tried to make it seem like had I didn’t sign, they’d end up homeless. They spent every day of a month harassing me to save them. So I cosigned. I knew this was going to end like this...but maybe, just MAYBE, they were going to tell me they were proud of me. They never did.

Nowadays I have the confidence to tell my parents no. I have the self-esteem stop caring for or even wanting their approval. I have a monumental support network. I’m proud of myself, I don’t need them. The two years I spent in therapy were amazing.

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Unfortunately, all this isn’t retroactive, so I still have to deal with the fallout of choices I made four years ago. At least I got to temporarily live in an awesome house that I technically own and modified with my own two hands.

Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This
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Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This

My parents bought the house in the first place so they could have a place of their own to retire and live out the rest of their years. The mortgage was so they could get cash out to remodel it to their liking. My parents never moved into the house we got a mortgage on. Instead, they decided not to move out of the rental they were in and decided to make the house into an investment property. This is the point in which I realized the foreclosure I’m facing now was certain, and that was 3 years ago.

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Somehow things were going pretty swell up to about mid 2018. By that time, my brother and his family were living in the house and for whatever reason, had decided they were no longer paying the rent. Because my mom couldn’t afford the house in the first place, this just meant mortgage payments were being missed. And despite my brother not paying his rent, she never kicked him out. Fast forward to today and we’re now 17 payments behind. My brother has paid his rent sometimes over that 17 months, but my mom didn’t pay the mortgage with that money. You could ask why didn’t my mom just move into this house? Because it seems she’d rather have me go through foreclosure than live in a house she doesn’t like.

So now here I am. Initially put into this situation by my abusive parents, and screwed over by my own brother. As far as family is concerned, it looks like I’m on my own.

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The mortgage lender doesn’t want the deed or the house, they only want money. The late fees put the house amazingly underwater. In theory, we could have sold it to pay off the loan (with no equity) but as a final screw you, my brother and his family utterly destroyed the house on their move out last week. Not only is the house comically underwater, but now we can’t even sell it for half the balance of the mortgage. Because the mortgage company is being an immovable wall, foreclosure is now certain. On April 14th the house will be sold at auction, and the mortgage company will certainly come after me for the remaining balance through a deficiency judgement. My parents have their own home business that’s not worth anything, but I have a W2 income.

Life After Foreclosure

If the lender does in fact come after me for a judgement, I’ll have to file bankruptcy. Sadly, I’ve also prepared for this. I built so much of my dream over the past few years from my dream cars, dream motorcycles, and even a career that pays for them. The mortgage was always hanging over my head, so I’ve made sure as many vehicles as possible were never titled in my name, or not even registered.

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That will pay off to a degree. Of my fleet of ten, I’ll only lose half of them in a bankruptcy...and that’s if they even decide to take those broken beaters. Bankruptcy will also mean I’ll stop being hunted down for other loans my parents took out in my name and never paid for. Oh yes, my credit is trash because to my parents, my social security number may as well have been a money tree.

Sadly, the Passat could be on the chopping block in a bankruptcy, so I feel there’s no point in fixing it if I’ll just end up losing it immediately after.

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Once I finally work through this mess, I have a bigger grand plan.

Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This
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When I still had her around, my therapist warned that cutting off my parents would probably not be advisable without getting good physical distance from them. My mom has a history of being like a bounty hunter. She stops at nothing to get what she’s looking for and no is not an answer. And since we only live ten miles apart, she would make my life absolutely hell until I’d have to take actions against her from restraining orders or worse. But my therapist knew that such things would take a toll on me. This - in addition to being tied to her through a mortgage - is why we decided I could try to mend things the best I can. I know how my mom is when someone cuts her off, it is a literal nightmare.

However, with myself soon no longer being attached to my parents through that house and that mortgage (and with my fleet sliced in half), I can finally work towards my therapist’s idea of physical distance. I’ve been wanting to leave Illinois for some years now and I’m thinking I can use this opportunity to make it happen. Move to a beautiful place further south where I already have a support system, set down my stakes, then delete my family. Start a new chapter. Timeline? I think I’ll renew my lease one more time this year, and work towards not sticking around in 2021.

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Some will have disparaging comments about this situation. Look, I get it. Five years and not much has changed with my parents. I get it, you hate hearing about my family. And I get it, you think I like playing victim. Many want to armchair Psychologist despite only knowing me through what I write online. But the disparaging comments aren’t helpful and they aren’t appreciated. In fact, they cause stress. Oftentimes I’m just telling my story as I have from the start of this diary over five years ago (that’s what a diary is for, no?). Then if I am asking a question, insulting me is hardly an answer. And yes, sometimes I’ll take the advice of an actual professional over an online community.

I’m honestly sorry for making those of you so upset. As it is, I already hate the fact I’m calling it out. Admittedly, some of this is a factor in why I don’t often write about my transition anymore. Perhaps I expected too much thinking I could keep this diary going for so long in communities where such content isn’t really the norm.

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And now to end this on a happy note..

Miss Beetle

Illustration for article titled 2020 Transition Update: It was Always Going to Come to This
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In all of my wacky adventures there has been one thing I’ve long felt missing: A copilot to enjoy them with. Someone to be at my side no matter where the roads take us.

Relationships have come and gone, each not quite filling that void. I mean, they only ever got casual mentions on social media. That all changed in early December when I met the woman that makes my heart skip like a jostled cd player. ♥️ She’s everything and then some and I love her so much! 🥰 These past few months have been absolutely unforgettable and the absolute best days of my entire life!!! We even have a joint offroad build planned, which the fact she’s so in for it blows my mind. I can’t wait for her to meet the Gambler 500 family. I love you babe, may our madness last forever! ♥️♥️

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About Me

Mercedes is a lifelong tinkerer and adventurer. Over the years she grew into a lover for city cars, motorcycles, and now offroading anything with wheels. You can find her mudding a smart fortwo on a Gambler 500 near you! Send diesels, not nudes!

THE_SMART_CAR@YAHOO.COM || THE1TRANSMISSION@GMAIL.COM

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