“Free At Last, Free At Last…”

I believe few if any people can begin to fathom just how joyful and grateful I am to be alive and healthy these days.  As we approach the 4th of July this week, you may have noticed many posts with one common theme. That theme, of course, has to do with my new freedom to be myself and no longer hide in the dark shadows of shame and despair.

Last evening after my 12-step group I have been checking out for the past month, I headed downtown to our City Plaza to hear some music performed by the Stephanie Hatfield Band, a local group.

I was out there dancing once again in front of the bandstand where I had danced with two drag queens last Saturday on Pride Day on the Plaza. First a woman with her partner standing nearby who had recognized me from that last Saturday event gave me  a compliment to that effect, but I don’t recall the specifics.  I showed her a picture on my cellphone taken at the Pride event and she smiled and said “There you are!”

Shortly thereafter, a sweet lovely little girl came up to me several times to take three of my fingers in each hand and we both danced together spinning round and round like girls who didn’t care if anyone was watching.  I got a bit dizzy so I asked her if we could stop awhile and she moved away only to return a few moments later.

When the little girl’s Mom scooped her up after about 20 minutes or so, I danced on as before until the last song was performed. At one point while I was dancing I started to sob and my eyes grew wet so that I had to remove my eyeglasses and hang them onto the bodice of my top.  These were not tears of sadness, these were tears of great joy and gratitude.  What I had realized is that I had been imprisoned for over 62 years in a body that I didn’t believe was mine and here I was now dancing in front of the crowd like there was no tomorrow.

Here I was on my first day of medical coverage under Medicare as I will turn sixty-five years old next Monday.  At the same time, I was a Senior Citizen and a woman who could dance with abandon, like the little girl I never got to be.

Only three years ago, I had my bi-lateral hip joint replacements and later that year finally emerged from my lifetime in a prison while committing no crime except to be born with a heart and mind that didn’t jive with my body. For the months following my beloved wife’s diagnosis that would lead to her own transition into the Great Mystery and rapidly losing my mobility and independence with it, not to mention her asking me to leave our home we shared with our son for over 20 years, I had literally come to believe that my life, as I had known it, was over. If anyone had told me back then where I would be today, I probably would have asked what they were smoking and if I could have some.

Then came to mind the concluding words of which the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke in his famous “I have a dream “speech delivered  August 28, 1963, before the throng at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

“Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I’m free at last.”

Deanna Joy Hallmark

About Deanna Joy Hallmark

I am a post-op transgender woman who has now completed transition and living my life as the woman I was born to be. I have been writing my blog, now titled "A Spy in the Enemy Camp - A transgender woman’s perspective from having lived as a man among men" since December 2011. Originally a record of my process and feelings in transition, last summer in 2013 it took on observations from both sides of the gender binary and now will also be looking at my past life pretending to be the man I never was and how it finally brought me to where I am today, the beautiful intelligent woman I had always believed I should have been since I was little.
This entry was posted in A Tribute, Gratitude, Living in Grace and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Free At Last, Free At Last…”

  1. You are a bit further down this road than I, Deanna, and for me it has been liberating, wonderful, and made me happy for the first time in my life. I am so glad to see you blossoming into the joy that you deserve! 🙂

  2. Lesboi says:

    Your happiness and joy is undeniable! Congrats and keep enjoying your life. Happy Independence Day!

  3. April says:

    Deanna, thank you for sharing your hope and optimism. Today is a very bad day for me, and I can’t imagine enough good happening to ever balance the scales for me.

    • April, I started to reply to you here and as it grew incredibly long for this space, I decided to post it as an open letter addressed to you but as a gift to all who dream of the impossible. I hope you don’t mind me using your name. Somehow it sounded better to me than to simply using the Greeting “Dear Friend.”

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