Face Your Fear

| Jan 23, 2017
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My name is Porja Braga, not the name I was given at birth but one I have preferred since the age of 16. I live in a 140-year-old farm house in rural Georgia with my beautiful wife of 20 years. We have 4 children and 1 grandchild so I’m no spring chicken. In my almost 50 years I have traveled the world, done many things and seen many more, some of which cannot be unseen. I am a firm believer in Karma though I’m not a Buddhist and don’t subscribe to any particular religion, I am however a spiritual person. As far as where I exist on the gender spectrum let’s just say that I have found a comfortable spot with a foot in both worlds and a very good understanding of both. We as Trans people have the unique position of knowing both male and female whereas someone born to one or the other knows only the one. We are two.

Fear and Loathing

Fear is something I learned at an early age, 7 to be exact. It’s was New Year’s Eve and we were on the verge of 1976. My parents were still young enough to want to go out and have a good time and still in love enough to enjoy each other’s company. I was left with my grandmother who was a very gentle woman and very modest. The night started out pretty fun with supper and then popcorn while watching television together. She vowed that she would last until when the ball dropped that night but it wasn’t long before she was doing that muffled little snore that proper old women do and I was left to my own devices. I ate all the popcorn I could handle and drank way too much Coca Cola until boredom overtook me and I started to roam the house alone.

All of the soda caught up with me and off to the bathroom I went to take care of some business. While in Grandmom’s bathroom I caught a whiff of an intoxicating scent and I was drawn to a cabinet filled with makeup and perfume.

A seven year old doesn’t have the life experience to understand that he’s done anything wrong in this circumstance so I went to show my grandmother what I had done but I was not met with the reaction that I expected. The reaction I got was one of shock and a little bit of revulsion. I saw her face and I saw something that scared me but I didn’t understand it because I had never gotten that particular look from her before. Approval and acceptance was what I had always gotten from her but not tonight. Without any word she sat about washing my face, then it was time for bed.

The next day when my parents came to pick me up my father took me outside to the back yard and sat me down for a talk. My father’s first words were “don’t be a sissy and don’t embarrass me and your mother.”

At seven years of age I became self-aware. In that moment I new real fear for the first time. No child that young should be self-aware at that age but there I was — an instant out cast in my own family. I don’t think anyone in the rest of the family knew about that night but I knew in that moment that what I was was something to be ashamed of, not by me but by those around me.

I was never ashamed of myself but I was afraid of what would happen to me if I was exposed and embarrassed those close to me. A lifetime hiding behind a mask of “normalcy” and all the while the real me was just under the surface. Ten years of abuse at the hands of my father who swore he would make a man out of me took a toll but in the end my life turned out pretty well because I faced my fears, and you can as well. Face your fears, not all at once. Face a small fear to begin and work your way up to a bigger and bigger fear. Amazing things are possible when fear is replaced with confidence.

All my love,

Porja Braga


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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion

porjabraga

About the Author ()

Blogger and public speaker for hire. Married with children and loved and accepted by my family. I welcome your comments on my posts.

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  1. says:

    Good first article, Porja. I’ll look forward to your future contributions. 🙂

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