After years of feeling trapped in the wrong body, my baby cousin Alexa will undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS). Yes, this was once best known as a sex change operation, but is now commonly referred to as SRS.
Alexa was born Alex 18+ years ago. I'm about 16 years older and even though she was raised in New York and I was in California, we were always filled in on each other's lives. I have known all about her journey the whole way through. I remember her being 5 and wanting to take dance classes instead of playing soccer with the other boys. I remember her knowing, really knowing, even then.
Alex was always very feminine. It was assumed that he was just a super feminine gay young man, making his way through high school in this day and age where there's so much acceptance, but also so much bullying and such a huge need for the important messages like, "it gets better". Then, a few years ago came a leukemia diagnosis. It meant months and months in a hospital, time away from school, friends and all things normal. It was during this time that the YouTube video blog posts began. Loads of people walked through the whole cancer experience with Alex on a YouTube channel. Maybe it was facing the mortality that comes along with leukemia, countless blood draws, tests, chemo, radiation, etc, or maybe it was just time. Whatever it was, Alex knew he was ready to become Alexa. So, he started living as her. And then something incredible happened. Something you would never, ever expect. She was embraced by her peers. She became a cheerleader and a popular kid... all while being a guy wearing a skirt, stunning makeup, and perfectly coiffed hair. She has more friends and supporters than your average teenager, but that's exactly what she was- your average teen: working at Hot Topic, experimenting with different hair colors and styles, sharing makeup tips with girlfriends, getting pissed at her parents, etc.
Today is the day. She's about to be the woman she's always felt she was on the outside. I love her however she is, but I'm in constant awe of her and how she has handled herself through this entire experience. She, just like her older cousin (that's me, people), has chosen to put it all out there on the interwebs to help others understand what a life less ordinary can look like. Raising awareness, erasing barriers, shedding light and staying true to ourselves. That's how we roll.
For 35 years, I've been the only girl of our generation. All our other cousins on our line of the family tree are boys. I'm happy to introduce my fabulous, incredibly strong, sassy, sweet, brave, and very female cousin Alexa Jade!! Lexi, our whole family loves you, supports you, and admires the strong and beautiful woman you are becoming!!!