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Incredible transition from tradesman to transgender woman why she still lives with ex-wife

Australia

Incredible transition from tradesman to transgender woman why she still lives with ex-wife

For Summer Day, 37, becoming one of the first transgender women to front a magazine cover in Australia was a full circle celebration of her journey to transition.

Having battled with gender issues from an early age, Ms Day lived as a tradesman and professional skater then known as Michael for over a decade before becoming a father and eventually coming out to her loved ones about her true identity.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Ms Day discussed the long road from feeling like a prisoner in her own body to transitioning into the woman and advocate for trans rights she is today.  

Summer Day in the cover shot for Gold Coast magazine Get It

Summer Day in the cover shot for Gold Coast magazine Get It

Summer Day in the cover shot for Gold Coast magazine Get It

Growing up in a loving household in New South Wales, Ms Day’s parents were supportive of whatever she wanted to pursue in life. 

But growing up became difficult around the age of six when she developed an understanding of what male and female traits were supposed to be. 

 I knew I wasn’t a gay man.

‘Everything male made me feel uncomfortable, and when I would sit and play with girls I was interested in playing with traditional girls toys and doing girly things. 

‘About 12 or 13, I noticed that people perceived as ‘outliers’ or different for whatever reason were picked on more than those who conformed,’ she said.

‘I had to start assimilating as a boy. During my early high school years, I started hanging around with the ‘untouchable’ boys to hide behind that tough group mentality, as well as using drugs to suppress the confusing thoughts I had been plagued by my whole life.’

Life as Michael: Summer Day (then known as Michael) before her hormone replacement therapy and eventual reassignment surgery

Life as Michael: Summer Day (then known as Michael) before her hormone replacement therapy and eventual reassignment surgery

Life as Michael: Summer Day (then known as Michael) before her hormone replacement therapy and eventual reassignment surgery

Get It magazine, headquartered in Queensland, has set an industry standard by putting a transgender woman on its cover for one of the first times in Australian publishing history

Get It magazine, headquartered in Queensland, has set an industry standard by putting a transgender woman on its cover for one of the first times in Australian publishing history

Get It magazine, headquartered in Queensland, has set an industry standard by putting a transgender woman on its cover for one of the first times in Australian publishing history

After being introduced to skateboarding by a friend, Ms Day also used the high intensity activity as an escape from mental turmoil. 

‘After I realised you can’t skate without getting hurt, it became my therapy. I wasn’t self harming but I was allowing myself to get lost in the sport instead – when you’re doing something like skating, nothing else is going on in your head. It’s escapism.’

It wasn’t until the age of 22 when she discovered YouTube and Google that Ms Day  experienced an epiphany moment where everything made sense.

‘I knew I wasn’t a gay man. I had figured that out quite early on, and when I saw the videos of people transitioning and describing their feelings it was a real light bulb moment,’ she said.

Summer Day was a gifted skateboarder and tradesman but struggled with gender identification from an early age

Summer Day was a gifted skateboarder and tradesman but struggled with gender identification from an early age

Summer Day was a gifted skateboarder and tradesman but struggled with gender identification from an early age

'Life is a gift' - Ms Day has had an incredible journey in the past four years

'Life is a gift' - Ms Day has had an incredible journey in the past four years

‘Life is a gift’ – Ms Day has had an incredible journey in the past four years

Describing her struggle with gender issues before transitioning, Ms Day likened daily life to waking up in a jail cell without knowing why you are in there.

Having suppressed her emotions for years, she attempted suicide twice in two years. 

Atsuko is a beautiful person and backed my transition completely. We still live together but we’re no longer in a romantic relationship.

‘It felt like I was trapped in a prison cell looking at myself from the outside in.

‘I’m so happy to just be alive – I’ve been through so much in four years. It’s amazing to look back and realise how natural everything feels now.’

But despite her new found happiness and widespread acceptance, Ms Day has encountered some uncertainty around how to address her. 

‘Pronouns have proven interesting. I hardly get “sir” anymore, I’m pretty much getting ma’am and miss. Everyone has eyes, so call me ma’am,not sir!’

'Call me ma'am,not sir!' she said

'Call me ma'am,not sir!' she said

‘Call me ma’am,not sir!’ she said

Ms Day also admitted that people have questioned her decision to start a family. 

‘I’ve had questions like ‘did you marry Atsuko and have kids just to please everyone’, which could not be further from the truth.

‘For me, a connection with someone is primarily with the mind and the soul, not the physical. I’d always dreamt of having kids, and when I met Atsuko we fell in love. She was and always will be my soul mate.’

The former couple now co-parent daughters Milla, 6, and Zara, 4. 

Family first: Summer Day (right) with her daughters Milla (bottom) and Zara (top) and their mother Atsuko (left) who Ms Day describes as a beautiful person and her 'soulmate'

Family first: Summer Day (right) with her daughters Milla (bottom) and Zara (top) and their mother Atsuko (left) who Ms Day describes as a beautiful person and her 'soulmate'

Family first: Summer Day (right) with her daughters Milla (bottom) and Zara (top) and their mother Atsuko (left) who Ms Day describes as a beautiful person and her ‘soulmate’

Ms Day came out to her then wife and family one month before her second child was born.

‘I knew I finally had to be honest with them and with myself, but I also knew I would lose Atsuko as a result and I was terrified she’d take the kids.’

After breaking the news, Ms Day’s wife was supportive but experienced the inevitable emotions of loss and grief.

‘Luckily for me, Atsuko is a beautiful person and backed my transition completely. We still live together, we got through this together, but we’re no longer in a romantic relationship,’ she said.

‘Like other parents, our whole lives revolve around the kids. It’s not a typical divorce or break-up – we are genuinely best friends and I think Atsuko recognised the kids would be better off this way.

‘My family has also been 100 per cent supportive. They don’t judge me and best of all, they accept my past and present. I’m one of the lucky ones.’ 

Ms Day at the skate park with Milla and Zara

Ms Day at the skate park with Milla and Zara

Ms Day at the skate park with Milla and Zara

Ms Day is currently ‘looking for a partner’ but admits it can be hard as ‘our pool of fish is so much smaller than the general population’.

‘Then you have men who want to fill their fetishes or their sexual desires with trans women and sorry but no, I’m not going to be your experiment,’ she told Get It.

‘I am bisexual, but I would prefer a man. The more I’ve transitioned, the more I want to feel that sense of security and protectiveness that a man typically provides.’

Ms Day was given the honour of becoming one of the first transgender Australian women to grace the cover of a magazine by Gold Coast publication Get It.

Asked about the reception she received from former sport mates about her transition, Ms Day said she couldn’t have felt more supported.

‘I took four years off during my transition but I went back when I was mentally ready – skating is still a huge part of my life,’ she said. 

‘The skating community is like a massive family. People see skateboarders as being sort of ignorant, skating there they shouldn’t and being antisocial – this couldn’t be further from the truth. The support I got from men and women alike was incredible.’ 

Ms Day had reassignment surgery in Thailand last May, and said although recovery can be difficult for some, she was fully healed in six weeks.

Ms Day with members of the skateboarding community who she refers to as her family

Ms Day with members of the skateboarding community who she refers to as her family

Ms Day with members of the skateboarding community who she refers to as her family

Since becoming Summer, Ms Day said she has started to see life as a precious gift. 

‘I spent so long fighting a war that could never be won. You only get one chance.’

Asked what message she would give to others struggling with gender identification, Ms Day urged people to confront their issues head on and take ownership.

‘Break free of the fears in your head. Deal with it as soon as possible, because the longer you procrastinate in your mind the deeper into depression you will fall.

‘Transgender is more widely spoken about now, it’s not in the dark anymore. We’re almost at the stage where the gay and lesbian movement was ten years ago.

‘It’s about promoting greater awareness and education. I want to share my story because it’s not just mine, it belongs to everyone who has ever experienced gender issues.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5941157/Incredible-transition-tradesman-transgender-woman-lives-ex-wife.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490 Source: MailOnline | Copyright © MailOnline, All Rights Reserved

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