Life is strange.
They say truth is stranger than fiction. That’s probably because fiction is supposed to make sense.
My life, on the other hand… well, you’d have to live it to believe it.
Let me start from the beginning. My name’s Dana. If you looked up my birth certificate, it would say Dana Michaels. My social security number was given to that same name. Ask anyone who’s known me — and there’s plenty — I am and always have been Dana.
Except, that’s not entirely true.
If you read my diary from when I was in high school, you probably already know my story. But just in case it’s been a while or you don’t know me, let me catch you up to speed. I grew up in this really overbearing religious home. Whatever you’re imagining, double or triple it. It was that bad. I even got sent off to this overzealous religious boarding school, because I wasn’t “good enough” in my mom’s eyes.
Hmm. My “mom.” I wonder where she is…
Anyway, at school I met this guy named Jason. Ah, Jason. Such a sweet guy. He was my first boyfriend. Well, first real boyfriend, since the transformation. When I first met him, I was still a guy.
I wasn’t originally born Dana.
He was into philosophy and studying world religions. Taught me a few new ideas I hadn’t heard of before. Naturally, I got curious. With so many beliefs, so many possibilities, what was real? What was really out there, spiritually-speaking?
Was there only one God? The Christian God? Were there other gods and goddess too, like in Hinduism and other large and ancient religions? Were any of them real?
So I decided to do a little make-shift ritual. I laid a blanket out in the woods, lit some candles, said some chants and prayers… and fell asleep.
I met a god — at least, I assumed it was a god — in a dream. He said he was real, and answering my call. I wanted him to prove he had any real supernatural power. So I told him to manifest my dream girl into my life. Maybe he misunderstood me, maybe I worded it wrong, maybe he was just trying to teach me a lesson. But when I woke up — suddenly I had become the dream girl I had just imagined.
I woke up as Dana, the girl I am today.
But he didn’t simply transform me right then and there. No. He completely re-wrote history. Changed my parents. Changed my birth. Made me start life as a girl. Suddenly I had all of her memories — “my” memories — from this new history. No one around me remembered the old male me. Everyone always knew me as Dana, the girl.
The old me had been erased from existence, just like that. This new version of me, the girl, took his place.
I mean, I still consider myself “me.” Same basic thoughts and feelings. Same beliefs. Same curiosity and wonder. But there were some changes, too. For one, obviously, I found I was attracted to boys. That was a new experience for me. But eventually, when I stopped fighting it, I found it all too easy and natural to settle into.
Another new experience for me was the surprise enjoyment I got from making myself look pretty. I liked painting my nails — both fingers and toes. I had my girlfriends show me how to put on the right touch of makeup, really highlighting my features and making me look so cute and pretty. I liked how it felt when a guy checked me out or gave me compliments on my appearance. It just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I wouldn’t say I’m super fashion-savvy, but honestly, I do spend a little more time trying on different outfits than I’d care to admit, too. When I was a guy, I really didn’t all that much about my appearance. My attitude used to be, “hey, I’m wearing clothes, people should be happy.” Now I see clothing and makeup as an expression of who I am.
Will I dress slutty or conservative today? Airy and flowy, or conservative and business-like? Bright and colorful, or muted colors so I don’t stand out? Honestly, it all depends on how I’m feeling that morning. And who I’m going to be with.
I feel a little more “domestic” than I used to, too — I actually find cooking and a little light cleaning kinda fun. It’s the instant gratification of seeing the results of your work. This room was messy, now it’s clean, and I did that. That makes me feel good. Or food — okay, I’m not the best chef in the world — but I love cooking now. It feels creative. Mixing ingredients and spices, combining different foods, making a meal out of miscellaneous scraps and leftovers. I rock it in the kitchen.
But don’t let a guy hear me say that. I’m so sick of men expecting women to be a certain way.
Just because I have breasts and a vagina, doesn’t mean I want to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen all the time. It doesn’t mean I don’t have a mind of my own. Or my own hopes, dreams, fears, and feelings.
Here’s a tip, for any guys reading: girls are people too, and we just want to be treated that way. Love us, and we’ll love you back. Period.
I won’t be with a guy who treats me like a slave. But if a guy’s genuinely nice and appreciative of me, I’ll gladly cook and clean and do stereotypically feminine stuff for him. Joyfully.
But don’t think I’m just a stereotypical girl, though. I still play video games, I love reading super hero fiction, and I’m pretty good with computers. Some girls — ugh — some girls are such morons and ditzes. Completely helpless. Completely useless, if you ask me. They need a guy for everything!
“Help me open this jar. Help me do my math homework. Help me turn on my Mac computer. ” I swear, these kinds of girls set the women’s lib movement back 50 years. It’s the 21st century. Women can be just as good as men. Do anything a man can do. And better.
In fact, we can do everything a man can do — and more. Men can’t have babies. Men can’t breast-feed. And although I “hear” it’s possible, I have yet to meet a man who claims he’s had multiple orgasms.
In today’s world, I think it’s better to be a woman. We can wear anything we want. Do anything we want. Express ourselves however we want. We don’t need men for anything. Well, not survival or anything, not like a 100 years ago. It’d be a lonely world without men. I don’t mean to imply they’re useless or anything. Far from it. I love men. Men… relationships in general… dare I say it, it’s cliche, but “love” is what makes it all meaningful and worthwhile. Without that — well, life just sucks.
All I’m just saying is, women are equal, or in some cases, even better.
I get the best of both worlds. As a girl, I can wear anything, do anything, be anything I want. I’ve even got my own career. I’m actually a high school philosophy teacher. Imagine that. And yeah, it’s not the biggest paycheck in the world. But I enjoy what I do. I make a difference in kids’ lives.
And except for that once-a-month thing where I feel like total shit for a few days, being a girl rocks. I love it!
So anyway, where was I? I do tend to get lost in thought sometimes. Oh yes. So I got transformed — well, technically, “reborn” as a girl. History got changed. And here I am. Obviously, some of my internal thoughts and feelings changed along with my new body, but overall, I feel I’m pretty much still the same me. Who I am in my heart, in my soul, is the same. It’s just who I am to the outside world that’s totally different.
It took some getting used to being a girl at first. But once I let go and learned to embrace it, I started having a lot of fun.
Especially when it came to boys.