Donald Dyson

I came to Chicago in 1982 for graduate studies in Exercise Physiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation and then stayed when accepted for a position at Cook County Hospital, (Stroger), in 1984. I worked there from 1984 to 2014 and am now retired, though questioning if I wish to remain so. I am trans-masculine or as I knew it, a F-M transgender man. I am quite new to any community of LGBTQ+. I would suppose one would refer to me as living stealth mode. I am just exploring now how I want to fit into this world. Before coming to Chicago, 1978-81, I spent time at Aquinas Institute of Theology, then in Dubuque, IA where I studied the new faith that I had entered into during college. It is also where I began exploring sex reassignment really for the first time, not to mention the “fun” event of coming out to my parents. I had support of the priest who was my advisor as well as many of the community there with whom I was sharing this part of the journey. I also during this time explored the possibility of taking a formal private vow of celibacy. I never made a formal petition; however, felt that I had taken a private vow. I get into this here only to put in perspective where my journey has me now. I’ve come to realize that my celibacy had been a choice made more out of fear than for faith reasons and have only recently been exploring my sexuality, finding that now in my life, some 20 years after starting my physical transitioning, that I am more drawn to a gay relationship as opposed to the very straight man as I had always seen myself. So here I am, just having turned 65 this year, just a newbie to the thought of and early experiences of relationships possibly beyond the platonic. Scary stuff! Just to complicate my life, I have also had to deal with the deep depressive episodes that can accompany bipolar disorder. It’s been an up and down, pretty much continual struggle since college. All in all it only adds to the challenge of living and I’ve come to accept it as just another part.

Avatar photo