By Mark McConville
MEET the transgender man who attempted suicide before his sex change but now helps those on the same path thanks to his 10.8K Instagram followers.
Jeffrey Rubel (25), from Atlanta, Georgia, USA, dreamt about being a boy since he was a child but didn’t start hating his female body until he reached puberty at the age of 14.
The AMC Theatres Supervisor only came to terms with the fact he was a male at age 22 after self-harming and several attempted suicides.
Jeffrey, who was born Jennifer, shares his story on social media to help others who feel like he did at his lowest.
“Transitioning has one-hundred-percent saved my life,” he said.
“Every day I wake up I finally feel like I belong in this world and have some kind of purpose. I share my story on Instagram and I love getting messages from people saying I’ve helped them get through hard times and inspired them.
“It means the world to me that I have been given this incredible opportunity to change lives.
“I don’t know how many people I’ve saved, but it’s more than how many it would’ve been if I was buried ten feet under the ground right now. It gets better and I just want people to know that.
“I resented my body because I felt like it was punishing me, but over time and after surgery I’ve come to realise that my body has given me this incredible opportunity to help and inspire others who have struggled with similar things.
“I still have several surgeries in my future, but I’ve finally reached a point where I can truthfully say I love my body.”
The aspiring cameraman and public speaker has so far undergone a double mastectomy to remove his breasts, as well as a complete hysterectomy to remove my uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and cervix.
He hopes to have phalloplasty in the near future, which is a three-part surgery, and will add to the five hours he’s gone under the knife so far.
He explained how he felt like a male from a young age and the depths his hatred of his feminine body drove him to.
“I can remember being not any older than seven or eight and going to sleep at night where I would have vivid dreams of being a boy,” he recalled.
“It felt incredibly real and I had this unimaginable sense of happiness, but as all dreams have to end, I eventually woke up, and every time I felt this huge weight on my chest as I realised I was still a girl.
“It was not until the age of 22 that I came to terms with the fact that I am a male and it was physically and mentally impossible for me to live in my female body any longer.
“I had come to a point in my life where it was impossible to see a future for myself. I had no life goals, as I was completely unable to live this life until the end as a female.
“I was cutting my wrists with kitchen knives in an effort to distract myself from the pain I was feeling in life. I was writing suicide letters and trying to hang myself in my college dorm room closet. I was standing on top of ten-storey high parking garages and trying to will myself to just jump.”
Jeffrey’s realisation saved his life but it was only the beginning of his journey and he described the hardest part of it so far.
“I think the hardest part about transitioning was coming out,” he added.
“I didn’t know how people were going to respond and I was terrified I’d lose family or friends. Luckily, I didn’t lose any family but I did lose friends.
“What I’ve learned though is those friends weren’t even really friends before because if they were then they would have supported me through the most difficult process of my life.
“I wrote a six page letter for my family and friends detailing that I was transgender and that transitioning was the only direction I could head in life.
“I came out to my parents at my last track meet of my college career, proceeded to graduate college, moved home, and began going to a gender therapist in order to acquire a letter to begin testosterone.
“After I started testosterone everyone in my life was using male pronouns and calling me Jeffrey, my preferred name.”
Jeffrey wanted to end with a positive message and offer some hope for those who find themselves suffering in the same way he did.
“I am confident in the man I am today,” he said.
“I love my scars, my story, and where I came from. If a magic fairy could grant me the wish of being born male I would politely decline.
“I feel lucky to be able to go through this experience of self-discovery. Being different is part of my identity now.
“Genitals do not determine a man or woman, your heart and mind do. We did not choose to be transgender; we are simply just trying to be happy. How can someone hate on happiness? Treat others as you would want to be treated, not ifs, ands, or buts.”
For more information see https://www.instagram.com/jeffreyrubel1/