Addison D’Marko

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I'm here to stay

LWD:  What is your name and age?
Addison:  My name’s Addison and I’m 21.

LWD:  Where are you from?
Addison:  Prince George, BC. Born and raised, minus a year that I spent in Alberta.

LWD:  What pronoun do you use?
Addison:  They-them.

LWD:  Describe who you are today in 3-5 adjectives.
Addison:  Sassy, intelligent, driven, and stubborn.

LWD:  How are those different than from when you were a child or a teenager?
Addison:  In my teens I was mostly just stubborn and antisocial.

LWD:  Why was that? Why were you antisocial do you think?
Addison:  Well, for my teens, at least the beginning of them, I was in mainstream high school where I ended up getting death threats every other day just for being open as a homosexual male. While there was no way I would ever come out as trans. But, thankfully, for my last two years of high school I left mainstream education and went to alternate education and it was the complete opposite.

LWD:  Can you describe your family dynamic growing up, please?
Addison:  Immediate family? Like my mother and her partner, Awesome. Compared to extended family such as grandparents and other: a bunch of redneck people that are not very open to anything.

LWD:  Can you tell me about the first time you realized you might be LGBTQ+?
Addison:  I knew as soon as I was old enough for daycare. I knew that I was not within my group of people, immediately. And it’s like, wow, I’m a little different.”

LWD:  So, with understanding that about yourself, how long would you say it took you to come to terms with that and be able to accept yourself for that?
Addison:  That took a really long time, I hid it for about 13 years before I started to just realize, I needed to actually embrace it to find my happiness.

LWD:  Did you ever hide your true self, and if so, can give me an example of what that was like for you?
Addison:  Yes, I hid as a trans, or being non binary, I hid as a cisgendered gay male for years just because I knew it would be easier and more acceptable within my own home.

LWD:  How did you come to a place where you felt comfortable coming out to those around you?
Addison:  Thankfully after high school I moved away  for a year and met some people who truly did not care how I identified and just accepted me for who I was at face value, and I realized that, I could actually step out of my comfort zone and embrace who I was!

LWD:  What struggles did you face in the years after you came out, if any?
Addison:  Well, disowning the majority of my family was probably a big one because I have to just accept the fact that they were close minded people and they were never going to get past the fact I was anything but biologically male.

LWD:  Have you, over the years reconnected or have any of them grown to accept Addison? Or have they remained estranged?
Addison:  Everyone that I’ve cut off has remained cut off.

LWD:  So is that a large number of people where you are now in Prince George?
Addison:  Yes, the family that is amazing for me is like halfway across the world. (laughs)

And my mother who encourages me to be as queer as possible.

LWD:  Does your mother live in Prince George.
Addison:  No, she currently lives out of town which is okay, but we see her every couple weeks.

LWD:  In hindsight, would you have done anything differently?
Addison:  In hindsight, I should have disowned them a solid 6-9 years before I did. (laughs)

LWD:  What’s your reasoning or your thought process behind that?
Addison:  For many years they even just hated the fact that I was anything but straight. Really, if I had just cut the ties with my blood family I could have been happily out and me for so much longer and even transitioned at a younger age.

LWD:  What is your cultural background?
Addison:  A mix of Danish and Canadian

LWD:  Did either of those have an influence on you as an individual throughout your younger years?
Addison:  I’d say not especially, I mean, culturally I guess the only thing I guess it affected was how I spent holidays.

LWD:  So, what do you love about the person you are today?
Addison:  Well, the fact that I don’t care about what other people think, but most of the time I’m here, I’m here to stay, and I’m fabulous.

LWD:  What does it mean to be living an authentic life?
Addison:  You know, go out every day and be me and not hide any part of it.

LWD:  Was there a defining moment that enabled you to step into your authentic self? Or a series of defining events?
Addison:  Moving away had a big part to do with it. I mean, I met an amazing friend who continues to this day to just support my transition so much. Who like, you know, messages me, asking me how it’s all going and then I ended up being with a lover that was getting fairly serious and I realized I couldn’t continue to live my life as a fake gay male. (laughs)

LWD:  What did that lead you into?
Addison:  Yeah, it lead me into moving home because I knew that at least in my hometown we have a transgender clinic where you don’t have to travel to another city just to get the right medical care.

LWD:  That’s amazing, I didn’t realize that Prince George had that.
Addison:  Yeah, we, our clinic covers from Quesnel  north and all of Northern B.C.

LWD:  That’s amazing, that must be so wonderful to have that resource at your fingertips.
Addison:  Oh it is, and the doctor is so great.

LWD:  What happened when you decided to shed your disguises and step into your true self?
Addison:  I lost 98% of the friends I had, coming back here I though at least I would have my usual net of people (laughs) no, not all. That was one of the biggest mistakes in coming back here, I really should have stayed with all of my friends that I made in Alberta during my year. So, that still haunts me a couple years later, where I’ve just got a very, very close-knit niche of people versus a bunch of people that I can see whenever.

LWD:  Have you, through the last couple of years made new friends in Prince George?
Addison:  Some, but it’s definitely been weird because I’ve never, since I came back, identified as male or like any of that. There are people who think that I’m a cis, gay male and I’m like, “What did I do wrong?” (laughs) “How are you so confused?”

LWD:  How do situations like that affect you emotionally?
Addison:  It’s just really, really confusing, ’cause every time it happens I’m at a stage where I think everybody knows me as “they” and Addison, and those times when I don’t get that it’s just like a huge slap to the face. (laughs) And sometimes I do hermit for a while afterwards and process it.

LWD:  What tools do you use to overcome those situations?
Addison:  I will use humor or just try to change the topic, but I get really introspective.

LWD:  Where do you see your future? What do you see happening next for you?
Addison:  Well, I’m still supposed to be writing my next book. (laughs) But, I don’t know where it’s gonna go or even if I will finish it as a novel or portray it through other media, so, everything’s just generally on hold until I finish my transition in about a year and a half.

LWD:  What sort of response did you have to your first book that you wrote? Addison:  I would say that my response has been pretty well. People thankfully found my twisted humor in it (laughs) but honestly, you write a book about paralysis, you think it’s going to be all dark and sad. Really, I made fun of all those dark, sad things because that’s who I am. (laughs)

LWD:  What’s your next book about? If I’m allowed to ask.
Addison:  Mmm, The next one is supposed to be based off of my PTSD experiences, just a fictional rendition of my PTSD flashbacks. And how those dark, scary, sometimes fearful moments can be turned into something beautiful. Or really messed up.

LWD:  Who do you choose to surround yourself with?
Addison:  That’s a really good question. (laughs) Majority of the time? Nobody. But, I do have a select few people here.

LWD:  What sort of characteristics about them is it that you’re attracted to, that make you want to be friends with them, that makes you want to maintain a relationship.
Addison:  Open people, people who are just trying to overcome all their hardships and are still trying to smile through the day.

LWD:  Is there anything else that you think is relevant to your story that you think you’d like to let people know about?
Addison:  Well what really matters is being open and clear and having a select group of people who just love you unconditionally.