- Advocating for my Autistic sonAdvocate, 2013 - presentI practiced as a CPA for many years working in public accounting for other CPA firms, Private Industry for several companies and now am out of work suffering from severe depression, gender dysphoria and anxiety disorder. Currently I am advocating for my son full time making all the necessary calls and meeting with the school officials and attending all the meetings regarding his progress and evaluations. I am also working to try my best of building a client base as I am providing tax and accounting services and I do have a professional CPA website. I am also healing from my depression and am currently on long term disability with affiliation with AICPA and on Social Security Disability. I am a male to female pre-op trangender/transsexual and my name is Emily Iannielli and my birth name is Edward D. Iannielli III.
In Life all we can do is try our best to give everything the attention it deserves, to work hard enough to enjoy our accomplishments but not at the risk of our own health and to not lose sight of what is most important to us which is to insure the safety, security and financial well being of our family and the emotional support, encouragement and unconditional love we need to provide for our kids because they depend on us and we must set an example and try our best to be a source of strength and hope despite our imperfections.
I had a major life change, many in fact that all came upon me like an emotional tornado and completely uprooted my life at the age of 51 and now I need to rebuild it, heal, rely on my approved disability and spend my new found time to encourage and advocate for my son who is on the autistic spectrum. I need to dedicate myself to my son's situation and figure out a game plan that will assure our son's ability to find his niche in life and give him the tools he needs to draw from within to be his best. I have learned how much my son means to me and I will be the first to admit my weaknesses but I also can teach myself to find it within himself to accept and embrace his uniqueness and start to believe and move forward as I have in my own personal life. It is a testament to my parents that I learned to fight for what I feel is right for me. As selfish as that may seem you must realize that it is an absolute impossibility that 100 % of all born boys feel they are boys and that 100 % of all born girls feel they are girls. How could that be? If that was the case then that would defy our individuality and uniqueness. It is a mathematical and a psychological impossibility for this to occur throughout time. It is more common that most transgender individuals are born male and transition to become female. It is not uncommon however for some girls to feel they were born the wrong gender.
Logically speaking there has to be allowance for occasional conflict with one's birth sex and one's gender. I can tell you that when I felt good expressing my femininity and desiring dressing in girl's clothes it was a legitimate need and that need was consistent and intense and it was up front and center in my mindset all throughout my life. I just knew I was different but I also knew I was afraid and not comfortable with sharing my feelings with others. I always desired my own time where I could sneak and dress up. I just knew I was a "girl" and the sad thing about it is that we are told that we must abide by nature's designation of who we are, It is just not possible because Life is not perfect. It is what it is and that is the simplest way to express what makes some of us different and the real question I pose here is the notion of "normal". What does normal really mean. I will leave a link to try to understand but I believe it is a construct of what has been ingrained in us by societal view and that in my book is not reality.
My tone in this writing is very serious because suicide is a real major problem today given all the stresses we encounter in life and now with a depressed economy that seems to be nowhere near where it has to be for our quality of life to improve there has to be organized leadership that realizes the severity of a real fundamental problem in our country which is the very real fact that most people are working harder and harder and in most cases both parents are working just to pay their bills while their children suffer because the time spent with them has significantly decreased. Our lives have to revolve around healthy influences rather than the day to day grind causing enormous stress and making life seem more painful and our times to enjoy ourselves as a family are artificial in this notion of family vacation which is just a temporary fix. Also if you took a pulse of most vacations now are becoming more as if it is a luxury that most common families simply can't afford because they are just barely getting by. More and more people are dying younger because of these stresses and my major concern is what will life be like for our children which should be a major focus in our lives because we can not rely on Washington because our economy has collapsed with a poor job market resulting in more and more families coming apart at the seems and the quality of life is getting weak which over time can prove fatal if things don't change for the better. We as a society must learn that we will continue to struggle unless the markets stabilize to hopefully provide some degree of stability back in families lives and address the fears and concerns of normal hard working families helping to reduce the stress and thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness.
I'll tell you one thing that's going to scare you and make you realize that for some of us who struggle for whatever reason our emotional pain truly can be life threatening. I am not playing games or mentally incapacitated. What I am is severely depressed for many reason and if I am pushed to the edge due to the every day struggle and loss of hope because my financial situation has become a major concern in carrying on to care and provide for my family. I literally feel the need not only to structure a plan to survive potential or imminent job loss or forced retirement as a sign of the times and society's view of those who are considered "different" or just plain crazy. In fact I feel very much like an outcast due to a largely discriminating view of life and what it should be and our ability to cope under all the stresses of active, busy lives where we are forced to make sacrifices.
Just think this out and trust me that I am not advocating this but I am speaking from my own personal experience. I am struggling with depression all my life in addition to knowing I lived with a painful secret of knowing something about myself that no one else knew or could know because I hid it so well. In fact I feel I could go to Hollywood to win a lifetime achievement award for my acting spot on as a guy when in fact i was always a "girl" crying and wishing for better days ahead. There are some families who are barely getting by and have exhausted their savings and are just miserable. That my friend is not living. It is suffering and although we are struggling to survive we must try to realize what life is like in poor countries. All of these sobering realities just make me want to just get away and go back to a more simpler way.
I am a CPA licensed in the state of New York and I am a dedicated professional. I have my website which I will proudly display here which I was able to build with the support and dedication of the Intuit team. I am now coming to terms knowing I need to recover having suffered from severe depression leading to a complete emotional breakdown brought upon by job loss, foreclosure threats, the tragedy of my dad's suicide 4 years earlier where he shocked us all by throwing himself into the path of a speeding train. The hardest thing I had to confront as I tried desperately to shield it from my son who knew and loved grandpa for the first ten years of his life. When he asked me the hardest question, "Why doesn't Pop visit with me anymore?" I literally had to hold back my tears and try my best to tell him that his grandfather was very sick and God reached out to him to bring him to heaven's pearly gates so he can rest and no longer be in pain.
I know my son's struggles for his reasons which are different from mine so I need to fight to go on to help him in his life and serve as his advocate. We need each other to survive.
I knew I was transgender since the age of 4 and tried desperately to get the help I needed and only started seeing a therapist for a couple of years to talk about my transgender issues and desire to transition to become a woman in my early 30's when I felt lost in the aftermath of my mother's tragic and painful death as she lost her will to live and decided she had enough and refused to be connected to feeding tubes.
My dad, a proud ironworker who worked on the Verrazano Bridge in the early 1960's and the World Trade Center in the early 1970's was on the bridge there front and center on the Verrazano bridge on a cold windy October day back in 1963. I believe in my dad's attempt in trying desperately to pull his coworker up screaming to God to give him the strength to pull him out of danger he was consumed with grief but my dad had lost two fingers in a previous job related accident and weighed only 135 lbs as he tried to pull his friend up with all his might but it was futile because of his friend's size and in a moment of time he felt his grip of his friend loosen and my dad was about to go over too but the quick reflexes of a fellow ironworker pulled him back and managed to safely keep him in place. My dad witnessed the tragic fall of his friend which truly devastated him. The job site halted operations to do their investigative work. My dad was so shaken up that he drank away his pain at a local pub shortly after the tragedy and that was the beginning of his severe depression and battle with alcoholism.
My spin on that famous movie line: "Life is like a box of chocolates, You never know what you're "gonna get, unless you look on the back of the box to see what's on the "inside"." As interpreted by Emily Iannielli
We all find life to be a wonder, a joy and a miracle. The sad part of life is we all must have some pain to bear and that sometimes becomes too much and sadly I have felt like I had enough but my life is not about me anymore. It is about my son and my family. I have to be strong for their sake.
Please never judge one harshly just because they are different.
All I ever wanted for my own happiness as a small kid was to wear a pretty dress and Mary Janes and be accepted by my family, my friends, my teachers and by my classmates. Simple as that but our society has not addressed the health, welfare and need for the transgender individual or for that matter the struggles of autistic children that grow into adults. I have to try my best to teach my son to try his best, believe in himself, love himself, and become the man he will grow into with maturity, happiness, dignity, self respect and confidence and find the passion he needs so he can make his mark in the world, even if it is within a 5 mile radius. Just love and accept himself for who he is and never let anyone tell him otherwise.
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityMechanical Engineering, 1981 - 1983
- Nassau Community CollegeEngineering Science, 1979 - 1981
- Hofstra UniversityAccounting/CPA track, 1984 - 1985