07/16/2012 11:53 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

My Transition: Finally Living Right by My Soul (VIDEO)

I have written an extensive history of my life, yet I have not written solely concerning my transition. So let's do that here.

My story really is a sub-story within our little world. I am one thread of the spider's work that built Small Town Security, and it is a huge, elaborate, beautiful web.

I grew up in a military family. My dad was a flyer in the U.S. Air Force, my mom a proper British girl. I was raised with dresses and pink, dolls and lady-like manners. I have an older brother who did all the cool stuff. I was dubbed the "sissy" because I was a girl. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said "an astronaut," my mom insisted that I should want to be a nurse or something girls would do. I made wooden guns and swords and played Cops and Robbers, jumped bikes, and played football at recess. I wore dresses until I could get away with pants, then I just wore dresses on special occasion.

I trained for the military through JROTC and C.A.P. and felt like I was treated equally and not as a girl. I went to university and studied psychology to find out why I did not feel right in the world. I went into the service and found the politics to be too much for me and left. I got married and had kids, trying to live as a woman. I always had to defend myself to others, without provocation, due to how I felt I was perceived. I tried to convince myself I was normal and a woman: "See? I have kids and a husband." Then I woke up... I knew who I was, but I was afraid of it. Who would accept me? Would I be able to accept myself?

The process of realization and acceptance... I surrendered my life to me, just me, no one else, not God, not society, but me. Right or wrong, it is what it is, so live it! Honest and real, no fakery or falsehood, just me living as me. (Others think otherwise, that the body rules, and that you should live as what the physical is). I say you are your soul, and regardless of the physical wrapping, live your soul. Soul is ultimate truth.

I want humans to accept each other as they are, and to accept themselves as who they really are. I put myself out to you to say: Be unafraid, and live right by your soul.

Humans are not as intolerant as it is believed. Only fear brings defense of self, so if you do not present a threat, you will be met with respect. Most where I live and work are not threatened by me, so respect is well in place.

Watch a clip of Dennis facing five-year-old, pre-transition footage of himself confronting a conservative Christian on a local cable-access talk show, from Small Town Security:

Small Town Security airs Sundays at 11 p.m. ET on AMC.