Anathema would like to share something with you all "voi° ??????m?: Ok, this is really hard for me, but the questions just keep coming so... I'm going to sit down for this if you don't mind. I was born a soldier. I always had a rocket launcher but I didn't really know what it was for when I was young. Like most soldiers, I first had the "talk" with my father, where he explained that, when I was older, I'd meet an enemy pyro and I'd fire my rocket launcher at him and... well, you know. Gross, I know, but I guess every soldier needs that talk. Only... it didn't really feel right to me. You know? Like it wasn't what I was meant to do. What could I do though? So in my early teens, I did what was expected. I ran around firing off my rocket launcher at any pyro I could find. And believe me, I could find a lot of pyros. I wasn't getting any fulfillment out of it, but it was what was expected of me. voi° ??????m?: One day, it all changed. Some friends and I were attending a party and the demo kept handing out booze. Lord knows where he kept getting it. We all got pretty ripped and... well, my dad would hate me for mentioning this but... I tried on a lab coat. It was just a joke at first but then I... I put the gloves on too. And the shoes. Then, trembling, I lifted the glasses to my face. It was scary. But it was also the first time I felt... free. Like this was what I was supposed to be. After that night, I secretly began dressing as a medic and going to different hangouts, pretending to "heal" other soldiers. I got such a thrill out of it, but was still afraid of what would happen if my friends... or my parents... ever found out. So I lived two lives. A soldier in my everyday, common world, and a medic at night. Over the years, I became more and more convinced that I was a medic in a soldier's body. After I graduated high school, I finally got up the courage to tell my father. He took it about as well as I expected. I had so many bruises from the shovel, I couldn't even move for the next three days. voi° ??????m?: I didn't think he'd understand. How could he? His only son... a medic! We haven't spoken since then. Soon after, I began taking medical hormones. I wore my lab coat and glasses everywhere. It was all preparing for the big day. The day I would have my rocket launcher removed and a instead have a medigun grafted onto me. A lot of medics I've talked to said it was the biggest decision of their life. For me, though, there was no decision. This was who I was. I went to Thailand to have the operation. A lot of people think they just chop the rocket launcher off and that really couldn't be further from the truth. It's actually inverted during the surgery and becomes the medigun. It was exhausting and, once again, I couldn't move for three days. Afterwards though, I had the medigun... my medigun! My hormone treatments had me speaking with a German accent. I was finally... a medic. voi° ??????m?: It's been two years, four months, and fifteen days since I became who I was supposed to be at birth. I hope my story has broken down some walls for those of you who look at opposing medics and can only scowl in derision or stare in confusion. We're people too, just like you. voi° Pissmidget: zomg voi° ??????m?: :F voi° ??????m?: Thank you all for the support; leading this life is never easy, but it's good to know there's open-minded people out there. When a soldier I've been healing finds out I used to be a soldier, he can say some pretty hateful things. Like the M word... I mean, I know all the soldiers just kind of toss that word around jokingly among themselves, but you can tell when they actually mean it. "You maggot! I bet you want to shoot your rocket at me, don't ya, you maggot! Effing mag! Hey demo, don't let this "medic" heal you - dude's a mag!" It's just uncalled for. Yes, I heal soldiers and sometimes demos (most others aren't really my thing but I'd be lying if I said I'd never taken a walk on the heavy side...) but that's because I'm a medic and I've always been a medic - why is this so hard to understand? I've overcome so much and I have so much healing to give, but all too often, my ubercharge is left to dissipate into the empty air after the soldier I thought I was having such a good time with decides to team-switch. I always imagined it would be so much better than this. It's just very frustrating being a medic without a patient. voi° Pissmidget: i'm sure there are groups you can join or something" I'm sure you will join me in wishing Anathema all the best in this difficult stage of his life.