Oh, yes, I remember that day vividly; in fact it is my earliest memory from my childhood. I remember it darkly. Sadly for it was that day that I discovered a reality about me that would haunt me until now, 57 years later.

Bright, sunny, end of October 1960. I was five then.  I was headed to a kindergarten Halloween party. Mom didn’t drive.  There were no buses then, so our neighbor across the way was taking us to school.

I was in my Indian Brave costume. Simulated buckskin pants and tunic top with fringe. I carried a homemade bow and tomahawk that my dad made, sported some “war” paint designs on my face, and had (I suppose) a simulated eagle feather in my head band.

Mom and the neighbor chatted a bit as I reluctantly made my way to the car in my “stupid” costume.  Why was it “stupid”? We weren’t rich; mom went out of her way to buy me an authentic costume rather than throw something together from what was around the house. I should have been so very happy, but something wasn’t settled within.

I was dark in spirit. I should like my costume, but I was not excited. Why not? I didn’t know, but I just wasn’t.

I climbed in the back seat of the car to be greeted by the prettiest little girl ballerina I had ever seen in my young five years of experience.  In fact, she may have been the only ballerina I had ever seen.

She was perfect. Shoulder length blonde hair in ringlets, a pink leotard, tights, tutu, and dance shoes, and a typical (for that time) mold plastic mask held on her face by an elastic string around head.

And I was confused, so very confused.  Who was this girl?  Why was she coming with us to school? She wasn’t from our neighbor? I don’t ever remember playing with her.

And where was Fred, our neighbor’s son?  Why wasn’t he coming to school with us?

And then she spoke.  Only it was Fred’s voice.

“Oh my, this is Fred!” I realized. This perfect little girl sitting next to me wasn’t a girl at all. It was Fred, who was sitting there as if being in a leotard, tights, and tutu, looking as much like a little ballerina as possible for a boy was the most natural thing in the world for him.

And then I felt sick in my stomach. Then I knew why my costume was “stupid.” For a boy it wasn’t a stupid costume. It was a perfect boy costume, only I wasn’t a perfect boy.  I was a princess, a ballerina, the girl figure skater I watched on TV, the “mommy” when we played house. I really wasn’t a boy; I was a girl.

The Halloween party at school was horrible. Sally, and Gwen, and Nancy, and Joyce, and Kathy;  all of them were there in “girl” costumes. Being little girls they giggled, and squealed, and twirled and skipped; all living realities of what I knew myself to be.  But. . . .

I couldn’t join their group that day. And I wasn’t interested in being part of the boys group either.

Since that day until now I have been in costume every day.  For a boy and now a man they’ve not been stupid costumes.  They have been perfect male costumes, but me, I am not a perfect male.

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Charlene Victoria

The most important bit to know about me is that I have a very strong Bible centered Christian faith. I filter everything in life through that faith. But OH MY!! I am without doubt undeniably transgendered. Have longed for all of my Christian life and before that to be simply that girl (now woman) next door. Balancing these two life realities so that joy prevails over shame and frustration is the essence of my journey.

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21 Comments
  1. Kirra 1 month ago

    Yes , I know what you mean by the other people will never know the woman that made you a better man for Their benefit, yet they would never except that woman!! I think that is one of the hardest for me to wrap my head around! Its almost like a bad joke, or maybe the funniest of all time, that your never able to tell to anyone! Yea, I know the loneliness too!!

  2. Stephie Morgan 2 months ago

    Charlene, thank you for sharing your story. It reminds me of days long ago when I use to daydream about wearing the cute skirt and blouse uniform girls wore at my school. How I wished I could be dressed like them and hop and skip and play with them. I was stuck wearing the drab black boy pants and blue shirt. At that time I did not realize why I was so attracted to girly things. All I knew is that if my dad caught me not being a boy then I was in for a good spank. It took many years and lots of reading from brave sisters like you who share your stories that enabled me to come to terms with being a crossdresser and most likely transgendered. I am also a very spiritual and Christian person. I believe that God does not make mistakes but he does have a purpose for everyone. Some may say that I over rationalize but I do feel that i have not been cursed but blessed.

  3. dynette 2 months ago

    What in the world has taken us all over to this extent ? I know this addiction and its hostile take over of our (lives ?) We search for places like this so we can be validated and feel less sick ,,,and it feels good to be less sick . Can any of you write down any of the good points that this gurl has produced for you? How bout the bad ? All i do know is its one hella lonely life

    • Author
      Charlene Victoria 2 months ago

      Hi Dynette. Thank you for your perspective. Truly I find your candor refreshing though admittedly I was somewhat bristled at first read.
      I can’t agree that we search for places like this to be validated and feel less sick. Some may to be sure, but perhaps many are here as a means of managing a very real pain that is lodged for whatever reason deep within. Is this means of management any less valid because it is not medically prescribed than taking antidepression medication to manage ones depression “sickness”? Is one actually sick with depression or are they simply depressed because of . . . fill in blank. Is one then sick because they crossdress or are they simply crossdressers or as in my case TG?
      No I am not sick but I do consider myself “gender broken.” But I know many good people broken by other afflictions who are not sick, just broken.
      You are so very correct though in stating this is one lonely life. Without doubt it is. Why is that? I can’t presume to speak for others but for myself it is because my brokenness is so very difficult for the vast majority of my circle to understand, comprehend, accept. And that’s OK because I can say confidently that I don’t score 100% in any of those categories when it comes to myself. So I keep it to myself for reason too numerous to address here.
      But along comes CDH and here I find a tool, not to cure or even manage my sickness, rather I find a tool to manage my loneliness.
      As far as the good that “this gurl” has done for me; it is vast but unseen because it is my inner man. Without a doubt this “gurl” has provided opportunity to grow closer to the Lord as I have had to lean into Him heavily to be all the man to so many when I so often don’t want to be but that others are counting on me to be to and for them. Without this “gurl’s” presence in my life I am sure I would have a much more selfish egotistical man than I am even today. Ironic isn’t it that this “gurl” whom most would cringe at meeting has made me for them the very man that they have grown to love. And yet I suppose they will never know the “gurl” who helped make the man for them.
      Ah yes, there’s that loneliness again.
      Dynette again thank you for your poignant post. It was the perfect catalyst for these thoughts that honestly I would ever have brought together had you not taken a moment to write.
      Blessings
      Charlene

  4. Bernadette Monroe 2 months ago

    Me too it was Halloween Charlene
    I had to dress as a French maid to go with my friend at the boys club
    for a Halloween party. I’m 5’6″ and my friend is 6′ . I din’t want to do it at first but my friend told me it’s Halloween and nobody cares if u dress as clown a cowboy or a maid Halloween any costume is ok
    So I went and I was shy for people to look at me. Night goes on and after awhile I had a short skirt on and I got a few pinches on my checks , u know what I mean and we dance and I got my checks felt and rubbed , guys had a few beers and were getting a little carried away. Anyway I had to drive back to my friend’s house because he had a few drinks. When we left his mother saw me dressed and smile and waved good bye. I turned red from blushing.
    Anyway I admit that after awhile I really enjoyed the attention and the pinches and the feeling of my ass and thighs. O well
    since then I feel naughty sometimes u know what I mean.

  5. Stephanie Cross 2 months ago

    Thank you for your story Charlene. I too can relate to that grade school time when I would have more
    friends that were girls than guys. I always looked for them each day at school to see what they wore and how nice and pretty they looked. I envied them. Then I started my own collection of girl clothes at home when in my preteens and thought I could look almost as good as my 3 favorite girl friends. It was great to finally get to dress like they did.

  6. Sonja smith 2 months ago

    Charlene i can relate to your story i too am of a strong christian faith and i know that God know thatt i love him and he also knows how badly i long to be a woman

  7. Ashleigh 2 months ago

    Great story! Thanks for sharing from your heart. I still to this day, envy the women I see for what they are “ allowed” to wear. I too, wear my male “costume” and wish It could be different.
    Well done you!

  8. Author
    Charlene Victoria 2 months ago

    Thank you all for the many encouraging comments. I am blessed by your understanding.

  9. Cori Lostineyes 2 months ago

    Youre also a writer!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. megan edwards 2 months ago

    I can relate also. I always loved the little skating skirts the girls wore at the skating ring.

  11. Rose Turner 2 months ago

    WoW ! Verrrryyyy Interesting.

  12. Felion Thomg 2 months ago

    Near Vegas

  13. skippy1965(Cynthia) 2 months ago

    Love your story Charlene! We never really did Halloween in my family growing up but I can identify with your experience nonetheless.Thank you for sharing!
    Cyn

  14. Ashley Elizabeth 2 months ago

    Thank you Charlene you have given words to many of our thoughts and feelings – including myself – as we grew up and as we still live today. You are a beautiful person.

  15. Wonderful story. I can totally relate. I remember Halloween so many years ago – seeing the teenage guys dressed as girls and so wanting to be them. Wished so much I was them. And knowing no one could know how I felt. I feel for you hon, and know what it felt like.

    April

  16. Gisela Claudine 2 months ago

    It’s a beautiful story, Charlene. Really touchy. It reminds me of some solitaire games I used to play then.I invented female characters to mentally occupy their places or take them from children’s stories. Although I did not spend much of my time on it then, it led me to develop the Gisela that today occupies a preferential place in my life. Thank you for sharing it.

  17. Stephanie Rigoni 2 months ago

    Beautiful story Charlene that so many of us can so relate to. It’s so difficult to wear the wrong costume every day, but we do. Let me know if you find that pink pill!

  18. Hope Clark 2 months ago

    Sweet, Charlene, thank you for sharing this tender and illuminating moment of yours. One person of faith you another, you are loved and beautiful.

    Hope

  19. Khloe West 2 months ago

    A lovely and thought provoking read.

  20. Stephanie M 2 months ago

    I can really relate to wishing I could be one of the girls as a young’in

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