This is a story of my life. Hopefully, it inspires others to keep their faith in themselves and to know that no matter your age, it’s never too late to live and be who you are.
It was in the early 70’s, when I was around 9 years old, that I began to realize I related to girls more than boys. I didn’t know what sex was about and didn’t care to understand it. What I did know was that I liked to play with the girls more than the boys in the neighborhood. This may have been a time of “groovy”, liberal revolution but transgender people were not yet included in that “movement”…. not that I could have understood any movement at that age! I was merely playing with the neighbor girls, coloring and playing house. The truth be told, during this time, it seemed that there was only straight, or gay and nothing in between. No one understood transgender people or expressed any acknowledgment of what we were feeling.
Once I grew into my teens, I would try on my mother’s clothes whenever I was alone. Eventually, I was caught and I fully remember the shame that I felt. I didn’t truly understand why I wanted to or felt the need to wear panties. It was just pretty, and I felt “right”. Eventually, my mother caught a glimpse of her panties over the ridge of my pants. I still have a hard time talking about it! The first question from her was, “Why?”. That was a question that I could only answer in panic. “I ran out of underwear”, is what I said! Well, a short time later came the real question from her, “Are you Gay”? I wasn’t “Gay”! I was just doing what I felt was right for me. So, my answer was “No”. That was the last time we spoke of it. I learned from this to only obtain my panties from the dime store and hide them well.
Skipping ahead in years of constant purging and denial, I married a wonderful woman. My need, however, to be the woman that I really was, remained. That desire eventually was also discovered by my wife and the marriage ended. I felt so alone and society made me feel that I should hide. However, times were changing some and I always felt, I always dreamed of that one day when I could be happy.
I did finally accept my true nature at 45 years of age. I was surprised to see that I was not alone (my reason for writing this article)! It appears that there are many of us out there that were born and raised in a time that held us back. Even in current times, it’s very difficult, but there is some help! I know that there are many great people who have struggled so hard throughout their lives. To them, I want to say, “There Is Hope”!
Finally, I took the steps, regardless of my generation’s fear that had long been in my head. Five years ago, I made an appointment with the gender clinic. I had previously canceled it three times! I met with a doctor and was so nervous my perspiration was showing through my clothing! I had arrived in a conservative outfit, meaning a moderate dress with a sweater, and I was “WELCOMED”!!!!! They made me feel safe and comfortable and understood my fears. They openly accepted me as I appeared and were ready to talk and understand who I truly was. I first had to attend a meeting where they explained the effects, possible side effects, and health risks of hormone replacement therapy. Then, I had to meet with one of their doctors to evaluate how I felt and what would be the best course to follow. Another appointment was needed for a physical exam to assess my risks of using hormones. We discussed how I felt, my current health conditions, and it was ultimately determined that I should consider hormone replacement. I had no hesitation in my desire to be “ME”, no matter what! I was
While my life has since been challenged, it has been absolutely worth it! I had to take a job that paid much less, but they accepted me, and I am at peace with me….. finally!!!! I am a woman, it was not just a decision that I made… It is who I am!
So, I offer my encouragement to all of you who felt that they could never become “who they are”… THERE IS HOPE!!! Now, there are many who understand us and also many options for transition. Finally, you can live happily and feel fulfilled!
Now, I live as a woman, as I feel I should, and have been on HRT for five years. I’m in a wonderful relationship with a man. Still, I struggle with family. Yet, I know they love me! I continue to have regular visits to the clinic for checkups and absolutely adore all those that work there.
I fondly wish that you find inspiration or hope through this article. Just know that it’s from my heart.