My entire family was out for the evening and as soon as they left I ran upstairs and raided my mother's closet. Back then she even owned a wig and, although it didn't really suit me, I perched it on my head regardless. One of her dresses, a pair of her heels and one of her fall coats were also borrowed for the occasion.
I remember stepping out into the crisp autumn evening and walking for several blocks with mixed feelings of excitement, dread and freedom that would have me repeat this again and again. These little adventures would remain secret and sporadic for the next 25 years.
Looking back it was all so dramatic and as I write this I almost can't relate to why it had been such a big deal. Sometimes it just takes a long time to learn. I don't have the photographic evidence but the memories will remain etched in my brain until I leave this earth.
While it didn't feel like it at the time, it was the first of many small victories that would ultimately gain me my freedom to be myself.