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looking back at my life

This picture was taken when I was 16 and has only mildly been doctored through adding earrings and coloring the lips slightly. I was easily able to pass and when I dressed up there would have been no doubt that I was a girl.

There was no such thing as transgender back then and the whole idea that I might be a transvestite (which was the only term I knew) embarrassed me greatly because being an abomination was something I needed to distance myself from at all costs. However that pull towards the feminine, present from earliest memory, refused to be ignored.

Now I look at that period of my life with the kind of fondness that can only come from hindsight. My big secret had to not yet been exposed and had not exploded into something which would one day command my immediate attention. What I find remarkable is how infrequently I was able to dress as the house seemed to be always full of people which is why I so looked forward to the rare quiet times when no one was home.

In the Anne Vitale essay I featured the other day there was a section that very much stayed with me…

“In discussing Primary transsexualism, Person and Ovesey note that of the 10 non-homosexual transsexuals in their study sample, 9 showed no evidence of effeminacy in childhood. Each member of the sample was clearly identified by both male and female peers as a boy and was never referred to as being a sissy. They participated in rough-and-tumble behavior as required and did not engage in girls' activities any more than the other boys in their peer group. All 10 of the sample were socially withdrawn in childhood, loners who read a great deal, watched television or occupied themselves with private hobbies. Each of the sample admitted to being envious of girls and fantasized being a girl, but the authors note that none of the sample actually believed he was a girl”

The last two sentences pretty much describe me to a tee and I spent countless hours on my own working on my art or music. All of this undoubtedly helping me to distract myself from my gender issues.


Comments

  1. Absolutely stunning then and now. A great post. In retrospect, almost all of that applies to me as well. You always make me think – I like that. Thanks.

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  2. Agree completely with Rhonda: you look(ed) very feminine and pretty. And, like you, those last two sentences summed me and my feelings up accurately. It's like she knew me. It helps me to read this, to feel a connection to others with similar experiences and insights.

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  3. you are welcome Rhonda and Emma

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  4. In childhood a loner, socially withdrawn, read a lot and occupied myself with private hobbies -- how true.

    PS You would have made a lovely sweet sixteen, as in Chuck Berry's song.

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  5. ". . .but the authors note that none of the sample actually believed he was a girl”

    One thing I did learn transitioning that has helped me in all other aspects of life too, is to learn just how powerful our own minds are at shaping our realities. Luke Skywalker couldn't lift the X-wing fighter using The Force because he didn't "believe" he could. And Yoda tells him, "That is why you fail."

    Enjoying your blog. Especially the cliff-hangers like this one where you skirt so close to the truth without even realizing it.

    I didn't believe I was a girl, either. Well, for the first 52-years that is.

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