Share Your Story
Posted November 9, 2001
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I have struggled with gender identity dysphoria for all of my 48 years. At age
4, I knew that I was in the wrong body, but in the 1950's and attending a
Catholic school you didn't breech this subject. All during my time in school,
from elementary through high school, I was continually ridiculed and picked on.
My three years at high school proved to be a nightmare. Right off the bat,
everyone gave me the nickname of "Karen." I was humiliated and even considered
I made it through those years and joined the U.S. Army thinking that my gender
problem would go away and I would finally learn how to be a man. I was totally
mistaken. Every unit that I was assigned to considered me gay. This was not a
label to have while in the military. I even had a Command Sergeant Major offer
to pay for the hotel room and the girl if I would get "bred." I didn't and
shortly thereafter, found my wife while on a tour of duty in Korea.
Six months later, we were married, and I figured that all of this would finally
go away. It didn't, and it only intensified, because now I had a female living
in the house with me, and I wanted so much to be female. My daughter was born
nine months later and I immediately aquired the maternal instinct in regards to
her. If she coughed wrong in the middle of the night, I sat up in bed and went
and checked on her. The marriage finally ended in divorce, and I raised my
daughter from the age of four until she left home in 1997 and joined the
Less than a year after she left home, I began the process to change gender. I
started my transition in August of 1998, and I have no regrets. I no longer
live a lie, and I work as a proponent for gender rights and gender education in
the Kansas City area. I have been able to feel bigotry and discrimination
firsthand and have been reduced to living on $80.00 a month General Relief from
the State of Missouri and food stamps. I have been unemployed for 14 months and
have no idea when I will ever have employment again.
All of this because I "dared" to change gender and live as I knew that I
should. I have learned that I have far better friends around me now than I did
when I was living as a male, and I would never want to go back to that
miserable existence that I had been sentenced to since birth.
When I was born, my genitals looked normal to the naked eye. However, when I
was only five years old, I knew that I was different from everyone else. I am
the eighth child in a family of 10 children. By the time I was eight years old,
I started feeling like a little girl and couldn't understand what I was
feeling, thinking, acting like.
When I was 14 years old, I started bleeding through my male penis. I went to
the doctor, was examined, and had a lot of blood work done, and that's when I
was diagosed with Klinefelter Syndrome. I have been blessed with two extra
female chromosones; my hormonal screen shows that I have XX-XY. The doctors put
me through all kinds of tests and physical and emotional stress. They
prescribed me testostrone, thinking that that would be better for me in my
later life. Regardless, I started to blossom into an undeveloped 38b chest.
On July 29, 1980, I underwent two radical mastectomies. Then, after the surgery
I was still questioning my sexuality because I was still feeling like a female.
The doctors told my mother that she made the right choice to have my chest
removed. They did surgery—a half moon is under and through my nipple areas.
I have little or no sensitivity there anymore. When I turned 18 years old, I
started dressing like a female and passing as a female. To date, I am virtually
a female trapped inside of a man. I want to have my SRS as soon as possible
because at the age of 15, I lost a big part of my gender identity.
On November 24th, I will be marking my 37th birthday, but I won't be totally
happy due to not knowing when the real me will emerge. Until then, I
will not stop holding onto faith and hope, and I know that with God, anything
Thank you for reading my personal story!
My name is Barbara. I am a 52-year-old cross-dresser. I am married (25 years)
with two children. I started cross-dressing when I was around 12 years old.
This all started with my mom's or my sister's panties and bras. I still to this
day do not know what made me do it, but something inside of me was telling me
to do it. The feelings I got from doing this were wonderful and exciting but
also scary (remember, this was around 1961); young boys did not do this. I did
not want to be a "sissy," but those feelings and the sensations I got that day
would never leave me. The feel of the bra and those silk
panties were almost too much for a 12-year-old boy entering puberty.
Over the next few years I would dress as the chances would appear
(until I outgrew mom's clothes and sis had married and moved away). As the next
10 years rolled on I did not dress as I was too busy just getting through high
school and dating and building hot rods, which was my first passion.
Then in 1975 I met my wife-to-be. We were married in 1976. I went about my
manly duties working, being a good husband, building hot rods. Then one day
that urge returned, and I tried on some of my wife's clothes, and they fit. All
of a sudden Barbara was back (I have always been Barbara; it just took many
years to understand that). This went on for a few years until my wife lost
weight, and I found it for her. So Barbara took another long rest.
During that rest we had two wonderful children, a boy and then a girl. Now it
is the early 1990's, and my wife finally found that weight she lost back in the
early 1980's, so I could dress again. Then all of a sudden in late 1999 Barbara
wanted out (she is very demanding), and I had also discovered the Internet and
eBay. Barbara could now buy some clothes for herself.
By June of 2000 Barbara was acquiring a nice wardrobe complete with makeup,
jewelry, shoes, wigs etc. I was now having a problem
storing all of her clothes. A section in my garage was given to
store Barbara's stuff. This too was a problem. When I could get a
chance to dress I had to dig out clothes and take them into the
house, then when I was finished take them back out to the garage.
I was also starting to get careless, leaving items out.
So in July I made the decision that I had to tell my wife. I had also found
Crossport, the local tg support group here in Cincinnati. This turned out to be
the best thing I had done in a while. They advised me to see a counselor to
help me with how to go about telling my wife and to deal with my new gender.
After four visits she said that I was ready to tell.
So on a Sunday afternoon in late August 2000 (the kids
were gone for the day), I sat her down and told her about my
cross-dressing. This all came as a tremendous shock to her. For the next two
weeks the tension was unreal, and I expected to come home from work and see my
bags outside. (I had hoped all along that after 25 years and the fact I am a
good person and that I love her very much would help.)
Then one night after leaving some friends' house she turned to me and said we
will work this out. It is now Nov. 2001, and we are closer now than we have
been in 10 years. We do more together now, sex is much better and more often,
and we talk a lot. We had not realized how apart we had become.
Barbara Sue now has her own closet in the house for her clothes. I
know my story is special, as not all have this happy story, so I
feel very lucky. But we still have a long way to go as my wife does not really
care for this part of me, and she does not want to see
Barbara (hopefully some day), but she is trying real hard to
understand. She does admit that I am a much better person now
(it is amazing what fear and stress will do to a person), especially
after I have been out as Barbara (and Barbara does go out quite often).
She even let Barbara go to Erie, PA in Nov. 2000 for the Erie Gala 2000 put on
by the Erie Sisters. This was my first transgendered event, and it was great.
Three full days and nights of being my feminine self, meeting new
"girlfriends," seeing and doing things. We went on tours, we shopped (which I
love to do, as a woman should), we went to night clubs, and we were treated
wonderfully everywhere we went. It is such a high when being addressed as
"Ma'am" or "Ladies" (especially if you have not been made).
My personal high was on the first night when I went into the hotel bar looking
for the girls, and I was not only the only tg girl in the bar, I was the only
girl period, and one of the old men at the bar gave me a smile (I wonder how
many beers he had to make me look good). I already have my reservations for
Erie Gala 2001.
I do not know what the future holds for Barbara but as of right now she is a
happy girl. Each day my feminine self grows and matures. I do not want to be a
full-time woman (50% of the time would be nice), as I still love being a guy
(building my hot rods), but I love the feminine side of me, and I would never
trade that for anything.
When I am Barbara I am a woman!!! I try to act, walk, think, and do all things
female. I love being as feminine as I can be. I also love it when a man holds a
door open for me (that adds to the thrill of passing). When I pass another
woman on the street or in a store I look at her not as a man eyeing a woman but
as a woman looking at another woman, judging her hair, makeup, outfit, etc. I
am not ashamed to ask a woman for an opinion about an outfit or shoes or
whatever. I have never had another lady not help me. I have had them ask me why
I do this but that is all, then they help me.
I have the best of both genders. I personally think that this is a wonderful
gift to us (the transgendered), as it has taught me to treat people with a lot
more kindness and to take a different look at things in general (I am not
nearly as judgmental as I once was). Now if we could just get society to accept
us (so we must empty the closets of all the sisters in hiding and get out in
public and be seen).
My only advice for anyone that reads this is be true to yourself and
accept who you are, and I can only hope if you can come out, work
with a counselor who specializes in working with the transgendered
community, and if you do decide to tell your spouse then having
the counselor as a reference will help. Never stop telling her (your wife) that
you love her, and both of you must talk about it. I
hope my story has been fun for you to read and not boring, but most of all I
hope it gives someone hope and courage to come out of
that closet and chase that fear away.
Hugs to all my sisters,
I am a transgendered person who was born a male, and now I am female. To
clarify, I was born a male, not a man. And I didn't become a woman, or turn
into a woman; I already was. I only became female. It is really so very simple.
The words "man" and "woman" are emotional terms. Male and female is just a
What genitalia you were born with is no indication of who you truly are. And
the correct words in my case are important. Because I was born with a birth
defect that carries a powerful stigma. I wasn't intersexed, a hemaphrodite, or
what have you. I was born male, so some people think I have no excuse. That's
why up front people have to know when you change your sex you don't become a
woman or a man; we're born that way anyway, just sometimes our bodies don't
match, and we have to fix them so they do match our true emotions and
In my case the whole story is bittersweet, but I am extremely lucky. I had my
surgery when I was 24, in 1984. I started hormones when I was a teenager and
was very naturally feminine even before that. But I paid a terrible price to
become who I am, namely growing up a feminine male. To say I was tormented
endlessly my entire life in school, until I finally had to quit, is an
I am white, but I know all too well what it means to be a minority. To be hated
because I was different. I was the designated sacrificial lamb, as are millions
of "different" children who are in school now. There was almost an unspoken
rule that it was okay to be completely inhumane as long as it was against a
person like me. Something that still goes on in our schools. Something that
must be stopped.
Yet as terrible as it all was at the time, I got to see vividly how shallow
most people are. When I "bloomed" and became who I really am, I went from being
hated to having doors held open for me. I could be the nicest "different"
person and be treated like crap, and I could be a bitch and get some modicum of
respect because I'm a woman and blend in or fit the "norm."
But it is so important to start when you are young. I knew something was wrong
with my body from the time I remember being alive. I heard about "sex changes"
when I was about eight years old from a book and felt a new hope in my life.
I even had to see a school psychiatrist when I was in fifth grade because I was
so feminine. Ironically, my tormentors were never questioned. But I still think
about the few sessions I had. How if society had been different back then I
could have just leveled with the shrink and told him I'm a girl. Then my mother
would have let my hair grow out, move me to another school or state and let me
live the way I was supposed to. I would have avoided all the future years of
hell I had to go through. No more children should be sacrificial lambs.
Emotional pain gives you character, but it can also break your spirit.
As I said, I have been lucky. No one knows about my birth defect unless I tell
them. Being born extremely feminine and starting female hormones so early
helped me tremendously. I modeled most of my 20s and early 30s, and having
looks has been a cushion that has helped me a lot in my life, as superficial as
it may sound.
Unfortunately, in the early 1980s I had my surgery done by a less than skilled
doctor in Galveston, Texas, and my vagina does not function. I have lived this
way since 1984 and have never been able to save enough to have surgery to
repair what the doctor did. But I am the way I was supposed to be at birth. And
I would do it all over again even if I had to end up with the flawed physical
results I have now. I have no choice.
And that's what millions of people go through every day. Our emotions are not a
choice. Who we are, who we love, are not a choice. If everyone knew this,
especially the bigots and closed-minded among us, the world would be a better
place. No one would have an excuse to be a rotten person in regards to people,
whether they are gay, intersexed, transgendered, or what have you.
I am a married male (married 18 years) with two beautiful children (6 and 9). I
have made choices in my public life that have been greatly influenced by
traditional male/female roles. I resonate with much of what I have read of the
previous postings of males in similar roles. What stands out most are two
comments that at an early age other males have sensed that they were different.
I dreamed and had fantasies very early of being a girl and dressing as a girl.
It was a strange but comforting feeling of being who I truly was.
In elementary school I found myself wanting to join the "other" girls in their
typical girl activities: jumping rope, playing with dolls, and fulfilling those
societal expectations of being a girl. Instead, I suppressed those thoughts as
best I could and fulfilled the expectations of my family and society and lived
as a boy. In my teenage years and into adulthood I occasionally dressed as a
female in private (my wife knows nothing of these desires).
Clothing is so much a part of society's gender stereotypes, and this fed my
fantasy of someday being the woman that I believe I was meant to be. I too
prayed at night that I would wake up the next morning as a woman. The
disappointment as I looked beneath my pajamas every morning became routine. I
often thought about leaving home, disappearing from my family, my community, my
life to begin a new life as a reassigned woman but could not bring myself to
the point of abandoning my family to fulfill this longing. I knew that it would
tear them apart if I shared with them my true feelings of my female identity. I
chose to live with my secret rather than risk the lose of any or all of my
Dressing up is not a part of my life today, although thoughts of being a woman
are. At times I am overwhelmed by very real sensations that I have breasts, a
vagina, and ovaries and that my penis and testicals are gone. I cherish these
times and indulge in the fantasy of the moment.
I no longer believe that I could ever be satisfied with gender reassignment
surgery. My longing is not to be reassigned as a woman but to be a woman. I
long to have ovaries, to have a womb, to give myself to a man who I could love
completely, to give birth. I also know that the effect that a gender
reassignment would have on my wife and children, my ministry, and my community
would be devastating, so my choice is to live as I am.
I have been a transvestite since puberty. For some reason I get sexually turned
on by the perception that I am somehow feminine. Growing up I was predominantly
heterosexual. I liked women and male-to-female transgendered persons. At age 23
I started to become sexually turned on by men and lost the ability to be
sexually turned on by women. For the next five years I was in denial about
being homosexual. Through all this time I was depressive, from early childhood
to into my mid-30s.
I was fascinated by transvestism, transgenderism, sexual and gender identity. I
was reading all that I could find on these subjects and psychology and
sociology, including autobiographies of transexuals. After reading these
autobiographies, I thought I had very much in common with these people. For a
week sometime in my early 20s I started to become extremely sexually aroused
and was elated anytime I thought I was somehow thinking feminine thoughts or
behaving feminine. And when I wasn't or was resisting, I started getting
stomach cramps and feeling really bad.
After almost a week of this, following a long walk, I found myself convinced I
needed to go to Sweden for a sex reassignment operation. On the way back I
stopped in the library and found a book on addictive behavior. In the book
there was a chapter on how sexual behavior could be addictive, and I realized
that I was sexually addicted to perceiving myself as being feminine and snapped
out of it.
Since then I have been careful in not letting my transvestism take over my
life, even though every once in a while I spend a bundle on women's clothing
that I don't wear often and buy transvestite porn. I know I am a male person,
but I have met a number of transgender persons, and I believe I have a
understanding of what kind of suffering they go through during their lives and
the relief that transforming their bodies to match their identities helps to
I was three years old when I argued with my mother to please stop dressing me in boys' clothes because I am a girl. I was very sure of who I was and just couldn't understand why my mother thought I was a boy. I, of course, had no idea that having "that thing" was what had her convinced I was male and not female.
Oh well, I would like to tell you that she totally accepted me and allowed me to live my life happily as the girl I was from that point forward. Fat chance! I found myself put into a boarding home, and although my mother divorced and married several times, moving from city to city, I always seemed to find myself back in a boarding home as soon as I talked again of being a girl or exhibited feminine behavior such as standing with one hand on my hip or something like that.
When I was eight years old, one of the grown men in the home I was living in discovered I considered myself female. His room was next to mine, and one night he invited me in to watch a TV show "Oh Suzanna" that was on past my bedtime. For the next two years, he told me I was his girlfriend, told me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me, and, every night, he would use me sexually.
Somewhere around age 11 or so, I stopped talking about being a girl, and my mother took me back to live with her. I decided quickly, after being beaten up constantly going to school, in school, and on the way home from school, that I had to keep it to myself and make myself "tough." After all, wasn't this what "guys" did? I just wanted to try to fit in and forget all about that "silly" stuff about me being a girl, although I knew it to be true. I took martial arts classes for years and became part of a Special Forces team, joined a motorcycle club, and took just about every woman I could to bed—all in an effort to prove to myself and to the world I was a man.
The problem was, it didn't prove anything to me except I really was a girl pretending. The thought of this just angered and depressed me more. I had been married once, had three incredibly wonderful children, and was miserable. I married again. The marriage was fantastic, yet I couldn't stop wishing I could just be the woman I was supposed to be, and I continued to pray every night to wake up as the woman I am.
In December of 1997 I just couldn't take it anymore. I told my wife who I am and that I needed to do something about it, or I didn't think I could continue to live. She helped me and along with a great group in the Philadelphia area called Renaissance, I was able to get the help I needed, therapy, hormones, support, and, after a couple of years of transition, my SRS by Dr. Brassard in Montreal in January 2001.
I can now state, uncategorically, I am a very happy woman living in Philadelphia with my life partner, as the woman I was always supposed to be.
Perhaps this isn't the proper forum for a comment such as this, by a person
such as myself. After all, I am a "normal" (insofar as that term applies to
anyone), single-gendered woman. However, after reading the comments posted
here, I feel compelled to add one of my own:
To those of you who feel as though you will never be able to have a meaningful
relationship with a person of the gender of your choice, don't lose heart.
There are those of us who are perfectly willing to accept love when it comes
along, regardless of the size, shape, or original configuration of its owner's
genitalia. It may take us a little while to adjust to the idea (intersexuality
not being something most people ever think about), but, never doubt, we exist.
Really and truly, it's just like every insecure adolescent hears at some point
or another—it's what's inside that counts.
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