A Little Bit About My Story

My story arc follows a similar path as many other trans-persons, but of course it differs in some ways.  As a kid, I discovered that I liked being a certain way that was associated more with “girl” than “boy”.  I liked a lot of the same things that boys liked, but I also really liked Barbie dolls, doll houses, and cute clothes.  One category of interests and activities was “allowed” and the other was frowned upon (fortunately, I had a grandmother that would make grandfather get me barbie dolls and doll houses.  I enjoyed them more than I ever let on).

Some activities were bittersweet to me, as I liked the activity, but didn’t like having to engage in them as a “boy”.  As an example, swimming pools and beacheswere two of my favorite things.  I liked being around water and in the sun.  But as was culturally expected, I would be shirtless along with my male friends.  I  would watch the girls, with their bathing suits that covered their tops, and I would feel very exposed.

I was raised Baptist, so there’s that.  As I grew up, I became more interested in clothing and cosmetics, and personal grooming that were associated with girls growing up.  On a couple of occasions, I would mention something that I liked that was out of the gender norm.  The responses were not encouraging, so I stopped saying anything and got the message that I needed to keep these kinds of things a secret.  I was also under the belief that my thoughts and behavior were a sin.  This caused a great deal of anxiety because I couldn’t hide from God.

As I became a young adult, I became withdrawn and depressed.  I also began to overcompensate to put my feelings out of mind.  I began weightlifting to build muscle, I became a rah-rah Cowboys fan, I grew a beard.  As I reflect now, wow, just wow.  I was always unhappy and resentful as I looked around at everyone seeming to enjoy their lives.  I was not.  At the time I didn’t understand what was going on with me or how to process it.  In the 80s and 90s, the concept of gender identity was not discussed, except, unfortunately as a deviation in the context of sex work.

I married a very good woman, now my ex-wife, who I still care about to this day. During this almost 20 relationship, I started experimenting some with gender expression, although I didn’t think about it that way, nor did anyone else.  We eventually separated and divorced.  I won’t get into the details as it is a highly personal event.  But it was amicable and we have become friends. 

For the first time in my adult life, I was able to experiment more freely with alternative forms of expression.  I had a lot of platonic girlfriends and they and their significant others came to think of me as being “one of the girls” as opposed to “one of the boys”.  A lot of my friends (most, maybe) assumed that I was gay.  And I reached a point where I assumed I was gay.  It would explain a lot, I thought.

As the years went by, I became more and more agitated by my inability to process what I felt.  Gender identity issues finally started entering discussions in the mid-teens.  It was suggested by some good friends that I might be “gender fluid” or “gender non-conforming”.  Maybe this is it, I thought.  But that didn’t ease the discomfort either.  Now I know that I was only “fluid” out of necessity and I had a strong desire to conform to a gender – just not the one that had been foisted on me because of my biological sex.

In my late 40s, gender issues were pushing everything else out of my thoughts, so I finally went to a therapist.  Clearly I had gender dysphoria, but I was at an age that I felt like I couldn’t live my life in the way that I identified. So working with my therapist, I began to explore some methods for deal with it.  As time went on, it became apparent that what eased my dysphoria was to *live my life and interact with others in the way that I identified – female*.

This finally led to my first medical intervention when I began Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) at 51 years of age.  It would be an understatement to say that HRT has significantly and positively changed my life.  As I write this in July 2023, I don’t know what the future holds from a medical intervention standpoint.  But I do know that I am on the right path and that I have never looked so forward to the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read my little story! <3