Author Topic: History & Experiences  (Read 4136 times)

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History & Experiences
« on: August 29, 2005, 01:46:04 am »
After I posted that last message yesterday, I was thinking about how long ago it was that I transitioned, had the surgery, etc.  My surgery was in August (I think) 1998.  So it was only 7 years ago; not as close to 10 as I was thinking.  I'm pretty sure it was August - so my "7 year anniversary" just came and went.  :)

Yesterday I read a review of a movie called "Different for Girls" where a TS girl wanted to forget everything that happened in her life before her surgery.  In a way I can totally relate to that desire.  I don't really make it a point to remember a lot about the transition - like for instance the date of the surgery.  Has anyone seen that movie?  Is it any good?

I believe that I actively started working towards transition when I was still in grade school.  I remember that I used to go to the public library and find any books I could about gender issues - and read them in the library so I didn't have to embarass myself by checking them out.  There weren't many; I'm sure I read them all, and if I remember right I actually hid them in the library so I could find them easily and they wouldn't get checked out when I was away.  I can't even remember the names of the books now; I think one was an autobiography - I remember a picture of the author looking into a mirror.

By high school I was really confused about life, myself, and of course the social scene.  I didn't understand quite where I fit in - and actually didn't feel that I fit in anywhere very well.  Almost all of my friends were girls - my best friend's name was Carrie.  I had one friend who was male, and ironically he is one of the few I still consider to be a friend today.  He was teased on more than one occasion for befriending me - and even accused of being gay.  He has always stood up for me though.

My parents divorced when I was 12; one of the reasons they divorced had to do with the fact that my step Dad was closer to me than he was supposed to be.  :(  By my sophomore year of high school I ended up in a foster home.  Well, not a state foster home, but really family friends who took me in.

So I graduated in 1990 and spent two years at a community college.  I tried to put the gender issues aside and focus on my studies.  I think I was actually bold enough at that time to check out a few gender related books from the college library at that time - but that's probably as far as I took anything.

After community college, I had an opportunity to spend a while in Austria with family friends.  I left with a one way ticket, and in the back of my mind had the idea that I wouldn't come back until after the surgery.  This was in 1993 - and I spent the summer looking for work, but I wasn't able to obtain a work visa until a company sponsored me.  They were reserving work visas for refugees from Yugoslavia (I think?).

So I spent the summer there, and the time away from my "real life" gave me a chance to think about myself.  I returned home with resolve that I would really put effort into solving this gender problem.

After I got back in 1994 I decided to go to University.  It turns out that being in school during transition was a really good idea.  I was able to get "free" counseling because the University offered it to the students.  In addition, I changed my name, and really did all the necessary ground work that was required for surgery.

I mentioned that I did most of my transition time while working for the police station (dept. of public safety) at the University.  I'll talk about that more later - it was quite a trip!

I graduated in the summer of 1998, and had surgery that same summer.  Obviously the surgery had been planned for quite some time prior to graduation.  I think originally it was scheduled for late 1999, but since it was paid for they were able to bump it up fairly quickly.

After surgery I went back home, spent some post-graduation time looking for work in my hometown until I was offered a job in Seattle.

Moving to Seattle has really helped me to get away and live my life without my "past" life interfering with what/who I am now.

I just wanted to get out the details now - I'll write about the more interesting details later - like what it was like to transition while working at a police station.  I'll explain how I went through a year or so of spiritual introspection trying to figure out how to integrate newfound Christian faith with my life.  I ended up becoming Catholic.  :)  We tend to be spiritually sensitive - I believe that in my heart.

I spent time worrying about passing - and worrying about whether to tell boyfriends, and whether to be "stealth" or not.  I'll explain why I believe that the decision about being "stealth" is minor in relationship to the bigger issues of life.

Anyway it is getting late but it feels good to get this out.  I hope it helps someone.  :)

BTW does anyone know why I can't specify my picture/avatar in my profile?  It is being hosted from my blog at  If you're interested you're welcome to visit my blog at - it has nothing to do with gender issues though.  :)  Mostly it's for friends and family to find out what's going on with me - it's easier to post to a blog than to email everyone.



Re: History & Experiences
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2005, 07:02:20 am »
Hello Theresa,

Yours really sounds like an interesting story, and I can't wait for you to share the rest of it with us.  Have you ever thought of writing a book, as you seem to have the flair for it, and no doubt the material.

As someone who is on their journey, I find it fascinating, and insightful, reading about those who have gone before and successfully achieved their goals, including the ups and downs.  While it would be silly to hope that any of our transitions were the same as anyone else's, no matter how successful, it gives us the opportunity to compare, and think about how we are doing and what we could be, or should be doing.

Thanks for this,