My life began at 7:03pm PST on June the 25th 1971. Before birth the doctor told my mother that based on the size, positioning, and heart rate she was going to have a girl child. When I emerged from the birth canal and the shout rang out that “It’s a boy” they couldn’t know how wrong they were. The doctor was right about the sex of the child despite all appearances. Though some cruel joke of nature I was born with the body of a male.
My early life has always been hazy. Pictures of a mountain and of course the vague childhood memory of the troll that lived on top of the refrigerator :-). I ate like a horse as a baby of a week old I was eating 8oz of formula every 4 hours. Shortly thereafter the pediatrician told my mother that it was ok to start me on baby cereal. Another quirk of my young years was that I was perfectly happy to sit alone and I had the capability to blend into my surroundings. When my mother would try to locate me she had to search every inch of the yard visually. The necessity of this was due to the fact that I would sit perfectly still and not respond when she called out to me. I also had a knack for climbing chain link fences. Once after climbing one I was found hanging from the seat of my pants from a nail on the end of a pier. I was screaming my head off or so I was told.
My earliest memories that I can clearly remember were of feeling wrong. How I was wrong at that time I didn’t know. I also remember seeing the girls playing, walking, talking and feeling left out. I remember sitting in bed praying to God to make me a girl. Wishing that I were a girl. Feeling anger that the girls were girls and I wasn’t. I also remember loving my family.
Fast forward a few years.
As a young child I didn’t fit in with either the boys or girls. The boys teased me and picked on me mostly due to the feminine traits that I unwittingly demonstrated. The girls just thought I was weird and didn’t want anything to do with someone like me. So I was a solitary child. Lots of hanging out in the woods and with the children others called geeks. The so-called geeks didn’t care about how you were just that you were usually. School was boring to me and as a result I didn’t get the best of grades. I would generally already know the subject and so had a bad habit of not doing the homework. Computers held an attraction to me. They did what you told them and could be or do almost anything you wanted. They were the closest things I had to a true friend as a child. I got into many fights as a child in school and was generally anti-social. This isn’t to say I picked the fights but somehow I always seemed to have a knack for getting one someone’s wrong side.
Outside school I was always different. I always wanted to be the mommy in the games with my sisters. I never wanted to be the daddy. I played dress-up with my sisters and so this was my first experience of dressing. I loved it but I was intelligent enough not to tell them or anyone else about how much I liked it. Don’t get me wrong here. It wasn’t a feeling of sexual excitement. It was for me becoming a girl however superficially. Yes I remember going into my mother’s closet and my sister’s dressers and getting clothing. This I believe was their first open hint that I dressed as a girl. It seemed that my mother and sisters had some magical way of telling someone had been in their clothing drawers. I now think it was simply a matter of my leaving the clothing in disarray. As a child due to the problems at school and the lack of good friends I spent a lot of time alone. Walks in the woods, riding my bike, and a lot of reading.
This wasn’t a bad life but it doesn’t lead to a person who is good at making friends (I later remedied this).
By this time I knew what I was. I had seen the Christine Jorgensen Story on TV. I knew what my goal in life would be. I have not wavered from this goal. Suddenly the world opened up for me. Something could be done about the condition I have lived with since my birth.
Shortly thereafter we moved overseas. I lived in Athens Greece for 4 years. I loved it over there and have no regrets about living there. During that time I received a bad report card and after the threats of what another bad report card would mean a situation arose. I reported my parents for child abuse hoping I wouldn’t have to go home to them to deal with the consequences of my actions. Needless to say I did go home and after a trip to Germany for a psychological exam I was diagnosed as hyperactive. I was put on Ritalin and my concentration improved. And my grades did as well. I was on Ritalin about a year before my parents had me stop taking it. After returning from Germany I was also grounded to my room for a whole summer. The affect of this on me finally made me almost have a breakdown. It got to the point I was sitting in my room hearing the other kids playing outside and I just knew if I had to spend another minute in there I would have just given up and died on the spot. Happily this didn’t happen. But it was a precursor to my teenage years.
After returning to the US from Greece I entered the dreaded teenage years. As a teenager I was angry and sullen. My sense of wrong-ness with my body deepened with puberty. The changes to my body horrified me. The body hair that sprouted from my arms and the peach fuzz on my face saddened me it was a deepening difference between myself and the girl I knew that I was inside. Girls just didn’t have hair on their face. I took up shaving which I deeply detest doing now. This facial hair wouldn’t be a 5th so bad if I hadn’t done so. My voice changing was sickening to me. Loosing the sweet girlish sounding voice I had as a child sent me into deep despair.
This all made me angry with myself, with my friends, with my family, and with humanity in general. This led to me doing the things teenagers do to rebel. I lied, shoplifted and broke into houses not to steal but simply to snoop around. The things I did were a cry for attention. And attention I received in spades. I got caught at both but instead of being charged with the crimes I was sent to counseling. During this time frame my parents caught me with a slip on under my shirt and pants. When this came up at counseling I wish to god I had told the therapist the truth. I wish I had screamed that I was a transsexual.
I still kept what I knew myself to be to myself. I didn’t want to hurt my mother any more than I had. The therapist I don’t believe was fooled but I believe he felt my wearing girls clothing was a fetish thing since the only other experience he had with the situation was a member of a rock band who wanted to wear a woman’s blouse when he performed. This wasn’t anywhere close to my situation and I believe it was part of what caused me not to tell the therapist my deepest darkest secret.
After a year or two of this type of behavior I decided that this wasn’t going to make the slightest difference and just stopped. I lied only when the lie was a white one. I quit rebelling and integrated myself into the family again. In school I made several friends. I still got into occasional fights though.
When I turned 16 I was in Tennessee going to a local high school when in class someone gave me the bird. I promptly returned said bird and the teacher happened to turn around and see it. For some reason she believed that I was giving the bird to her and regardless of my protests that I was giving it to another student she sent me to the Principal. He didn’t suspend me he did something much worse. He gave me in school suspension. This is where a student from 8am to 3pm sits in a class room and do nothing but sit. We were not permitted to move, speak, read, or basically do anything. To a hyperactive person this was a living hell. I endured a day of this and during the second day I went to the principle and told him to suspend me or I would have to quit school. Well he decided not to suspend me and I dropped out of high school. I tried for a time going to a private school but the cost of that made it so once again I had to withdraw.
When I quit school I got a job working for an elderly gentleman. He wasn’t decrepit but full of vitality and life. He is the closest thing I can remember to a real father. The job I got was as a night watchman and I had a cubbyhole to live in. This area was heaven and the first place I could feel relative safety in having women’s clothing in. The job had some mechanical areas and as such they bought old clothing in bulk. Many of these items of clothing were perfect for a teenage girl. I had slacks, blouses, dresses, skirts, shoes, basically your average teenage wardrobe. At night I was all alone unless someone came on the property which was highly unlikely.
The old man taught me much about myself and I think he had a suspicion that I wasn’t totally male. He when I first started working for him asked me if I was gay. He asked me for sexual favors which of course I told him no. I don’t think he was actually interested in having sex with me. I believe then and still do that he was testing me to see if I was gay. He never pushed the issue. I went on many trips with him and on these trips we talked about ourselves and about the business he was in. The old man taught me a lot of the facts of life. How to make a business deal, how to hire people, How to fire them if needed. He also setup my first sexual encounter. Something he said he did for all of his boys (he had several sons). It was a clean encounter and was with someone he knew and not a prostitute.
I would generally irritate him in some manner and every month or so he would fire me for a week or so. Then one day he would pop up as if nothing had happened and we could continue right from where we left off. This was good stress relief for both him and me. The old man eventually trained me in my first real profession.
One time my mother came to visit me at my job site. Well that day one of my fellow employees went into my cubbyhole for something and found a bra in my sleeping gear. He and the rest of the employees teased me about it mercilessly. It came out later that they thought I had a girl friend in to visit me and she left it there. But when they teased me about it in front of my mother I quit and stormed off. About 30 minutes later she comes to where I am about a quarter of a mile away and asks me what was wrong. She tells me what they thought and I with a very red face walk back and apologize and ask for my job back. My mom by this time understood what I did but we hadn’t actually discussed it.
Later on I got fired once and it was time for me and the old gentleman to “Part company”, as he liked to put it. After a week or so and he didn’t reappear I had to go out looking for a new job. I ended up at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. I was a steward at the hotel, which basically meant that I did the dishes. This job really and truly stunk. I didn’t remain there long but soon thereafter went into the navy.
Boot camp wasn’t bad at all and I got though it with relative ease. The one trick that I learned there was to sleep whenever the chance presented it’s self. We did what we called tweaking the bunk. People not currently doing anything would go under their beds and sleep. Someone would keep watch and when the drill sergeant came in holler “Attention on deck”. When we heard this every one of the sleeping recruits would pop out from under their bunks and snap to attention at the end of it. One night after the drill sergeant popped in one of the Hispanic members of our company said we looked like a bunch of cockroaches scurrying around in the kitchen when someone turns on the light at night Every had a good laugh at this.
One of the things I seriously hated all of my life was to be pushed into a corner with no way out of a situation and during boot camp something like this happened. I ended up foaming at the mouth cussing in very foul language. The situation resolved it’s self at this point. I don’t know if they were teasing or if I had scared them and made them think if I snapped that they would have gotten into major trouble. This has only happened once in my life and I hope it never happens again. During boot camp I also received my GED.
After graduating boot camp I was transferred to the “A” school at Great Lakes naval base. The school nothing really there to talk about. But while attending the school I did a lot of volunteer work at Children’s Memorial Hospital. This gave me a love for children, which I still hold today. Volunteer work consisted of talking to the kids, entertaining them, assisting in minor medical procedures such as bedpans :).
I went to another school after this in another location. At this school which I purposely leave blank I did fairly well. However during the school I had summoned enough courage/desperation to buy a female outfit. Rather than risk it in my barracks room. I decided that the woods behind the barracks would be the best place to go. Little did I know but these woods were under constant surveillance. A bit after I entered the woods I got dressed in the outfit complete with blouse, a pretty pink skirt, panties, and bra. No sooner than I got dressed than I heard voices and saw lights moving around. I sat there stunned for a moment and then darted for my clothing. About this time I heard the dog. Yes dog. They had a police dog with them, which at the first sign of movement they released. There I was fully dressed and my clothing in a bag in front of me a dog chewing on my ankle. I of course start screaming in pain and as soon as the shore patrol get to me I find out the dog handler was one of my school instructors who personally knew me. I started screaming the first thing that came into my head. “Did she send you that fucking bitch?” I instantly came up with a story about a girl who promised to have sex with me if I would wear these clothes she gave me. I was taken to the shore patrol headquarters and shortly there after photographed in the outfit. After they had the photograph of me they made me stand at attention still not in my own clothes. A bit later a van arrived to take me to a naval hospital. At this hospital I was interviewed by a navy nurse then a navy shrink. I again like an idiot denied everything. I stuck to the story I had given the shore patrol to the letter. This I think kept me in the navy though not for much longer.
I was of course transferred from the school. They listed me, as failing the class even though in my record under the whiteout was a score of 3rd out of 17th in the class and a 92.23 average. I didn’t argue the fact much. After the school I was assigned to a ship and here I met another man I would seriously consider calling father. He liked me I guess and took me home to meet his wife and took me fishing. I was on the ship when I also met the man who ended up getting me kicked out of the military. He told me the first day I was on ship “I am going to get you busted” well it took him quite a few attempts but once he succeeded it wasn’t too much longer before I was kicked out of the navy.
I was discharged from the military. So I went home.
When I arrived home I started working for the elderly gentleman once again and things were great for a time. A female co-worker eventually queried me about the incident where they had found the bra in my sleeping area. We got drunk and when another co-worker left I told her everything. She was wonderful and even assisted me with a full makeover. And later on she took the pictures on my web site. A year or so later I quit. I was worn out and this was the last time I worked for him.
I got a job at a computer store. The owner I called at the time friend. I worked for him for over a year and finally it got to the point where I quit. I was still in the angry with the world mode. I hinted that I thought I should just leave if he didn’t like how I did something and he said, “Well maybe you should” so I did.
I went to work for another computer store. At the time I was still in the closet. A year or so later the computer store started an Internet business. I suddenly found out that there were a lot of people just like me. I at the time hung out at a site run by Cindy Martin and in her wonderful chat room. After a couple of months Cindy’s ISP decided that she was using too much bandwidth and shut down her chat. I persuaded Cindy to let me host the chat on my bosses’ server. This presented a problem. If my boss discovered that I was visiting transgender sites things might have gone badly if he didn’t know about myself.
So that night I wrote him a letter telling him all about Susan and baring my soul to him. It ended with the following. If this changes nothing between us then come and pick me up the next morning. If it did change our friendship then it would be best if I found another place to work. Well needless to say while he was shocked he came to pick me up. I have worked for him ever since. He has met Susan. Since then I have come fully out of the closet there simply could not be any more hiding. I told my family, friends, co-workers, and anyone who asked.
Generally those I have come out to are supportive. Some have been uncomfortable about discussing it but still support me. No one has given me a really bad response and I am a still friend with those whom I have told. Sometimes especially with the females an even closer friendship exists now. To most of the females I am now one of the girls.
After this I started Susan’s Place. It was originally just a chat but a very active one. Since then it has grown and grown.
Fast forward three years. I have begun counseling in order to begin HRT. I intend to be on hormones before June 25th my 29th birthday. Hopefully a year there after I will set a firm date for SRS. I am seriously planning on starting an online journal of which this will be the basis. There are too few step by step chronological journals of the path though this momentous time. I will probably also be presenting this to my therapist so that she can better understand my life a bit better. I hope you enjoyed reading this and that it gave you some insight into my personality and my life. Comments or suggestions feel free to email me and lets all just be ourselves and not let anyone force us into being what we are not.