Tracey's Transition Story

As I sit here I think about how far I have traveled the past few months and the changes I made.  I, like so many other Transsexuals, spent the majority of my day expending the majority of my energy hiding my true self.   I knew at an extremely early age I should have been born a girl.  The years of frustration and denial kept building and building to where I felt like a boiling pot ready to explode unless the steam was released.

I did the typical male things expected of me.  I engaged my high school sweetheart right out of high school.  Our engagement lasted 8 months.  Our relationship deteriorated because I was so close to telling her about my gender dysphoria.  I only explained the reason for us splitting this past year.  I guess I was finally woman enough to realize I was wrong and I hurt someone I cared about and who truly cared for me.

I never did make my appointment with Dr. Roger Peo, a renowned TS expert, active in the 1970’s and 80’s.  Again I could not face the fear of who I was. 

I graduated college and taught music in the public schools, joined the Army as a musician, met who I thought was my soul mate, got married, had a child.  I did everything I could to be a “man.”  I do not know for most TS, but I was actually very successful at being what people thought was a “man.”  I had a great career, a spouse who was a great homemaker, fantastic mother and successful career woman, a beautiful daughter who was Daddy’s girl.  We owned a house, had more money than we knew what we could do with.  Everyone thought I had the perfect life!!! Little did they know the pain and suffering I felt inside.  The sense of being “wrong”, evil, a freak and maybe even a psycho. 

I have dressed my whole life.  I remember when I was 4 years old my Mom coming into my sister’s room while I had on her “Cinderella Gown.”  Throughout my childhood and into adolescent my parents caught me many times with female clothes.  They never showed any care or concern spending their time berating and chastising me.  I learned he power of shame and guilt at such an early age.

As I said before, my insides were about to explode and I sought help soon after my spouse and I returned from Germany.  I contacted Dr. Lehne in Baltimore, MD for therapy.  He quickly diagnosed me as TS.  My spouse did not accept his diagnosis saying, “You would have not gotten married if you were a TS.”  The odd part is at this time she helped me shop and provided me the freedom to dress in our house.  I left therapy because of the guilt I felt for letting down my spouse and the announcement we were pregnant.  I felt a baby would “cure” me.  A few years later I sought therapy in the Norfolk, VA area and found one of the most capable and wonderful TS therapists in the area. 

The journey of self-acceptance was slow and sometimes painful.  I remember a saying I read a long time ago, “With every inch it is a cinch.”  I started taking many baby steps, continuously stretching my boundaries and even some of my thought processes.   The first step I did was to start removing my beard.  I joined a support group.  Eventually I started dressing and going out with fellow T friends.  Even though my steps were small each one freed me from the bounds of shame and guilt.  It soon became more painful not to move forward than it was to stay still. 

As I gained confidence my marriage slowly deteriorated.  My spouse did not want anything to do with a TS.  After 3 years of therapy it was time to start hormonal therapy.  I was so excited!  I kept my hormone therapy a secret since I was still living as a male.  I started growing my hair out.  My time out at Tracey seemed to multiply four fold and before I knew it I hated every time I needed to present my self as a male.  I felt such a feeling of loss when I denied myself the “real” me. 

After 4 months of hormone therapy I started a new job at a small, local, privately owned music store.  I made an immediate impact on the store increasing cash flow, student retention and sales. 

[posted 1-8-2005]