How many of us have asked ourselves that question? Most of us, I would imagine. Sooner or later all of us have to face the reality of our situations, and sadly, sometimes that reality is heartbreaking. The answer comes back to us, and it is............no.
For some of us, it is as though life has conspired against us. Deep in our hearts, we knew we weren't really boys, even when we were small. Oh, maybe we couldn't articulate it way back then, and if anyone asked us, we would say, "Oh yes! Of course we are boys!", but we knew! Deep down inside, we knew! There was just something about us, that was intrinsically different from every other boy we knew. We couldn't exactly put our finger on it, but we knew it had something to do with our dissatisfaction of having to live within the gender constraints imposed upon us. I still recall sleeping in my mother's red high heels, that for whatever reason she left sitting on my windowsill. I saw them sitting there when I went to bed, and I couldn't even think about going to sleep, until I had then on my own feet. I remember tiptoeing over to the window to get them. I didn't even try walking in them. I just carried them back to bed with me, and under the covers I slipped them on my little bare feet. They felt sooo wonderful! Like nothing I had ever felt before, and I wore them like a security blanket for the rest of the night! I wonder, how many real little boys would ever have done that?
We continued to grow up trying to think we were boys, but because we couldn't relate to other boys on a fundamental level, it made it hard to be one of them, but we had to be one of them, because no other alternative was allowed. We tried, but no matter how hard we tried, and God knows how hard we did try, ultimately we always failed. Our failings weren't glaring. We didn't stand out like sore thumbs. There may actually have been moments of masculine success, where we managed to put it all together just right. Like the time I struck out the side, three innings in a row as a little league pitcher, or later, when I joined the Army and became a soldier, and a squad leader in Vietnam, or later still, when I became an industrial electrician, in the all male maintenance crew of a large international chemical corporation, and eventually someone who planned the projects all of those men had to work on. But some how it never felt right. Some how I never felt like I fit in with all of those men, and God love them, while some of them were terrible brutes and buggers, many of them were nice decent men, but no matter how much I liked them, or how hard I tried to relate to them, I always felt a fundamental divide between us.
I wanted to live my life as a woman! I couldn't tell anyone, but I wanted it desperately! I wanted it so bad, but this was long before the internet, and at a time when knowledge of what to do, was the privilege of the few. Even the shrink I finally succumbed to seeing, because I couldn't stop crying, and who told me I was the first patient he had seen in his fourteen years of practice, that he truly believed was transsexual, couldn't advise me what to do. He wanted me to return for a fourth visit, but after I had revealed all to him, and he had no solutions for me, I saw no point in going back to him. I told him from the beginning, I wasn't interested in any long term psychotherapy. I knew who I was, and just needed help getting there. Gender therapy was obviously something that Richmond hadn't discovered at the time. Hard to believe, considering the population of the metropolitan area was close to a million people by then, but Richmond has always lagged behind Atlanta and Charlotte, when it came to modernity among the southeastern states.
Not knowing what else to do, I resigned my self to living with my gender dysphoria, and I tired to make the best of my life as I could. Relationships with women were totally eliminated. I just couldn't bare falling in love with another woman, only to be rejected by her, once she realized I wasn't really a man. I had been through that horrible pain three times before, and I was afraid a fourth time would be the end of me. So I immersed myself in my work. I thought if I took on more responsibility at work, I would could overcome my feelings of worthlessness. I applied for the position of project planner, and because of my seniority, I was chosen for the training. I breezed through the training, and after my test I was told by the training manager, that I received the highest score of anyone who ever went through he training before me. I went on to my planning assignments, with a false sense of confidence, buoyed by my test scores and subsequent compliments, however once I was assigned to a crew, I found out how little they cared about my qualifications, and how much they resented the fact that I wasn't one of the guys. Being one of the guys, meant going along to get along, something I just couldn't do. Men expect you to break the rules for them, but women are different. Women are rule followers, unless of course the rules are fundamentally unfair to begin with. Men don't care whether rules are fair or not, they only seek advantage, wherever they can. I just couldn't do that for them, so when I planned a project, I expected them to carry out my plans the way I laid them out, as best as they could. They never did. I would meticulously plan a project, and purchase all of the necessary fundamental materials, and they wouldn't use half of them, deciding on their own to take every shortcut imaginable, to get the job over with as fast as they could, so the could go back to sitting around, microwaving popcorn and chewing the fat. The job that had held so much promise for me, turned out to be just another big disappointment.
The resentment between me and the rest of the men was so great, that it actually began to amplify my GID. I was clean shaven at the time, and had been plucking eyebrows for a few years. My hair was also long. It was obvious to me, that whenever I had to meet with an engineer, a manager, a vendor, or one or more of of the men doing the job, they were uncomfortable being around me. This of course made me uncomfortable. Even though I've never been gay, I strongly suspected homophobia, especially since one guy told me point bank that I looked like a woman. I knew that regardless of my resources, which were sparse to begin with, I would never be able transition on that job.
I grew my beard out. I hated doing it. I hadn't worn a beard in over ten years, but it did seem to quell most of the absurd and irrational homophobia that many of the guys were feeling. It didn't however, seem to increase their respect for me as a man. I kept the beard, and hobbled through the rest of my career, until I reached retirement two years ago. In the mean time, my dysphoria, and the stress of my job caused me to take a lackadaisical attitude toward life in general, and I allowed my weight to balloon to 304 lbs. I didn't care, not until about three years before I retired, and I almost passed out at work a few times! When at my mother's one night, she checked my blood pressure. It was 185/95! That scared the living hell out of me! I was afraid I was going to die from a stroke, so I went to the doctor and found out I had developed type II diabetes. It was a wake up call, and I realized that important lifestyle changes were in order. I began to watch what I ate, and began a regular aerobic exercise program. I lost around eighty pounds, and got my blood sugar and BP back to normal.
For the last five years I have been able to keep it that way, but since I retired two years go, I also realized that I just couldn't keep up the full time masquerade. I'm 61 years old now, and my dream of being a beautiful young woman is long gone. I will never fully transition, but I refuse to give up on the beautiful young girl that still lives inside of me. She wanted nothing more than to be free, and she has suffered so much. I just love her so, and I feel so goddamn guilty for not being able to set he free. Now that I'm retired I want to give her every opportunity she can, to freely express herself. And why wouldn't I? I am her, and she is me.
Tonight I read Jenny's blog. I love Jenny! She is such a beautiful sweet honest woman! She wrote about her consultation with those who would be doing her GRS. They told her of three options: no surgery, cosmetic surgery, or full GRS. She wondered about option #2, since she wasn't aware of it. Basically it involved the creation of a clitoris and labia, but no vagina. At first she said she wanted full GRS, but later began to think about the advantages of option #2. You can read her thoughts here , but it brought home to me the importance of realizing that we don't have to all follow the yellow brick road, all the way to OZ! We are all women in our minds, regardless of what our bodies look like. We can take it as far, or as little as we like. It's all up to each of us to make that decision for our selves. Whatever that decision, it is imperative that we all support each other in it.
I'm so happy that this late in my life I have finally been able to make contact with like minded sisters, regardless of their current status, or final destination. I am an agnostic, so I don't profess to know who, or what God is, or even if God exists, but if he/she/it does, then surely God is far more magnificent than the petty sectarian creation that most religions worship. In the 60's, for the first time in my life I heard the phrase, that "God is Love! " I like that, and if that's the case, then God loves all of you, for certainly he/she/it knows the pain you have had to live with, and the suffering you have been through.
God love you!