My T History

The Early Years

Some trans people seem to have a defining moment when they realised something was different about themselves. For me, I cant remember exactly when this happened. Growing up I was a typical boy who was obsessed with Transformers, Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I loved running around the local park getting muddy with the other kids my age. I always felt like I was a bit of a misfit though, I never felt like I really connected or belonged with anyone. And while all my friends were boys, I usually found it difficult to join in with conversations and found myself being the silent observer, just watching the group (which I still do now). I always found it easier to socialise with girls, and throughout my childhood I did have some really good female friends on and off, but it was never as 'one of the girls', I was just a nice boy to chat with.

I cant remember exactly when I started being envious of girls but I think it started in early high school. I would see girls day to day and I would often wonder and daydream what it would be like to live their lives and wished it was me living it. These thoughts were strong and obsessive and on occasion caused me quite a lot of angst and frustration. I would often go to sleep at night and hope I would be a girl in my dream, or sometimes I would even go to sleep and wish that when I woke up I would have changed into a girl, even though I knew that was not physically possible. As time went on this frustration increased, and it wasnt until I moved away from home that I tried to really suppress it.

Of course I experimented with dressing up during this time, some stolen moments when I would get home early from school, or later on in life from work and no-one was in the house. But due to inexperience and a severely limited wardrobe I could never actually complete the look, which meant this was really unfulfilling. At the time I didnt know anything about what being Transgender was, the internet was in its infancy and there was certainly nowhere I could go to find out if there were others like me. If I had been aware of what was possible when I was younger and actually had the drive to go through with it, things would have probably turned out very differently for me.

I do remember coming across a few articles in newspapers and magazines while I was in my teens, that both increased my need but also my feeling of isolation. I remember reading a news story about a reporter who went through a transformation at the now infamous Transformation store, I was absolutely fascinated by this, and there was an advert in the back for one of their stores in Manchester. This was the first time I had heard the word Transvestite and it seemed to describe what I was, but I was still young and it was far too far for me to get to (which it turns out was probably a good thing). And then later on I remember reading a story in FHM about the ladyboys of Bangkok, and it was then I started to become aware of what was possible. I read that one of them used to take her sisters birth control pills and this started her on her journey. After reading this I considered going to see my doctor, I so desperately wanted to go down that path. But, I was still going to see my family GP and I couldnt bring myself to see her in case something got back to my parents. If I had a sister, well, im sure she would have been running out of birth control pills quicker than she should have been. I wish I had a sister.

So overall I didnt have a particularly great childhood, I did have some good times and some good friends, but I was bullied relentlessly and then of course I had the T curse hanging over me. I remember having a few really low moments growing up, probably driven in part by my changing body chemistry. Rage, anger, depression, all fairly typical for some teenagers I guess as testosterone flooded my teenage body. But specifically I do remember on a couple of occasions actually considering causing harm to myself, and on a few occasions, you know, that part of myself. I guess in some way it was a misguided idea about forcing a gender change on myself, but it was too long ago to remember the specific thought processes. I certainly dont think this way anymore and certainly havent for a very long time, and im really glad that I didnt make such a stupid mistake.

Moving Away From Home

In my early 20s I moved half way across the country to try and get a fresh start, but I didn't get the complete freedom I was hoping for. Initially I moved in with a friend from home into a tiny little flat that left me with no time or space to explore these thoughts I had been having. After this I moved in with some local friends I had made, again due to us being on different shifts there was always someone in the house and I just didnt have the time or space I needed. The following year I then moved in with my girlfriend and we have lived together ever since.

In all of this time, because I didnt have the freedom I wanted I tried to bury this side of me and kept myself busy with my girlfriend, work, music, partying (lots of partying), and more. The thoughts and urges never really left me, but for years it was something I was able to put to the back of my mind. However it didnt last.

Trying To Accept Myself

After a few years of living with my girlfriend the thoughts started coming back louder than before, and they became obsessive, almost compulsive. We finally got the internet for the first time and it wasn't long before I started looking around for trans* sites. I needed an outlet, I needed to try to understand this side of me and to reach out to others like me, but I didn't know where to start or what to say. I was nervous and also slightly embarrassed too. I lurked on a few forums and websites for years, reading peoples stories, looking at their pictures, and being totally jealous of them living the life that I wanted to.

I started chatting to a few people on tvChix and there was one local person in particular who after a few months of coversation managed to persuade me to actually get some clothes and make a go of it. Sadly we lost touch soon after, so she has never seen how far ive come. My girlfriend was due to go visit her parents for a week without me in July 2011, so I decided that would be the week I would try it properly. When my girlfriend left I ordered some things from online, a wig, some clothes and some makeup. The wig was cheap and ill suited, the clothes were the same, and makeup was just picked at random too, but it didnt matter. When they arrived I ripped them out of their boxes, and was so happy seeing myself in the mirror. I looked a mess, but it didnt matter because what I saw looking back was me the way that I wanted to be. I told myself that after a year I would either have got it out of my system and then would have to stop this for good, or if I felt it was something I wasnt going to be able to ignore I would continue but would have to tell my girlfriend. You can guess what happened after the year ran out.

Coming Out To My Partner

By the time July 2012 came around I was becoming gradually more frustrated at not being able to take this side of me as far as I would have liked to (shaving, etc), she went away again for a week without me and I visited a dressing service. I went all out, shaved my body, got some new clothes, and then made my way to Bath. When I finally saw myself fully dressed up, made up and with a new wig that suited me better than my own I cannot describe how happy it made me feel. It was such an amazing day and it made it clear to me that I was not going to be able to turn this off, so I decided I would have to tell her.

This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but I couldnt carry on like this any more. I couldnt bring myself to actually tell her so I wrote her a letter but even that I almost couldnt give it to her. I forced my hand out and couldnt look at her while she read it, I cowered in the corner of the couch. You can imagine how hard it was for her to get her head around this, we had been together for 9 years and this was quite a big bombshell for her. Initially she didnt take the news well and who could blame her, but after getting over the initial shock she has been absolutely amazing and I love her so much for accepting this side of me as much as she has.

Her acceptance always felt like it was too good to be true and I never fully believed it. However when I went on my first night out dressed up in September she got me the card you can see around this text and reading what she had wrote made me realise that maybe I was wrong, and that I am very lucky indeed to have her in my life. Im not going to pretend, it still hasnt been easy. As you can imagine, this is not true acceptance, there are boundaries and we have had our ups and downs as we both came to terms with this change in our relationship. It has tested and continues to test both of our comfort zones, but we are still together.

What Now?

So where I want to go next is still uncertain. I have hopes and desires, some of which I have tested during the lifetime of this blog, and the outcomes of that have had to make me reconsider where I want to go with this side of my life, or what I need to do to be happy. Right now, I want to be in a position where I can switch easily (or at least easier) between genders. There are physical issues and practicalities that get in the way of this, as well as my girlfriends expectations of what she wants in her boyfriend. Im not sure how close im going to be able to get to make this a reality.