It started with a dream – Personal Journey pt. 1

My gender struggle began with a childhood fantasy. I was a highly intelligent child but physically weak. I was advanced in math and science which earned the praise of the adults, but was always picked last for teams and constantly bullied. Being smart was definitely not valued on the playground! I used to pray to be stronger and this caused me a lot of distress. I was bullied nearly daily by the stronger more popular kids. When I was around 5, I developed the fantasy of being turned into a girl. It seemed that if I were a girl, I could be a smart as I was, but then not suffer from the daily violence that I faced as a bit. Now I know how false that is, but I was 5 at the time!

I used the fantasy to help me sleep at night, and it was comforting. When I got to the 6th grade puberty started, and this fantasy became eroticised. I was also very definitely attracted to women, but then sometimes felt attraction for men as well. This was very confusing! My parents gave me a book about sex which contained a one page description of transvestites and transsexuals. It said that transvestites were men with a fetish for women’s clothing, while transsexuals were really women and would transform their body to make the outside match the inside. It clearly sounded better to be a transsexual, and since I had these fantasies of being a woman that must be what I am. It seemed so far fetched that I would ever do anything about it, but I felt that was the truth about me.

I felt very confused as I was also greatly desiring to find a girlfriend. Sometimes it felt like I was trying to be my own girlfriend. Plus, I was still sometimes attracted to men, which I tried to suppress. I had no success with dating at all until I was 16. Then I got online. This was 1990 before the internet was mainstream, so it was mostly on BBSs, and a local IRC (internet chat). This was something of a unique time, because the online world was only known to quirky, nerdy, smart kids. There were only a few of us at each high school, but together we formed a community of nearly 100 teenagers in the metro area. I was able to date successfully for the first time. I had 6 short-lived relationships with different girls that I met, mostly through this community. My transgender fantasies diminished and began to go away. I think this was partially because I was sucessful in dating, and partially because puberty advanced to the point where I could no longer see a woman in the mirror. I thought this problem had come to an end, and didn’t think about it much until I got to college…