One of the most frequent questions I used to get when I met a stranger was, when did I know I was transgender.
After many years of fumbling around with the answer, the most correct one finally came to me...I have always been this way.
Now, having said that, certainly there were milestones in my life I could look back on which confirmed my gender dysphoria.
As a youth, for some reason I never gave much thought to why I wanted dolls for Christmas instead of BB guns. I also didn't really know why my attraction to girls in school seemed to be different than most of the other boys.
I don't remember acting on any of my cross dressing or girlish desires until I was ten or twelve. In fact, I had a paper route which I used the money from to primarily buy feminine clothes and makeup. When I did, I could stay out of my Mom's wardrobe and makeup. All I had to do was find a good way to hide my stash.
As I grew more accomplished during my high school years, I was also able to keep the bullies away by playing sports, working on cars and dating the occasional girl. All of which just seemed to widen my internal gender gap.
Very soon out of high school (in college) it looked as if the Vietnam War would make a major influence in my life. As it turned out I was drafted out of college and had to face the problem of not being able to do anything about my gender issues for three years. For you purists, I enlisted for three years to be able to better choose my Army job. As it turned out a good choice when I landed a job in the American Forces Radio and Television Service.
Why was that important you ask? Because my job landed me in one of the least military areas in the Army. Thanks to that and a Halloween party in Germany, I was able to dress as a woman and eventually come out as a transvestite for the first time to my friends and future wife.
For awhile I thought I had won the lottery as some of my gender pressure was dialed back. As it turned out though, the true struggles were just beginning.
I will get into those in the next post as well as explaining how fighting my gender dysphoria nearly killed me.
It took me years to learn it was never a choice.