Thursday, March 3, 2022

Transgender Survivor

 It could be argued we all are transgender survivors. Even if you are not trans but are the ally of one. Crossing the gender border is not for the faint of heart. 

When I think back at all the error and trial I went through as I negotiated a gender transition, I don't know if I would have attempted it at all. 

Perhaps the biggest problem I had was understanding my true gender. Sure I can use the excuse again of  being raised in the pre internet generation. I felt so alone all the time assuming I was the only boy in the world who wanted to be a girl. By crossdressing in the very few feminine clothes I could get my hands on, I was able to survive this part of my formative years. 

Photo Credit
JJ Hart

When I became a teen ager and beyond, I discovered I wasn't the only boy who wanted to be a girl. When I was fifteen and almost old enough to drive I used to hang out with a friend of mine who could drive. On many days we used to stop in at his aunt's small variety store for a bottle of pop and a chance to look at her collection of "racy" magazines. No porn but different. Similar to lower class Playboy magazines. Every once in awhile I was rewarded with an article featuring female impersonators. It was a rare occurrence but enough to show me there was another world out there where impossibly feminine men made their living as women. Mostly in far away cities such as New York and San Francisco. On the rare occasions I found such a magazine, it was impossible for me to buy it because of my friend and his aunt knowing me so well. 

The closest I ever came was finding out a group of softball players who played in drag would be visiting our Midwest city. As badly as I wanted to go, again there was no possible way I could give anyone any indication I wanted to. This continued into high school when even though there were no womanless beauty pageants for the boys,  some occasional drag would creep in mostly for laughs. Except for the occasional participant who was just a little too good. Through it all I managed to survive and make it into college without giving anyone a glimpse of my true self. 

During my first couple years in college the severe changes I was going through being away from home as well as being exposed to new people and ideas led me away from any cross dressing desires. For awhile that is. I ended up transferring back home to a nearby university where I graduated from. While I was back home I also graduated back into exploring my feminine self. It was during this time I really wished I was born female so I wouldn't have to worry about going away to fight in Vietnam. I have written many times on how I survived this time in my life and was rewarded with an interesting three years in the Army.

Following my three years, I entered one of the most active times of my life when it came to exploring my authentic self.  As my first issues of Transvestia magazine arrived I found myself to be within driving distance of several of their regional mixers. As I was able to attend, the whole experience opened up a whole new world to me. I had survived and made it this far. 

During these mixers I found a curious group of attendees who were neither cross dressers or transsexuals. They fit somewhere in between. They were to become known as transgender and they were me. It turned out the easy work was done when I realized where I fit on the gender spectrum. The hardest part was figuring out how I was going to survive it. A topic for another post.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had known more back before the pre internet days! Like getting married WOULD NOT CURE ME! I wouldn't have put the wife and kids through all tis mess, mine comes from the fact that my mom was given something to stop the many miscarriages she had, or something went wrong/right and here I am today, or was it something else?

    All the players in the game have long since passed away, and no records are available.