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Chapter the First - Small Beginnings

Dear Readers, please allow me to regale you with the most curious tale of my journey across the sexes. I shall try not to bore you, and I do crave your indulgence in the reading of it.

My journey began, naturally, with my birth. I remember little of that day, but I do know that one terrible thing happened: My dear Mother's sweet baby girl was born with a most hideous affliction, an extra appendage which jutted saucily from her nethers as if to taunt and deride all who came within range of its occasional jet-like expulsion of amber fluid. O how my poor mother must have fain swooned that fateful day! I myself get a terrible case of the vapours just imagining her horror.

My earliest memory was standing in the bathroom watching a grown man urinate while standing up. I found this to be a most fascinating act, but alas, I do not know if that man was my Father or some other family member such as an uncle or cousin; however, as first memories go, this one is rather naughty, which I thought deserved inclusion in this chronicle.

My second-earliest memory was one of those classic transsexual moments. I was, naturally, very small, perhaps three or four years old, and while my dear Mother and Sister were enjoying a poolside soak in the sun, I went into our apartment to use the rest room. Upon exiting the lavatory, I espied my older sister's awesome school clothes, the Big Girl clothing that she got to wear because she was now enrolled in kindergarten. I was alone in the apartment with my sister's best school outfit, and since I was a big kid and had been dressing myself for many months, and since my sister wasn't there to squawk about me touching "her stuff," I felt that dressing up as an Even Bigger Kid would be fun and make me feel like a Bigger Kid myself.

I quickly pulled the plaid skirt and white blouse on, and looked at myself in Charlene's vanity mirror, and at that moment I had what can only be described as an epiphany, though I would not learn that word for many years to come.

What I saw in the mirror convinced me that somehow everyone had gotten it wrong: I was not a little boy who liked playing paper dolls and Barbies with his older Sister, no; I was actually a little girl. It was so obvious. I was pretty, and for a few moments I felt a supreme happiness and an overwhelming sense of excitement and anticipation, a feeling which I did not experience again until I was 17 and snorting cocaine. Yes, dressing in my big Sister's school clothes had been as big of a mental rush as snorting a fat line of cocaine, Dear Readers.

While I was turning this way and that, and smiling at myself, I heard the front door open. Suddenly, my supreme contentment became supplanted with terror, because somewhere in the back of my mind there was certain knowledge that what I was doing was somehow taboo, that I was crossing more boundaries than merely borrowing without asking. So I did what any very young genius will do when confronted with a difficult situation: I ran and hid in the bedroom closet. Alas, to no avail, for it was my Mother, checking to see what I was up to, and she knew that I had entered the apartment a few minutes before, and was checking up on me. So naturally she looked in the closet and found me shivering in the back of the closet in my Sister's best school clothes.

She sharply told me that that was a naughty thing to do, that those were girl's clothes, and I apologized and never for one second ever considered telling her what I had discovered. I knew then and there that this had to be my best-kept secret ever, because I could sense the immense pressure that kept the sexes separated in the 1960's. Later in life, when school psychologists tested my IQ, I was discovered to be nearly four standard deviations above the norm, which is probably why I was able to sense the enormous sexual taboos lurking around "My Secret."

And though I always had "My Secret" on my mind, from then on forward, I never once attempted to do anything again to violate those taboos until I arrived at puberty, when impulses began overwhelming my defenses.


 Chapter the Second – The Meaning of Pain

Dear Readers, while this chapter is not specifically part of my tale of transsexuality, it does involve my personal sexual development and in this chapter I will relate several events to give you some idea of how other people reacted to me in those childhood years.

My dear Mother, who had divorced my Father when I was two years old, remarried when I was six years old. The man she married, named Ray, was a plant maintenance worker at the cardboard box factory Mother worked at. Mother tells me that she was attracted to Ray in part because he was relatively small, slender of build, and she specifically noted that he was not very hairy for a man. I was rather surprised to hear this, because my impression of the man from my own memory is that he was large, powerfully-built, and covered with black hair everywhere. I suppose, Dear Readers, that such opinions are always relative.

At first, Ray seemed to be an ideal Stepfather. For the very first time, my Sister and I had a bounteous Christmas morning. I remember using a naughty word and having Ray make me stand in the corner for a while. It was almost idyllic in the sense that our little broken family seemed to have been made whole.

But something happened around the time I turned eight years old. Ray started acting oddly towards me. He had always been rather strict, but when I began getting in trouble at school, the punishments became harsher and stranger.

I should mention that my second school year was the year they gave me my first IQ test. It was so high that they gave me another just to be sure. At about the same time, it was noted that I was behaving rather poorly at school. I was talking too much, and not sitting still and paying attention enough. Before the IQ test, I just got punished for any infractions as normal. After the IQ test, "I should have known better" and my punishments became more severe. At the same time, the school thought I might be simply bored, so they skipped me ahead one grade. I did regain some interest in classroom activities for a few weeks, but once I had mastered the very tiny incremental differences between the second and third grade curricula, I once again became utterly bored in class, and once again stopped paying attention entirely.

So, after an Electroencephalogram taken under the influence of a syrupy form of THC, a diagnosis of "hyperkinetic behavioral disorder" was proclaimed, and I became one of the very first American schoolchildren to be prescribed the drug Ritalin. Ritalin put me into a fog-like haze, in which I was passive and placid, but I completely stopped doing schoolwork, and instead, whenever someone put a piece of paper on my desk, I would use a small sliver of glass (I picked up an occasional sliver of glass on the way to school during that period of my life, because they were shiny and jewel-like. I also avoided stepping on cracks obsessively. Ritalin actually created several minor mental disorders in me that would be easily recognizable today, but were almost unknown back then) to cut that paper into the thinnest strips possible. So my grades plummeted, especially Deportment, and I started getting in serious trouble with my Stepfather, who was now growing more and more harsh and bizarre in his punishment of my many transgressions.

It began with Restrictions. No television, early bedtimes, no going outside to play, that sort of thing. Then the spankings began in earnest. A belt was the first instrument of torture. Eventually, Ray went to the trouble of purchasing a razor strop and punching holes in it, because that was the way they'd punished him as a child. Unfortunately, the punishments did not stop with the restriction and spankings, however.

The next thing to come in the new line of punishments was so bizarre at the time, yet once again part of me understood immediately that I was in taboo territory once again: Ray started using me sexually as punishment! He began with anal intercourse, and then later on began ordering me to suck his penis. This went on for the next four years, with increasing frequency and severity, until he became so utterly depraved that he began introducing yet more new punishments and twists.

When I was 12 years of age, I was pretty much permanently on restriction. My Mother and Sister went shopping twice a week for several hours, meaning that I had two "punishment" sessions per week with my Stepfather. Ray had arranged to have my teacher send a note home with me every Friday, and anything negative whatsoever garnered another two weeks of restriction and another punishment or three. I had two charts on the wall, one of my behavior, the other of my punishments (with code names for the sexual punishments). These charts were color-coded and served to remind me that I was in debt to the Company Store for years to come.

At this time, Ray became obsessed with my older sister. He wanted to have sexual intercourse with Charlene! He tried to use me as some form of cat's paw to talk Charlene into having sex with him. Ray's reasoning was that brothers and sisters always experimented sexually with each other, and if I was going to have some Charlene-pussy, then Ray wanted in on the act. Yes, that is a paraphrase of exactly what he told me.

Well, Ray had just started working the graveyard shift at that time, and he was waking me up at 2AM for various beatings and raping, now more than three times a week. I was ordered during a particularly brutal session (one in which I was ordered to stand with my hands behind my back, leaning backwards, naked, so that he could whip my genitals with his belt, and also I was ordered to bend over forwards, spread my buttocks, and allow him to whip me in the crack. I was not to flinch, move, or cry out during this) to spend the next couple of afternoons seducing Charlene, and then convincing her to have sex with him.

The following night, Ray woke me again at 2AM, and demanded to know what I had done. I hadn’t said a word to Charlene, naturally, being hideously embarrassed even to think about approaching her for something so horrible. Upon hearing that I had no progress to report, I was beaten savagely and forced to perform several acts, one of which was poking my tongue up Ray's anus. He also introduced me to a new form of punishment he had devised as a result of my telling him that kids in gym class had commented on my always-purple fanny. So he had taken one of his old slot car transformers, and a piece of wooden doweling, and some wires, and had fashioned himself a small home-made adjustable cattle prod, which he used on me for the first time. Ray tied my hands behind my back while I sat naked in an old kitchen chair in the garage, while he shocked me for the next 20 minutes in various places, including the genitals. He ordered me in no uncertain terms to have sex with my sister the following day, and to broach the subject of her going to bed with Ray at that time.

The following night at 2AM I was again awakened by Ray, at which time I told him lies. I had of course done nothing but hidden in my bedroom closet all afternoon dreading the nighttime. I told Ray that yes, I had had sex with Charlene, and that she was quite receptive to the idea of going to bed with him. Satisfied, he allowed me to go back to bed unmolested. I fell asleep dreading the following evening, when my lies would become apparent.

The following afternoon, I arrived at the house to find that Ray had taken the day off from work, and he was there with Charlene, and she was crying. I began to cry too, dreading what was to happen next. Ray ordered me to remove my shirt, and Charlene to remove her top. Ray then proceeded to poke at both of us with that cattle prod he'd made. Then he left for work.

Dear Readers, I had tried to warn my Sister two weeks before. I had finally overcome my self-hatred and shame one evening while Charlene, our cousin Kim, and I were sitting in the parking lot of the Loray's supermarket in Hayward while Ray and Mom were inside grocery shopping. I told them everything, including Ray's new obsession with Charlene. Kim was aghast, and believed me, but Charlene simply thought I was making it all up. How she must have hated me to think that I could even imagine such degradation and horror on my own.

Within one week of this incident, our Mother was moving us out into an apartment. I suppose that Charlene's own experience at Ray's hands had made a believer out of her. The day that we moved out, I left a one-inch-sized school photo on Ray's dresser, because even after all of that, I still loved my Stepfather, somehow. This is why the name I eventually chose is Alison, which is Old English for "faithful or loyal." I am like a puppy, you can kick me all you like but I will still love you. This trait seems to be contrary to my own survival, so I wonder what purpose it could possibly serve.

I do apologize, Dear Readers, for the expressions of brutality and sexual depravity I have described in the foregoing. Were they not pertinent to mine tale, I would have gladly excised them, but I feel that they are crucial for illustrating how I have been a magnet for certain males with unwholesome sexual appetites, for my entire life, perhaps due to my somewhat-in-between state of sexual being.

The next chapter, Dear Readers, will chronicle my adolescence! Ah, the excitement of puberty! Always a fascinating time in the life of any transsexual.


Chapter the Third - Boys Don't Cry

Ah, adolescence, the springtime of youth, the font of our sexual awakenings, unless, of course, the very notion of sex utterly repulses you because you were used throughout your childhood as a sexual plaything, the human equivalent of a sock in which to ejaculate. If you're in that position, then puberty is more of a roller-coaster ride of compulsive masturbation bracketed with deep and abiding shame.

The very first time I experienced an orgasm, I was wearing an old powder-blue angora dress of my Mother's. I wonder how many 13-year-old Male-to-Female transsexuals were lucky enough to have their spare closet space taken over by out-of-date clothing moved there to make room in Mother's and Sister's closets?

I was alone one afternoon. Mother was working two jobs, and would not be home until Midnight, and Charlene was over at Kim's apartment, smoking dope and sending me telepathic messages of sibling hatred. Almost as soon as I started to walk, she started shunning me, for even though I worshipped the ground upon which my big Sister walked, she had little but contempt mixed with a dash of pity for her "weird little brother." I knew I would have the apartment to myself for at least a couple of hours, when Charlene would come home to fry some potatoes to kill her munchies.

Watching TV alone with a glass of milk, I saw a commercial in which elegant ladies smiled and offered their opinions on household products. One particularly pretty lady in a very perky dress caught my eye, and I played my age-old game, imagining that I was her, with her pretty face and hair, and her adorable outfit. I had played this mental game for years, but this time it was paralleled by an odd sort of "hunger," a sensation that I needed something, right now. I didn't know what that something was, but it had to do with my groin, and with my Game. I felt a mounting pressure to do something, anything, to relieve this need. I played my mental game of pretend, and the feelings got stronger and more compulsive. I finally thought of that closet full of Mom's and Charlene's clothes upstairs, and how I had been secretly thrilled to have a closet that looked and smelled like a lady's closet.

My so-called genius brain finally put two and two together, and I realized that what I wanted to do was to BE a lady, even if for just a little while, in secret, in my bedroom. So I ran upstairs and closed my bedroom door and I slipped off my clothes and I opened the closet and I pulled out that soft, icy-blue angora sweater dress, and slipped it on over my head.

I was back in that place I had been when I was little and I put on my sister's school clothes and saw myself in the mirror. Except this time the excitement and happiness was accompanied by an uncomfortable ecstasy in my groin. That was new. I was a pretty girl looking at myself in the mirror, but the compulsion to do something, right now was still overwhelming, and the erection I had was almost frightening, since it was worse than any of the erections I had ever felt up to that point. My penis was always acting up and making me uncomfortable even when it was sending pleasure up my spine. I would be in a moving car and get an erection, or I would be in the bathtub, and suddenly there would be a swelling feeling between my legs that was both pleasurable and intensely uncomfortable. I imagine that a straight male having his prostate milked by a male physician might feel a similar uncomfortable feeling.

So with the weird array of mixed feelings I was getting on what was only the second time I had ever cross-dressed, I became more and more mentally agitated. I had to do something, right now. That something obviously had to do with my penis, which was practically jumping around while I posed in front of the mirror in Mom's old blue angora sweater dress. So once again my mighty genius brain made the connection, and I began touching myself, down there. Almost immediately, my mind exploded with pleasure, as I experienced my first orgasm within seconds of beginning self-manipulation.

And that was my very first orgasm, ever. It sort of set the stage for the rest of my puberty. I associated my own personal sexuality with my Big Secret of being really a girl inside. I also associated the strange sense of shame and humiliation that flooded into me whenever I achieved orgasm with the Big Taboo of my Big Secret. I didn't think about  girls, I thought about being  a girl, about doing my ordinary everyday routines but being treated as, looked upon as, and talked to as a girl, and being able to dress as a girl and play girl games and spend all my playtime with other girls who would play with me and accept me as one of their own.

All that, of course, got mixed all up with my budding sex drive, which I simply could not imagine sharing with another human being, since sex with people was degrading and it hurt and it made me cry and feel ashamed. What I had was almost pure; it was my own sexual reaction to who I was inside coming outside. Like the feeling of sunlight and breezes tickling your fanny when you finally take off all your clothes at the nude beach, I was enjoying, sexually, the airing out of the "real me," even if it was just in my own bedroom with the door closed when the apartment was empty. It was this entangling of my sexuality with my transsexuality that worried me the most when I entered transition years later: Was I a transsexual or a fetishist? Naturally, the chemical castration effect answered that question for me handily, I discovered that the sex drive was purely biological in nature and that I could go the rest of my life without ever experiencing another orgasm and I would be utterly happy, as long as I could be seen and treated as a female in return.

It was during this period of my life that I utterly lost my ability to weep, an ability which I did not regain until I was well into Transition many years later. I had finally been conditioned, by many a beating from Ray, and many an ass-whupping by boys my own age, to never weep. Because boys don't cry.

And that concludes this, the third chapter of my saga. Now you know of my first orgasm and the beginning of my years of on-again, off-again cross-dressing. Next I shall chronicle Young Adulthood! Surely more adventures shall follow that will curl your toes and straighten your hair, Gentle Readers!


 Chapter the Fourth - Roller Coasters and Chicken Hawks

My adolescence proceeded slowly, other than a crack in my voice and a few wispy hairs in certain out-of-the-way places on my body. I also noticed a couple of hard lumps behind my nipples, they were there for about a year and a half, from age 14 to age 15. I secretly and fervently hoped that they were becoming breasts. They didn't.

I bore my Big Secret alone in those days.  I never told Wesley, my Family Services shrink when I was 13-14 years old, about my girl stuff or my cross dressing. I just liked him too much and didn't want him to not like me. He sure tried to figure out my sexuality though, it seemed like every other week he'd say "Let's go take a walk while we talk," and then we'd wander around downtown Hayward and every time he saw a girl he'd say stuff like "Whoa, how about that, eh? Rar?" And I would sort of nod politely. But I never looked at dudes either. I must have driven him crazy, ironically enough.

I think what Wes was doing was right out of the child psychology manual; he was trying to determine my sexual orientation by presenting me with eye candy to gauge my responses. We had plenty of private conversations in his office, and we could speak pretty freely walking down the street too, since most people would be out of earshot for more than a few words here and there.  I mainly complained about my big sister and tried as best as I could to process my history with Ray.

I really loved Wes. He died, I don’t know what of but he was too young, around when I turned 21. He stopped being my shrink when I was 15 because our relationship got too personal, we just got to like each other too much for him to be able to do the hard things that needed to be done. That must be a difficult part of being a psychologist, you have to be able to cause some pain to help people, and if you're emotionally entangled with them it can be hard to inflict pain.

The Ritalin had had a profound effect upon my developing mind. As I slowly recovered from the Ritalin, I was treated to various low-grade neurological effects from my cold-turkey withdrawal at 13. For example, I became depressed and even more withdrawn. I created an imaginary friend based on The Fonz and had arguments with him. This continued, with diminishing effect, for nearly a year. But at the end of that year, around Christmastime, I was introduced to the delights of marijuana.

I smoked marijuana with my cousin Kim and her friends. It made Charlene mad that Kim and her friends accepted me as a sort of mascot, because she didn't want me around at all. But this was one of the happiest times of my life, because the people around me liked me and enjoyed my company, and they were all older and had cool long hair and they smoked pot with me and we played cards and colored posters with marking pens and listened to music like the Allman Brothers and generally had a swell time.

Then my Mother met a man named Hal, and they became serious. Mother had dated several men since her divorce with Ray, young men from Kim's extended circle really, but Hal was a granola-crunching California immigrant from back East who drove a Volvo and put a brick in his toilet tank, he was a Systems Analyst at a company that provided mainframe computing services to other companies, and he rented a nice house in Los Altos. So we moved from Hayward to Los Altos, and I never got to hang out with Kim's friends again. I was instantly and terribly lonely.

My first day of school in Los Altos, I met a young man named Sid at lunch. I told him that I was new in the area, and that my cousin Kim had told me that I should make friends with someone, and I asked Sid if he wanted to be friends. Sid stuck out his hand and I shook it, and we were best friends after that, for a couple of years or more. Kim had given me four joints to smoke with my new friends to cement our new relationships, so I smoked them with Sid and some other kids he knew from the Drama department.

Sid was an interesting young man. He had spent many months in the California Youth Authority jail because he was an habitual runaway, and they used to jail runaways in those days. Sid was as sweet to me as anyone ever has been. We used to do everything together, and he always shared with me. There was never a hint of anything sexual between us, although Sid did come up with a fairly silly but fun game, where we'd be drunk late at night our neighborhood, which was very dark and deserted at night, and we would strip nude and run to the end of the block and back. It was cold but fun, on a primal level.

One of the young men who fell into Sid's circle of friends was Peter. Peter was a nice guy, kind of tall, and he had an amazing birthmark, a system of black moles that strongly resembled the constellation of Orion. Anyway, one night Peter suggested that we go hit his pal Max up for some weed. It was a long walk over to Mountain View, but we had nothing but time on our hands, so we trudged on over. On the way over, Peter warns me "Max is gay, but don't worry, he's cool."

We had a nice time over at Max's place. Max had an upright piano, and there was a man with strong Native American features tinkling the ivories when we arrived. Max said he comes over just to play the piano, self-taught, plays by ear. It sounded quite nice, a light jazz tune. Max politely toked up with us, and somehow I wound up with his telephone number, I don't remember asking for it.

One morning I had fallen asleep cross-dressed, and one of Sid's friends, Mark, dropped by, and he peeked in the window around the curtains and saw me. "I didn't know" he said with a big old shit-eating grin. I always wondered who he told after that. He teased me a couple of times with a "Hey Sid, guess what" but as far as I know he never told anyone who knew me what he had discovered.

Some time later, there was a falling out between the circle of friends Sid and I shared, and me. I had been hosting a pot greenhouse in my bedroom; about a third of the floor space was dedicated to grow-lights and potted marijuana plants. One day while I was out, the greenhouse was burglarized, and a couple of plants stolen. The guys decided it must have been me, so I closed the greenhouse down and told tem to take what was theirs and get out. Peter, meanwhile, had moved down to LA to be with family. Even Sid left me, and I was well and truly alone again.

I had Max's phone number, and one night, desperate for a friendly voice, I called him to say Hi. Max invited me over, so I walked on over, with oddly mixed feelings. I knew Max was gay, and I wasn't sure how I felt about the possibility that he was interested in me in "that way." Part of me was repulsed because of my previous experience with Ray, and part of me was secretly hoping that I was attractive. I did put on my best shirt before I left home though.

Max was, once again, a gracious host. While I was there, enjoying the gentility of being entertained, someone knocked on the door. It was a neighbor who was a friend of Max, and she wanted to let him know that she had some LSD and was currently ripped to the tits on it, did Max want to buy some? Max bought a couple hits from her, and then when she was gone he asked me if I'd ever done LSD before. I told him No, just pot and alcohol and tobacco. He asked me if I wanted to try it, and I said Sure, why not, so we dropped the acid (a four-way blotter), and when it started to kick in, the movie on TV (Ray Milland in "Frogs") began to make less and less sense, and to be more and more comical, until I could no longer understand a word of what the people on the TV were saying. Then we played around with the color controls on the TV, the horizontal and vertical holds, and tripped on that for a while. Then Max introduced me to Whisky Sours.

After several Whisky Sours, I was rather tipsy, as well as flying in and out of the cosmic aerodrome on my little LSD fairy wings, and then Max began his seduction in earnest. I've learned to recognize these moves since, but they worked really well on me back then at the age of 15.

First was the "Your back sure is tense, let me give you a backrub." Naturally the backrub moved outside of the boundaries of what are normally considered backs. When Max made the signature move of massaging my thighs, I pushed his hands away and said "No." Max asked what was wrong, and I told him I couldn't have sex with a man, I just couldn't, not that I didn't respect him or his sexuality, just that I had issues in my past that prevented me from participating in or enjoying activities such as male homosexual oral sex and anal sex. Max probed further, and I wound up spending the entire night whining to him about Ray. Max became one of five people who had heard my story: Kim & Charlene, Max, Wesley, and Jennifer. This autobiography makes you, Dear Readers, the Sixth to hear the tale.

I think Max got about what he deserved: He tried to seduce a kid, and he wound up with a whining near-virgin talking his ear off until dawn. It must have been a terrible disappointment for him, I do remember him dry-humping me at one point though, so to hell with Max. And that's the last I ever heard or saw of him.

A year and some months after that, Cecily came back to town. She had been a member of the little circle of stoners Sid and I had collected back in 1975, but she had been sent to Bear Valley Mountain School for two years, and on her return, she looked me up. She and I kept each other company for the rest of the summer of 1977, watching cartoons and smoking hashish. Cecily was a fairly boyish girl of the same age as me. She wore pants every day, and a vest. Cecily was the only natural-born woman I have ever fallen in love with. I still love her, after all these years. At the time, she was a great friend, she taught me to play backgammon, we played chess, we watched old movies and cartoons, we smoked dope, we walked around Los Altos Hills where the deer roam wild, and just had a splendid time. She was always the dominant one, I let her decide what we were doing and when. This was actually a pattern for me, I have always been rather submissive to my friends.

After we were all done with high school, I got a job while still living with my mother, who had left the unfaithful Hal. I paid the entire rent on the apartment just because I could. While I was working at my first job, I met Steve, a straight male friend who always treated me rather like a child, but when he condescended towards me it made me feel kind of good, like I was protected. I introduced Steve to Cecily, and the three of us did lots of things together, such as forming a garage rock band. But the problem was, I had been in love with Cecily for a couple of years now, and Steve fell in love with her too. About a year after I turned 18, my Mother decided to move to Boston to be closer to Hal, with whom she'd reconciled. So I moved into a two-bedroom with Sid, who I had run into and patched things up with.

The problem here was, Sid and Cecily started sleeping together after a few months in the new apartment. I guess they'd had feelings long ago in high school. But Steve and I were terribly jealous. I asked Cecily to marry me, and she actually laughed. Steve became crazier and crazier, and we became estranged for a bit, because I had my own problems. My last dreams of a normal life were in smoking ruins. I had asked the only woman I'd ever loved to marry me, thinking we could start a family and be regular people together, but she just laughed. I don't think she intended to be cruel, just nervous, but it had a pretty devastating effect on me.

So when Sid moved out due to lack of rent money, I just stopped seeing Cecily. I still loved her, but I couldn't be around her, it was making me too depressed. I started hanging out with Steve over at his place. I didn't see Sid much after that, just ran into him working at a Jack-in-the-Box once, visited his apartment nearby, and it looked to me like Sid was a needle drug user from the setup there.

All throughout this time, I was riding a rollercoaster of compulsion and shame. Pressure to cross-dress would build and build while I denied and denied, then I would go crazy and steal some things from Mother's old surplus clothes, or I would borrow her Flicker shaver and shave my legs and armpits, and then after a few weeks of that I would throw every stitch of women's clothing I had away, vowing to "never again" indulge in the practice. I wanted so desperately to be a normal kid! But then the compulsion would start up again, rising and rising and getting stronger and stronger until I started it all over again. I rode this rollercoaster from the beginning of puberty until the day I began my transition.

I do apologize, Dear Readers, for the sketchiness and lack of interesting detail in this chapter. This chapter was necessary to set the scene for the subsequent events, however, and is rather pertinent to how I interacted with others and how that affected my later path. In the next chapter we will discuss the last time I rode that rollercoaster, and the beginning of my new life.


 Chapter the Fifth - An End to Denial

As the various social permutations of my young adulthood spun into chaos, and I was once again left to my own devices, a particularly intense peak of my transsexual rollercoaster ride had me telling myself that it was about time that I sought professional help and actually told the truth, flat-out. Perhaps this was a sign of maturity. I sure could have used some signs of maturity about then.

I decided that I would seek out another Family Services psychologist, and confess everything, and then the shrink would wave a magic shrink wand and "cure" me of my compulsion to constantly think about being a woman, and to occasionally cross-dress. I wanted to be normal. Then people would like me, and I wouldn't have to be alone any more.

I found a Family Services office right there in Mountain View. I made an appointment by telephone. When I arrived, I was delighted to see that someone in the office was a subscriber to Fusion Magazine. I managed to actually distract myself reading about Russian tokomak reactor designs until it was time for my appointment. I swallowed firmly, set the pamphlet-like magazine down, and followed him into his office.

The shrink was a man. That was a bit of an obstacle there, but I was determined to "get well." The shrink did that 30 seconds of silence thing, so I just smiled and waited. The shrink asked me "So, what brings you here?"

I began by blurting out "I've always felt like I was a female inside." He asked me to elaborate, so I poured out the whole thing: The desires, the cross-dressing, and I quickly sketched a very brief outline of my history of being abused by Ray. Several times during my description of my cross-dressing history, he got this odd little smirk that started to make me mad.

"So what are you attempting to accomplish? Do you want a sex change?" he asked.

Inside, my heart leapt up for a second when he said that. Part of me screamed "YES!" But I wanted to be "cured," and to be "normal," not to be someone so strange that they invited me onto daytime TV talk shows as a freak. So naturally I said "No."

The shrink, when I said No, let this exasperated expression cross his face for a second at that moment. Perhaps he sensed that my newfound honesty was not 100% complete, because my expression when he asked the question must have been rather complex, but my answer was unambiguous and incorrect. Then he asked "Well then, what can I do for you?"

I told him "I want to be normal," and he got that annoying smirk back. Then he flat-out told me that there wasn't much that he could do for me. I left, hating him and feeling like I'd wasted my time, telling him my deepest secret (come to think of it, he was the first person I ever told about my gender dysphoria, Jennifer was the second).

This sent me back to the rollercoaster for another couple of years. I sought help, but didn't get the cure I begged for, and I wasn't ready yet to admit to myself that I wanted a sex change operation. But he had planted the seeds in my mind. I looked up the subject of sexual reassignment surgery, and read some articles at the library. While I rode the rollercoaster one last time, an idea started to form, unarticulated, in the back of my mind.

At the peak of my final rollercoaster ride, I was frantic. Every time I passed a mirror, I had to stop and check for more signs of deterioration of my feminine appearance. I had always been tall and slender, with babyish features, light blonde hair, periwinkle blue eyes, a few freckles, and translucent skin. Now I started to see the evidence of a wispy mustache coming in, and my face seemed to be getting harsher as the baby fat melted away. I was obsessed with appearing as feminine as I could get away with, so I was extra careful to keep my long hair blow-dried just right, and I dressed in colors that showed off my hair and eye colors. Then I decided that I just had to find some kind of support group, some people like me who I could talk to and be myself with. I got the San Francisco phone book out while at work one morning.

I was looking through the white pages for anything to do with transvestism, transsexuality, or any other cross-dressing support groups or clubs. First I looked in the white pages under "trans," then under "sex." No dice. Then I thought "Why not look it up as a sub-heading under "San Francisco?" Voila! I discovered the San Francisco Sex Information Hotline!

I called SFSI, and got through to a nice young man who gave me the phone number of the Gateway Gender Alliance in San Jose. I called the number, and got a recording that listed meeting times and the address. They met every first and third Friday of the month in the basement of the Unitarian church on Third Street in downtown San Jose. I attended the first meeting in stealth mode, essentially just wore my male street clothes, kept to myself, didn't say much, and left very early. What I discovered while there was amazing to me though.

First person I saw was Georgia, the transvestite who ran the GGA. He was an apparent WWII veteran, who talked in a growly voice, and he was 100% male from the neck up, and 100% Aunt Mabel from the neck down. He was bracketed by several other transvestite males, all around the same age, with the same manly voices and the same frilly out-of-fashion female clothing. Georgia and his friends were almost the only people I talked to on that first night, I didn't say much, just said I wasn't sure yet when they asked The Question.

What was The Question? Well, everybody at the GGA, when you met them for the first time, always asked the same damned question: TV or TS? I was still not willing to commit in front of these people, though I could see that I was not much like the obvious TV males there at all. I was a lot more, shall we say, delicate. The main thing that I took away from that meeting was that it was a complete waste of time unless you dressed as a female to attend. There were people dressed as males around, but I wasn't sure which ones were like me, which ones were voyeurs, and which ones were predators (I had become convinced that a fixed percentage of males were sexual predators like Ray and to a lesser degree Max, and that a venue like this would bring them out in droves, so I was a bit paranoid about the male-looking types, and I suppose people were suspicious of me that evening too, though I was obviously too fey-looking to be much of a predator.

One woman who was obviously not a TV guy was Amber. She was the only person other than Georgia and his war buddies I talked to that night. I guess she figured I was a first-timer, not a transie-hawk, so she came over and chatted with me, naturally opening with The Question. Amber looked at least half Polynesian, and was beautiful, with long straight black hair and pretty almond-shaped brown eyes. Meeting Amber convinced me that I should probably come to the next meeting; talking to her gave me hope that I didn't necessarily have to wind up like Georgia if I came to the GGA.

Almost two weeks later, I had picked out my outfit for the next GGA meeting: A simple single-knit beige skirt with elastic waistband, and a floral-print polyester tunic. I had a pair of black high heel sandals that fit, I had purchased them mail-order when the rollercoaster started going up again. But I needed un-laddered nylons, and makeup! So I spent two nights riding my bicycle from 7-11 to 7-11, trying to muster up the courage in each one to purchase the makeup and nylons I needed. Not this 7-11, the clerk is a big dude. Not this one, the clerk is a lady who looks like my mother. Not this one, it's too crowded. Not this one, it's too close to home/work.

Finally, at the end of the second night, near dawn, I had had enough of my fears. I marched into the very next 7-11, which happened to be clerked by a big black man, but was otherwise unoccupied. I purchased the L'legs, several pair just in case, some blue eye shadow, some Revlon black mascara, a Maybelline black eyeliner pencil, some frost-pink lipstick, a tube of Cover Girl by Noxzema, some blusher, and a small crock of cold cream to clean it all off afterwards. As I approached the counter, my heart was slam-dancing with my stomach, and as I placed the items on the counter, the clerk looked at them, then he looked at me, and then he spoke to me:

"You don't need this shit. You're a good-looking guy." I guess the burst of courage that had sent me in to purchase my makeup was still there, because I defiantly placed both palms on the counter, leaned forward, and told him, "Yes I do, this is me, this is who I am, man." So he just rang up my purchases for me, and I left triumphant.

The night of the meeting arrived. I was far too entrenched in my male persona to just go to the meeting dressed, so I did what many of the attendees did at those GGA meetings, I went to the restroom and changed there. I carried my female clothing and makeup in a shopping bag on the bus to get there. I had played with makeup before, so I was able to apply it without making myself look TOO awful. Then I went back to the basement meeting room to mingle, for the very first time, with other people while dressed completely as a female.

The first person I saw was Amber. I smiled and waved, and she suddenly smiled back and waved. She said "I didn't recognize you until you smiled, you've got eyes that smile with your lips." I was so thrilled! I was a girl, in public, for the very first time, and I was in a totally accepting environment. I began to mingle.

I met several people there who would become friends later; Lisa, and Diana, for example. Lisa was an elevator maintenance and repair worker, and a sweet older TS woman of around 50. Diana was also older, around 50, and was some kind of engineer. Diana had just gotten a job as a female to start her Real Life Test, but she didn't have a car. I had a car I had gotten from an acquaintance really cheap, but I couldn't drive, and it needed a new starter, so I wrote my address down on a piece of paper and told her to come to that address any time after the following day, and she would find the keys and pink slip under the driver's seat.

Diana picked up the car, a brown 1968 Newport, two days later while I was at work. The apartment manager, who I had informed ahead of time, told me that Diana came with a male friend and they had a replacement starter with them, they changed it and she drove the car away. That car had cost me $150, I bought it intending to learn to drive it and get my license. I did have a learner's permit at the time I purchased the car, but I didn't actually get a license to drive until 1987, when I was 27 years old.  Diana and Lisa both became very good friends until they disappeared into the Tranny Mists.

I was chatting about something with Amber when I noticed this woman with dark blonde curly hair in a sun dress expounding on some subject with great animation, using her hands to gesture as she described something. As I was looking at her, she stopped in the middle of her conversation, turned to me, and said "You look interesting. We'll talk later." And we did, she introduced herself as Jennifer, and she introduced me to her Significant Other, Sandi. Of all the people I had met that evening, I sensed that these two were IMPORTANT to me. They held the answers that I was seeking. I asked them if they would care to go to dinner at a Chinese dive I knew of, my treat. Sensing a tasty meal, they accepted my invitation, and I met them at their apartment in Sunnyvale. We enjoyed dinner, and then returned to their apartment. I was completely in love with both of them by this time.

There was a lot to love about them. Sandi was the first person since Cecily who could keep up with me verbally. Her wit was so sharp, so precise, that I just plain fell in love with her mind right then and there. She was a cutey too, short and blonde and sassy. Jennifer was as tall as I was, as slender as I was, and she was the first person I had ever met who thought about such things as "What if quanta were cubical instead of probability clouds?" And the walls! The walls of their apartment, which I was informed was called "Bangelfadrigar," were completely covered in India-ink sketches of Faernie and other science fiction creatures, comic strips of Jenny's inner self discovering cosmic truths, and all manner of artwork, including a 3D chess set exactly like the one in the "Star Trek:TOS" episode "Charley." It turns out that Jennifer had made the board herself. Her silver jewelry appeared not only to be handmade, but also were rich in detailing that included many cabalistic symbols and images.

I was hopelessly in love, I had chatted with Jennifer about transsexuality, and the way she just brushed aside my fears and self-doubts was like lifting a weight off my shoulders. The time I had visited a shrink for a "cure," I expected miracles. With Jennifer, I GOT a miracle, I was able to finally, with her help, cut through years of my own bullshit and obfuscation, and I came to the conclusion that I was a MtF Transsexual, and had always been one, and had always been in denial about it. I rode my bike home that evening, my head spinning with all these heady new discoveries.

The next time I saw Sandi and Jennifer, they helped me get started on my Transition. They took me to Doctor Smilo, an endocrinologist in San Francisco, and she prescribed for me a large cocktail of hormones, and set up a regular monthly appointment. They gave me the phone number of Doctor Brown, a noted gender therapist who treated transsexuals. I made my first appointment with her that day. They also hooked me up with an electrologist just south of San Mateo who did good work.

My Transition had begun!