Last night, I was up late and I was thinking a lot about my teens years. Specifically, I was wondering why it was that I was so afraid to come out about my gender identity issues, and how my life would have been different if I would have admitted to my parents that I wanted to be a girl at a much earlier age.
I was fourteen when I really became aware that I was transgendered, though I had been behaving as such for years. As a small boy, I remember fancying a girlie high chair, sneaking into my sister's room to play tea, and always wanting to play with the girls in the play kitchen in preschool. When my sister, who is two years older than me, began wearing bras, I would fish them out of the laundry hamper and wear them for as long as I could before I thought someone would ask me why I was taking such long showers each night. As I got older, I kept trying on her clothes, only I would wait for everyone to leave the house and then raid her room or find bags she intended to donate to charity in the basement and dance around the house for hours in full feminine attire. The number of times I almost got caught was very high, and my sister often made remarks that left me suspicious that she knew about my transgendered ways.
In the evenings, my thoughts about transitioning were always the hardest. I would go to bed and think about what life would be like as a girl, or what it would be like to come out to my parents and start the transition process. Its not really clear to me to this day what I was afraid of - I always suspected that my parents would be supportive and loving if I told them I wanted to be a girl. I guess there were a number of factors that prevented me from coming out as a teen: I liked girls and wanted to be able to have sex with them (and I didn't know enough about being a lesbian to make sense of it all), I wanted to have kids later in life, and I just didn't know anyone that lived any kind of alternative lifestyle on which to pattern my behavior. I guess it just never seemed to me that I could come out as transgendered, be accepted, get treatment, and live the rest of my life as a full fledged woman.
So, what would my life have been like if I would have done it - if I would have come out at fourteen or fifteen? Well, I think I would have been sent to a doctor, who would have sent me to therapy. And, that therapy would have led to hormones by 16 or so, and SRS by 18 or 19. I would have prevented a great deal of my male traits from developing, and my feminine development would have been much more pronounced and favorable. Sadly, I wouldn't have met my wife or had kids, because I probably would have experimented with boys, and ended up becoming a wife. Maybe I would have adopted kids and become a mother and home maker, then grown old as a grand mother. Who knows? Its an interesting thought experiment, and some part of me wishes that I could know what would have happened if I had been more courageous, more daring. Sadly, I will never know.
Where does all this leave me? Well, at present I am managing my non-operative status pretty well. My urges to transition certainly come along on a semi-frequent basis, but I try to distract myself. Life is distraction enough some days. Other days, I fret that if I don't transition soon, the opportunity will pass me by. Another part of me, however, is pretty confident that I will end up transitioning some day, and that I will know the joys of having my own female body (including breasts and those naughty bits that I long for on a daily basis). I think about having long flowing hair, if only by false means at this point, and about the way estrogen changes the texture and feel of your skin and body hair. Urg...it gets me passionate about transitioning now, just thinking about it.