I’ve voted 11 to 20. But I have to say that’s a broad period encompassing a lot of life, puberty etc. Too broad.
I’ve read through the experiences of others and certainly I can relate to most if not all of them. There are differences but all have a common thread of feeling different but not always able to express it or process it. We were after all, children.
I first began to wish I could be a girl around 11 or 12. I would lie in bed at night and pray I would wake up as a girl. Even for a few days. Actually I still do.
I began to wear girls clothes secretly.
Yet going through puberty I was attracted to girls. Very puzzling for me. But I also was attracted to certain boys. In fact I had a major crush on Paul Miller. I still have. He was so cool 😎 Sigh! Think Paul Mescal.
Now it was the early seventies in Ireland. Dublin in fact. You’d think conservative, Catholic etc. Maybe but less conservative than certain US states now.
However my main source of information about trans issues was from British tabloid newspapers and to some extent British TV both of which were available in Ireland. Thank goodness because the one Irish TV station wasn’t exactly liberal back then.
The Brit tabloids loved and love a sensation. ‘Men’having a ‘sex change’ was absolute ideal fodder for their readers. To be fair being British they allowed their subjects to explain themselves.
Invariably they knew they were girls from an early age. 5 or 6. That wasn’t my experience. I knew I was different from an early age but didn’t think I was a girl.
So I rationalised it. I was, based on the tabloid experience not a transsexual according to my perceived version based on the supposed experience espoused by the subject of the tabloid article.
So I decided I was just a transvestite as was the terminology of the time. Eventually I joined a group of transvestites in Dublin.
BTW at the time in the eighties being gay was a literal criminal offence in Ireland. Totally uninforced but on the books. So yes I’m a criminal.
But the transvestites I joined were a puzzle to me. Pauline, one of the most convincing and expert in make up spoke of Pauline as other as in ‘I’m taking Pauline to the pub. But to me she was Pauline.????
Of course I now know I’m trans. But I couldn’t understand why they separated themselves from their female side. But of course they were cross dressers. Straight men who dressed as women.
We went to a pub, a gay bar. I’d brought my sister’s suit, classic eighties, dog tooth style with my mohair polo neck top. I had my makeup but no wig but they had a spare blonde wig.
I created quite a stir and posed for various photos. I wish I had one now. I was young and cute but didn’t know it.
In the pub, someone bought me a drink. It was somewhat of an out of body experience.
We were joined by what I know now was a transwoman. She greeted us but I sensed a real sadness in her. She spoke to us for a bit then, to me randomly kissed a man. I felt a sinking feeling.
You can see I was terribly naive
Anyway the evening ended with a ride back to the place. We were all dressed as women. Our driver was as much as anything a man who loved dressing up as a woman. Yet smoked a pipe He drove erratically down the street.
He claimed that was expected of women drivers.
I was horrified but said nothing. Well we didn’t back then.
I realised that it was a club for men playing as women.
These days crossdressers pretend they’re trans. They’re not.