I was born legally blind with 20/400 vision, but in 1952 no one tested children for that. I was in sixth grade before anyone tested me, and that is after failing a couple of grades. I was tall and very skinny. Later I would enter the military at 6’3″ and 115 lbs. I initially grew up attached to my mother due to fear of most everything else. I didn’t know I was blind. I thought I was a girl for the first 4 to 5 years, at which time I was informed otherwise. I would get caught dressing in my sisters clothes, or kissing a boy playing house, and would be punished. In school I played with the girls, at summer camp / recreational park I would play with the girls: I embroidered arm covers for all the chairs in my house. I couldn’t play boy type games because one needs to see a baseball or basketball to catch them. I could ride a bike, but couldn’t see holes or obstacles, and would crash. When I was in 6th grade my eyes were tested; a few weeks later I got my first pair of glasses and my first question was “Can all of you see this?”. In the military during the Viet Nam war I was picked on as gay, I was regularly threatened with rape, and was raped a couple of times. In 1974 I left the service and entered college. I did well, I had the Viet Nam GI bill and got through 5 years of college debt free. I continued to spend 5 years on a PhD in Microbiology and Cell Science, then another 4 years in Veterinary College; at this time I am no longer debt free, but served in ROTC to defer much of the costs. My senior year as an undergraduate I spent cross dressed; what freedom! I attempted to arrange for a gender affirming surgery at John Hopkins, but the 2 to 3 year phyco-analysis & costs prevented that. Once I went home and when my father saw that I had shaved all my body hair off he took me outside an very sincerely threatened to kill me if I was gay.
I am now a retired Field-Grade Military Officer with two commands in combat zones, and a retired Federal Law Enforcement Agent. I have been married for 32 years; a women I married that promised me children, but never gave me one. Most of me loves her, but a part of me hates her. During 32 years of marriage my wife would often come to me and say “I want to be…something”, I always supported her. Law school twice, many hobbies, and tons of special vacations as in “I want to be in Italy” Now I have finally asked her one time a want: “I want to be a girl”, and she indicated that upon a surgery she is gone. I always say “girl” because as a 4 or 5 year old I didn’t dream of becoming a women, I wanted to be a girl.
I am on hormone therapy for 2 1/2 months now, and I like me better, I think I am nicer, and I am growing small breasts. As a man I didn’t like most men; I hated them talking about women as if they were just genitals. My wife told me: “If you do this you will lose all your friends”, to which I said “What friends”. I have friends, but very few, and all of them are busy professionals like I was until retirement. My relationships with my few friends is intellectual in nature, uneducated men want nothing to do with me already, much less after I complete transition.
Since I started on this course of action I have given up alcohol. As a man I drank way too much, now I don’t miss it.
That’s it. That is my story in a nutshell.