My Transition Story

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  • #130033
    Jennifer Thompson
    Participant

    I was 4 when it all began. My older sister (2 years older) got out a suitcase of our mom’s old clothes and started putting them on. I don’t remember the details of how I got started – whether she invited me or I invited myself – to also put my mom’s clothes on. Anyway we started doing this maybe not every day, but often for a few weeks. This was done during the day when our mom was home and not in secret. Looking back I am surprised my mom didn’t seem to react to our “playing dress up.” But after a while my sister tired of this and she had her own dresses to wear and we rarely did it. I remember one day I was left alone for an hour or so, and I got out the suitcase and played “dress up.” I did this on every opportunity. Then I got the idea of trying on one of my sister’s dresses. I liked that much more as we were about the same size so they fit better and I liked them more. But my sister caught on to what I had been doing and confronted me. I admitted what I had been doing. Luckily, she kind of liked the idea of having a little sister to play with. So she told me I could wear some of her clothes she didn’t wear any more – just not her new good clothes. This was all done in secret form my mom or so I thought at the time. Later when my mom caught me, she said she knew I had been doing this for awhile. That is really the first part of my story. I have got to stop now, but if this is of interest, I will continue later with what happened next which involves a lot of counseling, therapy, etc.

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    • #130210

      Well, the summer before my junior year in high school was coming to an end. Everything seemed in place for me to go to school as Jennie. I had reached my adult height of 5-7 and weigh about what I do now, 125 lbs. My hair had grown long since I stopped cutting it six years ago. I had had several appointments with a hair dresser to get it trimmed and evened up. I could not really tell if my voice had changed, but my mom said it may have deepened a little, but still sounded enough like a girl’s voice when people looked at me. My big disappointment was that after five months of being on female hormones, my chest so still pretty flat, but with my heavily padded A cup bra my sister told me I looked fine. I was so excited, but about a week before school started I started to panic. Even though I now had been dressing full time as a girl for three months, going to school as Jennie would be different. Especially when my sister while trying to calm me down about how good I liked, mentioned that if anyone could “read me” it would be teenage girls and I had spent the summer around my neighbor, Katie, and her friends  who obviously had accepted me as a girl. Instead of calming me down, I remember it freaked me out.

      So finally the big day arrived and I was super nervous and scared as I walked out the door. I went across the street and joined Katie in waiting for the school bus. I sat with Katie on the bus and then walked into school. On the first day of school, we had what they called “home room” to get our class schedules and locker. It was so nice in each class when I heard my female name called and I answered. I somehow got through that terrifying day and was so happy to get home and relax. Even though I had never had a trouble passing, I worried about it a lot. After about a week I began to calm down and gain some confidence. I also began to make some friends who all seemed to accept me as a girl. But that fear of detection would not go completely away probably right up to when I finally got the surgery.

      More later.

    • #130201

      Well to continue my story. So the decision was made for me to transition full time in the summer after I turned 16. That included going to school as a girl. Like I mentioned above, my family had discussed this with the school principle and others who needed to know about me and it was decided to have two restrictions. I would not take gym class and I was not to go in the girls bathroom – instead use the women’s room in the office where the office workers knew about me. A lawyer helped get my name legally changed. My doctors, of course, knew about me, but we also had to tell my dentist and eye doctor. Luckily my mom told them, but it was still scary when I went in for my dental and eye checkup that summer. I usually wore contact lens, but we had to get a pair of glasses for girls and ditch my boys pair. I would also need a much bigger wardrobe of clothes, shoes, etc. As a boy I only really wore a couple of different shirts, sweatshirts and shoes. For a girl it is very different. Most of my clothes were hand me downs from my older sister. I needed my own clothes. What a delight (with my sister and mother’s help) to pick out what I would need to begin the school year.

      We moved into a new house and neighborhood just before the school year had ended so most of my boy clothes were donated to Goodwill with just enough left to get me through the last days of school. After school ended, those clothes also were donated. I was now wearing girl’s clothes full time. But thinking back now, in some ways that wasn’t the best time to make that radical change. It was the time for summer clothes like shorts that I could not wear because of the obvious bulge between my legs. All my clothes had to be chosen with that in mind. No tight jeans through the crotch, wearing a top over jeans that “hid” the bulge.

      The other big thing that happened that summer is that a girl my age lived across the street from our new house. We met and would become my friend that proved very beneficial. I got to meet her friends that would be some of my classmates when school started. I was completely excepted by them as a girl. I realized that girls talk about very different things that boys. Boys talked mostly about sports and girls, but in a different way than girls talk about girls. There was one day that several of us went to the Mall. After a little shopping, we sat down and just “people watched.” A lot of the focus was on watching for cute guys, but also watching the teenage girls – some they knew, but most they didn’t. In that situation, boys would comment if they saw a cute girl or one “who was built nice.” But the girls I was sitting with, were critical of the girls they saw. Like ones they knew that they thought had put on weight or they didn’t like their hairstyle or too much makeup, etc. It actually was a valuable lesson for me to learn how different girls view the world that what I was use to as a guy. One very potentially embarssing came up when one of the girls had a swimming party that I was invited to. Obviously I couldn’t do that, so had to decline.

      It is time for bed, s I better stop again.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #130152

      It might seem like my life was going well, but anyone who has gone thru transitioning knows it is not easy. Yes, there are highs, but also lows with plenty of hardships, embarrassing moments and important decisions to be made. But certainly the day I began HRT’s was a highlight. Taking that first pill was so exciting and I almost immediately felt something  happening. I know now it was just my body reacting as it does to any strong new prescription, but at the time I got so excited how quickly it was working and I would soon began developing boobs. Of course, reality quickly set in. Yes, I would begin to develop boobs, but it would be a long process and in the end I never developed the boobs of my dreams and three years ago had breast augmentation – not huge but just nice size that I love as does my now husband.

      So I was now really on my way to becoming a girl and began to go out in public more wearing my padded bra with pads I had bought. My hair was now getting long, my voice had deepened a little, but still high enough that while dressed as a girl it did not give me away. I would go grocery shopping or on other errands while dressed with my mom and go to the Mall with my sister to shop or window shop or mix with her friends. The only time I wore boy clothes was to school where I was now a sophomore. One of the hard times was Easter dinner with my aunt and uncle and their two boys, my cousins. My parents had told them about my transition, but when they came the boys joined my brother in picking on me and thinking I must be crazy to want to be a girl and not become a man. My sister and I wore our new Easter dresses and I felt so much like a girl as I had just started HTR, but their hasseling me really ruined my day. There were occasions when my brother’s hasseling really got to me and I went to my room in tears – especially after I had started HTR’s when I cried a lot more. But my sister would always come in my room and calm me down saying how great it was to be a girl.

      That spring I turned 16 there was something else that became important in my transitioning. My dad’s mother had recently died and my grandfather had died a couple years before. I rarely saw them since they lived in another part of the country and in fact can’t remember ever really having a conversation with my dad’s father. The important part in my transition is that with both of them now gone, my dad was an only child. My grandparents weren’t exactly super rich or anything, but they sure weren’t poor and so my parents inherited a lot of money, but also a lot of stuff including family hierlooms, furniture, etc. My parents decided they would move into a bigger, nicer house that they could now afford. So that spring they began searching for a new house which they found and just as the school year was ending we moved. Important for me was that it was in a different school district so I would start school my junior year in a different school. I had already decided that I would transition to full time as a girl after I graduated. I couldn’t bear going to school as a girl and all the hassle from the people who knew me as a boy. But with starting a new school in a different neighborhood gave me a chance to “start over.” It was my sister who first mentioned the idea of going full time and when I mentioned that to my therapist she thought that it might work as she thought I was ready to take that next big, I mean really huge jump. So by the time school ended and we had moved, the decision was made to do it. That was a busy summer for me. My mom worked as a secretary in a law office so my parents met with a lawyer to discuss legal issues like changing my name. So that summer I legally became Jennifer Shaw, but of course my sex was still indicated as male. My dad as a high school teacher and coach new coaches at my new school so made arrangement to meet with the school principal. There were several meetings with the principal, assistant principle, guidance counselors. They wanted to meet me so one day came to our house. I think they were pretty surprised at how I looked and it became apparent I could pass as a girl. The big issue was that they did not want me using the girls locker room or bathrooms. That was the tough tissue. It was finally decided that I would not take gym class and would be restricted to use the woman’s bathroom in the office and that all the office workers would be told about me.

      It is getting late so I better stop again. More when I get time.

    • #130143

      Again thanks for the encouragement to write some more about my life story. I am sure we all have had very different experiences. being trans is not easy. I am sure we have all had our problems and faced tough decisions to make. Plus the worry about passing as we went through transition.

      I left off when I realized that being on blockers, I still had my “child like” higher pitch voice that sounded enough like a female voice that it would make it much easier for me to pass. Also through my teenage years I continued to grow, but nothing like my male classmates. My school had grades 7-9 as middle school and then you actually started in the high school as a sophomore. It was obvious the gap in growth had widened between me and my male classmates. I had always played a lot of sports, but I as I started 9th grade I realized I was probably just going to get hurt or pushed around if I played on the football team. Even keeping up with the guys if my gym class had gotten harder. Most of them were bigger, faster and stronger. I also noticed that my female classmates wee changing which made me very envious.

      So my life more and more focused on becoming the girl I dreamed of becoming. By this time I had received clothes from my older sister that she had outgrown or didn’t like. My closet had more female clothes than male clothes. While at home I almost always dressed as a girl. What I began to realize is that I needed to try and go out dressed as a girl. The one one thing I was missing was shoes. As a boy I basically wore the same pair of shoes every day, but as a girl I would need lots of shoes. So one day my mom and sister took me shoe shopping. I was dressed as a boy. When we got to the store I measured my foot and then they helped me pick out some shoes. I remember getting three pairs of shoes that I would need for different occasions. My hair had grown enough that my mom and sister could help me style it like a girl – like putting it in a bun or pony tail. So I ditched the wig and started going out dressed completely as a girl with a little makeup and hairstyling my sister helped me with. My first time out was going grocery shopping with my mom and sister. I was really scared, but it went well. I was able to pass. Eventually I learned that my biggest problem in passing was the bulge between my legs that I needed to hide. That meant choosing clothes  that would “hide” my bulge. By this time my sister had gotten very confident in my passing and since she was now driving, she would take me clothes shopping so I would have clothes I picked out, but always with her help and advice. Mostly I got dresses and skirts and tops. I got a couple pairs of pants, but not too tight through the crotch. One day while at The Mall, we were just about ready to leave when we ran into one of my sisters friends. She introduced me as her sister. By now I  had decided on a female name. Well my sister actually picked it out – Jennifer since we both loved Jennifer Aniston, the actress. Which is now my legal name although I go by Jennie. Anyway my sister began taking me along when she went shopping with her friends or just hanging out at The Mall. I loved this and really helped me develop a confidence that I could pass. I remember my sister saying, if I could pass in front of teenage girls, I could pass in front of anyone. So anyway when I told my therapist about this, she asked if I wanted to start coming to these sessions dressed as Jennie. She wanted to see how I looked dressed. at first that psyched me out, but I agreed to try it. So for my next appointment I went as Jennie. My sister helped me with my makeup  and styled my hair with a ponytail. My therapist was impressed. She said I looked great and even said, if she hadn’t known she never would have guessed I wasn’t female. So my confidence was really growing. For my next appointment, I dressed as a girl. When I got called back from he waiting room, the lady said, “Miss Shaw.” That was my maiden name. Of course when I got married two years ago I took on my husband’s last name. That caught me by surprise and I just sat there until she repeated “Miss Shaw.” It suddenly sunk in, she meant me. Since my therapist knew I would come dressed as a girl, she had my name listed on the appointment calendar as “Jennie Shaw.” I was thrilled to be addressed as “Miss Shaw.”

      Meanwhile I was getting closer to turning 16, a date that I had circled on my calendar as I could start on female hormones. I began seeing a doctor about starting as she would eventually make the decision that I could start on the hormones. So the big day finally arrived and after school I had an appointment with the doctor and I walked out with a prescription!!!

      I better stop again. so more when I get a chance.

       

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    • #130114

      Thanks for the support and encouragement to continue my life story.

      I was now in middle school and on blockers. At first there was no problem, but that gradually changed resulting in a melt down by me during one my therapy sessions. My desire to transition to a girl came into conflict with my love of playing sports. My dad was the high school baseball coach and assistant football coach. All my young life I had played catch, had batting batting practice and shot baskets that gave me an advantage in my favorite sports of baseball and basketball. But while in middle school my friends and teammates went through the changes of puberty. They got bigger and stronger and I eventually lost my advantage. Plus my brother being 4 years older was in high school and his success in sports led to him being very popular and he was enjoying dating girls. So this led to a melt down one day in front of my therapist. She asked me if I wanted to continue on blockers, and explained if I stopped I would go through the puberty and go through changes like the other boys, but if I did so it would be much harder to transition to the life of a girl that I so badly wanted. I was in no condition to answer her question. I had therapy sessions every other week. She advised me to think it over and schedule an appointment for the next week. When I got home I had a long talk with my family. My brother was in favor of me giving up being what he called a sissy and become a man. My sister was really liking having a little sister. My parents said they would support me in whatever decision I made.

      In the end, my desire to be a girl was dominant. But it showed me that life was not easy and I would face difficult decisions. So I remained on blockers. I could still play sports, but I was no longer one of the better players. Through my middle school years I let my hair grow and mostly wore girls clothes at home. My closet had a growing wardrobe of clothes my sister didn’t like. She had also given me some of her old bras that I loved wearing. I would even sleep in my bra and dream of having boobs. I would put rolled up socks in my bra to make it look like I had boobs. And even when through a phase where I filled a baloon with water that I put in my bra. My sister was teaching me about using makeup.

      The next big thing was when my therapist talked about what next for me in my transition. She said I could start on female hormones when I was 16 and explained the changes that I would undergo. That really excited me and I wrote down the date I turned 16 and could really begin my transition. One evening I was dressed as usual and my sister suggested we go outside for a walk. I looked enough like a girl when dressed with a little makeup. My hair had grown, but still not long enough to really look like  most girls. Long hair was definitely the fashion for most teen girls. But in the dark my sister thought I could “pass” well enough to just take a short walk around the block. I was excited, but nervous and scared going outside dressed as a girl for the first time. There were a couple of people we saw on our walk and it thrilled me that we had no trouble. Soon afterwards my sister came up with the idea of buying me a wig. We talked to my mom about this and she gave in to buying one. We went online and found one we liked. When I got home from school the day the wig arrived, I couldn’t wait to get dressed and try it on. I was amazed at how I looked. So after dinner, my sister helped me apply some basic makeup and put my wig on and we went for another walk this time while it was still light outside. Things went well until we saw some people who stopped and said hi and what a nice evening it was and I suddenly realized I had said hi and agreed it was a nice evening. That is when I really realized that being on blockers my voice had not really changed much and at least while dressed and wearing a little makeup and my wig my voice sounded close enough to being a girl’s voice that I passed as a girl. When we got back to the house I talked to my sister about how dramatic this was for me. And she said that my voice definitely passed as that of a girl. Wow!!!

      I better stop again for now.

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      • #130115

        Oh Jennifer,  I completely get the part about who our dads were.  My father was the big all-city sports hero and I came out looking just like my little mom and was terrible at sports.  What a difference.  Thanks for sharing this.  Marg

    • #130100

      I believe every transition story deserves to be heard, and I also know that telling our stories can be very cathartic and bring healing to our feminine souls. Thank you Jennifer for opening you heart and sharing your story. Best wishes as you continue down your amazing path.

      Love,

      Lauren M

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    • #130080

      Thanks for all the positive feedback to my life’s story and encouragement to continue. I left off when I was diagnosed as being trans. For the next year or so, nothing really big happened. I continued seeing my therapist. One thing that was different about me than what seems to be the usual story for trans people is that I didn’t dislike being a boy. I loved sports. I loved playing sports especially softball and basketball and going to games with my dad and older brother. We especially followed the local college team. But somehow being a boy just didn’t seem to be the real me. As I got older I remember hearing my friends at school talking about what they wanted to do with a good looking girl. I didn’t want to do something to that girl. I wanted to be that girl. Whenever I would see a cute girl I felt like why can’t be like her. When I saw a boy holding a girls hand or having his arm around a girl, I felt jealous of that girl. Meanwhile my sister being 2 years older began to develop and I was really jealous of that.  Every day I thought about some day being a girl now that I knew that it might be possible.

      When I turned 11 my therapist asked me if I was really serious about being a girl and I said yes. She said then it is about time we began to take steps to make that happen. So the therapist scheduled an appointment with my parents to discuss this with them. The therapist said that the process would be long and hard and expensive. I would soon be starting puberty and the best time to act was before puberty started. She explained about starting hormone blockers. I realized this was a big step that I didn’t want to jump into without knowing more about it and my parents agreed to look into this. My brother was totally against it and told me that I would be giving up being a man and all the benefits of being a guy. My sister thought it would be cool to have a little sister and she became my biggest supporter. Since I was now dressing as a girl a lot at home, my therapist wanted to see me dressed as a girl so she made an appointment to visit me at home with me dressed. When she did, she was impressed. So to make a long story short the decision was made and approved by my parents to start the process. I saw a medical doctor that resulted in me starting hormone blockers and I no longer got haircuts. Well I need to go so this seems like a good place to stop.

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      • #130083
        Brielle
        SILVER

        Hi Jennifer! I am so touched by your story. I know the process wasn’t easy and carefree, but having your sister and parents on board and starting so young is such a huge thing! I am 60-ish (-ish -> giggle), and just started HRT last November. SInce I’m this aged the endocrinologist is going SLOW. It’s good medicine, but my dysphoria is almost unbearable now. I always wanted to be a girl since the earliest I can remember but back then I’d have been diagnosed as mentally ill and given conversion therapy to “fix” me.

        I’m not where I want to be yet, but happy to be going in the right direction finally. I am envious of your courage to tell your family and therapist what was going on.

        Hugs,

        Brie

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    • #130068

      Jennifer,

      Wow this is so fascinating and encouraging to hear, especially for those of us who have experienced that “opposite” reaction or at least something different than understanding and support. Back when I was a little girl, long ago, even therapists would have regarded my feelings as a “condition” which needed to be “cured.” I’m rather grateful my parents did not go that route. They must have known I was dressing, it’s pretty hard to hide when you’re nine or ten, but they never said one word to me about it, apparently hoping that it was a phase I would grow out of. I was left lonely and confused, but at least I was not subjected to “corrective” measures, so I didn’t feel so much shame and conflict. I knew what felt good to me, and I thrived on it.

      Looking forward to your next installment.

      Jane

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    • #130063

      I agree that it is nice to hear our life’s stories as I am sure they are all very different how we got to where we are today.

      To continue my story. I’m pretty sure I was six when I started therapy as I was in the 1st grade. Of course, at that age, I did not understand what was going on. I just went to these sessions as I did what my parents told me to do. I explained to the man that I liked wearing woman’s clothes. After several sessions the guy concluded it was probably just a phase I was going through and that ended that. But the desire to dress as a girl did not stop, it increased. My parents were aware of my desire to dress as a girl. My older brother (4 years older) thought I was a sissy, but my older sis kinda liked it just as long as I did not wear her favorite and better clothes. I think I was 7 when my parents decided that they wanted a second opinion on what was going on. They never made me feel like I was doing something bad, more like it was unusual and wanted to understand what was going on with me. So I started therapy again, this time with a young woman. I remember one day telling  her I had this dream of going to sleep and waking up as a girl. That seemed to change what she thought was going on with me. And in anther session I said something about when I grew up I wanted to dress all the time as a girl. I had never heard of somebody being trans and at that young age may not have understood what it meant even if I had heard of it. But anyway my therapist had me see a therapist in Portland which was about an hour away. I had several weekly sessions there and even a couple times went to one in Seattle that meant me taking a day off from school to drive up there and back. When I was 9 or maybe 10 I remember that finally my therapist asked me if I had any more dreams or thoughts about wanting to wake up as a girl. I told her yes, I thought about that a lot. She told me that she and the other therapists thought I was trans. Since I didn’t understand what that meant, she explained it and there was actually  a surgery where I would sleep through and when I woke up my “down there” would be like a girl rather than a boy. Actually it was a little more complicated than that as I eventually learned, but I guess she just wanted to keep her explanation simple for me to understand. I remember just sitting there and not really able to say anything. I guess I was kinda in shock. But obviously what she told me changed my thinking. She then set up an appointment for my parents so she could explain to them what she and the other therapists thought was going on. I think they were in as big a shock as I was, but they talked to the other therapists I had seen and eventually they came to accept that. They never made me feel as though I was bad and always told me they loved me and wanted the best for me. I don’t think I really understood or appreciated at the time how important that was for me and they could have had the opposite reaction.

      Well I need to stop again so this seems like a good stopping place for now.

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    • #130060

      Jennifer,

      We all need to hear each other’s life stories. And it helps when we share.
      Shiloh

      1 user thanked author for this post.
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