Who am I, Really.

Mr. Peabody, Sherman, and I took a recent trip in their Way-Back Machine landing safely in 1965—a little journey into the past. The scenery was stunning…one moment in their time machine, the next in a middle school P. E. locker room. I was taken by an old, familiar feeling, ANXIETY!

I spied myself sitting on a bench staring blankly into a locker full of shorts, t-shirts, and old tennis shoes. They wanted me to get undressed and change into gym gear—and it was WRONG.

I didn’t know if I could do it. I didn’t belong there. I wasn’t supposed to be in there! But at the same time, I didn’t know why I didn’t belong or where I was supposed to be. I couldn’t even explain to myself what was wrong or why I didn’t belong. I didn’t have the words or the concept to express my concern. And the culture of the times forbade disobedience. It was simply the wrong place for me. So, I watched myself slowly begin to change clothes and resign myself to another day of numbed involvement.


This, my friends, is the nature of dysphoria as I experienced it.

It was a few years after this, at about 16 years of age that I learned words to understand what was wrong with me. On a late-night Sunday radio talk show there was a lengthy interview and discussion with Dr. Virginia Prince. For the very first time, I had a concept with which to start understanding myself. I lay in bed intently listening, crying silently alone as I learned I that I am a girl lost in a boy’s body–a Transexual. I eventually found sleep that night, though terrified, confused, and yet somehow relieved.

I spent days, maybe years considering my newfound knowledge. My efforts to research and learn more were virtually non-existent, and there was no one to talk to. Even when my sister discovered me in one of her dresses, she rejected me, and I faced the family Tribunal Inquisition that night. I was threatened with a psychiatric hospital in order to find out what was wrong with me. I clearly got the point!

So, what was I to do? I know; I’ll keep it secret. I’ll hide so deep underground that nobody ever, ever knows of my “aberration.” Reasonable. Outcome?  I was a World class swimmer and water poloist in high school, a US Air Force Academy cadet, pilot school, honorable service, advanced education in clinical psych, semi-pro musician/rocker, esteemed career, pillar of the community, successful father and husband. I hunt and fish, drink beer, and play Friday night poker with “da boys,” you KNOW, just living life! With confidence. With conviction. With extreme competence. An alpha alpha-wolf. In that way, no one will know, and they will love me.

Live life falsely, duplicitous, dishonest, dishonorable. NUMBLY! And pretend it’s all okay.

Don’t misunderstand me ladies. I’m not complaining. I am the first to admit that I’ve had a blessed life. I’ve been able to do things many people never get to experience. In hindsight, I couldn’t have asked for much more. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished thus far. I would have enjoyed doing it all as my full self, but I will not grieve over the past.

So, Carly, what’s your point, kid?

I am thankful for the life I’ve lived. He taught me so much about who I am, what I can do, and that I can do anything if I put my mind to it, and that I will do it well. I learned that I am already loved, accepted, and embraced. That I have exactly everything I need to be me today and to do so beautifully and with my own special flair.

Here I am. I’m Carly Ellen and I am! I’ve always been me, whether I could say so or not. I just have a new haircut, wear makeup differently. I only updated my wardrobe, otherwise I’m not any different. I’m the same old me, have the same old off-the-wall sense of humor, same old likes and dislikes. It’s just the 2020 revised director’s edition with never before seen scenes; the way I should have been originally. I wasn’t bad or wrong before…I’m just as I should be and want to be, and I’m imperfectly perfect the way I am. I won’t have it any other way.

Our life is ours. We can choose to make it as we desire it. We will always have trials and heart aches. There will be tears along with the love, the laughter, and the joy. We are given these days alive in order to make ourselves into something glorious, someone beautiful, something whole and loving. In this way we take our rightful place in this amazing universe and give it unto others with love and sacrifice. In this way we become fully human.

I am a work of art… a masterpiece (mistress piece?) So are you. We’re not meant to be put away on a shelf in a backroom closet. Oh, no! We’re meant for display, to be seen, to be heard, and to be appreciated just for being. Otherwise, the master work is wasted. We deserve better than that, you and I.

Know that you are loved. Know that you are just fine. Know that each gloomy day will give way to clear skies and sunshine eventually. Know that you are just the way you’re meant to be, torn stockings and all.

We are simply waiting for the world to wake-up.

And thank you all for being you. Thank you all for indulging me with my rambling thoughts.





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TIME TO UPDATE MY PROFILE: It's hard to believe I've been onsite for 2 years. And 3 years since I began my transition. I freely admit that transitioning turned my world all helter-skelter, but it has been more than worth it. I've made some amazing friends, and had adventures that still blow my mind. Above all, it is the best decision I have ever made. I feel very confident, strong and content. All those old fears about "What if..." have proven to be illusion, creations of my own imagination and insecurities. The process has been amazingly easy to manage. Now, I live as my true self. TGH, as well as my treatment team and family, have been instrumental in allowing me to get this far. I may not be eligible for many surgical procedures due to health issues, but that will not stop me from enjoying life to the fullest. I wish the best to each and every person that begins this marvelous journey...it is more than worth it. You can find me in the chat room most mornings and oftennduring the day. My goals are to be a support to others in their journey, and to be a proud representative for all of us. So, ladies and gents. I encourage you..."dare to dream...dare to make your dreams a reality...you are stronger than you know." Peace and love. Carly

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Mistress B
Mistress B(@mistressb)
17 hours ago

 Carly Holloway you read another person’s story and it so relates to your own experience and you wonder how many of us were out there hiding behind fear, misinformation and a total lack of acceptance. The youth of today despite all the pressures of modern society have a very different life ahead of them. At times I really envy them yet I too had a very fulfilling “manly" career and life full of joy and happiness, yet there was always that invisible monkey on my back. That monkey has gone, and so has “he" and the world is a much… Read more »

Ashley W
Ashley W(@ashleyw)
2 days ago

 Carly Holloway Well written article.  I could remember myself as I lived through the horrors of high school.  The anxieties, which remain to this day, around someone finding out what I felt and how I felt and that I just did not belong there.  Crying myself to sleep each night because I did felt like I was wrong.   I was born wrong.  And I had no one to talk to because my family would be the same as yours.  I am sorry you had to go through that but it sounds like it made you a stronger woman in the… Read more »

Judith Orr
Judith Orr(@judith)
8 days ago

I mean—REALLY–who–the-hell cares about this STUPID football game footage?!! (“Get me out of here!!!"). On the other hand–I suppose–there could be irony. Like, in HS I joined the Explorer Scouts…and went on a LONG hike into the mountains (in Calif.)…and this turned out to be a real watershed for me: toughened me up…kind “took the edges off."  I’ll also admit that some “male-oriented" pursuits (sometimes a “pain" at the time), like car and TV-Radio repair, and work for the phone company (and earning my FCC license)(and some eight years working in retail hardware)… turned out to be valuable and satisfying.… Read more »

Judith Orr
Judith Orr(@judith)
8 days ago

 Carly Holloway WOW, what a story!! And, you kind’ve “got me" with the “wayback machine" scenario. As it happens, not only am I a Holistic Practitioner and D.C….but a dialectician (and someone who has some background in broadcast radio work)…I happen to love shows with great “voices," like the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show and The Simpsons (and, naturally, the British Goon Show…and the Firesign Theatre). And, I’m now in a Voiceover class. Sorry if that was long-winded. I particularly like your concept of being a “work of art." I feel-myself–like I’m a person “in process." I guess I might also… Read more »

Judith Orr
Judith Orr(@judith)
9 days ago

Very much enjoyed your story. Not sure I had the same experience in Jr. High, but I DID seem to be an “easy target" for victimizing…and our PE class seemed to have VERY LITTLE of value for me (except as an opportunity to be terrorized), and–during rainy season be subjected to EXCEPTIONALLY boring films of football games. I think that if I’d been my own parent…I’d have insisted to skipping PE…and substituting something like a Karate class or archery class. You look very nice, BTW.

Active Member
3 years ago

Totally agreed my dear Carly, imperfectly, perfect we are. Unique expressions of that which brought us to this planet.

No fear, no anxiety, no shame required; they are just opinions…

That was an epiphany to understand hahaha

Namaste’ sweet soul, n huggles of course

William Simson
William Simson(@billyboy1971)
3 years ago

You are pretty👅

Randi Lowe
Randi Lowe
3 years ago

Thanks Carly, that really hits the nail on the head! Thank you

Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith(@jamie23323)
3 years ago

thank you – what beautiful writing and a wonderful story

Paula Martin
Paula Martin(@paulam1962)
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing

Dena Scott
Dena Scott(@dstx15)
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story, Carly! I can identify with so much of it and I needed a little encouragement today. 😉

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