I always felt more like girls, like women. Even when I was watching movies or television shows or reading books, the female characters were the ones that I identified with just sort of instinctively. So I knew I was born male, but I certainly was a feminine boy growing up, a gender queer boy, and was harassed and bullied and got a lot of negative attention because of that. I was assumed to be gay from the earliest get go as well, even though it wasn't talked about then in the ‘60s. So – I was called all the names associated with that: sissy, faggot, fairy, all of that.
I didn't feel like I was transsexual. I didn't have that profound sense of body dysphoria that lots of transsexuals report, even though there were things that I wanted to change – so the way I understood that and was able to express that in the '80s was maybe what we would now call gender queer. That term wasn't used then, but I lived in another gender space. I just was living in this third gender space. I didn't see it as on my way to anything. I've been lucky to have people in my life who have been supportive of me and my journey, wherever that would lead me. So it was less about giving me guidance on a specific path and more about people who have said, "Your identity's evolving, and that's a wonderful thing, and we encourage you to explore that and go with that."
I still see myself as on a journey. When I received an award a few years ago at a conference I said, "In the '60s they called me a sissy. In the '70s they called me a faggot. In the '80s I was a queen, or they called me a queen. In the '90s I was transgender. In the 2000s I was a woman, and now I'm just Grace."