I had an older sister, a younger sister and a younger brother.  And I just identified more with my sisters than I did my brother.  I just wasn’t a boy.  And growing up, I really knew nothing.  The only person I knew was when I took my mother’s Life magazine of Christine Jorgenson and hid it.  Later on, I found Renee Richards’ book, Second Serve, and kept it.  Those are the only people I knew about. 

My mother always told me when I got beat up, “if you weren’t that way, it wouldn’t happen.”  I left home two weeks after high school graduation.  I was scared of getting drafted into the Army, so I joined the Navy.  But I had some bad experiences in the Navy and so I managed to get out early.  Then I did everything you’re supposed to do.  At 22 years old, I got married.  I had three kids. I had a career.  I was a program administrator.  And I just never learned – I never took on male socialization skills.   And in 1990, I had a massive breakdown.  I didn’t know who I was.  I hated myself.

Then, my father passed away in ’98 and he had told me when he passed away, he said I had to make some decisions in my life and only when I made them was I going to be happy.  You know, it was the first time in my life he was proud of me, said he was proud of me.  I just thought he meant I had to get over my depression.  But my sister told me that he knew all those years what was the problem.  So I came home and I literally left Mike in every trash can along Interstate 40.  And I came back and started.

Later on, I remember my therapist asking me, “What kind of a woman do you want to be after you transition?”  And she made me go home and think about it, and I went back and I said, “I don’t have to think about that.  I’ve always been that woman.”  It’s only now the outside matches.