Steps In A Transition

From a male to female perspective:

1. Out you pop, the doctor slaps you on the ass, holds you and up looks between your legs and says "Congratulations, it's a boy." Were you able to speak, you'd say "excuse me, I don't think so."

2. In the early years, you can't quite wrap your infant mind around the fact that you keep getting dressed in blue and have baseball bats on your wallpaper.

3. You find yourself becoming more and more frustrated with the toys you keep getting for Christmas and birthdays.

4. At age 4, you play doctor with your best friend from next door. Traumatized for life when you discover that Emily has different parts than you do.

5. In elementary school, you don't understand why the teachers keep insisting that you play with the boys at recess. Cries of no are met with disapproving looks and threats of time out.

6. Puberty hits, you start to get body hair, your face sprouts tiny hairs and your voice deepens. You cry yourself to sleep each and every night.

7. Prayers to God, asking him/her to make you a girl go unanswered. You swear off religion for over 25 years.

8. Favorite television show is Charlies Angels, only because you want to be Kelly, the character played by Jacyln Smith. Friends don't understand why you want to play Charlies Angels instead of the A-Team. Mental note: Never bring that up again unless your idea of fun is getting your ass kicked.

9. The testosterone that is flooding your body makes you aware of girls for other reasons than feeling that you are one. Childhood crushes begin and set up a lifetime of heartbreak.

10. Finally old enough that you start sneaking around the library looking for anything that might tell you that others have the same feelings as you do. Shocked when you discover that you are not alone. Hope is once again rekindled.

11. Parents feel that you are old enough to be left at home while they go out. It takes all of 3 minutes for you to find your way to Mom's closet. You dress for the first time and feel totally guilty about it but still you keep doing it.

12. High school begins and having to shave every day pretty much makes you miserable. You feel alone, afraid and all messed up inside.

13. Off to college you go, the parents cry and you relish your freedom till the moment they drive off. Suddenly you are all alone, stuck in a dorm with another guy and knowing that whatever you do, you can't risk dressing, trying on makeup or painting your toes.

14. You go from one girlfriend to another, each one is pretty good but you seem to be more interested in what is in their closet than what is in their pants.

15. Finally, you graduate and it's time to get a job. You've resigned yourself to the fact that you are most likely going to have to make a go of it as a guy. The girlfriends suddenly get a bit more serious and you begin to think that if you can just meet the right girl, fall in love and get married, these crazy feelings of being born the wrong gender will go away. They don't of course and you sink deeper and deeper into a funk.

16. You can't stay focus, switch jobs frequently, find solace in a bottle and swear that you'll get over this. In a moment of weakness, you order some clothing from a catalog and dress for the first time since high school. You get depressed when you see how stupid you look and do the only thing you can, you purge it all and put it out of your mind.

17. Six months later, you get the urge to dress again. Fear overtakes you and causes you to realize that even in a city of 1.3 million people, odds are great that this time you'll run into one or more of the following while shopping: A. Mom; B. Poker buddies; C. Your boss. All of whom know that you don't have a girlfriend or wife that you would be shopping for. As a result, you get in the car, drive to a city an hour away and shop in peace.

18. Finally, at age 30 or so, you find the job of your dreams and for the first time in your life, you think that things are finally going to work out for you. For awhile it does and you are happy.

19. One day, bored out of your mind, you start reading the paper and for some reason, who knows why, you decide to read the Business section, something you never do. On the cover is a story of a woman who works for one of the big banks in New York who has just transitioned from male to female. You devour every word, are amazed that someone made it work and you rush to the bookstore to find every book you can on gender identity. Your internet searches are suddenly filled with such words as Gender Identity, Transsexual, Gender Transition, etc.

20. On a whim, you paint your toenails pink, shave your legs and hope to God that no one notices. They don't.

21. One May day in 2003, you walk into your therapist office, tell her you've been keeping something from her and for the first time in your life, you tell someone that you feel as if you should have been born a girl. Therapist looks at you and says, "well, that explains a lot."

22. You feel great having said those words and while out to dinner with your best friend, you confide in her and she isn't surprised a bit. Getting your nerve up, you decide to tell your Mother and Father. As the time approaches, you decide that you would rather be walking to the electric chair than getting ready to tell your parents that you think you're a transsexual.

23. Of all the things you could have said, this was the last thing that Mom was expecting. She gives you a hug and a kiss and says that she will always love you and support you no matter what. You show her your toenails, she makes an uneasy smile and you leave feeling good about things. Mom spends the rest of the night crying, doesn't sleep and feels as if the world has ended.

24. Mom trys to learn as much as she can and gamely reads the books you give her. You try to calm her by telling her you're probably not going to do anything about it and for the moment, you believe that too.

25. You tell the rest of your family and most of your friends. With the exception of one or two, all are very accepting but worried about what life will be like for you.

26. You pick out a name and to make it easier on Mom and Dad, you go with the one that they would have named you had you been born a girl. They feel pretty honored about that.

27. You decide it's time to go out in public as a girl. Opening the front door is the hardest thing you've ever done in your life. You make it to the car and hope that no one saw you. Roll down the window so you can throw up outside the car. Off you go to the therapist and while waiting to see her, you feel every eye on you. Instead of using the women's restroom, you wet yourself.

28. Mom freaks out when she finds out that you did this.

29. Mom starts to come to grips with all of this and now your therapist thinks it's time to start the hormones. Off you go to the endocrinologist, get your prescriptions, get them filled and rush home to shoot yourself up. Having never given yourself a shot before, you can't get it to work and start to cry. You have to wait till your cousin, who works for a doctor, can come over to give it to you. It hurst but it's a good kind of hurt.

30. Tears come at all moments, most of the time it's totally unexpected. Skin gets soft, body hair thins and then one day, your nipples hurt like hell and they start to grow. Before long, you're shopping for bras.

31. You hit 200 hours of electrolysis on your face and realize that you'll need about 100 more to get the job done. Each hair hurts as much as the first one but what choice do you have?

32. Mom goes with you to the courthouse, you pay your $50, fill out the paperwork, the clerk smiles and tells you congratulations and she's very happy for you. Two days later, the court ordered name change comes in the mail. It's official, you now have a girls name and it takes at least a year to get all your documents, accounts and other such stuff changed.

33. Mom tells you that she's given things a lot of thought and decides that she wants to give you a gift. She agrees to pay for most of your facial feminization surgery and you will spend the rest of your life trying to thank her.

34. Nine hours of surgery, months of recovery and a whole lot of pain but suddenly you begin to see a girl looking back at you when you look in the mirror.

35. You meet Melissa, the woman of your dreams, someone who totally does it for you and suddenly you wonder, "I wonder what would have happened with her were I not doing this." You are consoled a bit by the fact that she lives in the burbs and thus makes her geographically undesireable. Still, you can't get her out of your mind.

36. To your surprise, the big shots at work are totally cool about things and your job is safe. You breathe a sigh of relief and finally things start to come together. For the last time in your life, you wear something from the mens department. Giving it away the next day is a pretty amazing thing and you never look back.

37. You save and save and finally it's time to get what you've always wanted, a kitty kat.

38. All goes well and one day you get curious and you check to see if your electricity works as well as your plumbing. Holy Shit, that feels good. You stay in bed for two days.

39. Life is good and you live happily ever after.