In preparation for doing this web site I posted a question to two E-mail groups, the question, what would you you have wanted to know growing up as a transgendered youth. I did not intend to post this as a page but one of the contributors to this site convinced me that it might help.
The most important thing I needed to know as a child is God loves me and accepts me just as I am. God always hears me no matter how BAD I think I am or others perceive me. Simply looking and talking to Him like a friend is never sin, no matter what my present condition may seem. He is always approachable, but outside of Jesus, sin truly separates us from Him.
The second most important thing is that I am responsible and accountable for my own actions. With that in mind, I listened to what my elders told me and then made my own decisions. No matter how well intentioned (and that is important) no mortal (including father, mother, president, and clergy) knows how it all works well enough to guarantee my survival on earth or in eternal life.
The third most important thing is that other societies, including Christian societies, honor things differently than my family, community and church. Some societies give honor those who are constructively different; especially those allowing the many shades of gender. There are Native American stories and history which greatly help children understand the different perspectives relative to gender. Some societies approach the creation with much more than just a binary view.
Nothing was more important than those things and some came very late in my life. Just you attempting to circumvent that in a child's life is most Jesus like, THANKS!
Wow! Kath Randall seems to have about covered it all. When I was young I would have LOVED to know that there were real, honest to goodness decent people out there who had the same needs I did.
I would have loved to be told I was neither sick, nor perverted, nor evil, nor despicable for being this way. Heck, I would have loved to have known that a year ago!
I would have loved to know that God doesn't seem to care what we happen to like to wear as long as we stay faithful to Him when wearing it.
I would have loved to know that there were people in the world who support this and understand it and that I needn't be ashamed.
I would have loved to know the explanations of the various Biblical verses that have been used to condemn us. I would have loved to know that God can have a plan for us that actually REQUIRE that we be the way we are.
I would have loved have had the web to find out some of the answers I'm only finding out now. God Bless,
Why can't I play with dolls?
I want to be a nun. I can't? How come?
Why do the girls always get to go first?
I wonder what would happen if I told my parents that I would rather be a girl?
I suppose the questions that were the most profound, were the ones that I never thought to ask as a child. I didn't have enough life experience to know what the "real" questions were. The real questions (that I did not ask) were:
> 1. Why do I feel such shame when I play dress up?
2. Why is the act of putting on clothes of the opposite gender so alluring?
3. Why do those clothes make me feel so good, so alive, and so at peace?
4. Why do the other boys never pick me for sports/games, even when I have shown that I can indeed play?
5. Why am I so small, but still feel comfortable with my body? And why do others think this is a deficit?
6. Why do I tend to be more comfortable with female relationships?
7. Why does my mere existence upset some of the other boys?
8. Why do gay people assume I am gay? - What do I send out into the universe, to make them think so?
The first question would have been, why wasn't I born a girl? Following this I would have liked to know why I felt like a female was living inside of me which created a constant struggle between my boy side and my girl side. There was no one to talk to about it. I had to sneak around and hide my secret. I felt isolated. Often times even when I was in a group I would feel a separation from the others. There was no possible way for me to become a "blended" person. It was one sex or the other. During my childhood men who wore dresses were called Queers, or fags, and were ridiculed and demeaned. Why was I in this situation and dilemma with no possible way out, except death? Which I often considered.
All I wanted was just to be one of the girls. To look like them, dress like them, sound like them, feel like them. It was like I was trapped in the wrong body with no way out. Why? I am thankful, that at least for part of my life, I live in a world which seems to be coming more aware and maybe even more tolerant of alternative ways to live. At least for part of my life I will be able to be that "blended", but whole person. At least for part of my life I can shed the guilt, the fear, the depression, and freely express both my male and female sides out in the world around me. I love looking and feeling like a woman. The more I accept and get in touch with her, the more settled, joyful, and complete I become. Since I found Tri Ess, the sisterhood of people like me, I have felt a great relief in being able to say, Hi, I'm Tom and Cheryl Anne. I'm a crossdresser, a good person, and proud of it.
My dear sisters,
When my mother was dying six years ago, she asked me if I was OK. I lied. I wish now that I had told her the truth and asked her what I was like as a child; why she and my dad felt it so necessary to cure me of my femininity; to let her know that she didn't fail me - nothing she could have done would have changed who I was then, and am today.
And ... I still want to know, despite all of the advice I've received from Friends and professionals over the years ... why.
I would have liked to have known that I am normal. I do fit in with a minority of males. I would have liked to known for my wifeís sake that crossdressing does not go away. I wish there were more non fiction books on the subject. Lynn Tanaka
It is late and I am tired so this I hope will not ramble too much. As a child I wanted much of the same things that I want now. This is to be accepted for what I am without the society forcing me back into the "proper" perspective and if I did not change then I was strange and useless to society. I wanted a safe place where I could dress up and people who would treat me the same in whatever mode I came in that day without judgment, criticism or being made fun of. I wanted to be able to do many of the same things that the other boys and girls were doing and have the right to change from sports to the latest fashions without having to be careful of what I say do or act. I wanted someone to compliment me on my outfit one minute or my skill of putting on make up and the next to say that I was a good athlete playing a male sport. I guess the easiest way to say it is that I wanted acceptance for who I am, what I know, the job that I do, not that I fit the perspective of what society thinks. At times I feel I am still looking for these same things and if not for the communication with others like me, depression and abuse of alcohol could have been a real problem. I admit that I am more of a lurker than a e-mailer but you ladies will never know how important your communications are with someone who canít dress up much and even rarer go out en femme. Thank you one and all.
More than anything else, I think when I was growing up I would like to have known how to contact another t* kid that was the same age as I was. And I mean not just another young person, but someone who was the same grade in school that I was that I could truly relate to. Role models are fine, but sometimes you need to be able to talk to someone that is going through the same problems in life at the same time as yourself.
When I was in high school I dated a girl for awhile who had a younger brother that she said often liked to wear her clothes around the house. Once when we were talking on the phone, I heard her ask him where he had left her stockings and garter belt, so I believe she was telling me the truth about him. However, he was a freshman and I was a junior. He delighted in making trouble for me and his sister. I would really like to have been able to talk to him about crossdressing, but I had my secret life to protect. Also, I really couldn't stand the guy. Besides, it wasn't cool for junior guys to have anything to do with freshmen guys. His sister and I eventually broke up and in the years after high school I never saw or heard from either of them again. After all these years I still wonder what happened to him.
So far like all my other sisters I would have wanted the Big Question answered. That would be. "Am I the only one out there who is not gay but still likes to dress as a girl?" I had seen lots of magazines with gay men dressed as woman and transsexuals also. But I knew I was straight. I like girls but I also liked playing as a girl. I didn't like boys except to play ball and other games. There where more little girls on my block when I grew up then boys. We all played hide and seek together, kickball, etc. But I also played with the girls without other boys around. I felt more like them. It wasn't till 1988 that I saw the Donahue Show with Virginia on it. I was 37 then, married with a daughter and I finally found out that I was not alone out there. Now I'm 52 and been a member (of what?) since then. Now I have a new question I would loved answered. "Am I the only girl in South Jersey?" Most of all the girls I have met in Jersey in Tri-Ess are from central or north Jersey. It makes it lonely down in the woods of SJ. Malissa