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The pages beneath, chronicle my journey from a life as an apparently normal husband and father to that of an apparently normal woman. In the hope of capturing the immediacy of this emotional trip into the unknown, I shunned the retrospective approach, opting instead for a daily Diary.

Each entry was made on the day the events actually happened, expect as noted. And each is filled with the raw and unpolished thoughts and feelings that held me at that moment. Of course, this leads to a somewhat meandering story, as well as contradictions in my point-of-view and personal emotional outbursts that I'm sure will make me squirm once this is published. But anything less would be less than truthful. And if this document is to serve any purpose as either a tool for tolerance and understanding or as an inspiration to those contemplating any major life-change, then it must be completely honest.


As I write these words, I am still a man. But that will soon change. The hormone therapy I began two months ago is already altering both mind and body. Soon, the person known as Dave will cease to exist and the new person of Melanie shall be born.

So it is with a strange mixture of sadness and elation, suffering and joy, that I pen these words. For in order for Melanie to live, Dave must die. No, I am not a "split" personality. But just as there are many aspects of Melanie that cannot be expressed in the role of Dave, there are many facets of Dave that can no longer be explored as Melanie.

So, my life as a man has reached an impasses. My development as a male is to be cut off, both figuratively and literally. And yet, I gladly lay my life down for her. For I have come to know Melanie intimately as a beautiful person: warm compassionate, creative, insightful. I love her. Indeed, if I were able to meet Melanie face to face, I would surely remain Dave and devote all my days to pleasing her and basking in the glow of her joyous outlook. But such can never be, and Dave must die for Melanie to live.

I do not know what the future holds; no one ever does. But I do know that the course I have charted is truly the only one open to me. Any other path leads to certain disaster, as great, gaping chunks of my personality would whither, fester, and die.

So, I close with a wish for the new woman about to be born: May your outer beauty match the inner beauty I have come to know and love. May hour days be long and fruitful. May you find happiness where I have found pain, and contentment from my frustration.

And may you have no regrets.


in California

October 3, 1989



As my first entry starts somewhat into my story, a brief background is essential to an understanding of the text.

As of August 1st, 1989, when this journal began, I was living entirely as Dave - father, husband, small business owner, and free-lance writer/director/editor in the film business. I had been married for thirteen years to Mary, with a ten-year-old son, and a six-year-old daughter. My family life was good, my career growing, my future bright, but still something was missing.

I had first felt "different" in kindergarten, where all the other little boys seemed to know instinctively how to act, but I had to struggle to learn the male role by rote: it did not come naturally. I never considered the possibility I had the instincts of a female; I simply thought I had none at all.

By age seven, I was regularly sneaking off to dress in the girls' clothes my mother brought in as part of her short-lived ironing business. This was well before puberty and was not an erotic experience, but rather a feeling of completeness and contentment.

Throughout my teenage years, the need to dress as a female came and went in waves, sometimes intense, sometimes absent for years at a time.

I was non-agressive in school, both in sports and dating, and excelled at neither. My only erotic interests were not in what I could do to or with a woman, but what it would be like to be one.

I married as a virgin in 1976, and the longings to be female vanished more than they were there. But, gradually, as I progressed through adult life, the waves became stronger and more frequent. Only twice in my life (both times in my early teen years) had I ventured out as a female, both with such tension from fear of discovery, that I did not attempt this again until three years before this journal began.

Suddenly, the need to move in society as a woman became overwhelming, and within two months, I had made nearly a dozen outings, tentative at first, then growing more bold as I gained confidence in my ability to "pass" without being "read".

Throughout this period, I was constantly "purging" myself of this "awful" desire. Full of guilt I would throw away all my pills, wigs, clothes, and any other accumulations, only to be driven to rebuild my accouterments scant days later.

Finally, I came to the decision that this secret side, if not dealt with openly, would lead to self-destruction and the loss of not only my self-respect, but the love of those I loved. So, at the end of July 1989, I mustered the courage to call a gender "hotline" and get a referral to a doctor who provided hormone therapy to transsexuals. This Diary begins with my preparations for that appointment.

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