September 2, 1990
Things are getting a little difficult to put down on paper; I just don't have the time. And I'm writing screenplays and working on books with people, and working on books of my own, and the only way to keep track of all these thoughts is to put them down all at once onto a microcassette recorder for later when I do have the time.
Here's a transcript of the first recorded entry....
"Today, I had another blow-
"The weekends get really tough because I get into the mood of being Melanie all week long, and then I have to switch back and try and be Dave. But I don't look like Dave anymore. Even though Mary doesn't mind the stares, I do. I still care what people think. And when I know I can get by a lot better as Melanie without stares than I can as Dave, why should I force myself to appear and act as Dave, when I know I can't pull it off? When I don't WANT to act as Dave?
"Instead, it would be much better for me if I could just act as Melanie and not have anybody staring at me... or at least not as many. It's very difficult... I'm only doing it for Mary. But the last two weekends have been hell to try and do it. And even though I love her very much, I've reached the point today where I just couldn't do do it anymore.
"So I have a little room that we're making in the back in the garage and I'll be moving into there on a very temporary basis. Whenever I can't take the strain of appearing as Dave anymore, I'll be moving in there to get away where I can be myself. And I'll probably be making a lot of journal entries there instead of doing them in the house.
"Also, I'm going to have to start moving toward being Melanie more, even though I'm going to continue to keep a foot in each camp, as it were, and have some people see me one way, and some see me another. And even though I'm able to get my friends used to seeing me as Dave again and then as Melanie the next day, just so we can have them over to visit and things and so Mary's comfortable with it, that really can't go on very long 'cause I don't want to be that way forever.
"So I have to take steps here, step at a time, one step at a time to change from any remnants of Dave all the way to Melanie one hundred percent.
"Last night, I went to my support group meeting, and it was kind of a small turn out, but the people that were there, a lot of them were in very much a similar situation as mine. Some were married, some were not, but all were going through transition at about the same phase. Most have not gone full time yet. There was a lot of camaraderie. We went out for an early breakfast at two in the morning and stayed out 'til four, talking over our personal things and just having a good time in a regular restaurant.
"It was kind of interesting to me that this was a restaurant frequented by people of transsexual and transvestite natures, and I'm really not one for involving myself in that group. I just go there to the support meetings to find out about how other people are dealing with situations and offer my experiences. I don't really care to associate with that group as a group. People separately, each individual is someone worth getting to know. But the group itself, especially the night clubbers are just not my type.
"Anyway, at breakfast, it was intriguing because there were a number of groups of people in the transgendered community who had shown up there, most of whom, of course, I didn't know, but there were also a number of straight people: the majority. I looked over and there was this one couple in their twenties, a guy and his girl. They looked over and they sort of fixated on me. And I thought, wow, am I THAT bad looking, you know, that I really stand out amongst THIS group? But it turns out that I overheard their conversation, and I was really tickled. They were trying to figure out if I was a real woman or just part of the group. So, I guess even sitting amongst people like that, I've finally reached the point where I'm starting to pass real well. So I tell people that I just don't get ready anymore, anywhere I go. It's just that sometimes I get mistaken for a man.
"One note for this morning: Since I was feeling so down, I started really getting upset. Last weekend I kicked out of the back door and bent the screen door and then went over and kicked the back gate off the hinges. It was a wooden gate, I split it in two and half is still on the hinges and half is leaning against the wall. I did that because I had friends coming over that evening and I was presenting myself as Dave because of my agreement with Mary who would only have people over if I was Dave. But it was really hard to be Dave with them again after I had struggled so hard to be accepted as Melanie. But we had a very good time that evening, everything was great.
"But this weekend, I was feeling down and depressed again this morning. And Mary and I started arguing. Just when we got our angriest and most hurt that we have been in this crisis, I went in to take a shower and Mary broke the tension by getting a bucket of freezing cold ice water, and throwing it over the top of the shower curtain all over me, to show me that she wasn't going to take it so seriously and let it all fall apart. And also that I was to be punished for bringing this up so seriously to being with.
"That was okay... I laughed it off... But then she felt that wasn't enough and came back and did it one... more... time.... One too many times for me! So I got out of the shower, filled the bucket with cold water from the sink, and ran, stark naked, into the living room chasing her, with the kids staring at everything. She bolted out the door, knowing I wouldn't follow. I followed. I chased her into the front yard and all around , finally catching up with her and throwing the cold water all over her. So we had our recreation and the neighbors got a thrill.
"I can see myself looking a lot different, moment by moment. All of a sudden with the increased dosages of hormones, the new hair style I've adopted, with the redistribution of fat around the body, body English changing, gestures, muscle volume and tone, and electrolysis, things are shaping up to the point where it would probably be very difficult to pass as a male now.
September 4, 1990
"Here I am driving to work down Barham Boulevard on the way into Hollywood. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but the other day, I was feeling really "Melanie". And I was also a little bit klutzy, dropping everything I touched and pushing the wrong buttons, and a little bit giggly on top of it. So altogether I was feeling a bit like a bimbo, bubble-
"So, it was getting really crazy, and Larry, the director of the picture, and I were laughing a lot. Toward the end of the evening I made some really stupid mistake, and Larry had the audacity to say to me, "If you keep on being naughty, I'm going to have to spank you"! I cannot believe he said that!
"Okay, I thought it would be interesting if I actually made a recording as I walked down the street....
"Today is Labor Day, and there aren't too many people around. I'm walking down a side street called Carlos, which is about two blocks from Hollywood and Vine, the corner where I work. I usually take this side street so I can avoid walking down the middle of Hollywood Boulevard where there are bigger crowds and a lot more people to look at me.
"I still am real self-
"I'm crossing the parking lot, which is usually full, but being Labor Day, there's nobody in this parking lot today. There are a few people on the street corner. There's an old bag lady pulling some tin cans out of the trash to buy her breakfast, I guess. Usually, you see a lot of vagrants sleeping here on their bed rolls, curled up in little driveways and stair wells, and sometimes in the bus stops.
"One nice thing is that almost all the parking is metered around here and the free parking is about two blocks away so that in the morning, the sun is at my back, which keeps my face in shade and makes it a lot more difficult to see bad make-
"I'm now crossing the street onto Hollywood Boulevard and coming to Tod Browning's star, whoever the hell that is! Red Foley... I know that name... Irene Rich... Eddie Arnold and Betty Davis. Here I am actually walking on top of Betty Davis and Arthur Godfrey... stepping on their likenesses, I guess, their Voodoo spirituality... whatever.
"I just passed a couple of women... I think one of them read me, I'm not sure. Now I'm passing a couple of guys and they don't seem to be paying me any attention. I really can never tell these days if people are talking about me behind my back or not.
"Now I'm up to the Equitable Building where I'm working. The guard needs to let me in because its a holiday. The sound you did not just hear was the elevator repeatedly opening and closing because I forgot that I hadn't pushed the button for the seventh floor so it didn't know where I was going.
"Okay, I'm stepping out of the elevator and wondering if Larry got here early, but the outside lock is still on the door which means I'm here before he is so I'm not going to get into trouble for being late. Okay, the door is shut behind me and I'm safe inside. There's nobody here which means if I'm quick, before Larry comes I can go into the other room and use the big, long mirrors behind his desk and check my makeup without looking like I'm looking through his private papers, which I have never done and never would, but even though he knows me, if he sees me standing there, he will wonder if I do.
"When we have the interns here working on the film, I always tried to sneak in before they got in so I could check the makeup because outside in the daylight its different than in the car, different in my house where I put it on, and different in the office where I spend my day. I have to put more coverage on the upper lip and red areas. God, I hope this electrolysis gets over with soon.
"Well, I went into Larry's office and checked the mirror, and sure enough, that upper lips stands out. I really don't know what to do. When I put on makeup here to make the coloration go away, if I go outside with it, it looks like I've got a big bright mustache of a lighter color in the daylight. Never knowing if I have to go outside for any reason, its kinda difficult to figure out exactly how much to put on. If there are interns here, I certainly put it on, but with Larry, of course, like I'm going to fool people who already knew me as Dave that I'm really Melanie? It won't make any difference as long as they accept me and I'm not overtly stepping out of the role I'm stepping into, they will be able to continue to deal with me in that role. And even if they do see beard show through or discoloration or anything, they're just going to know that is part of transition, and that I'm doing my best.
"Its the people that DON'T know that I get worried about, and I really should get over that. But it seems to me that all my life I'm going to care about what people think, though I try very hard not to. Everyone around me seems not to care. I'm the one who gets embarrassed by that. And yet, the embarrassment has never stopped me from doing anything. They don't get embarrassed, but they wouldn't do the things that I would do.
"The borders that I have to cross... the obstacles that I have to surmount, to them are insurmountable. They would never (they say) have to the courage to go out in public and do what I have done, and yet I, who feel embarrassed just by being looked at, somehow find the courage to go out and do the things that get me looked at whereas they would not be embarrassed by the looking at but embarrassed by the doing.
"I don't understand that at all. Maybe since its that the need to be me, the need to be a woman, is so great that it overcomes even a greater degree of embarrassment and shyness than it would in someone who had no driving need like that.
"I enjoy coming in every day and checking the messages, and I also enjoy answering phones, especially when Larry is here with me alone, so there it nobody else to grab it and its either him or me. Because in answering it, its very secretarial, and I enjoy (I'm afraid) being in that position. Not being humiliated by doing the menial chore, but kind of pleased to be, how can I put it, supportive of HIS efforts, allowing him to make the decisions he has to make and be thinking about what he has to do, and be the one to support that effort. I kinda like that support position. God, I mean, that's terrible! I'm going to get killed by the Women's Libbers for that, but its really the way I feel -
"Just a quick note: today is the last day before I go back on my cycle of pills, but the after affects of the dosage is such that my breasts are really tender and sore today -
"One of the things I have to get over is that most of what I talk with people about is my transsexualism. I think the reason I'm doing this is that as long as I'm talking about it, I'm still keeping one foot in the male camp. I don't know if this is a way of not making an ultimate decision that I'm going to stay as a woman forever or if its just a way of not having to judge myself on how well I'm doing. But I do know I've got to stop it, because people have got to be getting really bored with it. I can't imagine why they still put up with me when that's all I have to say these days.
"At this moment, I'm just living. I'm just moving through time and space. I'm not thinking about being female, I'm not thinking about having been female, I'm not thinking about what stage I'm in, I'm just living.
"I'm just being aware of myself as a human being. And this self-