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And now for the next installment in a serialized presentation of the book:
From Journeys and Transitions by
November 3, 1989
Well, I'm back with more dirt on "The Secret Life of David: The Untold Story".
Age 14 or 15: One whole summer when both parents were working and I dressed nearly every day.
All through elementary school: For years I spent every recess hiding in the bushes or in the boys' room from three or four "ruffians" who chased me threateningly every time they saw me on the yard. I huddled in amongst the bugs and dust, fearing for my life and terrified they would find me.
Around grade four: A boy "called me out" to fight after school. I waited for him and we raised our fists to have it out. But I started to cry and my asthma kicked in so I could hardly talk. He got disgusted, put down his fists and walked away, saying I wasn't worth it, and we wasn't going to beat up on me. I screamed after him through the tears to come back and fight. What developing masculine image I may have had was shattered as I stood there, surrounded by a crowd that slowly broke up, knowing that I had lost face with every classmate I had. (I had no friends that I could have lost.)
Junior High: Dressing in the locker room, hearing the other boys discuss what they wanted to do to their girl friends. Wondering how anyone could want to violate anyone like that. Where was the romance? Where was the love?
Kindergarten: A group of girls calling themselves "The Kissing Girls" chased the boys around trying to kiss them. I decided to form the "Kissing Boys" and chase the girls. I couldn't understand why the other boys didn't want to join up.
Age 17: Going to a religious retreat with my step-dad and my best friend. Laying in the top bunk across from my friend wondering what it would be like if I became a girl and he and I got married. Damn! I had suppressed that memory until this moment. Damn. DAMN!!!
Age 18: Sharing with the same friend my secret that I had made a super-8 movie of myself dressed as a girl (my first confession). Telling him I was going to destroy it. him telling me he would destroy it for me if I gave it to him. Sure... I destroyed it myself.
Late teens, early twenties: Making sure I didn't miss a single episode of TV where they change bodies on Gilligan's Island, where a spy has the body of a woman on "Get Smart", where Darrin gets Samantha's voice on "Bewitched", "Goodbye Charlie", etc.
Three years ago" Spending several nights, while Mary was away at night school sticking a pin through the foil covering on the back of her birth control pills. Scraping an infinitesimal quantity of the precious powder off, then sucking it into my mouth through the pin-prick hole, just to know that I had hormones in my system.
Two years ago: Committing numerous felonies by calling up pharmacies and pretending to be a Doctor's office. Ordering a prescription in a matronly nurse's voice. Giving fictitious phone numbers and addresses, but carefully chosen and written down so they were in the right medical buildings and the answers were right at my fingertips. Then calling in with my female voice and ordering my prescription, "I believe my doctor just called it in..." Picking it up with fear, taking my glasses off so I could not be recognized later, using the pills for 50 or 60 days, then chickening out and throwing the whole lot down the toilet. Getting back on the phone two weeks later to do it again.
Well, I'm at the office and there's work, REAL WORK, to do. So this pleasant tea and gossip will have to continue at our Bridge game next week.
November 3, 1989, Evening
Today I visited my new psychologist, Dr. Jayne, for the first time. I went in Dave mode as I had felt more comfortable lately appearing as I am in reality, nothing artificial. We sewed a patchwork quilt of emotions, speculations, needs and dreams, creating the beginnings of a pattern that will take years to become a fully detailed picture.
The session was warm and filled with understanding, support with neither editorial perspective nor coercion. A simple series of questions, answers, and monologues from both client and psychologist quite unlike my other two sessions with the psychologist provided by my insurance company. There I had walked into a windowless lobby, lacking even a reception window. Instead, there was a panel of eight switches next to the locked door to the interior. You flipped the switch labeled with the name of your counselor, activating a tiny light, then waited alone until the door was opened. The sessions were worthless, as I spent most of my time in each simply explaining what a TS was to the poor man, who tried his best, but just had no understanding at all of the phenomenon.
With Dr. Jayne, I am getting not only an understanding of myself and a comparison to others who have traveled my path, but advice and guidance on how to make the transition smoother, less painful. And the only rule in her therapy sessions is that a session never ends without a hug. With this help, I believe I can possibly survive this.
One interesting side note. Walking back to my car after the session, I stopped at a Pioneer Chicken store. When the girl in front of me had finished ordering, the man at the counter looked back at me and said, "Can I help you ma'am?" I was flattered to death.
November 9, 1989
Last night at two o'clock in the morning on Hollywood Boulevard, in the front seat of a 1965 Buick Regal, Melanie lost her virginity. And, God, it was great! It was so special, so fulfilling, nothing else in my life mattered. This was it. This was what I've always been looking for.
I'm totally slipping out of "writer mode" now. I don't care if the sentences come out right or not. And structure be damned. 'Cause what I am feeling is so intense I can't get the words out fast enough and I'm afraid I'll lose some.
It all started when I went to a new support group for the first time with a friend. No, it actually started about eight weeks ago. I can't do this in order, but you ought to know that it was my electrologist who I met two months ago on a referral. And is a TS who spent three years as Karen, but has been back in male mode for the last year and a half.
When I first called up, we really struck it off on the phone. At my first session I found out he was into Eastern religions, and both believed and practiced a spiritual love and joy. But he had also learned the Chinese martial arts and the derivative arts of healing. He was a computer buff, deeply spiritual, but iconoclastic as well. Over the last eight weeks, we would joke and speculate an empathize over life, love, and the TS experience. Gradually, although I come there in male mode (stubble and all) I began to "fem out" as soon as I crossed the threshold. And the last two weeks I totally went submissive during the sessions. I also began to wonder what it would be like to be in Melanie mode, held in the arms of this strong, yet gentle person.
Well, to shorten this up (too late!), I went to my usual support group meeting last Saturday and met a new person who wanted to know about starting hormones. I gave her my number. Next evening I was working late at the office and she called up and said that she had to move out quickly because her roommate was on drugs and threatening her life with a knife. I told her to get a taxi and come over. She arrived in male mode. It was an odd re-introduction as here we were, two men, who had first met as women. I put her up at a motel that night with the last thirty dollars I had.
Next morning I came to pick her up for breakfast and it turns out her wallet was stolen during the night. We barely scraped together enough money between us for a meal. I told her she could sleep on my office floor until she found a permanent place to stay.
On Monday, I brought her (in male mode) with me to my session with Alan. I actually thought they might strike it off and be good for each other. By the way, "Nicki" is the most attractive non-hormoned TS I have ever seen -looks about half my age and "hot". I wouldn't feel at ease wearing sexy stuff like that in a closet, but it looks good on her. Anyway, they did strike it off, and we agreed to meet Tuesday night at a support group I hadn't been to before that Alan had, so Nicki could find a place to stay.
On the appointed day, I didn't have time to dress so Nicki went en femme and I went as Dave. Afterward, the group always goes to a local coffee shop that's "cool" and that's where we met Alan who had to show up late.
Nicki and Andy did the "hug" thing, obviously happy to be close. Since I was in male mode, I just said "Hi". But as Nicki started networking to find a place to stay, I ended up next to Andy In five minutes, I had slipped into complete Melanie mode, even though I was dressed as Dave. And I've never shifted like that in public before.
Well, earlier that day, Nicki and I had checked out the Gay Community Services Center in Hollywood for housing referrals. (I was always too shy to be seen there, and besides, I'm not gay). But Nicki just charges in with me in tow. We find out there is another support meeting there the following night.
So nothing turns up Tuesday night at the coffee shop, and we tell Andy we're going to try the other group the next night. Andy says he's been there and how about if Nicki and I BOTH come en femme and he comes in male mode as our escort. Its something I very much want, but am also afraid of, so I allow myself to be talked into it. But since Nicki is so hotly dressed all the time, I'm afraid to compete and tell Andy I'm going to wear a pretty skirt and top, but I'm not going head to head with Nicki! But he convinces me to wear my 18" mini skirt and get don up because he wants "a babe on each arm."
So all day Wednesday, Nicki is dragging me around town, buying make-up in male mode, testing it on the two of us in stores where they only know me as Dave. We went places and did things to get ready that I NEVER would have done on my own. Finally, we went back to the office and got dressed.
What, with the new make-up, new earrings and all, by the time Andy picked us up, we were a coupla hot foxes. (And I thought I was too old at 36!) All I needed was a little bit of Nicki in my life.
I do remember putting an extra spray of perfume under my skirt, just in case...
When Andy picked us up, he looked sharp: Green turtle neck with a tan blazer, black slacks and an incredibly thin gold chain around his neck. Wow!!
I let Nicki sit next to Andy as we drove off. At the meeting we entered as planned, one on each arm. But as the meeting progressed, Nicki drifted off looking for housing and I moved closer to Andy He put his arm around me, and I put my head on his chest. We hared glances and smiles while I stayed there for the rest of the meeting. Once, I laid my hand on his knee and I could feel him respond with a tighter squeeze on my shoulder. It was an incredible kick to be held in public for the first time; just like your first date.
Afterward, the three of us and an old TS friend of Andy's went for coffee. We sat around the table while Andy read our Chinese horoscope charts. He and I were both born in the Year of the Snake and have matching complimentary signs.
The other friend had to leave and Nicki wanted to visit a potential roommate. So, at one in the morning, we dropped Nicki at the apartment. She and I had talked about my feelings for Andy all day, and I knew she was just trying to give Andy and me some time alone.
Just before we dropped Nicki off, Andy had stopped for a six pack of Chinese beer. As soon as she had gone, we started on the beers, sitting as far apart as possible on the front seat. Andy had two, I had three, and by then I could hardly talk. Everything was spinning. I almost couldn't move, and my lips were numb. I had kept saying "more" and taking another swig, which we both knew was as delaying tactic to let the strong Chinese brew loosen me up.
After the third beer, I slurred to Andy "Well, before I start to sober up and change my mind, come here..." I opened my arms and he came to me with strength and gentleness.
Until this night, I had never even held hands with a guy. And the only intimate relationship I ever had was with my wife. But everything was so right, so good. I went completely fem. My actions, responses, even my thoughts were female. Not forced, but just the natural; responses I had always suppressed. I've never felt so female, and it still has not gone away.
Somehow, my bra got pulled up over my baby breasts and my pantyhose ended up around my knees. It was only oral sex, and with Andy's hormone use, there were limits to how far it could be carried. But as Andy said, "That's not important. It's the sharing." and it was.
We phoned Nicki's beeper and she came down. We got some fast tacos (Andy buying) and Nicki stayed in the back seat while I snuggled and cuddled and melted into Andy as he held me close. One or two more quick kissing sessions and we went home. We said goodbye, Andy left, Nicki up to my office, and me home at five in the morning to lie in bed next to Mary, to know that I have loved her for 14 years, but to also know that all the best times in those 14 years combined, were nowhere near as fulfilling as that one evening with Andy
As I fell asleep, I knew that all doubts had been erased from my mind. I am female, I always have been female, always will. If I died tomorrow I would be happy. I would be complete. But I want to live. I want to live as Melanie for the rest of my life in the hope of losing myself in even just one more evening like this. Dave is dead, if he ever really lived. But Melanie has her whole life ahead of her.
November 14, 1989
Oh, God... Get yourself together! Its only the end of the world. Yeah, but its a great world. Yeah, but its coming to an end. Maybe, but we just don't know yet. True, but you said you could die tomorrow and be happy. A smile on your face, even. I remember, "A smile on my face", your exact words. Rhetoric, pure rhetoric. You know I always exaggerate. Well, not exaggeration so much as mistakenly believing that every emotional catharsis is final. And that's your downfall. Yes, and also my upbringing. So you blame your parents? Hell, I'd hate 'em if I didn't love 'em so much. Uh, huh... but let's get back to this latest mood swing....
Alright, I'm at the peak of fulfillment, staring in the abyss of... well, an abyss full of shit, actually. And not just ordinary shit, mind you, but good, warm, gooey crap - the kind that gums up your hair and fuses your eyelids shut when it dries. Shape it up! Or should I say, cut the crap. (There are ladies present!) Ah, now we get down to it! Finally, God Dammit! What took so long? You've never beaten around the... Yes! That's it! To have a bush! Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, or grandeur than all hell in reality. Reality becomes fantasy becomes reality and Quid Pro Quo. If I become female, will being male become a fantasy, memory or fading nightmare? Only my hairdresser knows for sure.
You see, I spent last night at Andy's until midnight. Electrolysis first. Then hugging while I lay on his chest on the floor watching "Comic Strip Live". Still bearded, but feeling female, being treated same. Curling up with my man or TS or whatever the hell he is, or she is or you can call me Ray, or... God! Stop it!!!
So, shaving and dressing and painting my nails. Car door opened for me as my heels sink into the over-watered parking strip. Ride at night, he's in charge. Slams door with fist to open stuck automatic window. Macho Bullshit. I love it. Opens door at restaurant. I think parking attendant reads me. What am I doing wrong?
Great dinner. I don't gotta pay. LOVE this! Drive by the drive-in. No shows good so we no show too. Back to Alan's. His dad says "Hi", as we occult the TV on the way back to:
Andy's lair: He makes us some tea. Puts on Robin Williams tape, lays on bed. I lean back against him, his arms enclose me. Slowly, joke by joke, I slide lower until we lay together; his front form-fitting to my back. I roll onto my back, he moves onto me. Female responses so strong. I finally know what passion means.
Frustration as I yearn to respond with equipment I don't yet have. The "Phantom Limb" syndrome in reverse. Waking up to realize that I have fallen asleep in his arms. He is asleep, but still encircling me with protective strength. I smile, half-groggy, and drift off again.
And the damn Cub Scout meeting tonight. Leader training, adults only, but had to bring my son, but okay 'cause eight other boys there. Self-conscious of my long fingernails; spend all evening trying to hide them. Old stirrings of happy campers. Good times in Boy Scouts 'cause code of behavior is regimented, by the book. First time I knew how to respond. Instincts don't work. How do the other boys know how to act? What did I miss? How am I different?
Mary knows about last night. Still loves me, says so. Happy, laughing, pets me on the head: she makes it so damn hard... But I don't like women anymore. The old "Two Month, 180 degree Shuffle", with a short deck.
All talked out and nowhere to go. E-I-E-I-OOOOO. And that's the weigh it wuz.
God help me.
November 17, 1989
Half my life has been lived in the last two weeks. Nicki is still living on my office floor in Mike mode. And we talk every day, kind of a round the clock support group. For me, still living at home with my family, this continuous flow of conversation with another TS has been perhaps my salvation, perhaps my doom. For I have gotten so in touch with myself that the inner me has actually risen to the surface for the first time within memory.
And my experiences with Andy have been so fulfilling, so complete, that the painful tear in the fabric of my soul that has hurt so deeply for so many years has left me without a forwarding address. I miss Andy every moment I am away from him. And sure I know it is probably only a "first time" infatuation. I am inexperienced, not naive. Yet, this knowledge does little to diminish the warmth that rolls through me as I replay my closeness with him.
I went to my son's Cub Scout meeting the other day as the Den Leader - described in the manual as a "male adult". Mary had picked up the uniform shirt I am required to wear and gave it to me that night. As soon as I buttoned it on, I looked in the mirror and when I saw the military-looking doughboy who stared back at me, my skin began to crawl. I forced myself through the meeting, trying to employ the techniques I have used comfortably for years as an adult leader in childrens' groups. But I just couldn't pull it up anymore. That part of my being had vanished completely.
By the time I got home, my heart was on my sleeve and my temper hair-trigger. I lost control, yelled at my sweet six-year-old daughter and threw the can of Coke across the room. And I watched as Mary dutifully wiped the sticky brown ooze from the wall paper where it stained.
I cheered up a bit that night, but slept fitfully. Yet, when I awoke, the yellow Fall Sun was brightening the dried leaves still clinging thickly in anticipation of the first sharp wind. I felt so at peace. I looked down at my T-shirted chest and admired the growing mounds of softness, that even in recline rose gently above the valley floor. I looked at my long fingernails and recalled the night before.
Suddenly, an emotion both strong and simple rolled over me, imparting undeniable knowledge. Something had changed. Something was subtly but powerfully different. While I slept, my self-image had split apart and recongealed in a new form. In my own mind, I had become female already.
Yeah, I know I've said things like this before, but each time previously it was always kind of just that I let myself feel female for a while without self-retribution. But on this Thursday morning, I didn't just KNOW I was female, I really FELT it. Deep down inside.
So I cut off my fingernails. I don't need the crutch anymore. And I knew I could pull off the leadership of my son's Cub Scouts without fear of shriveling my fresh, pink female personality. It is locked in, secure and permanent. My responses are my own, natural and unretouched for public consumption. It doesn't matter if you plop a female brain into Arnold Schwartzenegger's body, you won't bet a male. And it doesn't matter what I wear or don't wear, or how long my hair is. I am female, know it, accept it, love it, am unashamed of it.
So I shall continue to grow my hair. And I shall remain on hormones. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to dress up and look pretty. But that is not where I live. It is not me, but merely the trappings. And SRS itself is not a sex-change, but merely cosmetic surgery.
I have come home to myself. To the person I never knew I was. And I love being her. I am overwhelmed by the joy of being surprised to find out I am truly someone different that I even thought our imagined. And I am joyously anxious to set out on my new life of self-exploration and discovery. Look out world, here comes Melanie.
November 26, 1989
My "femaleness" comes in waves. There are times when I remember specific intimate moments with Alan that I can't strangle an involuntary gasp as the deep satisfaction of that memory rolls over me. And there are other times when the joy of playing with my kids or sharing something with Mary is warm and cozy. I don't think I will ever change my conception that I am truly female, but now the desire to complete SRS has changed from a need to a want. And I must decide if my family is more important than that aspect of my transformation.
That I want SRS is uncontestable. Indeed, my only fear is that I will end up an unconvincing freak, not representative of either gender. But the notion of physically being female remains strong. And yet, does it outweigh the established family? Will potential loneliness as a female be more satisfying than unfulfilled but shared life as a male? This I do not know.
Mary has said that even SRS would not drive her from me, as long as I maintained a male image for her. I do not know if this is even possible due to the hormone use, but should it be, and should I be able to find a way around the "full time" requirement, I would surely opt for surgery at the earliest possible date.
You see, my male genitalia are really if little interest to me. Sure it has served me well, and I do enjoy the pleasure of the sensation. But the inner joy of my times with Alan (most recently with all our clothes on and never reaching climax) is so great the "sex" itself as a physical feeling pales into nonexistence. The thrill of being penetrated, the ultimate expression of closeness, is something I must experience before I die. And I better do it before I'm such a shriveled old hag that nobody would have me!
I went to the movies with Andy Friday night - my first drive-in! And for the first time, I went out with nothing artificial. My own hair, my own bustline: the real me. The only difference between me and a complete woman was that tag of flesh between my legs.
Andy and I shared two six packs of smuggled-in beers while we watched "Eddie Murphy - Raw". We laughed together, snuggled together, and I cried on his chest while he told me, "It's all right... Let it out, babe..." Then we came back up to my office and had the final two beers. I have never been so drunk in all my life. I tried a coffee and liqueur as a nightcap and got violently ill.
I crawled to the women's room on all fours and puked up in the toilet. Then, I crawled out, got sick again in the hall and passed out on the floor. Sometime later, I felt Andy picking me up to my feet. I complained that I just wanted to stay there, but he would have none of it and herded me back to the office.
I awoke to find it daylight already (my first all-nighter). Andy had covered me with a blanket from his car and snuggled up behind me. I woke him, as I had to get home soon and pulled him to me. I felt so female, so wanted, so sensual. He rolled over on top of me, gently spreading my legs and pushed my knees up in classic missionary position. and then, with all our clothes on, made love to me, his woman.
My responses were so natural, so uninvented. For the first time in my life, I knew how I should behave, not from the mind, but the heart. I have never enjoyed anything so much as being made love to in that manner, my head cradled in his hands, his strong yet gentle thrusts pushing undeniably against me. Even now, my insides go mushy just thinking about it.
God, its always been so hard to be male, to try and figure out how I should act, what I should say. Every move second-guessed. But now, as Melanie deep inside, I act by instinct, without consideration or censorship. Moves I've never practiced are my true nature. And the future? Day at a time... just a day at a time.
(The Transition Diary series will continue in the next edition of The Subversive)
I urge you all to keep a diary of YOUR personal journey, whether it be through transition or not. The attitudes and even the order of events becomes cloudy through time, and I am continually amazed to re-read things that memory would have me believe had happened differently. If nothing else, it is a good way to see long-term patterns in yourself that you cannot see except in retrospect. That objective view alone is worth the inconvenience of keeping a journal.
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