One of the little things that has always bothered me about certain people claiming to be transsexual, most are by the way, who transitioned much later in life is the claim they would have transitioned early if they had the same chances those of us they believe did transition early were blessed with. I have never really said what the truth was but if one actually read this blog early on before all the political crap took over it would be apparent that few of us transitioned early in the 50s, 60s or 70s. The reason? Because it was impossible to transition early in the United States as it was everywhere else basically unless you ran away and ended up on the streets selling yourself.
Most people equate our aggressive early awareness with early transition. Early Transition is a modern concept in so many ways. I was born in the mid 40's and believe me I pushed boundaries but that is not truly the same as early transition. Some of us were lucky because we did boy so poorly most who met us for the first time thought we were weirdly dressed girls but were quickly informed we were actually boys. I have mentioned I spent time in Quebec "fully transitioned" which really means I got to live as a girl for a short period of time because I actually did pass easily as a girl. If I added up all those times in Quebec they might total 3 months over 4+ years.
The big advantage I did have was early hormone intervention which is really the key to all of us. Even though I was a feminine boy with low testosterone puberty would probably have done a job on me without the early hormones. In high school the first year was terrible because everyone thought I was "gay" of the term most were in favor of which was "fag". I pushed dress code boundaries but there was absolutely no way I was exiting my house as a girl and entering that building as a girl even if everyone knew I thought I was a girl and wanted to be a girl by th end of my Sophomore year when i was 13 1/2. One did not do that in the 50's.
Even in college from 1961 to 1966 I dressed more like a college girl but there was little difference between college girls in Columbus, Ohio than college boys in those days. The University Police knew about me as did the school which was the primary reason i went there. They protected me but the Columbus Ohio Police Department was always a worry so I rarely left campus jurisdiction. I just sort of let people believe what they wanted about me even though the years on hormones had drastically changed my physical appearance.
I was perceived as a girl except in my residence where basically everyone knew the truth and I was quite accustomed to his/her, she/he, and other gender blips and brushed them off. By my Sophomore year in college I had decent breast development and along with my frame it was hard to do boy. Even when I was interviewed for my Houston job they knew everything about me and when I showed up in a boy suit the interviewer actually laughed and added I really must want the job.
I guess one could call a kid like me an early awareness, early intervention with hormones, and partial early transitioner because that was what it was like. One did not show up to a new school year as a girl when you ended the previous school year as a boy which does occur today. Parents did not allow their child to dress as a girl from 4 on so Johnny could be free to be his or her self. That was never an option for us and anyone that claims it was is misinformed.
How did one transition early in my time? The better question would be who transitioned early in my time and why?
I guess my dear friend Lana would be an example of an "early transitioner" from my era. Lana is my age and grew up in the upper Midwest and was raised in a strict Christian family and if one looked at me in my youth and saw a pretty girl with Lana you saw knockout gorgeous and she did not do boy well at all and her dad found that disgusting. Lana knew she was a girl but how do you get help in Shitsville USA in the 50's? The answer was simple you did not the same way getting help in Boston in the 50s was basically impossible.
Lana had few choices in life. Her father was actually a Minister and he tried to get the "devil" out of her with his belt and his fists primarily because he was more scared of her and unwilling to accept the fact the god might have created her but Mother Nature fucked up as Lana loves to say. Lana ran away from her family in 1961 at 15 and ended up in New York City doing things to survive she was never proud of but she needed a roof over her head and food. Thankfully she stayed away from drugs except for her drug of choice, estrogen which was easy to get off the black market in New York City. She found Dr. Benjamin in the early 60s and thankfully ended up in the chorus at Club 82 and was off the streets. So I guess Lana managed to transition at 15 but then i doubt that is the "kind of" early transition some later transitioners thought was available to us in those years.
Another example of an "early transitioner" would be my best friend in the world Lena. My partner in our "young transsexual" help world. Lena grew up in Spanish Harlem and her version of "West Side Story" and Maria was more realistic and neither of those gangs in the movie would have lasted two hours in her neighborhood. Lena was a very feminine boy in a very macho Hispanic culture and her father was violent and at 8 or 9 put Lena in the hospital for a month by basically beating his "mericon" song nearly to death and ended up serving 6-10 years in prison. Lena actually did try to transition in school and was promptly expelled permanently and ended up running numbers for a crew ran by Bumpy Johnson in Harlem and got protection and paid. Nobody suspected the little "mericon" prancing down the street ran numbers and collected for the notorious Bumpy Johnson.
In the early 60's she ran from New York when she learned her father was getting out of prison because in her heart she knew he would kill her. She ended up in San Francisco living on the streets until she was befriended by a "tranny" performer at Finnochio's who found her soaking wet huddling in the entryway to her apartment building. Lena always felt she was a girl and she was introduced to Dr. Benjamin one summer. Lena ended up in Canada and was one of the most famous drag performers of her era.
In all honesty those are the only two "early transitioners" I met until Lena and I started helping children like us. I kind of doubt those claiming they would have transitioned "early" if given the advantages thought this was what the advantage was. There actually was no advantage and early transition was more desparation than anything else. Running to the streets is not transitioning it is survival.
Many kids like us were trapped until they could get away from home. Most of my friends when i finally made it to New York had transitioned in the 18-25 age range and for our time that was extremely early. It meant they face electrolysis and all the crap that went with testosterone poisoning in an era when FFS was not available. None of them allowed themselves to be forced into doing too much boy stuff although in honesty one did what was required to survive. The one thing they all knew was they could get help except for my one friend who was at once the saddest person I have ever known and a born comedian and as funny as they came. A truly gorgeous Italian male who had zero chance of ever living as a girl and she killed herself over it.
The other thing you will never read about us is the sexual component of our lives. Everyone wants to slough it off as not important for transsexuals because it makes it a little more convenient for those doing the sloughing. A close friend of mine in England put it best to me when we were talking on Skype a week or so back.
We knew we were girls. Once we figured it out we knew we should have a vagina. Once we became sexually aware we knew we wanted to be penetrated like girls because as she puts it we have innies and not outies. We also knew there was absolutely no way we were ever using that outie we were born with on a girl. The thought of it made us cringe. My friend in England is a life long lesbian by the way so it crosses sex partner preference lines.
Many early transsexuals, according to Harry, had sex with women as men by fantasizing the woman was them. I argued with him about that a few times but he was quite convincing that it was possible and did happen although the concept was both alien and disgusting to me. I wonder what fantasies late transitioners use to facilitate penetrating a wife with a body part they supposedly do not want for 30+ years?
Early transition way back when was really being fully transitioned by sometime in your 20's. Getting on hormones in your teens was rare but had major benefits. Today early transition is what many of the later transitioners think was available back then. It was not something society allowed unless it was illicit and illegal. Even early hormones caused serious troubles. Near the end of my Junior year in High School I was informed boys gym was not something they thought I should take which was an issue since not passing gym sort of prevented one from graduating High School which should give one an idea where male thought patterns were. I did suggest girl's gym but that was not going to happen.
I often wonder if some today actually believe what early transition is today is what we had way back when. I wish it was. Today kids transition as early as 4-5. Now some of these children may or may not be transsexual but in my humble opinion it will sort itself out and the kid will be better for it either way. By the time they are 11-13 it should be clear who is and who is not transsexual. Unfortunately this might be part of the reason young transsexuals get blockers and not estrogen until 16-18 but even estrogen is somewhat reversible. Those that are transsexual will get to assimilate as girls much easier and even the kids we have helped that have been in the 13-15 range except for one who was 18 assimilate easily into society as girls. Early transition is the way to go if available.
In many ways it was a simpler time. You either were or you were not transsexual. There were no blurred lines. You never heard any one state "I think I might become transsexual" like this crap is some choice we were given. There was no transgender borg out there claiming we are all the same or that we have similar interests. When one of you can tell me what a fetish transvestite has in common with a transsexual then we will have made progress.
There was no "known" narrative that described a transsexual back then. We were all individuals with our own stories and differences but we got along because we were what we were and did not need some therapist to tell us we were a girl. I actually read someone that claimed their therapist proved to them that they were really a woman trapped in a man's body. Actually they were just some poor fool confused by some quack therapist but then it is a money game today. Drain the transsexual of every dime you can while convincing them you have their best interest at heart. It is all about the Benjamins and I do not mean Harry Benjamin.
So the truth about early transition way back when is that the definition of early was kind of different from today. The 4-6 year old today is the 13-15 of my era and the teens of today are the early to mid twenties of back then. The times have changed and in this case it is actually for the better.