Wasn’t I her along. Deep deep inside it may have been, but I was not aware of it. My memories are so fuzzy growing up it is hard to recall my gender feelings. Some gurls know from very early on. Some have memories of dressing in gurly clothes as a kid. Well I don’t and I didn’t. It wasn’t until high school that I actually put on my Mom’s pantyhose. And still I didn’t feel particularly femme. It was more of a sexual turn on.
So how and when did I become Stephie. Well, it did take some time, so let me explain why I think it did. Before the age of eleven, my memory mostly fails. But, while I do not remember being a girl, I also did not particularly feel boyish either. I played with some boy toys, but it wasn’t like it made feel like a boy; it was just things that I like. Match Box cars mainly. I got one each week helping my mother do the the grocery shopping. I do know that my GI Joe did not excite me and was quickly forgotten. I never remembered asking for it. I play a few sports, but so what. Lots of girls play sports, although back then it was not popular and maybe not even allowed.
But, at a eleven something happen to threw my life into turmoil. I started to drink. I was left alone in the house, and grew afraid. I don’t know what made me think to go to my parents liquor cabinet. A year before I got drunk at a Passover Seder, so this was not to be my first drink. But, it began a new pattern. So, I drink some of their booze, and got instant relief. As time went on my drinking became more frequent, and I was started using marijuana after my brothers turned me on to it. By seventh grade I started to ramp up my usage as I began to make friends who drank and used. By eighth grade I was into some heavier drugs. Finally, by ninth grade I was a daily user of something. Things would only get worse.
In young adulthood I became physically dependent on alcohol. I detox a number of times. The first was shaking it out at my parents in an attempt at drying out. Eventually, I went back to drinking. Three years later I wound up detoxing in a hospital and eventually went to a 28 day treatment program. After the program I stay in a halfway house for 5 months. After 11 months I had a relapsed and binge for a week. This binge I was precipitated by a period of depression, which was ignored. I again went to a treatment program and halfway house. I had one more week binge in less than a year, also followed by a period of depression.
This time after hospitalization for detox I wound up in a psychiatric ward in a state hospital. With the two previous periods of depression marked the beginning of my battle with bipolar depression (I say depression because I only had one manic episode, but that is enough to be diagnosed bipolar 1). I also battle anxiety during certain times of depression. This anxiety became a constant companion in the early 2000s. I was on Benzodiazepines for years, which were not all that effective.
But, in 2014 I was taken off them after a period of abuse. While not presto chango, the transformation was tremendous. To help me through this period I was given the responsibility of starting and running a client library at the mental health program I was, and still am attending. Within months my lingering dissatisfaction with life was lifted and the anxiety grew less as I learn to reality test, which I was able to do because my mind was no longer clouded with benzos and depression. Within six months the anxiety was totally gone.
At this point I began my exploration of my femininity. I had a desire to dress in woman’s clothing, mainly sexy and slutty things. You know stockings, panties, short skirts and dresses, and flimsy tops. And of course, high heels. At first the feelings of feeling femme were mild. I was also toying my asspussy,† which could also elicited femme feelings. I loved this secret (I was in the “closet”) part of my life, and I did it as often as I was alone. I was and still am pretty much at my girlfriend’s 24/7. I felt so good when doing these things.
Eventually my feminine feelings grew as the years moved on. In the summer of 2018 these started to change rapidly. I began to have my feminine feelings out of dress up and play times. It was not to long after this that I started wearing panties 24/7. In the fall I started to shave off my body hair (legs, chest, tummy, and my privates), never to grow it back again as I had done in previous years.
In November things exploded. I started exploring online “sissy”† sites, looking to meet up with others experiencing their own feminine feelings and desires. Instead of being able to connect with other gurls† in person, I began to make online friends, some which become very good friends. I met one gurl on the first site I started to explore, who was the first person I ever came out to as a transgender woman, which I had recognized at the being of the month. She was the one who encourage me to start using my new female name “Stephie.” I change it as my name on the site, and other sites, I also belonged to. And would use it for every site I ever joined. And have since, been using it everywhere I can.
So, there I was at the end of November fully feeling like I am woman, and never was to experience any male feelings again, not that I had many before then. It had been a good while since I had actually felt like I was a guy. I remember, vaguely, that I had these un-guy feelings maybe going back to the late 1990s. Due to my depression I do not think I understood that I could possibly be womanly. But that was then, an ultimately not very important because the present is much more important. Not that looking back does not have its advantages.
As I said I have never looked back. And the more I lived in my new world as a woman, the more secure I became with my identity. This does not mean I had continued to question my gender identity. That had solidified itself in November. But there was a lot to learn, and for that matter there still is. Nonetheless the feelings intensified until I decided I wanted to come out of the closeted. That occurred for the first time when I came out to my girlfriend of over thirty years in the spring of 2019. At the time I was undecided about transitioning. First I did not know a whole lot about it yet. And the notion of taking hormones or having surgeries was scary, especially surgery.
Things would change on July 10 last summer. I came out to my therapist with the intention of transitioning. I also sought out a train gender therapist to work with. While the two meetings I had with her were productive, she reveal that she had never actually had a transgender client (she worked mainly with couples for sex therapy). But, my therapist had seen four if I remember the number correctly. As I found out to receive hrt (hormone replacement therapy) it was not necessary that the letter of recommendation was by an accredited gender therapist, but only by a licensed therapist. I kept open the possibility of working with the gender therapist in the future because that maybe necessary for GCS (Gender Confirmation Surgery). Since writing this I have found out at least one surgeon requires having two mental health professionals only with no requirement that one must be an accredit gender therapist. Issues with insurance prevents me from getting his services.
I had already done a little as far as being out, but the ball soon (within two months) started to roll faster. I came out at a mental heath program I attend in October, and started to dress in more feminine attire (I used a unisex look before, but still from woman’s clothing line) there and on the buses I took to get there. In December I finally put it all together with wig, makeup, and a skirt. In January I begin to go out almost exclusively dressed as a woman. Now, I never dress any other way.
My life as Stephie took a leap further when I went on hrt. In late December I told my therapist that I had found an endocrinologist who was walking distance from my girlfriend’s, but said I wasn’t positive if he took my insurance. She encourage me to call and find out. I did and got a new patient appointment for March. At that appointment I got a consultation, including an examine, and discussed further treatment. I left with another appointment in a month and lab orders for blood work. That next appointment ended up being a tele-visit due to the covid-19 pandemic and social restrictions. The appointment was on April 8th, after reviewing my blood work he sent prescriptions over to my pharmacy, which I picked up that afternoon.
So, I am now on hrt, taking estradiol 1 mg twice a day and spironolactone 50 mg twice a day, which I began the evening of the 8th with my first doses. This is what is considered low dose hrt, which I call starter doses. According to my doctor I shouldn’t expect much in regards to results. He said my skin could get softer, and possible breast development from the spiro. It’s hard to tell if my skin is softer or not because I get my skin soft and smooth already with my skin care routine. As for breast development—nada. I get more blood work and go back to the doctor in July. If all is okay with the blood results, I will then be prescribe regular doses. Then, the race is on (not really a race) with some results beginning in 3 to 6 months.
I did possibly have some emotional hints that could have been resulting from hrt. The other day after a really bad day with multiple things going wrong I walked into the bedroom, and I told my girlfriend I felt like crying. I had not felt like this since my depression and anxiety days over six years ago. This and another thing that happen several time that I cannot fully explain or describe. I feel like a woman as mentioned above plain and simple, but I had these feelings stronger than I ever had. I was puzzled why. Although they were very pleasant. My only answer to my puzzlement was it was an effect of hrt. I talk with the doctor about the emotional side, and he said there can be, but when discussing the effects of my current dosage, he did not mention it.
So, here is Stephie today, of course in part as there is much more to my life that I can put in this post. Is becoming really the appropriate description of what happened to me when I identified as her. Looking back through all the fog (drug and alcohol addiction and after that three and a half decades of living with depression and anxiety, I can see I probably missed a lot of clues and probably some I was not even vaguely aware of. I guess I have a wee bit of a desire to be seen as knowing at a young age fit the standard story. Now all of this is not a defense—I have nothing to defend—I am a woman, who is also a transgender woman.
So this is me—Stephie—the woman I am and came to be. And, will continue to be.
† This is a common word in the “kink” world, I am part of, and not ashamed of it being part of my life as I think of these so call “kink” stuff as completely natural.