Friday 26 May 2017

Humble Beginnings - Growing pains

Promise I wont drown .. 

During my schooling I was awful at sport, often being given to the best team as a handicap. I was put out past the boundary in cricket, behind the goal for football, and right back on the touch line in Rugby. Anything with a ball was bad news for me!
So when one of the teachers started a canoe club in the school and I said  ‘’yes please – what is that ??’’
I remember taking a note home for my Grandmother to sign that said my parents would agree that it would not be the schools fault if I drowned! I told her that it wouldn’t cost anything as I would be using all the schools equipment. How wrong I was !! (– but more of that later!)

Gang Shows
I was a member of the local scout troop and enjoyed being ‘part’ of something. Each year the troop would put on a ‘Gang Show’ and we all had to perform on the stage in little sketches and comedy routines. I loved it as I was able to volunteer for all the girls’ parts, and they gave them to me!  
I was about 12 at the time, my voice hadn’t broken and I was still singing soprano in the school and church choirs, also being very slim (skinny!) and about mid height.  So I was a natural choice for the parts. (Probably the fact that no one else wanted to dress as a girl may have been in my favor as well …)
In one show I played a house wife, school girl, Florence Nightingale, and the Queen !
I was in seventh heaven!  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was following in the footsteps of many great female impersonators of the past.
One of the scoutmasters' wives was the costume mistress and was able to find outfits and wigs that suited my shape and size, and she had a great time transforming me when doing my make up for the shows. This lasted for two wonderful years when I would look forward to the shows and rehearsals, counting the days till they started.

Then it all came tumbling down …
I often stayed at my grandmothers at the other end of our small town, closer to the town center. My grandmother had some old clothes stored in the room that I used when I stayed with her, and I used to try them on at night when everyone had gone to bed.

At first I was content to see the transformed image in the mirror and feel contented, but as time went on I wanted more.
I think that most TG’s know this feeling, I call it the ‘Pandora Paradox’, the more you let Pandora out of the box, the harder it is to put her back, and the next time she wants to start where you left off, so the boundaries get pushed and have to be re-set.
So after a few sessions dressing in the bedroom at night I wanted more, and with the bedroom being on the ground floor, I used to pop out of the window and go for a walk at 2am. First this was just in the area around the flat, then after a few nights, I stated to venture into the town.
On one particular night I was wearing a long roll neck jumper with a belt that looked like a dress on me, with a pair of tights and some flat white sandals. My hair was very sort at that time, but I found a fluffy hat that looked like a wig and wore that. My boobs were my rugby socks in one of my grandmothers old bras and I felt feminine and it was an amazing feeling.
Window Shopping  
The night was dry and not too cool. I wandered into the town looking in the shop windows and enjoying being ‘me’ for the first time on my own terms. The town was very quiet and after about an hour I was making my way home when a car came passed. I just kept on walking, ignoring it as I was not concerned, but it pulled over and 2 police officers got out, concerned that a young girl was walking about the town alone at that time of night.
They took me to the police headquarters and sat me down and talked to me, asking me who I was and what I was doing out at that time of night. I was in tears and couldn’t say anything. Then after a little while  one of the women officers pulled my hat off and showed my boys hair cut to the world. It was then that one of the officers recognised me as living near him, and called my mother.

So arriving in a whirlwind at 3am at the police headquarters to find me dressed as a girl was one very unhappy mother.
I was taken home, changed and put to bed after receiving some corporal punishment.
The following day I was driven to school late, and told to sit outside the headmasters office for a long time while my mother was discussing the situation with him. Some time later I was put in a room with a child psychiatrist who had me do all sorts of mind games, drawings, and story telling. After a while another psychiatrist came in who was more direct, asking ‘why’ questions, ‘how did I feel’, ‘what made me do it’ etc.
This all concluded in having my mother and headmaster in the room with the 2 psychiatrists and the direct one asking me to explain my reasons for dressing and going out. Was I trying to pick up men? Was I attracted to men? Did I know what a homosexual was?
I was in tears and shouting that I didn’t know, I just wanted to ‘do’ it, but no one was listening to me. He then accused me of being sick, and he asked me if I actually wanted to be a ‘little girl’. (I had no idea if this was actually possible, as April Ashley hadn’t hit the headlines at that time). I was distraught, I was freighted that I would upset my mother again and disgrace myself in front of my headmaster, so screamed ‘NO’ in answer to the question to please them…not myself.

(Isn’t hindsight a marvelous thing….)


  1. Oh the things we do when we first start out! :-)

    I'm hoping that trans kids get much better treatment these days.

  2. Hi Lynn
    In deed we did ... This is just one example of my tenacious need to dress at all costs.
    In those days there was no internet or social media (the only computers I know of were at NASA help put people on the moon!) so we did what came naturally and made it up as we went along. - the news paper 'Agony Aunts', Marjory Proops and Claire Rainer, were the only source of information at that time
    Like you, I hope that the youth of today have the benefit of all our mistakes in the past and gain more understanding and acceptance than I did.

  3. Nice post, Dawn. The part about being in the police station certainly caught my eye!


    1. hmmm !
      I seem to remember that it did with me too !!!

  4. I very nice post.
    I suspect that most 12 year old boys caught dressing and asked 'why' would simply respond "I don't know...I just do".

  5. I think most adults would as well ... Its not an easy question to answer what ever your age
    thanks for the nice comments

  6. When I was eight or so I first dressed in my grandmother's clothes which she didn't seem to care all that much about. When I decided to do some high kicks in front of her television set that was a different story as Ed Sullivan was on and that program was sacrosanct. That merited a beating of sorts. I'm 15 years post-op at this point and I wonder whether Grandma would have approved?

    1. I can imagine the issues with blocking a telly screen during peak viewing !! Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it !


Humble Beginnings

As many of you know, we all have to start somewhere and this is my first jump into writing a blog, so bare with me and my misguided steps in...