So You Want To Be a T-Girl (Chapter 2)

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The article "So You Want To Be a T-Girl: A Realistic Guide to the Transitional Journey" was contributed by Anonymous, and copyright remains with the author.

Also see: So You Want To Be a T-Girl (Chapter 1) and So You Want To Be a T-Girl (Chapter 3)


Chapter 2


So you transitioned; okay, fine. But your mother can transition. So can your father, your brother, and every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the planet. That is the easy part.

But let me remind you of something… transitioning is not for everyone who feels like they should be the opposite sex. I have heard from many women since I started this book and I am continually shocked at what they say. I cannot get over the people who have told me, “I think my bell went off”, “My bell went off for the fourth time and now I want to do something about it”, or “I am not sure if my bell went off.” And I still receive e-mail asking me to help them dress, wanting my advice on how to tuck their testicles, and other ridiculous crossdressing questions.

Good God, let me get something straight right now before we get into the actual life of a TS after transition; you will know when your bell goes off. It is an alarm, it is definite, and it is for real. There are no maybes, there is no doubt, and it is traumatic. It is an epiphany, a reality, a shock and nothing short of a nervous breakdown. And it only happens once. You don’t “sort of” throw away an entire life and all you know, trust, and love… It is a necessity! Your bell goes off or it does not—period. The entire purpose of this book is to make sure that only the right people transition. And if your bell did not go off, then you were not meant to live as a woman.

Remember always that on the line of human sexuality, all six billion people on the planet reside as a point somewhere on that line, and no two people can occupy the same spot… we are all different. So? Where is that cut-off between a transsexual and all the others who consider themselves transgendered? I don’t claim to know. No one can. But I am here to tell you this… if your bell does not go off at some point in your life, then you are not a TS. Remain as you are.

Why Did You Transition?

Let’s talk a bit before going further. People out there with a desire to transition do so for a great many reasons, and only one is the right one. The transition is hard, about that there is little doubt. Honestly, nothing is harder on the soul, the mind, the spirit, the body, the pocketbook…nothing. Absolutely nothing compares in scope, hardship, and in real, honest to goodness problems. Why did you, or why do you feel the necessity, to transition?

You transition because you have to, not because you want to. Your life as a male is little more than a house of cards; one lie placed upon another that is destined to crumble just as easily. But seriously, though it can be compared to a house of cards, it is similar only in nature, that it is destined to fall down in an instant. In reality, an actual house of cards is a pyramid, strong at the base to support what goes on top. But the transsexual’s house of cards is exactly the opposite… there is no strong, wide base at the bottom, just a single truth: that you were born a woman in a man’s body. That is the base; a single, fragile truth upon which the many lies of your life are built upon. For a transsexual, the triangular house of cards is upside down. A tiny reality upon which fans out and upward an endless pyramid of lies, deceit, deception, unhappiness, and frustration.

In light of the fragile reality of which your life is based, you have to seriously ask yourself why you want to transition in the first place. If your bell went off and you have to, fine, welcome to the world of a million others like you. If your bell did not go off and you are doing it half-assed for pleasure, adventure, or sexual experimentation, then welcome to the world of the transgendered of which there are millions upon millions. But beware… all the problems described up to this point in this book will be magnified a thousand times while in the second phase of the transition. You will truly be one unhappy person, destined for a life of that upside-down house of cards where even the slightest mishap can bring it all down again and again, regardless of how skilled you are at putting it back together.

The Transsexuals View of a Transsexual

Oh, this is fun, and quite controversial in the rare and often secretive world of the TS. But bear with me, it means something to the rest of this book, and to your life if you have transitioned.

Why? Because you have transitioned, simply put. You no longer are a man, and technically, not a woman. You are the very rare and elusive creature caught somewhere in between the sexes: a genetic and hormonal variation of the human animal, and if you take all the transsexuals that exist, and place them on the line of human sexuality, not one of them occupies the same spot as any other… We too, are all different. Why is it important where you reside on that line? Well, honestly, transsexuals live basically three different types of lives after the initial transition, and we will discuss two of them in this chapter and one the next. How will you handle the awkward time between transition and stealth? This will define you, your life, and how not only the world views and reacts to you, but how you view and react to the world. It is important.

Technically, a transsexual is defined as anyone who feels so strongly that they were born into the wrong body that they begin to live as the opposite sex. We already discussed that the amount of surgeries mean nothing and do not even register on the scale. A transsexual is merely a woman’s brain in a male body, and technically, under that strict definition, you do not even have to take any steps to live as the opposite sex to be considered a transsexual. What it really comes down to is what is truly in a person’s heart, mind, and soul. And how can that be judged? How can that be defined? How can that be put in black and white for all to see, understand, and deal with?

It can’t. It definitely keeps certain aspects of the psychiatric, legal, and medical communities in business, but the truth is that when dealing with human brains, sexuality, and emotions, there is no clear-cut line between a transsexual and every other form of transgendered human being on the planet. The line lies in a very gray area. But another transsexual knows exactly where that line is.

Funny, isn’t it? No one can define it, but one transsexual can point out another. And just as easily, a transsexual can pick out a pretender. Honestly, anyone can transition. And anyone can get surgeries. There are enough men in a dress out there with a store-bought vagina that it is enough to confuse anyone... except another Sister.

At this point in your life, immediately after the initial transition and while first going full time, you will begin to realize many things. One of these is that not all people who call themselves a transsexual are transsexuals. You had hoped to transition and find others like you. Perhaps you have found others but are now realizing that they are in fact nothing like you. Or maybe, like most of us, once you start living full time, you find yourself in the middle of this huge transsexual argument: how best to live your life now. Here you find that a few more definitions come into play. The term “transsexual” itself begins to change it’s meaning. The most basic interpretation of the word is “one who changes sexes” or “to change sexes”. And here you were calling yourself a transsexual and looking to other transsexuals for guidance. Now, things are different.

If you were born a woman and then transitioned, then you were only a transsexual while you were actually transitioning. Yet you find people out there who have been transsexuals all their lives, people who call themselves a transsexual openly, are proud to be a transsexual, or plan on keeping their penis while living as a transsexual. Still others are obviously men in drag who call themselves transsexuals, with or without a store bought vagina. All of a sudden, the world of the transsexual becomes a bit cloudy. No wonder the world will not accept us! But if you were in fact born a woman, and you did in fact begin your transition, then you are by now beginning to realize that being a transsexual is a temporary state… not a sexual identity, not a sexual orientation, not a gender identity disorder… but just a temporary state. Confused? Let me be frank…

There is no such thing as a “transsexual woman”. You are born a man or you are born a woman. Period. Transitioning is for women born into a male body, and due to the limitations of human language, labels are necessary for proper communication, but how can a transsexual be a woman? It is either an oxymoron or a redundancy, depending on how you look at it. But literally translated, “transsexual woman” means a “woman’s brain in a male body woman” which makes absolutely no sense at all. There are three types if people in the world… men, women, and transsexuals. To a woman born into a male body, the term can be used to describe them, but at this point in their lives, they begin to realize that it has deeper meaning and they begin to reevaluate it’s use. On one hand, it describes them from birth, on the other hand, they are just women so it does not fit. On one hand, it describes them perfectly while in the transition, but on the other, it labels them as something other than a woman. And on one hand, it describes every idiot with lipstick and a beard, but the last thing they want is to be is associated with these freaks. A person is either a man, a woman, or a transsexual. At this point in your life, what are you?

Eventually, this riddle will be solved for you. Your life will work itself out and you will fall clearly into one of these three categories. You certainly cannot be two of them at the same time! But while we are defining terms, let’s get to two others that have a new meaning for you about now.

Earlier I used the term “Sister” and stated that one Sister can point out another . “Sister” is a term used in the TS world to describe someone who is a woman born into a male body who successfully transitioned, and by all accounts is a woman now; not a transsexual—(that is a temporary state for a Sister) A Sister is a woman who was born a genetic male who has little or no affiliation with the transsexual world any longer. More aptly described as “the real thing”, not a drag queen with boobs and a vagina. They are almost always stealth to the world with only a few exceptions… Their family who will always know, transsexuals who they are helping to transition, and other Sisters. In the TS world, it is a highly coveted term and only bestowed upon those that have the highest regard for others who have been down the same path and “did it right”. But just as the term “transsexual” is borrowed by drag queens because it is more acceptable or prestigious, the term “Sister” is being borrowed by transsexuals who will at best always be transsexuals. Who deserves it? Well, another Sister knows, and that is enough.

And to further complicate things (don’t worry, if you do not understand what I am about to say now, you will one day soon enough) a Sister can spot another Sister while she is still living as a man, and during her transition while she is living as a transsexual. A Sister is a Sister from birth, it is not a state which you strive to reach.

And the final term we will discuss is the word “tranny”. A tranny is often defined as a “professional transsexual” or a “professional tranny”. A tranny is a TS that defines herself as a transsexual rather than as a woman. In reality, unless you use the dictionary definition, “transsexual” only defines a woman actually going through the transition. Afterwards, she is just another woman to the world, and a Sister to others who have made the same journey. But a tranny is a TS who defines herself as, and lives her life as, a transsexual rather than a woman.

So by now in your transition, you are hearing these terms, perhaps for the first time, perhaps in a different light, but if you have come this far, you are being bombarded by the community to label yourself, to take a stand, to live your life one way or the other. Look, do what is in your heart. We will cover all of this as the book goes on, but at this point, things are changing in your world, head, and heart, and you have some tough decisions to make.

The Paths of a Transsexual

So you transitioned. Your bell went off, you made the necessary sacrifices, you made the proper adjustments, and now you are living full time as a woman. Great. But don’t expect one thing—that your life will be perfect and wonderful. Let’s talk.

One of the biggest misconceptions in the world of the transgendered is that once you go through the transition as described in the first chapter of this book, that all of a sudden everything changes for you and your problems melt away. Even the sharpest of us will concede that it will be difficult afterwards, but this idea that the same problems you dealt with in the first phase of your transition will go away is utter nonsense. What you need to know and accept is that those same problems you had before your transition remain throughout your transition, they just simply change form a bit. The problems you dealt with during your transition will not go away after you transition, they will merely take on another form. They will remain, striking at you from a different direction, perhaps less often and sometimes harder, sometimes softer, but they will always remain a part of your life. There is no escaping this tragedy of transsexualism, and those that refuse to believe it, understand it, and deal with it properly will fail just as miserably as those who never made it this far.

But let’s explore the nuts and bolts of the second phase of your transition first. Now that you are full time, you have some decisions to make. Just how will you live as a transsexual? In the open as an activist? Or simply as a woman hiding among the other 3 billion women out there, in stealth mode? Before you decide, let your body speak to you.

Passing is the do-all and end-all of the rest of your life. From this point on, how well you pass will define literally every aspect of your life. The beginning, before you transition and the time immediately after the transition, is defined by a myriad of obstacles, pain, loss, problems, and joys. And trust me, none of these ever go away, they just simply alter the way they affect you. If you get nothing else out of this book, understand this clearly: transitioning will not solve any of your problems; the same problems still exist and always will, they will simply take on another form. They morph, they do not go away. But now you have gotten over the hurdles defined in the first chapter of this book and you are on your way to settling down and living a normal life, right? Wrong. Nothing will ever be normal for you. Ever. How will you handle it?

The Activist

Some of us choose the activist role. No matter how well they pass, no matter what the world thinks of them, they will be a transsexual forever. They wear a sign around their neck screaming, “I am a transsexual! Accept me as I am!” They live openly as a transsexual, they join transsexual clubs, live on transsexual chat lines, spend endless hours in transsexual chat rooms, hang out with and pair up with other transsexuals as partners and friends, and get involved with transsexual communities, rights groups, and politics. They become activists, wanting the world to know and accept them as transsexuals.

There are many reasons why a TS would choose this route, and many of the one’s that they will give you are total bullshit. What it really comes down to is one reason and one reason only—they have no choice.

Let’s talk a bit. Everyone wants to know how many of us are out there. Well, the best and latest scientific data is said to be accurate enough to answer that question world-wide… that one in 1,000 "men" are born transsexuals. Keep in mind that this number only describes actual transsexuals, and not CD’s, TV’s, drag queens, she-males, or others, of which there are many, many times that number. But they say with confidence that one in a thousand, and in some societies where it is condoned, understood, and/or revered, the number can be as low as one in a hundred. Now taking the larger number as to not offend anyone and to remain as honest as possible, that means that about 180,000 TS’s live in the United States currently. Before we go any further with this activist discussion, let’s place things into the proper perspective.

About 15% of the TS’s in America live openly as transsexuals or activists, and about 15% live quietly in stealth and are never heard from again. The other 70% are an interesting group which we will discuss at length later. And by the way, if you do not like these numbers, do a detailed, scientific nationwide survey and get back to me on that. Just remember that the only ones that can truly be counted in any real numbers are going to be the activists! And the best of luck to you in accomplishing even that! As for me, I will listen to the current medical, scientific, and psychological communities and accept their numbers.

Now, let’s talk about why those 15% who are activists are so important. First of all, they are the vocal ones. They are in the media. They are on TV and in movies and on websites. They hold conventions and meetings. They are heard. They are loud. And they are idiots.

You have a choice on how to live now that you have transitioned. Approximately 85% of us are basically in hiding, and most of that 85% will never stand up and be counted, admit that they were born men, or label themselves as a transsexual. So the minority 15% pretend to speak for us, and by default they “represent” us, and do a very poor job of it. Why? For the reason I spoke of earlier, they become activists because they have no other choice.

Now, they will most definitely tell you otherwise. They will tell you that they speak out because they wish to better our lives. They claim to want to stand up for, create, or improve our rights. They mention that they want to get in touch with their roots, their Sisters. They claim that after living stealth that they want to once again embrace the Sisterhood. They claim to be in it to make the world a better place by showing the mindless drones who run the world that transsexuals are people too. Bullshit.

Look, “transsexual rights” are an ignorant proposition for two reasons. One, if transsexuals are women, then any rights that effect women effect transsexuals equally, and vice versa. And more importantly, any rights that effect both transsexuals and women are human rights alone. And two, in order to clearly define the rights of a transsexual, you will have to begin with clearly defining exactly what a transsexual is, and that is literally impossible. You cannot define something as complicated as transsexuality, that can never, ever be done! And any attempt to do so may end up including everything from drag queens and gender-fucks to excluding real people in need. It is all talk. Meaningless drivel, and if anything, countering all the real progress that the quiet 85% make every day. More on that later.

But there is only one reason that activists choose that route—they have no choice. Men are men, women are women, and trannies are trannies. The tranny is a tranny because she has no other choice. She will never pass, or she thinks she will never pass, so she stands up and shouts, argues, and demands to be afforded the rights of those who do. Or maybe she has lived her life in such a way that she will never be able to go stealth. Maybe she was an activist for so long and is now so widely known that she cannot ever go stealth. Some went into prostitution or made porno movies and now are so well known that they have no other choice. Still others are forced into the open by others who let their secret out, or who transition while in high profile jobs, or because they somehow or another made the evening news, committed crimes, or were otherwise thrust into the national or international spotlight. Still others never had the confidence in themselves to go stealth. The truth is that most of the activists, either at the local or national level, choose the activist role because they simply think that they cannot go stealth. And usually, it is because of something they themselves did, or had done to themselves. And most commonly, the activist role is usually chosen by those people that are using activism as a forum to either promote their own agendas, whether it be selling a product or propping up their image of themselves. After all, if you cannot make it in the world as a woman, the next best thing is to join an activist group and shout that you are. Hell, if you shout it loud enough, enough people in the same boat will eventually gather around you and you can all convince each other that you are, in fact, women.

This entire misrepresentation of the majority by the minority begins to become painfully clear to all who enter this phase of the transition. Early on, we all did, or at least tried to embrace the “Community.” But the more we became involved with it, and the more we experienced it, the further away we ran from it. At some point it becomes painfully clear… the Community and those who represent us publicly, are in it for personal gain, to prop up their damaged egos, to surround themselves with others like them, or because they were forced into it and are loudly proclaiming their involvement as if they were somehow supposed to be revered for it. And the sad truth is that many crossdressers, transvestites, drag queens, and gender-fucks do get involved in the community and take it over in the vacuum left behind by the rest of us running away from it! They all try to prove to each other that they are more “transsexual than thou” and feed off of each others insecurities. And now that they have used modern communications to be heard loudly, they proclaim that they are us. As we grow as women and humans, most of us quickly distance ourselves from the “community”, never to look back. Reality dictates that the vast majority of the people who enter activism leave it in disgust after a year or less.

But yet, here they are, the loud 15% claiming to represent transsexuals the world over. If anyone represents us, it is the success stories that are not in the news, not in movies, not on reality TV shows, not in high profile jobs and families, and not with websites that sell or promote products, and they most certainly are not the few, well-publicized “transsexual success stories” in the media. The only successful TS is one who is no longer a TS, but simply a woman. And these women will never (and rightly so) stand up and be counted or shout for rights they already have.

There is a real danger here, one which begins to become clear during this phase of the transition to the other 85% of us… yet another battle that we cannot possibly win. We see the community which is supposed to represent us being taken over by drag queens and crossdressers. Honestly, if you are a woman, then shut the fuck up and just be a woman! But what are the other 85% supposed to do? Fight them? In public? All they ever wanted was to live as a woman, they are certainly not going to stand up and counter the actions of the loud-mouthed minority claiming to represent them and become exposed as a result. The 85% can’t fight it, so they are forced to live with it. They just shut up and be women. But since the inmates are running the asylum, their power emboldens them and they actually have the nerve to challenge the silent majority (who they KNOW will not stand up to prove them wrong) into coming out like them. The vocal 15% tells the world and the other 85% that only real transsexuals come out. How ridiculously stupid. They have the limelight, true. After all, most of them asked for it anyway. But honestly, at this point in your transition, you have to make a decision—scream with the idiots that you are a woman, or shut the fuck up and just be one.

What All This Means to You

Well, if you are a crossdresser, a transvestite, a drag queen, a shemale, or a gender fuck, you will most certainly look at it a different way, but for the transsexual, there is only one way to look at all of this… you should see danger signs everywhere. What we have now are very visible, loud, and misguided activists out there shouting loudly for rights and acceptance. We have movie stars claiming during interviews that they never felt like a woman until they were in their teens, and athletes claiming that the estrogen levels in their bodies alone make them a woman and allows them to compete on the international level as women. And the way the rest of the world looks at all of us is defined by they way these few people represent themselves, and by proxy, us. How truly scary.

At this point in your transition, if you join them in trying to proclaim to the world that you are a woman but live openly as a transsexual, you will force the world to define what a transsexual is. If you want to compete in a triathlon as a transsexual, then that will cause the people in charge of the triathlon to define what a woman is so they can either include you or exclude you, whichever they see fit to do. And this kind of international attention brought on by a single individual will directly effect not only every transsexual out there, but every crossdresser, transvestite, drag queen, shemale, and gender fuck as well. Should they listen to a few doctors who proclaim that hormonal levels alone dictate what a woman is? If so, someone like Hulk Hogan can take a few pills a day and within months legally compete as a woman during an international weight lifting competition. But in reality, that is exactly what is going on in the community today… vocal transsexuals effecting change on a global scale so they can promote their own agenda. And in the meantime, they are not only representing the rest of us to the entire world, but changing the way that the world will eventually be forced to define all of us.

And that holds two very terrible repercussions for us all. For one, all of the quiet ones out there will be forced into the open through the eventual testing of some kind, be it physical or mental. It means that a transsexual will be defined by a standardized set of tests that determine our mental state, chromosome count, or lifestyle. We will be reduced to a paper set of standards, numbers, or ideas set down by a society that still does not understand us. Just because a few idiots want to run in a race, wear a dress to work, or proclaim to the world that they are a woman with a penis. And worst of all, you have to begin to think about who will help society define us…

Take the doctors who perform the operations… the SRS, FFS, hair removal, breast augmentation, HRT… what will they say when asked who should be eligible for their treatment? Well, they will say what they say now, anyone with two pieces of paper and the money. And both are relatively easy to get. Now let’s look closely at who this really effects. What about the tens of thousands of people the medical aspect of the change effects… not just the doctors, but the nursing staff, the hospitals, the supporting staff, the people who manufacture the material and machines, their families… the number grows immensely, and that is just one lobby group that will petition Congress to be a part of the definition process. Now, let’s look a bit deeper. What about the massive psychological community associated with the change. Or better yet, the millions of people who make billions of dollars in related industries such as hair removal, make-up, wigs, clothes, shoes, jewelry. Are the major manufactures of make-up going to stand by and allow the real definitions to rule when they make billions catering to men who plaster their make-up on with paint rollers to hide their beards? No, they will join the other multi-million or billion dollar a year businesses in wanting ANYONE included under the protective umbrella. Or perhaps, the pendulum will swing the opposite way, and the religious and legal communities will set their own standards into place making it a fight similar to abortion or gay marriage, using it as a political football or hot button issue where nothing is ever set in concrete, or worse, using such markers to expose all those now in stealth through standardized testing. Now look at those few loud mouthed idiots representing the rest of us, holding themselves up as martyrs for the cause, and showing an entire generation of up and coming Sisters the “correct way” to live…

Look, this journey is not easy. If you want to transition on your job, in your field of athleticism, or in your chosen profession as a musician, actress, or whatever, take the hard road and do it right. Like the rest of us, give up everything including your reputation and resume, disappear as long as it takes to re-emerge as a woman and a different person, and start all over. Or realize now that in many high profile positions, you will never be allowed back into that profession or lifestyle… that you have to give that up too. But if you choose to stand up and be recognized, accepted, or included in a group as a woman who was once a man, then realize now that it is a ridiculous venture… if you are a woman, then just shut the fuck up and be a woman. If you want to wear a dress to work, go through the change, take your lumps, and wear your dress to work. If you want to run in a race as a woman and represent your country, well, be a tranny, but realize now that you are effecting millions of us just so you can run in a race with your tits bouncing around. But if you choose the activist role, realize now that your fight may bring you praise in the form of e-mails, letters, and the occasional television interview from those that do not understand you, or who idolize you for a brave representation of the sisterhood, but you are in fact destroying all that the vast majority of transsexuals are doing that truly effects positive change… they simply live as the women they are, are the true role models, and have everything you are standing up and shouting for already. Want to be a hero to those up and coming? Shut the fuck up and be a woman already.

The activist will always be a tranny, no matter what they say, think, or do with their lives. They choose, for whatever reason, to stay in the in-between world of the genders. That does not make a woman, in anyone’s book. That is what the loudest of us choose to do, the ones most heard and seen. But they are the minority, and in all reality, by strict definition, not a woman, and not a TS.

If you choose to live the activist role, the one of being labeled a transsexual woman, the one where you tell everyone you meet, everyone that asks, everyone that suspects of your past and current sexual status, then fine, that is what you are and that is what you will always be—a tranny…one of “those”... a “change”… a Jerry Springer freak. Whatever that particular person in front of you feels a TS is, that is what you are, that is what defines you, and that is what your life is. If the person in front of you feels there is no difference between a TS and a crossdresser, then you might as well be a crossdresser. If the person you just told sees all transgendered people as a sex object to be used and/or abused, then that is exactly what you are and what will happen to you. And if the people you tell feel that you are some terrible abomination of humanity that is going straight to hell, then you are damned for all eternity.

If you live openly as a transsexual woman, then understand this very clearly: the world will define you, you relinquish control and all rights to doing so yourself; others tell you what you are based on their own personal understanding of a transsexual woman. You give up that right to define yourself. It is gone forever. And to other transsexuals, the ones living in stealth, you are simply known as a “professional tranny.” A life-long in-betweener, not a man, not a woman, just a transsexual, open to interpretation, open to discussion, and open to abuse or acceptance as the world and situation see fit.

The professional tranny, the activist, may choose to live this way forever, or it may just be another phase in the long line of phases that leads to her final destination, whatever that may be. But as we will discover, the path is long and arduous, and just as difficult as ever, so the professional tranny may find that living as a transsexual is simply easier. No need to hide, no need to pass, no need to live as a woman, none of the pitfalls of dating—just be a tranny. Real simple. Though it brings its own set of problems, many TS’s find it is easier to label themselves than it is to deal with the problems of stealth.

And then there are those people that simply choose to avoid the entire question altogether. These people try to redefine themselves by not defining themselves at all. Some call themselves “transgenders”, “transgenderists”, “gender benders” or “gender-fucks”. Or they attempt to create other non-descript labels that defy description. They create a make-believe world where they feel no one can define them, put them in a box, or place a label on them. They feel that by not labeling themselves that they cannot be labeled by society. They are simply being themselves, being “me”, and do not want a label in any form. They think that by living as some sort of invented form of transsexual that they can escape the pain and suffering all others feel by simply refusing to be labeled. What a bunch of crap… They label themselves in an effort to avoid being labeled.

A transsexual is a transsexual, no matter how you define it. You can call yourself the Queen of England, it does not make you the Queen of England. You can call yourself a brick wall, it does not make you a brick wall. And you can call yourself a transsexual, but it does not make you a transsexual, or a woman. Period.

A woman is born, not created. If you strive to go from a man to a transsexual, if that is your final goal, then you are not a transsexual at all, and you certainly are not a woman. A transsexual changes sexes, she does not stop in the middle of it and live as an in-between. A woman is a woman, not a transsexual. A woman has a vagina and not a penis. If you were born a woman, then be a woman. Those that label themselves as some form of transsexual, whatever twisted form of the word they use, are still not women. And if you plan on keeping your penis, if you want it, use it, enjoy it, or need it, then you are not a woman and by definition you are not even a transsexual.

The Other Option

This is a tricky topic, but let me just spit it out here. It's not really an option, but then again, who knows? What am I talking about? Well, there is another side to all of this, of how to live now that you transitioned and are living as a woman, and that is as a lesbian. You have read this book because you are looking for answers. I cannot tell you the truth surrounding this particular topic, but I can, once again, give numbers and let you decide for yourself.

In the real world, approximately 13% of all people are gay. If you have not noticed yet, in the world of the TS, approximately 70% of all Sisters are lesbian. That is a huge difference. And many people have attempted to explain it. I personally know two people, one of which is a clinical psychologist and the other a psychiatrist, who have either wrote a book or a thesis on the topic of how a TS changes their sexual orientation after the transition. At one point in your life you were a man, basically and for all practical purposes, a straight man, that had sex regularly with women. Then you changed sexes. Now you are either a lesbian, a straight woman, or a bisexual woman. This is in fact a drastic change, and it is in fact worth books and a few well thought out thesis. Why? Simple... you cannot predetermine or alter your gender... that is set in your mothers womb. But you can change your sexual orientation. So far as the medical and psychological community have determined to date, your sexual orientation is a result of a combination of genetics and experience. It is at least partially a choice.

Now, do not become confused. The straight world has been bashing the gay world about their choice for generations and we all know that being born a gay man or a lesbian woman is not a choice. But bisexuals in fact have a choice, and apparently, so do we! We change our sexual orientations all the time, very often many times throughout our lives after the transition. Why am I bringing this up? Because this part of this chapter deals with how you decide to live your life after the transition. Follow me here...

Thirteen percent of the real world is lesbian but 70% or so of the TS world is. Is this a fluke of

nature? A natural result of transsexualism? Or a choice? Though many studies have been done and many conclusions have been drawn, some with strong medically sounding names and acronyms, no one really knows for sure. But lets look at reality here for a bit. Obviously we have a choice on whether to live as lesbians, straights, or bisexuals, that cannot really be argued. Now I know most of us simply do what we feel inside, just like the gays, lesbians, straights, and bisexuals of the real world will attest to, but at least some of us make a conscious choice about our sexual orientation. What are the results? Well I am not a psychiatrist, a doctor, a psychologist, or a social scientist, all I know are certain facts.

For every one of us, how smooth or rough our lives are after the transition is a direct result of one glaring reality... how well we pass. For the few, the lucky, and the very rich, the extreme minority, we pass just fine and our problems are pretty much over. But for the vast majority, the rest of us, how well we live is directly defined by how well we pass. And going from a six foot, broad shouldered, hairy, deep voiced man with large hands and feet to a petite, sexy, runway model is literally impossible. What are these certain facts? Well, I will spell them out for you and let you draw your own conclusions... Of all TS's, the vast majority are lesbian or bi, and a lesbian or bi TS does not have to pass as a runway model. She can have hair on her face and body, wear baggy jeans, tee shirts, and tennis shoes, she can have a deep voice, she can have a receding hairline, she can have anything but a feminine body, and she can work as a truck driver, cuss, spit, and not wear make-up. And, she can pass as a woman. A lesbian woman. And the things a femme TS finds disgusting about her life and body, a lesbian TS finds are attractive to other lesbian and bisexual women and transsexuals. No need to pass as a woman, just pass as a lesbian. It is much easier, and much more acceptable in society. Becoming a lesbian TS is not only easy, but it is void of the vast majority of the pitfalls of transitioning. It is simply easier. And it works.

Now, I will let you draw your own conclusions here, but the facts remain the same... About three quarters of us are lesbians but only one out of thirteen genetic women are born lesbian. It is by far easier to pass as a lesbian than it is to pass as a genetically born woman. Most of us take on women or other transsexuals as partners. And when it comes to activism, the vast majority of them are lesbians, and most of the rest are bisexual. No need to worry about hair, just take what you have and toss it in a ponytail. No need to look femme, just hang out with other lesbians. And no need to cry aloud that you are a woman, just become a lesbian. And things are easier for you.

Now, is this all a choice? Lord knows. Most certainly the folks who study us cannot explain it, it is just a fact of human existence. Where do you fall into all of this? That is up to you. Just know that if you go from a straight man to a straight woman, life is hard, but if you go from a straight man to a lesbian woman, life is indeed easier. But if you choose the activism role, as a straight or lesbian woman, all of the above still applies to you. Does the world accept, understand, or believe a lesbian transsexual any more than they accept, believe, or understand a straight transsexual? Well, if you want an answer to this question, then ask the world!

A Quick Note About the "Community", GLBT, and You

This is a good place to mention a few other things which you are beginning to notice about now in your transition, but let's step back a bit first. Before you went full time and immediately afterwards, you naturally gravitated towards the gay scene. It was the logical thing to do. Gays and lesbians are outcasts of sorts, they have safe places you can go to, meet others like you, and just be yourself. There were groups and meetings, clubs and protests, marches and parades, community centers and dinners, and maybe these places were the source of many firsts for you... your first formal dinner, your first formal dance, your first real night out, and just a place to get information, feel safe, and discuss your particular lot in life. Well, these days, things are different, aren't they? Maybe you have figured out why, maybe you have not, but let's look at a few things a bit closer... nothing is at it seems in this world, most certainly the "community".

Let’s take the GLBT community first. If you are a transsexual, and not a crossdresser, transvestite,

or drag queen, you never felt comfortable there, and these days, if you are like most of us, you have begun to shed the false security that the GLBT community once held for you and you now distance yourself from it. And as well you should.

For decades, the GLBT community has, at best, tolerated the presence of the “T” part of GLBT, the transgendered. If you began your transition by hanging out in gay or lesbian bars, you by now know that gays and lesbians not only do not understand you, but that at best they only tolerate you, and for the most part do not want you there. Now, if you are a drag queen or a gay man in a dress, you may be admired, but a real transsexual is as much a mystery to them as straight sex is. And honestly, they can be more dangerous, insensitive, ignorant, and cruel to us than most straight people can ever be. If this is your story, then I will not bore you with the details. But there is a deeper side to this. Two of them, actually.

For one, you need to start noticing (if you are into the politics of the GLBT scene) that every time the gays, lesbians, and bisexuals step up to the plate for the rights of the GLBT community, the transgendered at best lose. They write their propositions for all these rights, include all four groups, and then at the first signs of negotiations they drop the “T” wording in an effort to appease. They use us as a bargaining chip, the first and strongest one. “You want equal rights in the workplace? Then drop the tranny part.” And they do. Very, very quickly. For decades, we have been nothing more than a tool they use to get what they want, and completely and totally toss us aside like so much garbage. Now, if you understand this, you may get frustrated, angry, and want to fight it. But if this bothers you, then you need to get with the program and notice that these days the “T” part of GLBT is fast disappearing altogether. That’s right, there are as many GLB groups out there as GLBT groups, and the “T” part will soon be a part of the past. And rightfully so. You need to think about this…

About now in your transition, you may have already figured this one out. The transgendered are a group of people made up of crossdressers, transvestites, drag queens, shemales, tg’s, and gender fucks. Okay, well said. Now let’s look at this closely. A crossdresser is a straight man that wears female clothes. And so is a transvestite, but he is most likely bisexual. Either way, he is either already represented, are not included under the GLBT umbrella. A drag queen is a gay man in a dress. He too is already included under the GLBT umbrella. As is the shemale. Now the gender fucks and the tg’s, those that refuse to label themselves, cannot be included in the GLBT definition because they do not define themselves. And we transsexuals? Well, we are women. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered… no women in there. And arguing that a transsexual can be bi or a lesbian is really making a mute point. Really, it is. If you are a transsexual lesbian, then you are a female lesbian, or just a plain old lesbian. Fight your fight as a lesbian. If you want to define what a transsexual is so you can fight the fight, then by all means, be the first to give us a strict, black and white definition that every person on the planet can agree upon, and fight away. If you want to (like the gays, lesbians, and bisexuals) drop the entire definition and only include transsexuals as the “T” part of GLBT, well, you are an activist, a tranny, and not a woman at all. Knock yourself out.

My point to all this? Simple… why should we give a damn about the GLBT community? They do not understand us. They do not want us. And they sacrifice us like lambs at the alter to get what they want. And to top it off, we do not technically fit their definition of transgendered. We are women, all the others are not. We do not need their “protection” or imaginary rights. If crossdressers want to petition Congress for the right to wear a dress to work, let them. We will just do it because we are women. If a drag queen wants to amend the Constitution for the right to marry another gay guy, let him. We will just go through the process, get the paperwork, and do it legally and quietly. Honestly, what do we need them for? About this time in your transition, you may have already figured it out… the GLBT community was a safe place to start out, to cut your teeth, to venture out on wobbly legs, but these days you are fast finding out that you no longer want to be around them. And maybe, you’ve figured out why they are starting to drop us from their fight… we are not them. They do not represent us. And technically, they can’t. So… move on.

The Other 85%

After the immediate transition, you either decide to join the vocal minority, or move on. The vast majority moves on. And soon they discover that those loud mouthed trannies took the easy road. The rest are women, not trannies, and they need to discover what is ahead of them. They quickly find that it is a quiet life, one of deprivation and solitude. Because the same problems still exist in a different form, they quietly live out their lives as women with little or limited interaction with the world. We cannot go completely stealth so we just live in limbo, a purgatory, a half heaven and half hell. And that is what this phase of the transition is about… the miserable/wonderful time spent between the actual transition and the coveted stealth. And this is where reality, the stark reality, hits you… It can be excruciating and it can be wondrous, often at the very same time. You think your troubles are over? Hon, they are just beginning anew.

Problems with stealth? You’re kidding, right? Stealth… where no one knows, where no explanations are needed? What ever can we be talking about here? Wise up now… Your problems will not go away, they will simply take on another form. Get that through your head now and save yourself a lot of time, frustration, anger, and pain.


Why is it called that? The place between heaven and hell? Because it is the plain and simple truth. That is where you will be until you perfect the art of passing in public. Until you can move about society completely and totally unnoticed, until you simply become one of the other 3 billion women out there, and until you can look every person you will ever meet directly in the eye and say, “I am a woman” and not be lying. And here is why:

The transition is just that, a journey, a path, a long road. Even for the young ones out there, the ones that can start taking hormones and get therapy at an early age, about 16 or 18 or so, there is a period between the immediate transition described in the first chapter and the final destination of the surgery and legal gender change; that of changing the sex on your birth certificate—the Holy Grail for any TS. That awkward time is the discussion of this chapter. It might only be a year or two, but it exists, and it does not change a thing for you. You still have to deal with purgatory.

And for the rest of us, for the vast majority of us who transition late in life, where hormones and the best make-up and natural hairdo still does not change us all that much, purgatory can be many years, even endless, never reaching the final goal and attaining the Holy Grail. What can you expect? Wow, what a question!

Here is where the physical transformation takes place, a very awkward time indeed. Let’s say that you have done all the preliminaries or are steadfastly working on them; the hair removal, the breast implants, the voice change, the appearance, movement, and attitude of a female… Let’s say you got it down pretty good and you can move about the world basically unnoticed. Let’s say you are there, or working on it diligently, and it’s all coming together. The hard part is over; you abandoned your old life and have started a new one, as a woman. Or, let’s just say that you are there now. What has changed? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If you still have your penis, nothing has changed. If people still suspect, nothing has changed. If you still have your old birth certificate, nothing has changed. You are squarely caught between heaven and hell, man and woman, your final destination and the immediate transition. Your problems have not gone away, they have simply morphed into new ones.

This is where every TS realizes true agony: every living moment is dealing with “who to tell what to when”. Those people who transition and fool themselves into honestly believing that they are a woman, and expect and try to fool the rest of the world are fools themselves. Complete and total fools. You can fool the world sometimes, but you can’t fool them all forever. And this is one lie that can really come back to hurt you. Want to set yourself up for failure? Here is where it is done.

Remember we went over the fact that 85% of all women go back to being a man or commit suicide? This is the time when most of it happens, this is the test of a real transsexual. You thought losing everything you had was difficult? Wait until you pass and try to eek out that new existence. Who to tell what to when. Wow, that is the real difficulty. And this is the eternal discussion that constantly prevails in every train of thought, in every aspect of life, from the initial transition on… who to tell what to when.

And before we get into that, let’s discuss something no one really wants to talk about, accept, or believe. You can never pass. Not really. And certainly not forever.

Acceptance and Tolerance

Let’s say that you pass in general. Let’s say that you can move about, go shopping, go to a club, go dancing, go out to eat, and no one knows. No one suspects. No one says a thing. Get real. They know. They suspect. And they do say something, just not to you. If you have done it right, if nature helped you out and got you half the way there and you did it right and got yourself the rest of the way there, then you do not pass, the world lets you pass. And that is a difficult thing for anyone to understand. But let’s look at it closely, this is important.

There are exceptions to every rule. Though rare, some of us can pass every single time no matter what. Though that changes little of what this book is about, for this particular discussion they are the exceptions, and once they get the surgery and change their birth certificate, they move on to Phase III. But for the rest of us, for the vast majority, here we are… We don’t pass, not really… The world just lets us pass. They do it politely, they do it casually, and they do it with the utmost respect, but they do, in fact, allow us to pass. They see that it fits us, they have watched us on the Discovery channel, and maybe they even know one of us personally. And perhaps, they truly understand our birth defect for what it is, or genuinely feel that it is right and tolerable in their world. But do not ever, for one instance, fool yourself into believing that you fooled them. There is a clear and honest difference between acceptance and tolerance, and you have to come to grips with that as soon as possible.

We are different. We are rare. We are a curiosity. And we are fast becoming understood in society. But all that means little to us now, those of us in purgatory. We can get to a point where we are tolerated, but very few people will truly accept us. If you are at this stage in your transition, then you may already be aware of this particular problem. You crossed the line of the drag queen look and you move about society, and in passing, no one suspects. You’ve made it to Phase II, you function in society as a female. You have a job, you dance with men at night clubs, and you go freely into women’s dressing rooms and restrooms and no one bats an eye. You function in society as a woman, good for you.

But let’s face reality here. You do those things because people allow you to. You fooled them on the surface and that is all that really matters, especially in Western societies. It does not matter what is real, only that it looks real. It does not matter that it is right, only that it works. It does not matter that you are a transsexual, all that matters is that you can be tolerated as a woman. If you accept that about yourself and you do it well, or do it “right” in transsexual terms, then fine, you pass, and the world will let you pass. With a smile, a nod, and a knowing gesture, you pass though the gates of womanhood and are welcomed with open arms. And in genetic terms, evolutionary terms, in terms of the animal kingdom and basic animal behavior, you also pass. If it looks like a girl, smells, like a girl, walks like a girl, and talks like a girl, then it is a girl. So what. Passing casually in life is just a small part of the transition and it’s inherent problems… you still have a long way to go and a lot of problems to deal with. Every single minute of every single day. Let’s get down to brass tacks here. After all, it is why you are reading this.

Let’s take the job first. Fantastic, you found a job and a place to work that tolerates you. You found a boss that has faith in you as a person and as an employee and life is grand. But again, do not confuse tolerance with acceptance. It does not matter what road you took to get that job either. Some of us think we can fool them here too. Maybe you were flat-out honest with your boss during the interview and he or she dealt with it wonderfully. Or let’s say that you told no one except the Human Resources Department and they keep your little secret. Or let’s say that you told no one at all and still got the coveted job. You had to deal with whom to tell what to when, and now you have your sustenance, your reason to get up in the morning. Life is good. In reality your problems just started, all over again, different but the same.

If they all know at work, you are simply tolerated, that is all. You wake up every day wondering where your career will go. Will you eventually be fired or harassed into quitting because you “disrupt the work environment?” Will you be treated equally when it comes to promotions? Will your boss allow you to deal with his best clients? Will you be laughed at, ridiculed behind your back, or openly degraded? How long will it last? Forever? Maybe, maybe not. If the cat is out of the bag, then all sorts of other problems exist for you. Being a known transsexual in the work place has its own inherent problems, many of which you will never be made aware of until it is too late.

But what if only Human Resources knows? Look, human beings cannot keep a secret. If you only told one person or a few key ones in an effort to avoid the seriousness of that damned “male” designation on your birth certificate, then please understand that this is one juicy tidbit of information that simply cannot remain a secret forever. Even if they never tell anyone, you have to live with the anguish of waking up every day and wondering if this is the day that your secret is told; or worse, that this is the day that someone finds out. Then what? Those of us who lie to our employers and then think, act, and talk like they are stealth are fooling themselves… Such a secret plays heavily on the mind and soul, and it is always waiting in the darkness to destroy all that we have built.

Go to your next employer and tell them why you left. Under any of the above circumstances. Tell them that you left because they all knew up front but it just didn’t work out. Or that you left because you only told Human Resources but the secret was leaked or found out legitimately. Or because you told no one and they found you lied to them. And honestly, who cares who found out what? If they know or found out and you are now out of a job, are you going to file a lawsuit? Scream at the top of your lungs that you were fired because you are a transsexual? You won’t if you’re a woman, right? Take your pick, pick your poison, but do not fool yourself into believing that just because you can pass in public or even at work that your life will be heaven. Heaven and hell, at the same time… You are working but you have a secret, one that can destroy you one way or another at any given moment in time.

So maybe you pick the path of the activist—the road less taken in the transsexual world. Maybe you think it is safer just to be honest and tell everyone. Well, accept this now if you choose his route: if you scream aloud that you are a transsexual, then that is all you will ever be. You will never be accepted as a woman, and isn’t that what all transsexuals want and need out of life? To be accepted as the person they truly are? As a woman? Isn’t that what the entire transition is about? Giving up all to start anew, as the person they always felt they were inside since childhood? Well, then go ahead and tell everyone you are a transsexual. But that is all you will ever be. At work, at the bar, at the family reunion… the girl who used to be a guy. Or worse.

So the work example transfers to all of life. Take that family reunion. So you transitioned, they understand that, you are living as a girl now. Maybe they call you by your new name, maybe they don’t. One brother does but the other refuses. One parent understands the situation while the other disowns you. One child tolerates you while the other despises you. Shall I go on? You want stealth? Well, that is another story covered later on, but really, as long as you have family, as long as you have friends who know, as long as one other person in the world is alive and knows your secret, you will never have stealth. Don’t fool yourself. All you will ever have is the illusion of stealth.

The best you can hope for in this very awkward stage of your transition is tolerance. The world will tolerate your situation, and that is all. They may never understand it, they may never accept it, but they will tolerate it if it is truly what you are and truly what you project. If you are just a guy in drag who thinks it will be cool to be a woman, then you won’t even get that. They will see through you, the Sisterhood will not accept you, and you will destroy yourself. Go on hormones, change your name, put on a dress every day, buy the boobs and the vagina; but, honey, if you are not the real thing, then you will not even experience tolerance. Don’t for a minute think that just because you go through all the motions that you will be accepted. You will never be accepted. You will be ridiculed, rejected, and cornered into a world you should have never ventured into, and you will be miserable and tormented, with a disfigured body and a mutilated life. And if you are the real thing, then the best you can hope for at this stage is tolerance.

If it is your goal to fool the world and be accepted as a woman, then you are a bigger fool than has ever existed. Those that have been there, those that know, know one thing about the transition: at best, at the very best, you will simply level the playing field. After all is said and done, after all the work and the money and the practice and the natural course of things all pull together to make you entirely passable, even if you get to the impossible—that of total secrecy and stealth—you will just be another woman. No better, no worse, just another one of the 3 billion women out there. But if you are in purgatory now, that level playing field is so far away, and you still have so much more to deal with. Just accept the truth now that you are merely tolerated by most and accepted by only a precious few. Fool the world but not yourself. There is no peace in it.

So let’s move on. All this talk about purgatory, this miserable in-between time, this agonizing state of limbo that seems to go on forever. A huge misconception about the transition is the ridiculous idea that all you have to do is transition and everything will be alright. That all you have to do is pass and life will be grand, that passing is the final goal and all problems are solved. Wrong. If you think that, then you are in trouble. As long as you have a penis, you will not have your birth certificate changed. And as long as either of these two states exist in your life, then you will be in purgatory. Here is what I mean:

Let’s go to a Bar

Yes, let’s go to a bar and have a good time. But let’s look at it realistically too. You are going through the most serious transition a human being can undertake: that of changing sexes. It takes time and it takes money and it takes a very strong constitution. Welcome to purgatory.

It’s the serious one-on-one interaction with other people that can hurt you here. If you can breeze though a bar or a shopping mall or a restaurant and zip straight to the women’s rest room, great, one more hurdle down. But as you learned with the job already, sitting down to a one-on-one, face-to-face interview is another thing. With us in-betweeners, it’s the close scrutiny that gets us. We pass, as long as they let us. We can easily be tolerated, but few of us can be accepted. When it is important, the little things come out.

We like to fool ourselves and brag about our passing abilities, don’t we? Well, look deep into your heart; others will at this point, trust me. We have taken the hormones, got the surgeries and learned our lessons well. We can walk and talk and look and smell like a girl but let’s be for real here; the vast majority of us will ultimately be given away by our bodies alone during this time. If it isn’t our voice, then it is our unusual height, or the width of our shoulders, or the size of our hands or our feet. Under close scrutiny, the kind that naturally occurs when two people sit across a table from one another, from a few feet away, the reality of the way we were born overtakes all our carefully manipulated compensatory actions… and the human eye catches it. We tuck our penis and carefully hide it away. We can wear the tightest jeans, the shortest shorts, and the skimpiest of outfits. We can show cleavage, hairless skin, and project a convincing image. But the little things give us away. Let’s talk about that for a bit.

The human eye catches all. At best, the vast majority of us will never pass, especially if there are rumors or suspicions in the first place. But just what is it about our bodies that give us away? Let’s just take an easy one—height. But you can choose any one of dozens here: broad shoulders, a deep voice, large hands, long arms, a receding hairline, all work as well as height. But let’s just say that one of these, or the rumor that you were born a man exists, that is enough to get them going during that one-on-one meeting in the bar. Here is where nature takes its course.

The human brain is a wonderful thing. It is capable of digesting millions of bits of information through the body’s sensory organs and completes a picture in the mind of what it is presented with. And from birth we are genetically programmed to understand, read, and interact, with human faces, it is our legacy as animals and necessary for development as a social species. Well, there are very subtle differences between the face of a man and that of a woman, regardless of how well we and nature disguise them. In other words, if you were born with a feminine face, great, but you were not born a genetic female, then there are still tell-tale signs that can be easily read by the subconscious mind of even the casual observer.

Remember we talked about facial feminization surgery in the last chapter? It is worth bringing up here again. A person can undergo as many as two dozen or more such surgeries, and with enough time and money, a totally male face can pass for that of a female’s. But we are in purgatory, we are not there yet. Even if you pass casually and are granted the every day rights of a woman due to your physical appearance and demeanor, even if you can breeze into a woman’s restroom unmolested, those subtle differences of the face can easily give you away to someone staring across a table from you in a bar or during an interview. The brow, the cheekbones, the jaw and the chin… the eyelids and the forehead, the space between your upper lip and your nose… If you have just one of the glaring differences between a male body and a female body such as the height, shoulders, or arm length, or the dreaded voice thing going against you and it has caused suspicion already as you approach the table, then the subtle facial differences will hit that brain across the table from you hard, and it will start to put two and two together… this is a man across from me…. uh oh.

What is the point of this repetitious exercise? Simple—you are in a state of limbo, the real transition period, until you can correct each and every feature on your body that can give you away. And for the vast majority of us, that is simply impossible. It is a never-ending process of time and money, of learning to hide and overcompensate, of trail and error, and of education and suffering the dramatic results of our failures.

For those of you who think just because you ditched the previous life and started living full time, for those of you who think you pass, there is a tough reality here—you will never really pass, not with all people all of the time. Someone, sooner or later will figure it out, expose your secret, and destroy your world. That is the true problem with the transition… whom to tell what to when. If you think your secret is so safe that no one will ever figure it out, think again. Even for the perfect passers, there is one really big secret, the one others know and the one that will get out sooner or later in life—that of your gender at birth. If your own body does not give you away immediately, it will in time. That is the agony of the hell you are in; that you will spend the rest of your life trying to pass, regardless of how well you pass.

But let’s get back to that bar. Here is where the true reality of your situation forms a crystal clear picture for you. You are in transition and you pass well, well enough to go to a straight bar and challenge men to a game of pool, have drinks bought for you, experience the company of a gentleman at your table, and even dance seductively cheek to cheek with the straight man of your dreams… the life of a princess. But a princess with a penis.

Sex in Purgatory

Oh boy, here it goes again… whom do you tell what to when? Your ultimate goal is to live as and to be accepted as a woman. So now you pass most of the time and you have a decision to make—do you live as a transsexual with a sign around your neck that reads, “I am a transsexual”? Or do you live in a sort of stealth mode where even though you can be read, you never admit it? The latter can be a rewarding way of life, that of a woman, where even though subtle things might raise suspicion from time to time, all you have to do is simply ignore it or deny it and go on living as the woman you were born to be. But come on, let’s be realistic here…

Way back when, before you went full time, you were as readable as a children’s book. When you walked into a room full of people, you simply assumed that everyone knew. Long before the hair removal, while still in stilettos and mini skirts, before you worked on your voice and bought boobs, you walked into a crowded room and just assumed that everyone knew you were a transsexual. As difficult as that was for you, it actually made life easier than now. No explanations were necessary. If a man became interested in you, you knew exactly what to say to him and what to expect from him, and though you were very unfulfilled as a person, no difficult times lie ahead. All your cards were on the table for everyone to see, and life was exciting though difficult to accept. You had an agenda and sooner or later you would be in that bar were no one knew or had to know anything. All it would take was time and money. Well, you are there now. In that bar, and now life is quite different for you. Now you walk into a crowded room and you can neither assume that everyone knows, nor can you assume that no one knows. Even if they suspect, even if they ask, you can always deny it and get away with it. You can pass. You are a woman. Right.

That works for a time. And it is even fun and exciting. Here is where true reward comes in, but at a price. This is your heaven and hell, at the same time.

You get to experience life as a woman, the same as any other, the way you have dreamed about since you were six years old and your parents burst your bubble by telling you the hated truth about your existence, that you were a boy. Now you get to dance, hold hands with a man, have drinks bought for you and have men vie for your attention. You can laugh and whisper, giggle and revel in your femininity. You can even have obnoxious men who pester you for sex tossed out of the bar by the bouncers. Life is good, isn’t it? Well, yes! In one sense!

This period of your transition is filled with many, many wonders! It is where almost all of your dreams are realized. It is a time of firsts! One after another! How exciting it is to experience your first dance with a tall handsome man on a crowded dance floor! How wonderful it is to see women get jealous as men converge on you instead of them! Your first drink bought for you, the first time a man pulls a chair out for you, your first romantic whispers, your first kiss, your first everything! This is truly a time of wonder, a time to be enjoyed and savored, and a time that will last in your memory forever! This is what it is all about, right? Well, no, not really. Hon, it is just a part of being a woman, and you are not really a woman, are you? Though wonderful to experience, and a necessity in any woman’s life, it is just life, that of a woman, the same one every woman experiences in time. It is just new to you. As wonderful as it all is, it is just part of a normal existence, and should be kept in perspective— the perspective of a transsexual.

Transsexuals are murdered due to hate crimes more than gays, lesbians, blacks, and Mexicans combined at a rate of more than three to one, and no one cares. If a white man kills a black man during a hate crime, it makes the national news for years. When a man murders a transgendered woman due to a hate crime, it rarely makes even the local news for a single day, and the odds are heavily in favor of an acquittal in the end. Put that on the scale along with your first kiss. That first kiss can be a deadly one. Really, it can. You are in purgatory, remember?

So you are in this bar now and no one knows. Maybe some suspect, but you are unaware. Or worse yet, someone asks and you deny it. Then you kiss the guy. In front of his friends, family, ex-lover, and the entire world. And someone gets smart and tells the guy. And he confronts you. Sternly, and then violently. What do you do? He reaches for your crotch…; or someone you knew back before you transitioned is in the bar, and he finds out next week. Now he is hunting for you, laughed at and ridiculed by his friends, never able to show his face in that bar again until he sets things right with you.

Those transgendered women that are killed in hate crimes? I will tell you two things about them; 1) they are either killed in the street or in their own bedrooms; and, 2) no one cares.

I will give you two examples, but their stories are everywhere. On police records, transgendered websites, and recanted during annual memorials, you can easily find them and read them for yourself. One woman in Houston, Texas, was beaten on the head over twenty times with a baseball bat and left in the street to die. The police and ambulance that eventually showed up refused to treat her or take her to the hospital. Days later, they finally did so but she died of her wounds because immediate treatment was denied her. Jokes were made about her sexuality and AIDS throughout her ordeal. If you go dig up her death certificate today, it claims that she died of self-inflicted wounds. And this was in the year 2002.

The following year, a very young transsexual did not play by the rules. Not knowing any better at her young age, she went to a lively house party in California as the woman she thought she was. She became amorous with several of the men at the party until someone told her secret to them. They dragged her to the kitchen and beat her on her head with a soup can until the can became so dented that they could no longer hold it. They then dragged her to the garage where they took turns hitting her on the head with a shovel, but she continued breathing. So they then took turns hitting her on the head with a rock until she finally died. They buried her in the backyard with over 30 people at the party watching, and then the party casually continued. Months later, the hideous story came to light and the men were finally arrested. In a trial about a year later, all three were acquitted. It seems the woman deserved it for “fooling” them, making them gay, and all that.

Now, go back to that bar you were in, and let that man romance you. Let him take your hand and lead you to the dance floor, hold him tight and rub your thighs together, let him kiss you in front of his friends and neighbors. When are you going to tell him? At what point is it responsible of you to let him know he has been kissing a “man in drag?” Should you even have to tell him? Or will you take the chance, and your life in your hands, by not telling him a thing? Hell, after all, it’s none of his business, It’s no one’s business. You are a woman, no one needs to know any different. It’s your choice, Cinderella; it’s your ball.

You see, here is the real problem, not that getting killed in public while bystanders cheer and murderers get acquitted is one, but you now have some very, very serious life choices to make. If your bell went off, you had no choice but to transition and begin living as a woman, it was a simple natural course of events, but you most certainly have choices now on how you live that new life.

Are you going to be that tranny that wears a sign around her neck? Are you going to go back to the safe but tragic life where you can safely assume that everyone knows? Are you going to tell men right up front in that bar that you have a penis and give up any semblance of a normal life? Will you be satisfied with a man that wants your penis or clothes rather than the woman who wears them?

Fine, but be assured that your life will forever be tainted by the fact that you are really a man, in your heart and soul, no matter what you really think or feel inside. You are a man in a dress if you tell people, a professional transsexual and forever looked at, treated as, and dealt with as such. It is safe, but if you choose this route, why even transition? Why destroy one life when you could have kept it and just lived out the fantasy? If you choose this route, you are not a transsexual, just someone using the word to cover up the truth about yourself. You are using the label as a cover for reality, a crutch to get through life by. And it will end in tragedy for you as it does for everyone who tries it.

You see, if you do not have it in you to never tell another soul about your past when you hit a point where you can, then you are hiding something from yourself that will come back to haunt you. Those who go this route find one of two things in their future: either that they destroyed one life for another which they should never have let go of in the first place, or that they can never escape the trap that they created for themselves… Once you label yourself a tranny, the world will never forget. If you start out screaming it loudly, you will find that you will have to scream it louder and louder as time goes by. You can’t be a tranny one day and a woman the next, that does not work. But one day these people become tired of wearing the label… they can’t go back and they can’t go forward… they are in a trap. A miserable, cruel trap, and one that they created for themselves. They are not a man, they are not a woman, and they no longer want to be a tranny. What to do? Outside of living a truly miserable end of days, many shorten it themselves. Knowledge is power. Read and heed.

So… what if you start down this activist road, for the good of the Sisterhood and become involved with political activism, or because you just feel it is safer, that is it more for you, and then you decide to get out of it some time later? Let the others that have gone before you answer that question for you. Some choose this path because they feel that they will never pass in public… for a job interview or for that coveted first dance in a straight bar. And the cruel truth is that this is the fate of many of us. Many of us were born into a completely female brain locked into a completely male body. Activism and wearing the sign seems a right and natural choice for a lot of these people. If this is for you, or you are thinking of traveling this road, the warning remains the same… just because you feel this way now does not mean you will feel this way in the future.

But more importantly, things do, in fact, change. Even the ugliest duckling can in time become a swan. Perhaps not the most beautiful one, but a passable one just the same. What do you do then, when you have spent years as a tranny and now suddenly you find yourself passing? It happens to all of us. We all look in the mirror upon going full time and convince ourselves that we will never get to that place. Bullshit. Honestly, you will get there one way or another. Through hormones and surgery or by simply going through the motions repeatedly over time, we ugly ducklings get there. Even when we can never pass due to physical shortcomings, over time, we accept ourselves the way we are and are eventually accepted (tolerated in most cases, but so what?) as a woman. Now, drag that very heavy sign around your neck at this point in your transition. Most never survive it, physically or emotionally, and what a miserable existence if you do!

Can you imagine feeling that you will never blossom as a woman and end up destroying your new life because of it? Waking up one day and realizing that you now pass when you never thought you could? The women who do this to themselves have the dual problem of the transition to deal with—that of destroying one life for another, only to find that they destroyed the new one through their own stupidity. In the real world of the TS, this happens frequently. And honestly, those women who pass from the beginning, without a care or suspicion in the world, fall into that activist role too, proudly proclaiming their transsexual status to the world. They think that it will never matter to them, that it is unimportant to be able to blend into society as a real woman, or worse, that they can overcome it at some point down the road when they tire of the tranny label. No, that is not how it works. You cannot be a tranny one day and a woman the next. You fight them and ask them to accept you as a tranny when they only knew you as a man, then you go back to the same people at a later date and ask them to accept you as a woman and forget about the tranny part? Even those who pass perfectly from the beginning end up with a suicide note next to their head. Or worse, suffer the cruelest of fates—finally being able to live the life of a woman and having to live with the fact that they created a new world they cannot escape, forever being known as a tranny.

So the right choice is to go stealth as soon as possible, right? Oh no, that pretty much has the same tragic ending, and usually at the hands of someone else. This is where it becomes very complicated, and why this stage of the game is referred to in the world of the TS as limbo, or purgatory.

Think about this long and hard—You can no longer assume that everyone knows, and you can no longer assume that no one knows. Your life is on hold, seriously, until you can pass, physically and legally, as a woman. And though stealth, too, brings on it’s own set of problems, realize now that you are in this often perpetual state of peril, pain, loneliness and wonder for a very long time, if not forever.

Let’s Get Back to That Bar

Bear with me here, this is the best way to make the point. Not that your entire life revolves around sex and bars, but it is a nice, neat, albeit cruel way to show you exactly what you are up against these days.

You are a woman now. You decided against the activist role and went for what is in your heart and soul. At some point after going full time, you realized that you now go places and no one knows. What a joy that is! To wake up one day and realize that things are working, that it is all coming together for you! Another epiphany strikes you, and strikes you hard! You just spent another week, or maybe even another month or two, going to work, clubs, dinner, dancing, shopping… and not a single soul read you! You made it! Well, sort of. Remember the one-on-one thing? Okay, so you realize that you can fool some of the people all of the time, no real epiphany here—just nature taking it’s course. There is still that pesky little “all of the people all of the time” thing to deal with.

But a light bulb goes off just the same; you never have to tell anyone ever again unless you want to. And if they figure it out, you can always deny it! Great! Once again, you reached your goal! Of course, you did not, not even close. All that has changed is that you have to tread very, very lightly these days. You have to use your head, and you have to make some very serious decisions. Like in that bar…

Here you sit next to a strong and confident man. He likes you, he talks about his children, you meet his friends, and you have a great time. When you talk about your own children it is just assumed that you bore them the same as any other woman has. Oh Lord, whom to tell what to when? You can sit there all evening and play girl. You can play Mother and ex-wife too, while you are at it. Go ahead. But if you have made the choice to live as a woman and not as a transsexual with the dreaded sign around your neck, then in all reality, that evening is nothing more than dust in the wind. You can live it, you can love it, you can do it again and again and again, but you can never complete it. It will never be real.

Just Like the Movies

The purgatory phase of the transition is a combination of Ground Hog Day, Fifty First Dates, and Ghost. Really, it is. Let’s just take one at a time and start with Ground Hog Day. You can never tell those people in the bar you meet of your secret, not if you are a woman. It’s none of their business and they do not need to know. You are you, and you are a woman, that should be enough. But seriously, that is also as far as it goes. They can never really get to know you, the real you, they have to be satisfied with the few true tales of your life after the transition, or distorted truths and outright lies about something you did or experienced prior to your transition. You start weaving this terrible set of lies to support their view of you, a second upside down pyramid of lies and house of cards… just so you can be little more than another woman sitting on a bar stool on a Friday night. How wonderful. And since they can never know the truth, you remain distant, and start it all over again somewhere else. You run away like Cinderella at midnight, every time. Another day, another bar, another group of people get the same set of lies, the same limited truth about you, the same sterile person. Again, and again, and again. You can never go further with it, you can never be a real part of their lives, not until you tell them the truth, and you can’t do that. Simply out of the question. And good for you. If you are a woman, then be a woman, regardless of the consequences.

And there are consequences. Take the Fifty First Dates part of it. You go out, live your life, go to work, out with friends, to dinner, for drinks, to the movies… you know, just live life. And while life is going on, you meet people. And sometimes you meet men. And from time to time, you hit it off with them. They are interested and they like you. You have this wonderful night (back to the bar again!) and eventually the evening has to end.

You do not dare tell him then that you have a penis because after he made a fool of himself in front of all those people, he can get mad and harm you, even kill you. You could end up dead in the dark parking lot he just walked you to. And you think to yourself, well, maybe, just maybe, we’ll keep dating… dating long enough to where he really gets to know my heart and soul, and by the time he finds out I have a penis, it won’t matter. Love conquers all.

Stop laughing, TS’s actually think this way in the beginning. I have heard it a million times, on TV, in documentaries, from other TS’s… they all say the same thing at first… Each man, each relationship is different. When the time is right in that particular situation, I will tell them. But the reality is that love can be a beautiful and wonderful thing, but even love has a hard time getting over the fact that you have a penis. Let’s discuss this; it is worth a lot of words.

Besides the obvious already discussed here, men are funny creatures and most likely won’t be so understanding as you lean against your car expecting a good night kiss. For instance, we already got over the fact that there is no such thing as a totally straight human being, it is genetics and hormones, a physical impossibility. Not all men are gay, but none are completely straight either. But never forget the fact that when straight men engage in any sort of homosexual behavior, it is always done in private. Modern Western society makes damned sure of that. So telling him you have a penis after he kisses you in front of his friends is a bad idea. You might end up a statistic.

Now, on the other hand, if a man approaches you, here comes that dilemma again… who to tell what to when. If you have come to the reality that you can no longer assume that he knows and you can no longer assume that he does not know, then here comes one dilemma after another, actually. You would be a fool to tell him, and you would be a fool not to. What to do? Well, let’s say he knows nothing. Then shut up, you know nothing too. Let’s say he suspects. Well, you say nothing because you do not know if he wants you to be or not. But let’s say that he wants you to be—Do you really want to tell him the truth anyway? He can tell all his friends, coworkers, bartenders, wait staff, etc. and your secret is out. Forever. So you shut up anyway. Now, let’s say he suspects and he does not want you to be. Well then, you shut up again because you do not want to be beaten up. Now let’s say this man approaches you and eventually asks after a long, wonderful evening. Again, with the same dilemma—you can’t tell him even if he would love that… Once again, your secret is out. A huge price to pay for a night of sex. But let’s say that he suspects late in the date and asks but does not want you to be. Shut up, don’t get killed. And finally, let’s say that he never suspects. Do you tell him? If you want to be found out, sure, go ahead. He might love it, he might hate it, but you will always be a tranny to him, his friends, his coworkers, and on and on. But if you decide to never tell him, then a second date is definitely out of the question. You can pretty much bet he wants sex with you if a second date is in order, sooner or later anyway, so no, you can’t tell him a thing, ever. Shut up already.

So, as you can see, you cannot win this one. You can’t win with any situation involving dating. You can meet and have a wonderful time, but you must part ways like Cinderella every time. You can go on a second date and prolong the inevitable, but you have to eventually run away like Cinderella. Or you take one of two chances: tell him up front and he tells everyone and you are forever known as a tranny, or tell him up front or later in the date and he kills you where you stand. You will not go on fifty first dates, you will go on hundreds of them. And they will all be the same. Just like Ground Hog Day.

And Now, Back to the Sex Thing

A girl needs sex too. What to do? Well, you have decided not to take the activist route which leaves you with never telling a soul anything. Not impossible, but not easy. In fact, it is very, very tricky. As we began to discuss, men are funny creatures and sex with a transsexual can be very appealing to most. Do you want to know a few secrets about men? Here is one very well-kept secret about them: they have sex with each other all the time.

Adult videos stores are for selling adult videos, right? Wrong. They make their real money one of two ways: 1) by offering dark private rooms where men can meet and have sex while being forced to put incredible amounts of money in the video machines; and, 2) by selling their videos to men milling about trying to get up the courage to go into those back rooms. In these dark halls, straight, married, upstanding citizens roam back and forth looking for someone to meet. Thousands of times a day, in dozens of video stores in every major city in the country. Every year, millions of men meet other men for sex in the back of video stores. Here, a straight man can have homosexual sex, but as long as no one knows, they remain straight men. You don’t believe me? Go to one! Look, gay men go to gay bars and have gay sex with other gay men. They don’t have to hide a thing. Straight men go to video stores, truck stops, bath houses, and certain parks, bathrooms, or other meeting places quietly circulated on the internet for gay sex. It happens all the time. Millions upon millions of times. Every year.

Here is another secret about men that professional Dommes, escorts, phone sex operators, and sex therapists, know very well—the most asked for, talked about, and desired sexual fantasy of straight, macho men is not having sex with two women as they want you to believe, but being gang raped in prison by other straight, macho men. Funny, huh? No, not really. Not even surprising. Being gang raped in prison is “forced homosexuality” and therefore forgiven by society, and not really a homosexual act at all—not if it is forced. And the fantasy of having sex with a transsexual follows right behind it, for the same reasons… If it looks like a girl, smells like a girl, walks like a girl, talks like a girl, the fact that she has the coveted silk covered penis is a moot point…

So here you have a peculiarity of the sexual habits of the creature you are stalking in a nut shell… Though they fantasize and desire such things, actually experiencing it can have tragic results for us T-girls. Remember that statistic about half the transgendered being killed in the street and half being killed in their own bedroom? Here is the answer to that mystery:

The ones killed on the street are mostly street walkers, hookers who seduced a man into sex for money and one of two things happened: they were either discovered and the man went on a bloody rampage which society will forgive him for, or they liked it, felt gay afterwards and took it out on the poor woman for turning them into a fag. And those that died in their own bedrooms suffered the same fate for similar reasons. But this time, in most cases, the man already knew long before they got into the bedroom; it was just the shock of the realization afterwards that they are gay which made them go crazy, and the secure isolation of a bedroom hidden from public view just made it easier to kill the girl. By the way, most of these cases go unsolved. A scary proposition when you combine that with the fact that even those that do get caught get off with very light sentences or no sentence at all.

Anyway, back to that sex thing. We need sex too, don’t we? Well then, how do we go about getting it? This terrible dilemma of not telling anyone because we are women and having to tell someone because we want sex like any normal human being is a tough one. Perhaps now you know why prostitution is so appealing to girls in our situation. This one solves most of the problems, doesn’t it? You can have sex, you can have it with someone who knows up front, and you can be certain that no one will find out. A customer is not going to tell anyone, is he? He’s usually married at least, and in every case wishes to keep it from the rest of the world. So there you have it—sex without difficulty, and the rent paid at the same time. And like almost every man on the planet, he hits it once, puts the notch on the bedpost, and is never heard from again. To many of us, if we are to be thought of as merely a very rare sex object, and an object of sexual curiosity to be explored only once, why not get paid for it? We are already treated as whores, why not get paid like one?

But honestly, we can’t all do that, it’s just not in us. But there is something in all men that keeps us hanging on to this ridiculous dream of stealth and a healthy sex or love life, and that is what resides in the hearts of most men—that insatiable, nagging, and eternal latent homosexual desire. We are the answers to that prayer of theirs. But the trick is to get to them without sacrificing our stealth, health, or sexual convictions. Very tricky indeed.

Here we go again with whom to tell what to when. We have this need to keep our secret, men want to find us desperately, and no one can ever know as far as either party is concerned. Outside of prostitution, there is one answer: to selectively tell potential lovers you meet your secret and hope that sex comes out of it and not a death warrant or the secret itself. What is the experience of most TS’s in this situation? That is easy—we are approached by men who figure it out in public because they have a fascination with the transgendered and are familiar with our world, either through past experience or constant monitoring of us in porno films, the internet, or other sexual related media. They are often referred to as “Tranny Chasers”. They spot us like a lion spots a gazelle, and it is taken from there. When the two of you meet, and if you like him, keep certain things in whispers and let nature take its course.

And of course, there is the Internet. These days it may be the best way to meet men, potential mates, or mere lovers. In your real life, you can keep your complete and total anonymity, but online, you can be open and honest without sacrificing a thing. Now of course you take a chance on getting noticed by someone in your real life, but the chances are slim if you live in a big enough city, and while online, the chances also seriously diminish of making someone angry enough to kill or maim you. If they don’t like it, they move on. And who writes you after reading your profile? Those who already know and are still interested.

But these “good experiences” are rare, think about it honestly. More often that not, a tranny chaser finds you and thinks he hit the sexual jackpot! His life-long fantasy come true. But just as we spoke about in the last chapter, once again you have to deal with the things you ran from; a man coveting you for your clothes, your penis, or for anal sex, and always in privacy, seclusion, and the dark—things no TS wants to deal with anymore. So, will you put up with it just for sex? Maybe. Sooner or later. But it is very unfulfilling. We generally go through phases, maybe try it once, or come to completely and totally take advantage of the situation and use such men like men have used genetic women for ages… like a whore themselves… a sex toy, boy toy, or fuck buddy. It serves the purpose and satisfies the inherent need for sex in any animal, but it is still done in private, it is still dirty to most of us, and in any case, very, very unfulfilling. But, it is the best we can hope for.

More common is the guy who you let in, the straight guy who has figured it out, is told, or whatever, and wants to try it anyway. You will go on many of these first dates, in fact, most dates you go on will fall into this category. You will have a wonderful time. They take you places, in public and all, even around friends or sometimes family. Everyone falls for you being a girl, no one catches on. But he knows, and that is enough, trust me.

The entire time you are out with him, he is in near panic mode. Even though no one else knows, he looks around the bar, the restaurant, the club, the store, and he feels this incredible amount of pressure. Because he knows, he assumes everyone knows. While you eat, drink, shop, and are in heaven, he is sweating, panicking, and thinking that everyone who looks his way is staring at the fag, everyone who laughs is laughing at the drag queen, and everyone who whispers is calling him a queer. While you live your life, he sees his falling apart.

At the end of one marvelous date after another, the same words are spoken again and again by a different man every time; “You know, you are a wonderful girl, but I just don’t know…” They just don’t know if they can do anything, how much they can do, or how they will feel the next day after doing whatever it is they can do. They say things such as, “Well, you have to give me credit for trying/showing up”, and, “You are right, I could never take you home to meet my parents or out drinking with my friends”. So it is a peck on the cheek and you are back to square one. You know, it would be so much easier if we were attracted to gay guys—but we are not, are we? It’s just not in our nature, and in the same vein, it is just not in a straight man’s nature to be with us. A fantasy? Yes. In their nature? Maybe. But as you will see, society tells them no, and they ultimately do as they are told… You will see.

The best we can hope for is a good one-nighter, or a lover that will take a long time living out his latent homosexual desires. It has been known to last a year or more. Scary. But with men, it’s the same thing over and over… it’s Ground Hog Day and a thousand first dates. Until the day we do not have to explain the penis between our legs, or the fact that one used to be there.

Now, are there exceptions? Most certainly, but they are so rare that they do not need this book or the information found in it. They are happy, have moved on, and you will hear unproven whispers about them from someone who knows someone who heard something. But for the rest of us, it is a game we cannot win. And if you noticed something, every aspect of the purgatory stage of transition is like that… a double-edged sword, a dilemma, and dangerous choice between two evils… after a while, you realize that you just can’t win. Not if you value your imagined stealth and the false sense of womanhood it creates for you.

You can no longer assume that people do know, and you can no longer assume that people don’t know. You can no longer tell people your secret yet you must somehow wrestle with the reality that someone will blow your cover, intentionally or not, sooner or later. You can’t have sex with a straight man if he knows, and you can’t have sex with a gay man because you are a woman. You can’t tell your prospective employer the truth but you dare not tell him a lie.

So you move on. You go through this stage of your transition in limbo. You move through it like Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost. You can go out and venture into life, you can see it, smell it, taste it, you can even interact with it to a degree, but you can never be a part of it. Not really. Not like you dare. Not like you want or need or desire in your heart, mind, and soul. You are a ghost in a world of mortals, a child at an old fashioned grown up party… there to be seen and not heard. A spirit in a material world, and nothing more. To be anything more is to seriously take a chance on blowing your cover, getting hurt, maimed, or killed. You risk your reputation and the reputation of others. You risk losing your job, you resort to lies, and you distance yourself from family and friends who know the truth. You begin to live a life on pins and needles, worried every minute of every day about what people think, what they might say, what they might do. And worst of all, you begin to rethink everything you say and do. You begin to doubt yourself. The confidence you finally achieved as a woman, after such a long and hard journey, is shaken by the next terrible truth about the transsexual journey—that it is another house of cards made up of a million lies that is based on a single truth, and it can come crashing down at any moment.

Every person you approach, or who approaches you, you begin to eye with suspicion. You begin to know fear, or you just relax and get tired of it all and let your guard down. And that is not safe outside the confines of your own home. So you stay home, more and more often. You hibernate, shy away from the world and true interaction. You still have to face the world, every day. You have to shop, work, get your car fixed, and enjoy life. And there is so much to enjoy now! So much to see and do, all for the first time all over again! It is during this period that you go to incredible heights, reach what you thought for so long was unattainable, everything is new, everything is a fantasy come true, a real life dream! Yet, it is untouchable, just out of reach at the same time. You reach new highs and then the reality of your situation causes you to reach new lows. Maybe you experience both, a new high and a new low, during one, single life experience. Again, and again, and again.

Imagine for a moment being back in that bar. You are laughing and joking, drinking and dancing, living and loving life. Once again you simply forget your past and just freely live as you are with no thought to anything other than enjoying life. You forget your own secret because it is no longer a part of your world. You romance and kiss a gentleman, spending time the way any woman would. And after such a wonderful evening he walks you to your car, passing dozens of people on the street heading to their cars too, and then someone shouts out from behind you at the top of their lungs, “Be careful! That’s a guy!”

You are a ghost. You can experience all a genetic girl can, but only to a degree. What they take for granted, you still need. And unlike before the transition, now you are locked into a world where you can be a part of it without ever being a part of it at all. You can experience it but you cannot own it.

Imagine all the times in your life that you bent over to reach for an object and for whatever reason, it was just out of reach. A pen, your keys, a dollar bill… you strained and you gasped, stretched and reached, it became agonizing and unbelievably annoying, to the point of anger and tears… that damned thing just out of your reach! You stretched some more, through grit teeth, tears, and cuss words, but the best you could do was just barely touch it with your fingertips, pushing it farther and father away time and time again. You screamed, cried, and had a total fit, and finally just gave up in complete and utter frustration. And the whole ordeal lasted only seconds.

Now imagine your entire life being like that. It gets old, life being at your fingertips—but just barely out of reach, all the fucking time.

All those problems you had before, you still have them now. They have just changed some, that is all. They show their ugly heads with a different face, but they remain to haunt you. They show up less often, but more intensely these days, just to tell you again and again in different ways that you are not a woman, that you have not reached your goal, that you have only entered a new and different phase of the transition.

There was a time when you went crazy, crying relentlessly over the things you lost. When all seemed hopeless and you felt that you would never be happy again. You were faced with a brand new life with absolutely no tools to rebuild things, except for your pride, dignity, and class. And all those trials and tribulations, compounded by the lack of family, friends, and money, pushed you into a hormone-induced tizzy where you placed a gun in your mouth just to see how it felt. But those days are behind you now, you won that battle, beat that depression, and emerged a winner. You conquered and triumphed over your fears, the prejudice and hate of others, and the inherent problems of changing sexes. And now you live full time, as a woman, as a proud woman, and you have passed through the gates of womanhood experiencing life all over again in the pure joy that is solid wonder and awe, and you have been warmly tolerated in the streets of America. Then someone shouts, “Be careful! That’s a guy!” as your date walks you to your car in a dark parking lot.

Fear never goes away, it just changes form. None of your problems will every go away, they will just find another way to strike at you. Never for a moment think that you conquered the transition. The transition is forever. You have to ask at this point, how do other women handle it? Let’s talk.

The New Roller Coaster

During your initial transition, you only set the pace, you merely laid the tracks and set out on an unknown but pre-determined destiny. You faced the fact that you had to live the rest of your life as a woman, and here you are now doing it with relative ease. But those shouts from the balcony will always be waiting for you, whether they come or not. It’s a new form of torment, wondering and waiting when your secret will next come back into your life to destroy that fragile house of cards.

It is often compared to a roller coaster ride. The transitional roller coaster of the first chapter of this book is filled with numerous downs, and very few, if any, ups. The downs come in rapid succession, one after another, repeatedly and quickly leaving you with little time to breathe. It is relentless and continual, and can wear even the best of us down very easily and quickly. Those not born a woman fall by the wayside, giving way to the relentless pounding of the negative. But those transsexuals destined to live as women ride it out and rise above it, only to immediately get on this next roller coaster and start it all over again. It is their destiny.

This new roller coaster is a little different, but it is a roller coaster just the same. This one has as many ups as it has downs, and more often than not, has more ups than downs. It is a fantastic ride; not the shallow repetitive ride of one dip after another in rapid succession, but one of huge, wondrous ups and rapid, hard hitting downs. You experience heaven and hell, bliss and anguish, firsts and lasts, often in the same blow. Yes, there are less bad experiences, that is for certain… Never again in your life will you reach such a succession of wonder and pleasure. But to be able to relive all of life’s experiences, this time with complete and total appreciation for the moment, has to have its pitfalls. And they are there. Yes, there are a lot less downs on this ride, but they are harder to take, much harder hitting, and much more merciless and cruel this time around. This roller coaster just barely keeps heaven at your fingertips every time you experience something new and wonderful, and then rips you away back down to earth just before you can grab it and make it part of your life. Alone, scared, and unfulfilled. Once again.

This is a particularly trying time. The human condition can only stand so much pain, anger, suffering, and deprivation. The ultimate cruelty for a starving man is to eat right in front of him. He can see, smell, and even taste the food he will die without, but he can never actually eat it. And so it is with us. This purgatory places all we need just beyond our reach, while propping us up with the false hope of experiencing life for the first time all over again. As wonderful as it all is, it is in all actuality, just out of reach. Every bit of it.

No, not until you get that final operation and change your birth certificate can you really have anything you experience in this phase of the transition. It is a difficult proposition to fathom for most girls, simply because there is so much good that comes with this temporary stop on your journey. It is deceiving in a very cruel way.

The tears do not stop, and the depressions come creeping back into your world again. And you find yourself screaming at the top of your lungs in nothing more than utter frustration at times… I can’t take it any more! How can everything be so close and yet so far away? That’s an easy one to answer—it’s our life. Many have gone before you, and many will come behind you. We have all lived it, and many have survived it. You will too, if you know what to expect. Those who don’t know, those not strong enough to see this journey to its inevitable end, do tend to commit suicide, or worse— slip into a dark, cruel world of loneliness, deprivation, and solitude. For those transsexuals that survive purgatory, watching those who lose it this late in the game is particularly difficult to take. We know that the end is in sight, but those lows can be very, very difficult and cruel indeed, and they hide the simple fact that the end is much closer than they think.

Life is an Illusion

For all human beings, life itself is an illusion. We go through the motions of what we have to do just to be able to do the things we want to do. We build houses and reputations, create security blankets and safety nets, believe in things and create gods and afterlives, and all of it can come crashing down in seconds due to circumstances beyond our control. A car crash can take away even the best lived life, a stray bullet can steal a child away, a rumor can kill a career, a whisper can destroy a life. So it is with all human beings, we transsexuals are no different, and if anything, we are so much more susceptible to these ultimately inevitable tragedies of life.

We set ourselves up for them, compounded by the reality that life itself set us up for them while still in our mothers womb. I want to bring something up here, something important to you, and that is the discussion I have heard a thousand times: Just when have you “made it?” Exactly when have you made it to being a real woman?

I have heard things, silly things, things of relative unimportance to the life of a transsexual, but which have somehow become some sort of gauge, some sort of measuring stick; the belief that there is some point in your life, some point in time when you have crossed an imaginary line between that of being a man and that of becoming a woman. How absurdly silly.

I have heard that when you first dream of yourself as a woman while you sleep, that you have “made it”. Or the first time you pass in public. Or the first time someone calls you “Ma’am”. Or maybe when a certain amount of time passes without you being clocked, or a certain amount of time passes before you realize that you were born a man. I see women having these discussions all the time, comparing notes and judging others by these thin “facts”, holding onto these fantasies all the time, even going to great expense to get hormone and chromosome tests to “prove” that they are women. If you need such proof, you are a man in a dress—period. Life is an illusion for all human beings, your life is no exception, and in reality, will always be an illusion by simple right of birth into your dilemma.

If you were born a woman, then you are a woman. If you were not born a woman, then you are not now and will never be a woman. But get something through your head right now or you will never get past this phase of the transition in one piece: If you were born with a woman’s brain in a male body, then you are a woman, and you always will be.

If your desire in life, if your ultimate goal is to be a transsexual, then by all means, be a tranny. Have fun, knock yourself out, just remember all that was discussed previously on the subject. But if your life’s goal is to live as the woman you were born to be and forever leave your past behind, then you need to look at life, and live it, within the framework of a firm sense of reality and deal with it realistically. The honest truth is that you were born a man and can never, ever escape the reality of that truth. The best you can hope for is the illusion of womanhood successfully projected to the outside world.

If you do not believe me, if you are one of those transsexuals that feels they are truly a woman and deserve all the rights, honors, and privileges of being a woman and that at some point in your transition you are no longer a man or a transsexual, then you have fallen victim to another of life’s illusions. So, you want to convince both me and the world that you are a woman? Then go to a gay bar where you will be clocked instantly by every patron in the building. Go to a lesbian bar where every single woman there will look at you with contempt. But maybe you can go to a gay or lesbian bar, or even a drag show bar, without feeling that pit in your stomach or getting clocked, maybe you have progressed that far. Then do me a favor—go to see a doctor, go to a national tranny-convention, or go to your high school reunion, go back and live in the town you grew up in and lived in as a man, or go to your family reunion. And then come back and look me dead in the eye and convince me that you are a woman… the same as any other genetic girl ever to be born.

No, you are not a woman. Just because you appear so in your dreams at night, and just because no one knows at work or at the bar, does not make you a woman. There is no line to cross, no bar, no measurement to guide you. Just because you pass in your current life does not make you a woman. You may have been born with a woman’s brain, but you will never be one. All you can do is convince the rest of the world, all you can do is create the illusion, but you can never, ever escape the reality of your birth—not with all the surgeries, or running, pretending, or lying… The reality of your life will always be with you. If this is your ultimate goal, save yourself a lot of trouble and simply start calling yourself a woman. There, done! You are one if you believe it! You are one if everyone else believes it! Well, except for those people in the gay bars, your home town, your high school or family reunion…

Your life is an illusion, the same as the other six billion lives out there. Just because you can create a life now where no one knows does not mean that no one in existence knows. They know. You know. That is enough. Don’t go through this phase of the transition pretending that no one knows. Someone always knows—your parents, your children, your ex, your old friends, your new friends, your family, other transsexuals, your doctor… Many people know. And as long as one person is alive that knows your secret, anyone can know at any time.

You entered this world because you had to, not because you wanted to. Many of us try so hard to destroy our past and move on to the future that was meant to be that we forget, cover up, and destroy reality. It is not healthy in this time of heaven and hell, this purgatory, to pretend that we are something we are not. We must deal with it honestly. Yes, by all means, create the illusion. That does not make it wrong. That does not make you dishonest. It does not take away from the fact that you are in fact a woman. But don’t fall for the trap on the opposite end of the spectrum… You need to come to grips with the reality of your situation and deal with it honestly. You need to create an illusion to most of the world, but to many people, both friend and foe, there is a reality that needs to be dealt with, understood, and put into perspective. And that reality is that no matter how well you cover your tracks, that no matter how well you pass, and no matter what steps you have taken to transition, that there is always a chance that you will be found out at some point in your life by someone, either inadvertently or on purpose, and you must be able to deal with that without putting a bullet in your head.

But most importantly, you need to understand that you will never fool yourself. I have heard the ridiculous talk, that because you think of yourself as a woman, then you are one. Do genetic girls have that conversation amongst themselves? If you need to discuss it, you are not a woman. Something is wrong.

This is important. Many of us start out on this journey thinking that a time will come when our status as a transsexual will not matter to us, that at some point being born with male parts will never be part of our psyche or our lives, that one day we will become female. We make the mistake of trusting in the fact that one day it will all be over; that there is a prize at the end of our journey. There are many prizes, and many joys, but actually becoming a woman is not one of them. It is a fantasy, a dream, and healthy one, but a fantasy and dream just the same. If this is something you think, then you are dead wrong. Even if you were one of the lucky ones that always pass, even if you never have to wake up again and put on a wig, pluck wild hairs, deal with prostate problems, or have the perfect voice, then one of two things will always remind you of your sex at birth—someone who knows your secret, and the constant, almost daily dilation of your store-bought vagina.

So leave the silly talk alone and realize now that you will always have certain problems. Don’t create an illusion that you yourself cannot deal with or live up to. In this particular phase of the transition, you will have enough to deal with… Don’t destroy all the work you have done and will do for a goal that is entirely unattainable. Create the illusion for the world, that is a necessity which allows you to correct a wrong done in your mother’s womb, but don’t create an illusion that you yourself cannot live up to. As they say on the street, keep it real and keep alive.

The Reality of Purgatory

The reality of the longest, cruelest, most painful, and in fact, the most wondrous part of the transition is that for all you do, say, think, feel, and try, you can never escape the overwhelming feeling that you can ever win.

When it comes to the physical, most certainly you can win, to a degree. You can pass in public, get a job, make money, and buy a comfortable life, but that is honestly for the lucky. Even the daily chores genetic women never have to deal with—the constant hair removal, the dedication to looks and fashion in an attempt to overcome the obvious—become increasingly hard to take for us. And as time goes by, experiencing one disappointment after another, these things tend to become very burdensome, even tiring, wasteful, and useless. You feel like there is no longer any point to it, but you push on. One more day, one more attempt, one more time fighting off the inevitable depression. But you can win this one, the physical, with enough time, money, luck, and foresight. Just never forget that always, somewhere, somehow, someone or something can destroy it. Never forget your roots. You do not have to ever admit to them, but never forget them. Learn to live with it like a captive learns to live with their captors… with respect to the damage they can cause you at any moment.

As for companionship, do not expect the Rolls Royce limo and stylish balls, but do not ever turn down the chance to experience them, either! Such things will come, and what a joy and wonder they are now! Few things in life can match the beauty of everyday simplicity when viewed through the eyes of one who truly appreciates it! Just be careful and keep the lesson of Cinderella in mind at all times…

It does not matter which sex you are attracted to, stop thinking that they should accept you as you are. They do not have to. Billions of years of evolution have made sure that all animals have at their core a basic set of rules to play by when it comes to sex. We transsexuals break that rule, throw everyone else for a loop, and push and test them in ways a human was not designed to be pushed or tested. We are rare, we are a curiosity, and we are desired as a fantasy and a thrill. We straddle the line between male and female and cause both males and females to be attracted to us for that very reason. We press the “latent homosexual button” on both sexes, we make it easy for them to experiment with their own sexuality, and we fascinate them on many sexual levels.

We are expected to understand their fascination and help them with it. We are expected to understand their crossdressing and to help them with it. We are expected to understand their homosexual fantasies and help them explore them. We are expected to understand every one of their wild fantasies because we live as a wild fantasy. They do not understand that we were born with the same brain as a genetic female and that they have the same chances of getting a genetic woman to deal with, understand, appreciate, or experiment with these things. When a crossdresser finds out that we are a TS, he automatically assumes that you will enjoy wearing your best business suit to bed, complete with stockings, garters, and six inch heels. That same crossdresser will also expect that you will enjoy him coming to bed dressed in your best business suit! When a woman finds out you still have your penis, she automatically assumes that you would love to use it on her. Well, sometimes this all works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But when it comes to a relationship, only the most foolish among us assume that we can have the same type of relationship any genetic girl can have, free of all these penis-related issues.

No, as long as you are known as a transsexual, or as long as you have the dreaded penis, you will never be considered a woman, straight, bi, or lesbian. You will see this clearly as you cross into this new world of purgatory. As time goes on, as you venture further and further into dating, relationships, and sex, you will find that having a penis will always limit you to a certain, and eventually totally unacceptable, type of relationship. Here is what I mean…

You will meet men (or women, if you are so inclined, it does not matter as you may have already found out) who totally accept you as a woman at first. They find you beautiful, fascinating, wondrous, and inspiring! You get the normal compliments, the regular “genetic girl” treatment, the entire normal and natural relationship complete with phone calls, dates, long talks, and human bonding. Such things at first smack of realism, of a true relationship, and of what you have always craved—a normal relationship with another human being. But in the back of their minds are the questions, the curiosity, and the apprehension.

But then comes that inevitable day when one of two things happen; either you talk in detail about your sexuality/past, or you have sex, and then it all falls apart.

Like Cinderella, you can live the fantasy for a time. But sooner or later that romantic interest in your life starts asking the questions—about your past, about the transition, about how your life has changed, about sex… and you give them your answers. Time and time again this will happen to you. Sooner or later you will divulge this information, you in fact, have to at some point. But bells should be going off—loud, non-stop, alarm bells. You see, once you start telling these things to this person, they will stop thinking of you as a woman and start thinking of you as a transsexual. Or worse, they will think of you as a man. You can actually see the moment when this happens in their eyes, when reality hits them. Honestly, you can actually detect the exact moment when it all falls apart. Even though they knew up front, the illusion works on the human animal. But reality eventually hits them… “Oh my god, this is a man!”

What am I talking about? Well, first imagine the questions, and then imagine the answers. Question: “How long have you lived as a woman?” Answer: “Three years” (man thinking to self: that leaves 40 or so as a man…) Question: “Were you ever married?” Answer: “Yes, two times and I fathered 2 children.” Question: “What did you do for a living?” Answer: “Worked in construction.” Question: “Do you use it?” There is no good answer to this one, because like all the answers to all the questions, the reality of the fact that you lived most of your life as a man sooner or later becomes a glaring fact. There are usually 10-15 questions and answers before the bell goes off and he realizes that the illusion has been shattered.

And with sex it is no different, even on a one night stand. Whether or not you knew this person for a month or an hour, reality will hit them at some point during the act of sex. They go through the motions, you do not notice anything out of the ordinary, then at some point, bam! It hits them. You can see the fear in their eyes, detect it in a funny laugh, or a contorted smile… “Oh shit, I just had sex with a man!”

Do not expect anything different, it happens to the best-intentioned people. Many feel that they are strong enough, adventurous enough, open minded enough, but the reality hits them sooner or later that you are not a woman and they find it nearly impossible to cope with. You smile, but you know, it is over. The illusion has been shattered, the dream has come to an end, and once again, what every genetic girl takes for granted, you find to be just out of reach. It can be an excruciating experience after the 20th time—and especially after the 100th time.

But do you stop trying? No, that is not in the human experience. You try again and again. Ignorance is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results each time. Are you ignorant for trying again and again? No, just human. Ignorance in this instance is expecting different results every time. Expect rejection. Expect failure. Expect to be used to satisfy someone else’s curiosity. Because of your particular dilemma in life, you are expected to understand theirs, and readily participate. If you want sex, if you want human companionship, expect the norm rather than the exception. Expect to compromise—a lot.

And expect a lot of things that are particular to the human species. Expect to get clocked from time to time. Expect to be read in public and have it thrown in your face. Expect to have freaks come on to you and expect the good ones to run. Expect a lot of homosexual men trying to pass themselves off as “first or second timers”. Expect the curiosity, the questions, and the insults, however subtle these days. Expect the whispers in your ear: “You know, I just wanted you to know that I know.”

In the TS community, an ever-present conversation is the one where we are all trying to come up with the perfect answer to that and similar questions. What do you say when someone tells you “that they know”? How do you respond to, “Are you a man?” What do you say when someone asks, “Do you still have it?” Do you still use it? What is your real name? Why do you have such a deep voice?"When you find the perfect answer to any or all of these questions, please, tell the rest of the community. For all of human existence, no one has yet. Like everything else at this time in your life, you get the overwhelming feeling that you just cannot win, no matter what you say or do. It wears you down. It just simply wears you down. You can’t admit to anything, and you cannot deny anything either. You cannot assume everyone knows and you cannot assume that no one knows. You cannot tell the truth and you cannot tell a lie. You cannot have sex with a straight person but you cannot have sex with a gay one, or if you are a lesbian, you cannot be with a lesbian and be a woman too. I know, I know… Some women use strap-ons with their husbands, boyfriends, and girlfriends. So what? Some women place a toilet seat around their neck and like to be urinated upon. Some women like to be tied to the bed and beaten. And some women allow their children to be abused in front of them. That does not mean all women do. A woman does not have a penis, and you do. And that makes all the difference in the world.

So How Do You Get Through Purgatory?

The hard, real, and often sad truth is that this state can persist for the rest of your life. Either by choice or by circumstance, you may in fact be here forever. The best you can do is arm yourself with as much information as possible, prepare for the worst, enjoy the good parts, and deal with the rest it as best you can. But let’s go one step at a time.

If you choose to take the activist role, then be prepared to let the world define you and your existence for you. You can scream, fight, argue, and teach all you want, but if you proclaim yourself to be a transsexual, then that is what you are, and not a woman at all, but simply a man living as a woman. In this case, you are in perpetual purgatory by your own choice.

If you wake up one day and proclaim that you were a man, then a transsexual, and now a woman, then expect the world to pretty much stone you. You cannot be a man yesterday, a transsexual today, and a woman tomorrow. It just does not work that way. If your ultimate goal is to be a transsexual, then be a transsexual. If you were born a woman in a man’s body, then be a woman. But in all reality, you were born on one side of the fence or the other. Anyone who wakes up one day and decides that they are a woman should stay the man that they are, in or out of a dress. In this case, once again purgatory is endless.

But for many of us, eternal purgatory is not a choice, but is thrust upon us. For some of us, it is just physically impossible to overcome the hurdles that face us. Perhaps our mostly male bodies can never become passable, no matter how much time and money we throw at them. And some of us have a body that can be changed to become passable but we can never make enough money to see it through. And then there is the real tragedy of the transition, and one that is very, very common—that of destroying any chance of ever getting out of purgatory by going through the necessary motions of the transition itself.

Remember back in the first chapter when we discussed how dangerous hormones are? Well, in phase two, many of us find that to be very, very true. Hormones attack the heart and liver more than any other organs in the body. From the very beginning, many of us cannot even take them. Though this does not in itself stop the transition from becoming a reality, it does in fact make it very difficult at best. No hormones, no breasts. And none of the other wonderful changes that may or may not take place. And if your body cannot take the stresses of hormones, then there is a good possibility that your body cannot take the stresses of surgery either. It makes it real hard to explain to a potential boss or mate that your body is entirely male because you cannot take hormones or get surgery, and therefore you will always have an “M” on your drivers license. Impossible to transition under these conditions? No, but a very serious situation just the same—and one that prolongs the stay in purgatory, if not making it an indefinite stay altogether.

But here is where hormones can really affect the rest of your life, and many of us find out their true dangers. After a year or two of popping every pill we can get our hands on, many of us so damage our heart or other major organs that going any further in the physical transition may be impossible. Damage your heart, die under anesthesia. No surgery, no breasts, no facial feminization, no vagina, and no change on your birth certificate. Even under a doctors care, and most of us do not run all the tests we should when we should, hormones can still kill, maim, destroy, and damage. And if you damage your major organs, especially your heart, you cannot go under the knife. Not for breast augmentation, not for facial reconstruction, and not for SRS. If this happens to you, forget the ultimate goal and accept purgatory as your eternal way of life.

The danger of purgatory is that you become complacent. Eventually you find that you pass and all of a sudden you forget the dangers. You kiss the wrong man in a bar, you tell the wrong person at work, you neglect to go to the doctors regularly, your house of cards is destroyed by a chance meeting with an old schoolmate. You become complacent, forget your real status, and let things go. How do you handle purgatory? Fool the world, but not yourself. Remain vigilant, with your life and your body, at all times. Never let your guard down, expect the unexpected, and prepare for the worst while enjoying the best life can offer. Just keep your head about you at all times. Create the illusion, but don’t fall into it.

And keep yourself anchored. From now on, from the time you find yourself passing in general to the day you die in a hospital from old age, remember always that you do in fact have a secret. At any time it can creep back in your life. Never pretend that you are a woman, simply create the illusion to the world but hold the truth dear to your heart, and always, always keep it in mind. Dealing with the physical aspects of transsexualism, the fact that your body was born male, in no way takes away from the fact that you are a woman. That is a trap many of us fall for—at times, at the cost of our very lives.

How do most of us get through it? We have safe places, safe people, and safe habits. And all are imperative to have in order to minimize the severe and often disastrous effects purgatory can have on your life. But make no mistake… these “safe” things are only a temporary solution, and by their very nature present the very same dilemmas as anything else in your life! Use them sparingly as your stay in purgatory can be made unbearable if abused!

The safe places are simple. It is important to keep them to a minimum as you will see, for quite obvious reasons. A safe place is somewhere you can go where everyone can know your secret and think nothing of it. A gay, lesbian, or transgendered bar is a perfect example. In a gay bar, everyone pretty much knows you are a transsexual, but no one really cares. But more importantly, it is a safe haven that you can frequent without the agonizing problem of “who to tell what to when”. It is a place you can relax and not have to worry about being found out, where no explanations are necessary, and where no one will beat you up for “fooling them”. A safe place can also be a particular restaurant or club where you simply do not explain yourself at all. If they know, so what? If they don’t, so what? Here, just like the gay bar, you will never try to pick someone up, have to tell lies, or have to explain yourself. It’s just a place to have a drink, eat dinner, or relax quietly. You don’t wear a sign around your neck when you are in a safe place, but you don’t live the lie either. You just relax.

And the safe place should be far from your regular life, in the next town or in areas of town you rarely frequent. And they should be frequented less often than those other places in your life. The best thing about a safe place is that you can relax, enjoy life, and not have to worry as much as when you are in your other world, the real world. If you meet someone in a gay bar that figures it out, and then you meet that same person in your real life, you both know a secret about the other and neither will freely talk. Though dangerous because of the realities of human nature, it does in fact minimize the chances that your secret will be exposed. But you need a place where you can let your hair down and relax, so many of us find solace in these “safe places”.

The real danger of a safe place is that you become too relaxed in them. If you frequent a place that everyone knows, or that you can safely assume that everyone knows, then never forget that fact. Do not become so complacent in a place where you are accepted and then start playing that “I’m a woman” game with people. Remember, you cannot be a tranny one day and a woman the next. If you do not want to hear shouts from the balcony along the lines of, “Be careful! That’s really a guy!” then never, ever mix your safe places with your real world places. In your few safe places, there are no explanations necessary and the truth is obvious, and in all the rest, never, ever admit anything to anyone… You are a woman. Take your lumps in those, experience life but run away like Cinderella before anyone can find out the truth. But always keep your safe places safe and your real world places in the dark.

Safe people are an absolute necessity as well. These are people that you know and trust with your life—literally. All transsexuals have safe places and safe people. These safe people are usually other transsexuals for several very good reasons. For one, they truly understand you. Unlike your best friend or a family member, they have been there. When you need a shoulder to cry on, when the frustration of having everything at your fingertips endlessly causes your fifth mental breakdown, you need a shoulder that has withstood the brunt of the same emotional turmoil and has survived. Though there is little they can actually do to solve your problem, they know it well and can honestly sympathize with you. And in most cases, they can offer real, workable solutions and advice. While genetic girls, men, and family can only sympathize, another Sister can empathize, evaluate, and steer you in the right direction. But another good reason why we transsexuals have other transsexuals as safe people is because they are truly safe… This is one person that can keep your secret. You can tell anything to another Sister, with no fear of it ever getting out to the general public. If she is stealth, then your stealth is safe with her.

But make no mistake, you need safe people in your life. They can be close in proximity, they can be on the Internet or on the phone with the occasional visit during a vacation, but you need them there in some capacity. Call it a safety net, call it your personal support group, or just call them your friends, but you need them. And they need you. This phase of the transition is so complex, so seemingly endless, and so full of rapid change and high stress ups and downs that you will never survive it on your own…Never. You need to break down in utter frustration from time to time, and you need someone there to listen, empathize, and pick you up when it is all over. You need your safety net. You need your safe places and you need your safe people. It is not a sign of weakness, and it is not a sign that you should not have transitioned, it is a simple necessity of the life that has been thrust upon you… If you fail to recognize these facts then you are doomed to failure. Seek out, find, and cherish those safe people. Love them, hold them dear, and never forget what they mean to you. Of all the wonderful and new experiences your life now holds, those friendships forged in the inferno of purgatory will be by far the most rewarding of all.

And purgatory should hold safe habits as well. Again, complacency is a real danger in this state. You now zip through life often forgetting that you were in fact born a man. You get up, go to work, out to play, visit with friends and simply live your life, just like any other woman out there does. One day you wake up and realize it has been weeks, or even months, and you have not thought about the “T thing” in all that time. A rather euphoric situation, yes, but one that should sound alarm bells in your head as well. Here is where you need to come back down to earth and re-evaluate your situation.

Never forget your roots. Pretending that you are in fact a “real” woman has many inherent dangers. You still need to protect your body as that of a male. You still need regular doctors care for hormones and many other aspects of maintaining good physical health. Women I have known love to talk about how they fool doctors and pass as women during check ups and visits. Well, the results of blood pressure tests, weight, hormone levels, heart monitoring, and a thousand other regular medical procedures are often very different between men and women, and if your doctor evaluates findings based on the fact that you were born a woman instead of a man, then you are playing with fire. You can fool the world, you can even fool yourself, but you cannot fool your body. Get real, and never forget that you were born a man.

Guard against complacency and remain vigilant to the prospect of being found out. It happens, to even the stealthiest of us. Not that the shock and pain of it actually happening is made any less difficult to take, but always be aware that the house of upside down cards you so skillfully have created can and will come crashing down again and again. It’s one dilemma after another, who to tell what to when, and sooner or later you will make a mistake, someone else will let it slip, or the simply realities of life will force it out. Never sit back and think you’ve made it. The transition is forever and stealth is an illusion. Deal with your situation realistically, honestly, and be prepared for the worst.

Maintain and cultivate safe places and safe people, create and use them sparingly but as needed to keep yourself stable, happy, and alive. And one of the most important habits you can fall into is that of moving on a regular basis.

Some T-girls actually try to transition in the same town they lived in as a man. Some even try it in small towns! Hell, you cannot even safely transition in a city as big as New York or Los Angeles! You want to go stealth? Then do it somewhere you will not run into old friends, family, children, ex-wives, ex-lovers, ex-schoolmates, or coworkers. Thousands of people know you, and thousands more know of you or remember your name, or face. Obviously money is a serious problem for most transsexuals, but if you are to minimize the pain and suffering of the transition, it is best to spend purgatory in a brand new town, far from your old life and people who knew you then. And yes, money is a problem for any transsexual—the constant repairs to the body, the endless medical bills, the majority of us taking a drastic cut in pay, all the new clothes and household items… Being a girl is expensive, you are most certainly finding that out by now. So good habits with money are a necessity. Your journey is long and costly; spend your limited funds wisely.

Now there are certain recurring habits or things that most of us do or have done to help us get through this particularly difficult time. One is to get a job, any job. Any menial, paying or non-paying job you can get. Just work somewhere. Not only does this bring in much needed money, but even if it is volunteer work, it does two things for you. One, it creates a work history, and two, and most importantly, it gives you a reason to get up in the morning. Another thing is getting a pet, and more than one is best. Again, you have a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to come home to an empty house, and people, albeit it little, furry people, that love you and accept you as you are. It is difficult to commit suicide when you have little furry life forms that depend solely upon you for their entire existence. And their unconditional love is hard to ignore. Another thing many of us do is to become socially active. This can take on many forms.

Now I know that especially at this time in your life, you want to do anything but get out of the house. You are tall and ugly and deep voiced and easily clocked. Well, so fucking what. Get over it. And get out of the house. Do not save all your errands for one day, do one or two every day. Force yourself to get out of the house. Every day, for any reason. This will force you to live life, like all normal people do, and most importantly, it is much needed training. It forces you to become better at becoming a woman. You learn to walk, talk, move, and be more convincing with every trip to the grocery store, every trip to the cleaners, and every trip to the gas station. Don't do it all in one day when your make-up is perfect, and you planned and prepared all week for it, do something every day. Force yourself to. It is best for you, you will see. And get a hobby, or better yet, a hobby that puts you around other people. Take up pool, join a book club, enroll in cooking classes, learn another language. Go back to school where you can learn something that will not only prepare you for life, but for life as a woman. It sharpens your physical skills, and your social skills, but get out, and do something social. Be around other people. And take on a lover. Any lover. Again, you have to learn the social and physical skills of love making all over. You need to be loved, even if for your body.

But by far the best habits to get into are those that guard against depression. Being locked inside purgatory forever or for a very long time makes the onset of one depression after another entirely inevitable. What you do to minimize them, or to minimize their effect upon you and your life is something that each of us deals with in our own way. No advice here can really help… Once you’ve lost your mind, you have lost the only weapon you have that can get it back. What do most girls do? That’s easy—they slip into seclusion.

Even the best of us, even the strongest and most resilient of women who face purgatory simply start building a wall around themselves. And you will too. You will find, like all the rest of us, that the roller coaster you are now on never ends. One joy after another snatched away, time and time again, and endless cycle of happiness and rejection, new experiences saddened by old experiences, joys met with pain, and endlessly having all you ever wanted and dreamed of just out of reach, and all the while, constantly beating off the truth about yourself, or forever being afraid that all you have built will be destroyed at any given moment.

Some of us become a total recluse, some of us just begin to go out less and less, doing only what has to be done outside of the safety of our own homes. Some become caught up in the trappings of their safe places and safe people, enclosing their world so tightly around them that what once passed for life becomes a mere shell of what it once was or what it could be. They become hermits, quietly living out their lives as women. And many simply give up on love, sex, and relationships altogether.

And why not? It does not matter if we are attracted to straight men or lesbian women, each relationship starts out the same and has the same ending. If they are attracted to us, then they have certain issues that they have to deal with on their own. You will tire of being their teacher, their object of exploration, their fantasy and their dream. After seeing the light bulb go off over their heads for the hundredth time, you will simply tire of being a tranny to them. During purgatory, most of us fade in and out of seclusion, physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually, dealing with life and its pitfalls as best we can until we get beat back into our corner and retire from life just long enough to catch our breath. Then after a long rest, after beating back sadness, depression and loneliness, we throw the door wide open, brave the new and exciting world once again, and live as best we can until we get beat back into our corner for another breather. That is the real truth about the phase you are now in, that is a seemingly endless cycle of a game that you just cannot win. It is exhausting and wonderful, it is scary and uplifting, it is new and old, it is eternally liberating and confining, and all at the very same time.

The Journey Goes On

But above it all, if you beat back constant depression, deal with the anger and pain, circumvent suicide, and somehow manage to make it through all of this, then your journey simply goes on. Your entire life has been a roller coaster. You gave up one lie to live your truth, and now you live as a woman, once again, wrapped in lies. You traded one set of problems for another. And now, in purgatory, you once again have traded one set of problems for another. And your final goal? Is it attainable? Possibly. But to be honest, even if you reach your final destination, that of stealth, your journey has not ended, once again, it has just begun. And in fact, you have once again simply traded in one set of problems for another.

But there is one inescapable truth about your stay in purgatory that one day will just slowly creep into your psyche… One day, you will just come to this incredible realization, one so powerful and magical that only another Sister who has been there can truly appreciate it… One day you realize that for months, years maybe, you have gotten up in the morning and looked into a mirror… to rub your eyes, fix your hair, do your makeup, look at your skin… and all you ever saw was you. A female you.

During this fabulous and traumatic time, learn to live well, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially, and to deal with the ups and downs of your new heaven/hell. Enjoy the ups, remember them and cherish them, and maneuver through the downs as best you can without sacrificing your heart, your soul, or your mind. Hang on, enjoy the ride, survive it, and get off the coaster when it is safe to do so… but know now that one more lies ahead.

And above all, through every single step of this phase of the transition, always, always remember this... It does not matter what they think, it only matters what they know!

Also See

Also see: So You Want To Be a T-Girl (Chapter 1) and So You Want To Be a T-Girl (Chapter 3)

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