Amanda, you asked if anyone reading this could ‘see themselves reflected in it’ (your story)? Well….I do. At least the first part. I remember looking at the girls in school (from elementary on up) and thinking not how I though they were fun or attractive, but how much I liked what they were wearing. This never went away. I would eventually cross dress (my sister’s clothes did the trick) and thought it would eventually go away as I became attracted to girls. And I did become attracted to them, but I still wanted to BE one of them. I am older than you, and I didn’t have the vocabulary. I had NO idea what I was experiencing. I was a freakshow. Or so I thought. I was ashamed. I swore that no one would ever find out.
I would later marry and have kids…but it never left. This was more than cross-dressing, but there was a sexual component to it-that you speak of. The though that I was simply sexually attracted to either the clothing or being a woman. After years of this battle, I have come around to identifying as Transgender. Yes, it was around since I was little. And all of our paths are different, yet we do have some similarities in our stories. I know that the media has their ‘ideal trans person’ in mind and that it often does not fit ‘us’. No matter. We move forward.
Thank you for your story.