'You need an attitude adjustment, young man!' That's what my dad would say to me growing up.

At the time, I never really understood what he meant, now I do.

Fear of being exposed is something that every transgender experiences at some point. First we are scared of anybody finding out. we are afraid of what they will think of us. I think we don't yet know what to think of ourselves.

When I started going it was scary. I was still afraid of what people thought.

The first time I went through a fast food drive-through it was terrifying. First time to a store I almost turned around and left before entering.

But time passed, and so did my fear.

Today I went to the hospital for a X-ray. The admissions clerk looked at my paperwork, looked up at me and aid 'oh!' (All my legal docs are in my male name)

She was sweet and obviously a bit curious, so I offered to answer any questions. She was really happy and asked away.

Next I sat in the waiting room, waiting to be called in. Soon I see a technician, looking at her chart and scanning the waiting room. When I made eye contact, she mouthed my male name with a questioning look. I followed her and got the X-ray. She was pleasant and chatty.

Upon leaving the hospital, the admissions clerk, stood up and leaned out of her cubical and shouted 'Goodbye Jess!' , big smile on her face.

It's not these people that needed an attitude adjustment, I was me.

I the past, I would have been afraid of what they would think of me.

Now I view every encounter as just plain fun. I love the reactions I get and look forward to them.


Gender expression defines those of us who are transgender.

Some of us will never fully express our true selves for more than a few minutes or hours at a time. Sometimes going months or years between that expression. Often living their entire life without ever leaving the house as their true selves.

A few will manage to change very early. The stories I read about 6 and even 4 year old kids telling their parents who they really are, and getting support, gives me tremendous joy.

It was not that way for me, or for virtually every trans I know.

I knew I wanted something different from around 3 or 4 years old. I would express myself until someone would tell me to stop, tell me it was wrong.

I would wait several years and try again, with the same results. This pattern repeated itself through my life, but as I grew older, I did not need anyone to tell me it was wrong. I had become very good at doing that myself.

 We learn behavior from the comments, actions and expressions of those around us as we grow up. I learned that I was wrong to express myself.

 The internet came about and I learned that there were others like me, lots of others. The logic of me being wrong began to unravel.

 When I again began to express myself, something was different this time, no one told me I was wrong, even my own inner voice began to fade. People began to tell me I was right, that I was brave. As time went on, my inner voice changed fromrestraint, to encouragement. I spent more and more time expressing myself, pushing to see where the limits were. I have not found any. 

After I spend 4 or 5 days as Jess, the day or so in-between is becoming more and more uncomfortable. I am now beginning to see, just a little, the dysphoria that so many transgender people report.

The amount of time I can spend comfortably not expressing myself is getting shorter and shorter. When I was young I went years, now two or 3 days is a stretch .

I see this like the pattern of an object circling a drain. The water spins it around and around the drain, with every rotation it gets closer and closer.

 I think I am getting very close to going down the drain.