I suppose I must have caused my parents some problems when young, they did their best not to be gender specific in toys. When I was 3, I wanted a cot for my doll and I got it. I existed in a pretty much perfect world of blissful ignorance until I went to primary school. Then I realised that boys were boys and girls were girls and at that age never the twain shall meet. Such were the joys of single-sex schools in 1970s Ireland :( I had my first (and so far, last) boyfriend within weeks of starting primary school. Needless to say this did not make life much easier amongst my peers. Gradually however I settled down to near normality.
I forgot about such things until it was time to make my first communion at age 7. Two things happened more or less together. Firstly the local boys and girls primary schools were merged to form one co-ed primary school. Secondly it was time for me to make my first communion, when we went to get my suit I was very upset that I was not going to be getting one of the nice communion dresses. It was probably shortly before this that I fist started cross-dressing. Always looking forward to a day sick off school, so I could be alone at home.
About 4 or 5 years later (shortly after starting secondary school) I first heard about transexualism and realised that this was not just some weird problem that I alone was having. I read an article in "The News of The World" about a husband and wife who had both had surgery and shortly afterwards found a list of 10 TSs in the first "Book of Lists". From then on I started hunting for more books and articles. April Ashleys "Odyssey" was one of the first I found. I devoured that book from cover to cover over and over again.
Secondary school was a deeply unhappy time for me, I knew that I was different but had to put on a brave face. It caused me some anxiety problems which led to quite a bit of insomnia during my first year. My doctor just put down to fear of change and the stress of changing schools. I never had a girlfriend during all the time I was in school and always felt deeply out of place in locker room conversation. I suffered a modicum of bullying but had a "protector" who looking back at things with hindsight must have had a bit of a crush on me :) I generally got on better with the girls in my class than the boys. Quite a few of them noticed this and my nickname was "Cindy" which publicly mortified me, but privately delighted me :) By far the worst thing in all my time in secondary school was the end of year "Debs" dance (something like a "prom" night) I remember dreading that night from about 12 months ahead of time. Everyone else had made big plans about parties and who they were bringing. I just couldn't wait for it to be over.
Moving to college allowed me a bit more freedom, for the first time I was able to venture out dressed. The feeling was just indescribable, (so I won't). I came to the conclusion that I must be TV (Transvestite). There surely couldn't be such things as Transsexuals in Ireland! So I started scouring the personal ads in "In Dublin" and even placed a few myself. Through this I met my first couple of TVs (and had a narrow escape from a few Trans-fans as well I suppose). From talking to them I realised I had absolutely nothing in common with them, their interests and what they gained from cross dressing were nothing like what I experienced. I just didn't get anything out of dressing, it just seemed natural. I also encountered for the first time the kind of open hostility than can exist at times in the transgendered world, with one TV telling me that all TSs were basically lower order types, they must have had something seriously wrong with them to actually want to become women fulltime.
I then started wondering about the chances of doing something concrete, so in my last year at college, I dredged up enough courage from somewhere to go to a doctor and tell him all about it. I was lucky first time, I found a doctor who not only knew what TSism was, but gave me a referral letter to a psychiatrist. I was overjoyed! However I knew there was no way I could afford this, so I thought I'd postpone things until after graduation and when I had a job. Big mistake. I graduated in the year the Berlin Wall came down, Europe was flooded with experienced eastern European engineers and I had a fairly poor degree. I started mucking about in computers, mainly because I had been to college and so people reasoned I must know something about them.
After two years or so I was doing well enough to write to the psychiatrist to ask for an appointment. I waited and waited and eventually received a reply from his wife to say that he had died and wishing me the best of luck etc.
This left me somewhat devastated me, to say the least. I had to summon up the courage to go back and look for help again. This time I was not so lucky, the first doctor I had gone to see was no longer about and the next few I tried, while helpful really couldn't do anything. Fortunately, in the interim I had started getting waxing done on a regular basis to at least be doing something and met Karen for the first time. She is an exceedingly bubbly Dub who was the first person I really confided in. Thanks to her belief in me and her confidence I kept on looking and eventually found someone who referred me to my current psychiatrist. This was the end of 1994 at this stage.
In early '95 I had my first appointment with the psychiatrist. To say I was terrified was a huge understatement. But everything went well and he explained the various options available. He also told me that he had a small group of TSs that met once a month.
At the beginning of 1996 I finally started on Hormones, .625mg of Premarin 2 times per day. I was ecstatic and kept measuring myself for any changes :) In one of those strange twists of fate, about 3 months later I finally started on electrolysis under the care of a friend I'd gone to school with 10 years beforehand. (Thanks a million Dol for just being there to talk to). I started off at 1 hour per week and gradually worked up to my current 3 hours per week.
Now, it is the beginning of 1998, I've been on premarin and androcur for 2 years at this stage and electrolysis for nearly 2 years (which it looks like I'll be at for a good while yet). In august of last year I started voice therapy and have had about 6 or 7 sessions so far. So you might say things are moving along now.
My plan is still to transition in June/July of this year, my original plan was to have transitioned by 25, when I didn't meet that target I set 30 as my "best-by date" so hopefully I'll make it this time.
(Well I eventually transitioned in the Spring of 98 and went on to have surgery on the 29th April 1999 with Mr. Royle in the UK)