Bad enough I have to write a diary for school. So why did I write another one? To tell the truth …
Stupid Diary, by Karin Bishop
June Truth Time
(no school entry needed)
So what’s the opposite of a boy like Rick? A boy like Mackie. All along I’ve been afraid that he’d get out of Juvie, show up at school, and see me. What would somebody like Mackie do? At the very least, shout out to everybody that I was a boy pretending to be a girl. At the most …well, I shuddered to think. Beat me up, certainly, but he might force me to perform oral sex on him, or even try to rape me anally. It seems over-the-top, but he’s not a virgin (I’m pretty sure) and he’s a major male chauvinist and would want to dominate me and that would be forcing me to go down on him.
One of the most amazing things I’ve learned is how many junior high girls go down on their boyfriends and don’t consider it to be sex. Sure, they can’t get pregnant that way, but it seems to send so many wrong signals to the boy and the girl …or maybe I’m a prude.
I don’t think I’m a prude. I mean, I’ve been having more erotic dreams than ever in my life. They’re all like something out of romance novels, though, with slow-motion walks and wind blowing my long dress around me, and deserted beaches and once, in a mansion. And they’re not all with Mark Brashear, either; the other day Molly and I were shopping and we saw a guy and I could tell she felt it, too—that electric jolt and then your body starts reacting, nipples going hard and groin going soft (and maybe my brain, too). And I dreamed about that guy that night. I bet Molly did, too!
But Mackie …Mackie is scary stuff. He’s mean, thinks the world owes him, thinks he’s better than everybody else—and he’s intelligent. Steve was those three things without the intelligence. I’m sorry he was crippled but I only hope he might learn to be a better person.
So no matter how much fun I was having being with my girlfriends, over at their houses, walking the mall, or just sitting and talking with Mom, there was always this ‘what about Mackie?’ thought that would dim the joy.
In the meantime, I had several reasons for joy. First, the doctors said I was making such fantastic progress that they were prepared to do two things that had never been done in less than a year. They were going to prepare the paperwork for my name change, and official records change, and school records change! I would be Larissa Marie Hanson to the entire world!
Plus, I’d get to wear my pretty business suit that we got in New York!
The second thing the doctors did, after a long consultation with Mom and me, is a ‘procedure’. That’s what they kept calling it; never an operation or process or whatever—it was The Procedure. I’d read about this and I thought it was wishful thinking but apparently it was something that the doctors could do, just not very often—although it was different than the fictional variety. The Procedure, too, was something that had never been done in less than a year.
All of this is because of three reasons. First, my body seems to be responding beautifully to female hormones, whatever the mix they have me on. I mentioned to them what Tommy Chen had said—careful not to mention him by name—and they said that they were exploring the genetic angle, too, but the results were undeniable. My body seemed to lap up the feminine and reject the masculine, and that was fine with me now.
Second, I guess you could say my mind seems to be responding beautifully, too. They kept testing me and testing me, and everything came up female. I mean, in the way my mind thought and my ‘emotional structures’, whatever they meant by that. One of the big things they talk about is the Real Life Test, the RLT, that all transgendered in the program have to go through. With the exception of Larry at school, they said I was already quite successful in my RLT for my age. With the exception of my hours at school, I was ‘fully assimilated in the female social role’, as one shrink put it. ‘Just another teen girl’ is the way another put it—I liked that one better! And they said that Larry was—here’s the shrink phrase—‘an artificial construct that didn’t reflect the core personality’. It’s like a happy, bouncy girl who works as a server in an old folks’ home—she’ll be quiet and respectful because it’s the job. But when it’s over, she takes off the uniform, puts on some kicky skirt and heels and heads out to meet her girlfriends. Larry’s kind of the same way …
So they wanted the ‘Larry construct’ to end as soon as possible, and they were delighted that I qualified for early release. Because the third reason they were moving me so fast through the program was that I was at the transitional stage academically, too. I would be going into high school and Mom and I had choices. On one hand, I could go to the high school where the bulk of my classmates went, along with three other junior highs. Or, I could go to a private school, but I didn’t think we had the money for that.
Or we might move to another district. Mom actually favored that; she said the market was good to sell the house, and we’d find an apartment in another school district and she could still commute to her hospital—it might even be closer. She said there was no point building up twenty more years of equity in a house she never really cared for but had stayed in after the divorce. I’d be out of high school in three years, and what if I went away to college? Plus, we’d had so much fun traveling together that she said we should do more; even travel internationally once I had my female documents. So there were all sorts of good reasons to give up the house and move. My only stipulation is that I didn’t want to be too far away from Celia and Molly. I knew I’d make new friends—girls that only knew me as ‘just another teen girl’, but those two were very special to me. Mom said that would be a factor in our choices, and who knew—maybe our schools would be rivals and we could go to the same games.
The doctors’ plan, therefore, was new documentation and The Procedure. There was a slight recovery time after The Procedure and that was no problem; due to my early release, all my friends were still in school for a few weeks. The docs laughed and said they only meant about 24 hours before I felt alright. So we did …(drumroll) The Procedure (cymbal smash)
First I got naked under a paper gown, having no problem being naked in front of a female doctor. She hooked up a ‘butterfly IV’, and I climbed up into a stirrup chair (my first!)—and then she left me. Things got …swirly. The doctor came back in and my pubic hair was completely removed with some goo, and then she catheterized me—thank God I was stoned!—and she poked and prodded and gently shoved all of the Larry bits of genitalia into what looked like a vagina. The doctor was joined by another, and they used a surgical glue gun and anatomical wizardry to make it so I could pee like a girl. I’d already been sitting down to pee for most of a year; it just made more sense that way. Now I had to sit but I didn’t mind. If I could have ever had an erection, The Procedure could be a problem, but I never had and now with the chemicals in me I couldn’t, anyway. Good thing, I thought.
The results would be checked every time I went to the doctors; blood, urine, and spread ‘em. From time to time they’d undo things and evaluate and I already know they won’t be able to ‘re-Procedure’ me fast enough! With the exception of the occasional undoing, I literally don’t have to think of my penis at all, and that suits me just fine. Well, and there’s the tiny fact that it’s not functional—I don’t mean in a sexual way, but there’s a big part of me that would gladly have periods, because it would mean I was a total girl. But I was pretty darned close, now!
Actually, this was like a test flight for ‘The Operation’ that I couldn’t get until I was eighteen. They’d told me that sometimes people went right to the moment of surgery and pulled back, afraid. But with The Procedure, I could see what having a vagina was like and emotionally how I felt about life with no penis, and I could already tell them it was just fine with me! I also knew that I wouldn’t pull back before surgery. When they were done and I looked down and saw my smooth, hairless mound and gingerly felt around down there, I cried for happiness. I really bawled as I was saying ‘thank you, thank you’ over and over.
Now, of course, not only do my panties fit perfectly—oh, and I can wear bikinis!—but most importantly I don’t have the worry of discovery. That’s not a problem on a day-to-day basis with the average girl; I mean, how many girls have the chance of somebody ‘discovering’ their vagina during the course of a day? Besides other girls at a slumber party or in the high school showers, I mean. And I can take showers with other girls, like at the rec center pool or high school, because I am now ‘anatomically indistinguishable from a genetic girl’, as one doctor said. So that was a tremendous load off my mind.
But there was that Mackie-fear, always there, that he’d jump out of the bushes, throw me down and rip my clothes off to prove that I was a boy. I knew in my heart that if Mackie ripped off my panties and found a penis, his first instinct would be rage, followed by smashing and cutting, probably. Really bad news. But now with what totally looks like a vagina, he’d realize, yeah, she is a girl. Of course, then he’d probably try to rape me, which wouldn’t work because I had no depth. More bad news.
The main thing is that I feel much better around my girlfriends. I was no longer at school, but we couldn’t really do anything as girlfriends there, anyway. We still got together but there was a big difference—now I could go to ‘our’ mall with them, as Rissa. There was no longer any problem with encountering a kid from school who’d say, ‘aren’t you Larry?’ because I wasn’t in school anymore, and Mom and I had decided to move to another district so I wouldn’t have those kids to worry about. And finally, even if the kids knew Larry, I didn’t look like Larry. So now my girlies and I were just like every other group of giggly girls.
When we ran into girls from school, I was introduced as Rissa, a girl who would be going to Madison. That was my new high school—our junior high dumped into Crestview High—so that was enough to satisfy the girls that I wasn’t local. Madison is the most likely candidate for my new school, but there are one or two other possibilities but they get farther and farther away. Plus, Madison has a reputation as pretty strict and a good college prep school, and I still want to go into medicine.
One of the groups of girls that Celia knew invited us to a pool party at one girl’s house. She was pretty snobby and had money, and Celia said it was a mark of how ‘cool’ we were that we got invited. So it was the scary time of buying a bikini—why are they always fluorescent lights in the stores that make you look like a drowning victim?—and choosing outfits to blend into the more-moneyed crowd.
Two things happened at the pool party. Three, if you count that I absolutely, totally passed as a real girl in a tiny bikini among kids I know and kids I don’t know. The two things both started with the letter M.
First was Mark Brashear. Omigod! I thought he looked good that day in the hall—and in my dreams—but to see him bare-chested in a swimsuit! Celia leaned over and told me to breathe! It’s still all too weird for me, but he talked to me and had no idea about Larry. I was stupid and mumbled and kept my head down, and I learned that it was Mark that made me do that, not boys. Because several boys ‘chatted me up’ and I flirted and was funny and it was all so natural. I know that nothing can truly happen with Mark Brashear because at some point he would find out about Larry and I know guys; we could convince Rick that I’d always been a girl but that was because he wasn’t my boyfriend. A boyfriend, finding out that his girlfriend had been a boy? Absolutely no way.
Deep heavy sighs. Heavy, heavy dreams! But I’ll always love Mark because, even though he didn’t know it, he was responsible for my discovery that I’m a healthy heterosexual girl.
The other M was, of course, Mackie. But in a good way, as if anything with Mackie could be good. Well, bad for Mackie but good for me. Some of the cute boys I was talking with at the pool party were buzzing with ‘hey, did you hear about Mackie?’ and of course I pretended I didn’t know him but wanted to hear.
It was plain from their tone that they didn’t like the guy and were gleefully telling about his downfall. When Mackie had crashed the dance with his new gang, the chaperones held him off for a time. One of them was Mr. Tupperman, the same teacher that ran the study hall the day Molly and I manipulated Rick. Anyway, Mackie got caught that night of the dance because the cops knew the school layout. Mackie got months in Juvie.
Now, some kids get ‘scared straight’ by a time in Juvie, but some get meaner and meaner. Mackie was in that second group. I said he was intelligent but he wasn’t smart. He nursed revenge on Tupperman, blaming him for getting busted. Mr. Tupperman hadn’t done or said anything other than his duties as chaperone, but it was a face and name Mackie knew—he didn’t know the woman teacher that was the other chaperone—and so Mackie fixated on Tupperman.
Intelligent but not smart …two days after Mackie got out of Juvie, he trashed Tupperman’s car in front of his house. Just wailed on it with a baseball bat. But it wasn’t Tupperman’s car; his car was parked on the street. The trashed car belonged to a friend of his that walks with a cane; Tupperman had been thoughtful by parking his own car on the street so the guy could use the driveway and wouldn’t have to walk so far. It was a nice quiet dinner with Tupperman and his wife, his friend and wife, until the car alarm went off along with the smashing sounds.
Tupperman ran out to find Mackie bashing away; screaming ensued and Tupperman made the mistake of accidentally laughing when he said, ‘It’s not even my car!’ and pointed to his at the curb. Mackie was waving the bat around menacingly and when the first sirens sounded, Mackie demanded Tupperman’s keys. He gave Mackie the keys and Mackie still swung the bat at him, missing his head but fracturing Tupperman’s collarbone. Then Mackie used the keys to steal Tupperman’s car, led the police on a chase into town, sideswiped two cars, hit a bus bench and newspaper rack and finally ran a red light, got clipped by a car in the intersection and careened into the hobby shop.
Poor Tupperman, starting his summer with a broken collarbone and no car, but it could have been worse. If Mackie’s bat had connected with his head …
So Mackie went from a Juvenile offender that tried to crash a prom—teen movie stuff—to a hard-core badass. In no particular order, they had him on assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft auto, vandalism, reckless driving, and running a red light. Plus a lot of civil actions against him—even the bus company wanted him to pay for their bench. Mackie was going to be in jail for years, starting in the maximum juvenile facility and then moving him to the adult prison when he turned eighteen to serve out the rest of his sentence.
“That’s if he lives that long,” one boy said, disgusted.
So Mackie is no longer on my mind, other than thinking back about how stupid was I?
Got my grades; they amazed me and shocked me. I got two A’s (I’d only gotten one in three years of junior high school before), three A minuses (absolutely delighted), and a B+. That was the shock—it was from Mrs. McKenzie! I couldn’t resist it; I emailed her asking, politely, what I could have done to improve the grade. I had to remember to sign it as ‘Larry’.
She emailed back that everything was A level except for one thing …my diary/journal! She said it was too sparse; I didn’t describe things that happened to me emotionally, only in vague terms. I never mentioned anybody by name other than Mom and it was just too brief. She said the other kids averaged twenty pages or so; one girl had actually written over thirty pages. Plus, she had hoped for the June entry, even though I was out of school already.
She was obviously home or at her office but right in front of her computer so we could have a quick exchange of emails. I had a very risky idea. I wrote back asking if a late submission would be considered and have a chance of altering my grade. She said she’d give me twenty-four hours and could change the grade within thirty-six hours, but not after that. I immediately sent one back saying that I had kept a separate diary/journal, parallel to the one I turned in to her. However, it contained foul language, sexual situations, and described criminal activity. She wrote back (laughing, I’d bet) that it sounded no different than some of the movies at the multiplex. Finally, I wrote back that it would be for her eyes only and to please delete it completely after grading. I was getting obsessive about having only A grades. And I think I wanted somebody outside my Mom and friends to know. I told Mrs. McKenzie that I would welcome any and all comments.
I don’t know if she believed that I’d truly written it or thought I’d try to bash something out in twenty-three hours, but I ended it at the line ‘how stupid was I?’, bundled the thing up as a PDF and sent it to her in five minutes.
Very, very nervous …
Three days later I got two emails. One was a very long one from Mrs. McKenzie. It floored me. She said she’d suspected that something was happening; she said she wasn’t blind. As long as it was for the better, she never commented. Now she said she was so happy for me and my mother and fully understood not only what was happening to me but also why I’d been so brief in the diary I turned in. She said together they made even more sense than apart, because she could see the difference between what ‘society’ saw (my original diary) and the inner turmoil I was actually experiencing. She said there was also a fascinating change in the writing, in both journals, in style and word choice. Quite simply, she said the September entries were written in a masculine mindset, and then became progressively more feminine; by the May entries there was no doubt that a girl had written them. She urged that I consider working it over and releasing it to transgender support organizations, and to certainly share it with the doctors. Finally, she wished Rissa all the luck in the world.
The second email was a short one from the school district. My English grade had been amended from a B+ to a full A.
August (final entry)
I thought I’d do a follow-up to my diary/journal because so much happened. This is for me, not for any teacher. I did learn that from Mrs. McKenzie, that these things are valuable to look at where we were and where we are.
Mom and I moved to a wonderful apartment in an older building, facing into a courtyard with a swimming pool—I have a pool! There are hanging plants all around and it’s green and lush and quiet and since it’s an older building the rooms are larger than some newer apartments we saw.
My room is definitely a girl’s room now, with a vanity and girl clothes everywhere. Before we moved we bundled up all of Larry’s clothes and gave them to the Goodwill. We watch sales and get a little here and there, and my girlfriends had a party and brought things that didn’t fit them or they had two of, and it was so thoughtful of them and added a lot to my wardrobe in a hurry.
We’re right around the corner from a bus stop on a line that connects really close to my old school; Celia and Molly have come over from time to time so that’s okay. Molly’s come over more and we’ve walked about six blocks to Tommy’s apartment. He is a hoot but a great guy. Also a great guy is his boyfriend Denny, that I mentioned owns the cool salon? As a special present—and I think due to demands from Tommy—Denny treated me to an incredible session at his salon. I got the works—a mani-pedi, eyebrows plucked and shaped, a facial, and a very chic, very feminine hairstyle from Denny himself. This was all the week after I got out of school and the first major public appearance since The Procedure.
Speaking of which, it’s been incredible. I don’t even think about it anymore; I’m just a girl if anybody looks at me. And a lot of boys look at me, too, which makes me feel great. I asked myself, what if I was a plain girl, would I be as happy? I think the truthful answer is a qualified yes. Yes, I would be happy that I wasn’t pseudo-juvenile delinquent Larry, but let’s face facts: It’s more fun being a cute girl!
My girlfriends and I go to the mall, the rec center pool, the park, and twice to the beach and, yes, we’ve flirted with boys. The beach parties were great, and there was a cute boy from the Catholic school that I met at the first one and by the second party, we kind of paired off. So as the bonfire died down, I got my first kiss from a boy, and I loved it and felt absolutely certain that I was who I was supposed to be. It’s even more certain with my girlfriends; I’m not sure if they even remember that I was Larry at one time. It’s all so natural and fun and so much better than before.
Which leads me to the one major question in my life: Did Mom do this to me?
I couldn’t blame her if she did; Lord knows I was headed for trouble and was already halfway there. So if she decided that I’d be better as a girl, I can’t blame her and she was right. The only thing wrong is that it was done without my knowledge, but when I thought about it, I could understand that, too, because it was done out of love.
Mom and I got close to discussing it several times before all the planets were aligned, the stars in their places, and the cows pointing in the same direction. It was the night that I came back from the second beach party and my first kiss. I was on cloud nine and told Mom all about it; I think it’s very important that we share everything on this journey. Later, once we’re all bored with it, we won’t be talking everything out, but a former-boy-now-a-girl’s first kiss? Very important to discuss!
So after our mega-talk, the answer is, yeah, she did it, but no, she didn’t. I have to agree with her that a year ago, I was a mess and getting messier. She was at her wit’s end, and had been going to counseling to help her deal with me; she felt that she was a failure as a mother, as well as a failure as a wife. It was a women’s group that helped her, giving her strength to continue dealing with me. I had no idea she’d been going to the meetings, but she definitely had her hands full with me and needed all the help and support she could get. After one of the meetings, a woman came up to Mom in the parking lot and said she might have another way of helping us; a method that had worked for several families. She said that most teen boys, like the Larry Mom had described to the group, had raging hormones and were like always itchy for action. They usually listened to loud, fast, hard rock and things like speed metal, which had violent lyrics and treated women as sex objects. The violence was glorified by the bands, and the boys got sped up by the excitement and their own chemistry and before you knew it you had a juvenile delinquent. Mom had nodded in agreement; the woman had described Larry to a ‘T’.
She’d told Mom that the method involved an herbal vitamin supplement that had a calming effect, like a tranquilizer but not habit-forming and non-drowsy. It combined with subliminal relaxation tapes or CDs, and with new software, any CD could be duplicated with the relaxation part. That, of course, was the fuzzy sound I’d heard on the CDs but had gotten used to. The lady had told Mom that most of the aggressive boys listened to aggressive music; the purpose of the CDs was not to tell them to change their musical tastes, but to allow them to reconsider the lyrics and in most cases they didn’t enjoy the music as much and started seeking out mellower music. The urge towards delinquency could be cured by the very music that seemed to encourage it!
Ms. Belasco was completely unrelated to this underground-group woman; as I’d mentioned, the school district required me to see a therapist for rage and other issues after the incident with Celia, and Ms. Belasco was highly qualified and more than fit the bill. Mom did find her through the above-ground women’s therapy group, so Ms. Belasco believed in supporting women, but she didn’t have any agenda to change me. Her method was to relax me by hypnosis so I would basically tell the truth about my feelings. The hypnosis eliminated my censor, Mom explained. I wasn’t saying anything to impress, I wasn’t suppressing anything; I just flowed with answers to her questions. Then I’d be nudged into figuring things out myself.
Mom said Ms. Belasco was astounded as the sessions revealed this girl inside the boy that was laying on the couch. Ms. Belasco allowed ‘her’ to express her feelings. So for months, while I was still—seemingly—Larry 24/7, I was allowed free rein to explore my thoughts and feelings as a girl while I was on Ms. Belasco’s couch. My mind wasn’t chained to that censor, afraid to express things because of fear of ‘what people might think’, and very quickly I learned that it was perfectly okay to express myself and think and feel like a girl. From things I said in the sessions, it was discovered that my female mind was always there, always processing, but in the background. Like a computer subroutine or something, unnoticed. This is one reason why Larissa was so ‘normal’ so quickly after ‘coming out’, because part of my mind was already allowed to function as feminine, under Larry’s radar, so to speak. Weird, huh?
What Mom didn’t know, and Tommy kind of figured out, was that the lady in the women’s group parking lot wasn’t telling Mom everything. She had An Agenda, and that was to feminize males; due to whatever happened in her past, she hated and feared all males and wanted to rid the world of them. The vitamins were absolutely packed with androgen blockers and testosterone inhibitors and estrogen and progesterone! And besides all the physical, emotional, and mental effects, they would act as a tranquilizer—by totally suppressing male hormones—and so they seemed like they were acting as the lady had promised. So I’d be mellow, as advertised, but in the background my body was quietly becoming seriously feminized.
The woman’s pitch was friendly and seemingly completely innocent—just relaxation, to keep the boy out of trouble, with maybe a little homework motivation, hmm?—and she didn’t force Mom to try it on me, telling Mom that she should exhaust all the usual methods first. Finally Mom turned to her after I got suspended in September for threatening Celia. Again, I’d have to say that it really was dangerous territory I was entering, and Mom was entirely justified in trying to save me from myself. She thought she was relaxing me and motivating me towards better grades.
The woman didn’t give any hint that she was not part of the parents’ group; she’d been at some of the meetings but not others. Mom had assumed that she was just a helpful member of the group, and that the woman’s method was all above-board. She was particularly swayed by the matter of the CDs—the woman had chuckled that no boy was going to sit down and listen to a motivational CD when he could listen to his favorite rock groups instead. So the relaxation ‘fuzziness’ could be applied to any CD; that way the boy would be sure to listen. Mom said the woman even appeared embarrassed that it was, sort of, bootlegging. It was just that bootleg-embarrassment that reassure Mom that the woman was just a regular concerned mother, and was telling the truth. And Mom offset any bootleg-guilt by actually buying the real CD and turned it over to the lady to be processed, so in Mom’s mind it was all perfectly legal now.
Everything about what the woman said made sense to Mom. I’d be healthier with the vitamin supplements—the woman had given her a list of ingredients, all of them well-known and perfectly benign, but with the active ingredients unlisted, of course—and relaxed and motivated and then with the hypnosis sessions, I might be able to get to the core of my unhappiness. So Mom began adding the supplement to my morning juice, just like people add protein powder or those supplements at Jamba Juice or Orange Julius. And she bought the fresh CDs and received the doctored ones, and figured I’d work things out in my sessions with Ms. Belasco.
My mother never planned to feminize me.
Tommy was right, though; I’d been on massive female hormones since mid-September, which explained how my body feminized so quickly. Once we’d found out about this and had the things analyzed, Tommy said there was probably enough in the pills to, as he put it, “Turn Brad into Angelina”.
The CDs were similar. Yes, they did the music-genre-switching thing, and my grades slowly came up, so the motivational part appeared to be working. But they also had powerful subliminal messages, reinforcing femininity, planting images and encouraging feminine dreams. So the first effect was that when the innocent Ms. Belasco would induce hypnosis, I was already encouraged by the CDs to relax into femininity. Each side of my ‘therapy’, the CDs and the hypnosis, reinforced the other, round and round, and it just continued strengthening my feminine persona. And when the shrinks started testing me, I scored totally in the feminine end of things, because I’d had nearly six months of ‘programming’ to think, emote, and respond as a female.
So the underground lady’s stuff really, really worked to ‘rid the world of another male’.
Mom was absolutely mortified; humiliated and in tears when she discovered how badly we’d been manipulated. I think it was hard on her because she considered herself an intelligent woman—as well as a medical professional—but I calmed her down when I said it was like hypnosis with Ms. Belasco. You think, it can’t work on me, and the next thing you know you’re under. Good con artists are good because they don’t seem to be con artists. Mom prides herself on her medical expertise and was angry with herself for not getting the things independently tested, but I pointed out that the woman’s pitch was fine-tuned and pitch-perfect; friendly and disarming and harmless, only intending goodness. And it actually made sense; when people decide to start getting healthier, they often start with herbals and shake supplements. They might pop a motivational CD in their car’s stereo for the ride to work. It’s part of the culture now, and the underground woman’s group counted on the normalcy of it all.
We found out about the lady in late July, because she hit the news. She’d given the treatment to another family and the boy was so emotionally distraught at the feminine thoughts that were flooding him that he attempted suicide. It all came out in the investigation and the lady was arrested later that fall.
I told Mom that there was another reason she shouldn’t be so hard on herself, and that was because of the boy’s suicide attempt. He was a normal guy; yeah, aggressive and obnoxious and a bully, but a 100% ‘normal’ male. Like another Mackie or Steve. Flooded with the herbal vitamins and the subliminal CDs, his body softened a bit and it was hard to get the girly thoughts out of his brain, but he was still 100% male at bedrock. It was the disconnect that made him want to die. So the treatment wasn’t 100% effective. It didn’t work with the boy because he was a boy to begin with.
What Ms. Belasco discovered very quickly with me was that I wasn’t …
I truly believe, now that everything’s in the open and after everything that’s happened, that I was a girl to begin with, and not much of a boy externally. The treatment didn’t make me become a girl; it allowed me to become a girl—actually, it allowed me to become the girl I already was inside, buried deep.
We always hear about transgendered people that knew since birth, or the cliché of ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ and someone might ask how I could truly be transgendered and not know it. Or at least not give any indications, but I remember Celia’s mom speculating that my roughness was ‘overcompensating’. That could have been an indication that something was going on within me, buried deep, as I said.
Finally I came up with an analogy to explain how I might seem to be a boy named Larry last year and a girl named Larissa this year. Imagine looking out across a canyon and all you see are rocks. Then somebody hands you a telescope, and you look at the same canyon but now you can see an eagle perched on a rock. The telescope didn’t make you see an eagle and it didn’t make the eagle appear by magic. The eagle was always there, but you couldn’t see it. So this underground treatment was the telescope that allowed me to see the eagle in the rocky canyon of my unhappy boyhood …to be overly-poetic.
Mom relaxed after that. We told the doctors and they kind of shrugged; they’d figured it out after the lady got busted. The supplement I’d been taking had been analyzed and discontinued but they adjusted my medication to adjust. There was some embarrassment on their part about how they’d been so pleased with me that they’d fast-tracked things, but one doctor said it was like healing a broken leg—whether it was because of a fall downstairs or a car accident was incidental to the fact that the femur was fractured and needed to be set. I guess this is my time for analogies.
There was also the factor—unconnected to anything the underground women’s group could have done—that my system was my system, in terms of how I metabolized things (I certainly remember my Raging Hormones week!) and the doctors learned from that, even while they helped me. They said that they had the information they needed, and as to the woman’s influence, they felt that it didn’t cause a process within me as much as it accelerated a process already at work. Ultimately, like the broken leg analogy, at this point it really didn’t matter how I ‘became female’; the fact that I was, demonstrably and undeniably, female now and would remain female forever was the important matter.
And female I am and will be. I’m happier than I ever was, but it’s not happiness from CDs and pills. It’s happiness from my own achievements. Maybe a side-effect of the CDs and pills was that I was able to buckle down and achieve things, but the end result is a happy, productive person who has a bright future. And that happy person is a girl. I love being a girl, Mom loves having a daughter, I got fantastic grades and I know high school will be hard but I’m prepared to work hard and get into medical college. I’ve been so fortunate in discovering my own truth and I want to help others. I want to give back to the world instead of taking from the world. I want to make a positive difference.
I am Rissa!
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