I looked in the mirror. “You look good!” I said it out loud. I was wearing my mom’s slinky blue dress, her jewelry and her makeup. I was alone; Dad was at work and Mom was shopping. I continued, “God, why didn’t you make me a female?” Actually, I wasn’t far from it; I was short and thin with little body hair. The hair on my head was nice and thick and I kept it long. It was inevitable, however. Soon I would
be developing facial hair, body hair, and my voice would change. It made me sick to think about it.
God didn’t answer, but my best friend did. She had just come in the front door. “Aaron?”
“Back here Lisa…come on back!”
Lisa was my first cousin and my best friend. She was the only one I shared my secret with. A couple of years ago I began to feel I had to share with someone, and Lisa was the only person I trusted. She was supportive and, just as important, kept things between us confidential.
“Lookin’ good babe! Maybe I should let you do my makeup. When are we gonna buy you some of your own clothes. I’m going shopping now, come on!”
“Mom would see it on her bank card and ask me about it. I better change back into my own clothes. I don’t know when Mom might be home.”
“OK. I had to come by because you wouldn’t answer your phone.”
“I guess it’s on silent. I’ll fix that.”
“Please do. At least go shopping with me?
“Nah, I’m just not up to it.”
“A new dress would make you feel better. “I’ll look for one for you.”
“No…don’t!” My tone was not very convincing.
“OK. I promise.”
I knew her well enough to know that her promise could mean she was going to buy me a dress or she was not going to. Secretly, I wished she would, but I was sure if I had some girls’ clothing of my own, my mother would find them no matter where I tried to hide them.
Lisa left and I changed clothes.
I carefully put everything of my mom’s things back like I found them and put on my dreadful boy clothes.
I didn’t have a lot of friends, but I did have Lisa. She had lots of friends, and they seemed happy to accept me as a friend. I learned things they would never tell any other guy. Lisa was great looking, self-confident, and energetic. I never saw a situation that she couldn’t handle. We were good friends, but I secretly envied her. She seemed happy with her life. She always had time for me. Life in general seemed easier for girls. They could be mean, but they were generally nicer than boys. They also had more varied interests. All boys seemed to care about was sex. The girls would talk about one boy or another, but they would have been stunned if they knew the things the boys said about them. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them. Talk about stirring up a hornets nest!
School was tough. Every school day, I was exposed to the repulsive stench and sights of the boys’ locker room. Most of them seemed to be years ahead of me in physical development, with lots of body hair and enormous …um… members? I had little body hair and what you might call a “junior member”. I kept to myself, usually managed to be almost invisible, and get out of the locker room quickly.
Steve, one of the big guys asked me once if I was a “faggot”. I told him, “Actually, I’m not, but don’t you have a steady boyfriend already”? His buddies howled with laughter, and I was seconds away from getting an “ass kickin’”. He approached and I put my hands in front of me and said, “Hey, I’m not judging. Live like you wanna live.” The ass kickin’ was imminent, but Tim, who was even bigger than Steve, said, “Leave him alone”. Steve walked off muttering something about me not being “worth it”.
So, I could handle myself verbally. Physically, it was better to avoid conflict.
When my dad thought I was old enough, he showed me how to start the lawn mower. I didn’t have the strength to start it, so he started it for me. It was self-propelled, and I could manage to mow, but if the mower stopped, he would have to come out and start it again. My dad just said, “When you’re just a little bit older….” I really doubted I would ever be able to start that monster machine. I couldn’t pull the string with both hands. Also, the smell of it was offensive and the noise was scary.
On one of my attempts at lawn mowing, the mower spit out 2 or 3 pieces of a grass snake. I ran into the house, crying. I couldn’t tell my parents I was afraid of a grass snake…a dead one at that, so I told them I fell and hurt my back. Of course, I refused any treatment, and you can’t look at a person’s back and tell whether it hurts or not. I dried my tears like a brave little boy, and my dad finished the yard. I think he saw the dead snake and suspected something, but he said nothing. I didn’t walk in the grass for a long time, but my parents didn’t notice.
That was just one of the times I felt that my dad was disappointed in me. He never acted like it or said anything. I just felt it. He didn’t ask me to mow the lawn again. That was fine with me; I enjoyed helping my mom in the house. I never told my parents about my wish that I had been born a girl, but I didn’t dare verbalize that. I wasn’t sure what my parents would say, but I didn’t have the nerve to find out.
One day, I noticed my nipples were swelling. “Just my luck”, I thought, “how am I going to hide these in the locker room? “ My mom made me an appointment with the family doctor.
“Gynecomastia” was the doctor’s diagnosis. “No big deal; we see it in quite a few boys his age. It won’t last long … a few weeks or so. He’ll be fine. I could give him medication, but I don’t like to do that unless it’s absolutely necessary. I’ll write him a note so he doesn’t have to take P. E. That will protect him from any possible embarrassment.”
Excellent! It was May, and when the next school year started I would be boob-free, taller, heavier and developed in other ways. P.E. was a waste of time for me anyway. I was hopeless at sports. When it came football time in P.E., the other boys all wanted to be some kind of “back”. “I’ll be quarterback.” “I’ll be halfback.” What did it mean? I was clueless. Maybe I was supposed to “one-eighth back.” I knew little about football, but I cared even less, if that was possible. Being excused from P.E. would enable me to go to study hall while the others sweated playing their beloved, stupid game. The small amount of homework the teachers gave could easily be finished there, leaving after school completely free. Now, if my nipples stayed swollen until I graduated in a couple of years, I’d be home free.
Well, my nipples stayed swollen. Not only that, but fatty tissue developed behind them. I was growing real breasts! One day, my mom came into my room right after I took my shirt off. “Aaron, honey, do you want….” The look on her face was priceless. She was speechless.
“Not polite to stare, mom.”
She finally regained her composure. “Honey, you’re going back to the doctor.” She pointed to my chest. “This is not normal.”
“Aw, mom, he said it would go away.”
It was useless to argue with my mom. I heard her in the kitchen talking to my dad. I got an appointment for the next afternoon.
I hated going to the doctor because the wait was long and boring. If you wanted to read, you could get the scoop from the magazine. Well, maybe not exactly the current scoop, but you could be amused by articles such as, “Why Hillary is destined to be President”. I guess that journalist is embarrassed now.
When I finally got in a room, it was another half-hour wait. The doctor came in and had me take off my shirt. He didn’t seem surprised at all to see my healthy boobs. That was a relief, but I suppose he was trained to avoid such reactions. “I’d like to do some bloodwork and some other tests.”
A nurse came into the room and stuck a pencil-sized needle in my arm. I sat perfectly still and stared at the blood flowing into the vial. After a few seconds the nurse said sternly, “Breathe!”
I hate needles.
There were other tests, then we left…still no medication. I headed straight for bed, exhausted from guinea pigging.
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