Transitioning early in life: Karina's advice

[I’ve changed her name to protect her privacy]

Editor's note:

Karina sent this in 2008. She transitioned in her 20s in the 1970s. She was about to turn 50 and had been married 15 years when she sent this advice.

Well, I read your story on Transitioning early in life: Kay's advice, I find her story somewhat familiar as with all tg's transitioning early in life. If I may this is my story.

As far back as I can remember (about 5 yrs. old) I remember asking my mom that I am not suppose to be a boy..of course she replied yes you are and with a beating to follow. I knew I was different because I naturally did everything feminine, yet I was referred to as tomboy. I was always mistaken for a girl and my parents daughter, I know it was meant to be. Yes I let all my friends know that I was a girl and that if there was any rebuttle..I would make them understand with my fists(I realize this was not the way). As the eldest of 2 brothers and 1 sister I also made it clear to them that I am a girl..and it was greatly enforced, especially to my parents who I fought tooth and nail, I never waivered . I loved doing things that my sister did, but I also loved sports. I loved martial arts from kendo to kickboxing it was so fullfilling. At the age of 14 I told my parents that I want to be a girl and I want to see a doctor who can help me. All this coming from a 14 year old who's childhood was completely consumed with becoming a girl. Of course we got into a huuuuuge fight with me running away from home.

I lived with my grandparents(!who was completely accepting!) for a year and ended up living on the streets finding my own way..this is where I met my MOTHERQUEEN. She could only help me to an extent and I was on my own after that. She gave me wonderful advice. So living for 2 years on the streets (sometimes staying with her) thru her I was on hormone therapy from her doctor. She made me graduate from high school(senior and junior year straight A student). During this time I had a good job, which she made me save almost every penny. When I graduated I got my first apartment, and enrolled in a community college got my administrative assistant degree. As a fall back I graduated from cosmotology school also with a diploma. Through all of this I kind of felt alone but not to the point that I could not function, actually this made me a very strong human being. I was 20 years old on hormone therapy for 5 yrs and I finally noticed that not only did I see me as a female, but the whole world did too and they respected me as a woman! I knew from this day forth I can conquer anything.

Today I at 49 is completely happy and satisfied with my accomplishments..I am a retired realtor..thinking of opening a brokerage with a husband of 15+ years. We live between our home in Hawaii and Washington. I have 100% support from my Parents, brother and sisters, as well as my aunts, uncles etc.. My husbands family know of my past....and I also have their 100% support! Friends that turned away, are now wonderful people. Honesty and education with the ones you love is the best policy.

My advice:

PERSEVERE! This leads to anything that you can grasp; education, employment, respect , love and any goal that you may have.
I also recommend a hobby, I love Ballroom dancing and I continued with my kickboxing.

Devote some of your extra time to helping others. I have spoken with youth(gay, lesbian, trans and straight)here in Hawaii as well as in Washinghton thru organizations. They want to hear your voice.

Once a woman who knew I was a tg came up to me and she asked me what my definition of a woman is (she thought I was all about exterior beauty, once again people judging by the way a person looks), I said my definition of a woman is loving, caring, understanding, maternal, paternal and with inner strength..and You are not any of that so your not an example of a true woman. She said nothing.

Persevereance is the key that opens many doors.

Send me your thoughts, links, and advice!

If you transitioned in your teens or twenties and have any advice you'd like to share, please contact me , and I'll give it a permanent (and anonymous) home.