Transitioning early in life: Vicky's advice

In February 2003, I received a note from a super-cool young woman who has written a wonderful memoir of growing up as a transgender teen. At the time she wrote to me, she was 19 and had been full-time about 4 months.

By April 2005, she had taken the original site down, but has graciously allowed me to archive much of the original materials here.

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As with most women who transition early in life, Vicky got done with all of the practical matters and has moved on to have a happy productive life. Below is my original 2003 commentary about Vicky's story, which I feel is one of the most touching expressions of the difficulties we face as teenagers.

Original intro

One of the most notable parts of Vicky's story is that she doesn't shy away from talking about her feelings of depression and suicide. I know a lot of us feel that way, especially when we are picked on for being effeminate and for not fitting into how people expect us to act.

Her story about getting pushed around and ridiculed reminded my of the worst point in my own life, when I was 13. I was away from home at a camp, and I was very close to killing myself by the end. The kids I had grown up with at school were willing to overlook how effeminate I was because they knew me as a person and liked me, but the boys at this camp only saw a target for ridicule and violence. It was a rude awakening to how the world worked, and it changed me forever.

In my own case, I chickened out of killing myself and made a decision when I got home to "butch it up" and act more as I was expected. In a way, I tried to kill a part of who I was when I made that decision. This led to a series of decisions that placed me in a gender hell of my own making by the time I was ready to transition.

The whole point of this site, especially this section, is to help you avoid the same mistakes I made and deal with the same feelings I had when I was your age. You may have to wait it out until you are out of school, but there are things you can do at your age to pave the way, so you can hit the ground running when you have the chance. Read my section on things you can do before telling your parents, and carefully think about whether it's a good idea to tell your parents. In some cases, it might not be, but in other cases it will be a very good idea.

Please remember that all the abuse and cruelty some of us face in school will end in time. This may be hard to believe, but if you hold on to your dreams and stay proud of who you are, you will come through this a better person, better than almost anyone else out there. You will be strong, and beautiful, and you will have so much to offer the world!

I think Vicky's illustrations are just wonderful, and I feel this is a real inspiration for those of you out there who are questioning your feelings and worried what will happen when you transition. You can get through this, and always remember there are others who feel just like you do. We were able to get through the hard times, and you can, too!

Vicky is living proof of what you can do if you follow your heart and don't let those with hate in their hearts turn you against yourself. You are amazing and unique, and I am here to tell you that there is a happy life for you ahead, even if it's hard for you to see right now.

In any case, read Vicki's story, and I hope you find it as inspirational as I did!

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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.