I wish I could explain what this feels like. Starting a few months ago, I got into a bad place and couldn’t get out. I first thought it was just old crossdressing feelings, but I began to realize that it was quite different, that it was tied to my identity somehow. I had noticed in the summer when I was using AndroGel, a testosterone replacement that was prescribed for lowering T-levels about 6 months ago. At these times, I began to get a tiny feeling that it wasn’t right, despite what Dr. Clinton said: “it’ll make you feel more like yourself.” This little voice began to build and say, “No, this isn’t yourself.” And eventually, “No, you don’t need testosterone at all — you need estrogen!” That was actually quite a shock to hear that little voice, but I knew it was right, so I quit using the gel altogether and figured I’d let the chips fall where they may.

Deeper into the fall, as I got more and more depressed, I began getting back into transsexual literature and reading everything I could get my hands on, and this slow, frightening feeling began to emerge that I was anything but a transvestite, but rather a transsexual. When that finally crystallized in my mind, I was horrified — I’d give anything not to have to face this, but the more I mulled on it, the more it seemed to unify my life and all the weird things I’ve done and felt in my 47 years.

I was clearly depressed and Mary Jo asked me more than once what the problem was. I didn’t know how to say anything, so I didn’t. Finally, just before Christmas break, when I was simply at my wits end, I called on Chuck Garcia, a psychologist who I’d seen on many different lists online. And there was an opening and we met with only a few hours notice. I was absolutely terrified. I filled out his survey and sat down and he came in and asked what the problem was.

I didn’t know if he was playing dumb or if he had not had a chance to look at the survey, and a little voice in my head was screaming, get out before he reads it! But I said something almost exactly like this: “I believe I may be a transsexual.” I was very conscious of my words because I didn’t’ want him to write down that I was depressed or that I was suicidal or anything. It turned out he was great — we talked about what we’d do and he gave me his credentials and I said I’d be grateful to have someone to talk to. He advised me to hold off talking with Mary Jo or my colleagues for a while because there’s no point in burning bridges.