The lights burning in my eyes were not as annoying as the cardboard stuffed down my blouse and pinned to my skirt, so to avoid showing any wrinkles in my Sears outfit to the camera. A fussy man named Eric and a tiny woman named Sonja pinched, primped and positioned me so I was standing just as the photographer ordered, a man called Rick who was never really happy with whatever I did on my own.
I did as I was told, smiled, but not too much; demurely. Long before my successful, year career in broadcast news, I stood before an even bigger spotlight as model and actor. Our family was the first on the block with a console color TV, the first to own a VCR, the first to own a boat.
Those were the good years. At age eleven, parts were few and far between, and the money was no longer streaming in. It seemed there was always work for girls, but few casting directors were looking for pre-pubescent boys in those days. So my mother hit upon an idea, to boost our income.
At first, all I did was radio work, voiceovers. I did photo shoots, fashion shows, walked the runways. I met and worked with stars before they were stars, including Brooke Shields,Tom Cruise and others.
My story in pictures and words
And what makes this story of mine particularly disturbing, to myself, to my family, is how my mom made me into a better earner. But unlike Flintstones or other vitamins that came in a jar, these were special. They were kept away from all the rest, in a drawer, in her nightstand. In a cream-colored clamshell case, with just enough pills for a month: at her direction, I took one a day, for 21 days, then took seven pills of a different color, until starting a new pack. My mother put me on estrogen. Birth Control Pills, the high-test version before the dosages were lowered. They were hers; the only doctor I saw in those years was an optometrist.
It worked, all too well. It was our secret. I stopped visiting my neighborhood barber and we would instead go to the beauty parlor. My mother obsessed about my skin, my nails, and my hair. I was the only boy in school with a Dorothy Hamill hairstyle. The pills helped in all those areas, keeping my skin clear and giving me a more feminine appearance. I enjoyed being a girl, from how I looked to how I felt, as well as the attention, the affection and the new bond I formed with my mother.
And for the first time, at age 16, I finally started experiencing what it was like to be a teenage boy. With time, my body started to right itself, and adolescence kicked in my first year of college. Proof that despite the conditioning, my body reasserted its maleness. Twenty-five years after I finally got off the pill, something changed: my testosterone levels dropped, leaving me estrogen dominant.
Doctors have not been able to explain this drastic hormonal imbalance that changed my body back to that of a female. Could this be a result of the years of medical intervention by my mother? Doctors are at a loss for what else causes an involuntary sex change. And as time has worn on, this condition has brought discord to my marriage. More than one doctor counseled me that the road ahead to becoming more fully female is likely less difficult than putting my male self back together like Humpty Dumpty.
And so this is the story of my struggle, my secret, and my journey. How it ends is unclear. For years, I have contemplated telling my story, but resisted for fear that it would cause trouble for my family. Strangely enough, my mother herself pressed me to go public, and often told me how sorry she was. What I never understood, until recently, is what she was sorry for.
‘i want to be a girl, mom! just make me a girl!’ getting into the shower, she threw her fists down in anger. i could feel the air suck right out of me.’: couple throw second gender reveal party for transgender daughter
It was the repressed memory of that clamshell that came to me one day this summer, followed by sessions with a hypnotherapist, that has helped me unblock the repressed memories of that time that have plagued me all my adult life. I had remembered bits and pieces, burying the years of work I did as a girl. But until therapy I downplayed those years as inconsequential. In hindsight, I see now why I locked those memories away.
Unlocking them is a painful but important process in my healing.
I live here in NYC but also have a home with my wife and kids outside the city. My wife has no desire to live as a lesbian, and all I want in this life is to be authentic, and to be with her and our family, and so we press on with my life after Dawn. Search for:. Made to Model How My Mom Turned Her Boy Into One of the Girls The lights burning in my eyes were not as annoying as the cardboard stuffed down my blouse and pinned to my skirt, so to avoid showing any wrinkles in my Sears outfit to the camera.
Except I was not a girl. I was a boy. She submitted me for parts calling for girls.
New girl on the block
Like this: Like Loading Re Structuring Journalism Rethinking journalism and the business of journalism from the ground up. The Trans Sporter Room. Before The War Race, politics, perspective and sass from 2 outspoken trans women. West Hartford Democrats Great Community. Smart Choices. Real Leadership. We Hunted The Mammoth Misogyny, tracked and mocked. The Art of Mindful Oh Look a Squirrel! My Geek Wisdom Because there is a lot of knowledge to get out of the weirdest things.
Snaps and Bits. Are You Next Emily Goes to Zambia! Loading Comments Required Name Required Website. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by .