My Hidden Self
Warning: If you do not like transgender people or the idea freaks you out, please do not read this story. In case you don't know, transgender means to be identified with a gender other than your biological one.
Zack Davis is just like every other teenager. He is discovering more about himself and learning how to grow up. There is just one difference; Zack is transgender. He really is a girl on the inside. This is the story of a young transgendered person and the struggles she must face.
Not The Son They Wanted
I was a pretty normal baby but as a toddler I proved to be a bit different. I prefered to play with dolls rather than trucks. I was three years old when my sisters thought it would be fun to have me join them playing dress up. My sisters gave me a blue dress to wear and a crown. I was delighted to try them on.
When my sisters had dressed up as well, we all rushed down the stairs to show our mother how we looked. When she saw me, my mother had laughed. She had taken a picture of the three of us gathered around Molly's tea set.
I continued to play dress up with my sisters from then on. We pretended we were princesses from the Disney Movies. My favorite was Belle. We also liked to play hop scotch, jump rope and tag. We were inseparable.
My father did not always approve of my behavior but my mother assured him it was just harmless play. I never thought a boy playing dress-up or playing with barbies was strange. To me they were just things I liked to do.
As I started school, things went pretty well. I liked learning and being with my friends. My friends were mostly girls but they accepted me as one of them. I met a girl named Carol who became my best friend. She and I went over to each other's houses almost every weekend. When I went over to her house once in second grade she had been showing me a dress Carol's mother had bought for her for Easter.
"That's really pretty," I had told her.
Carol smiled. "Yeah, I know. Are you going to wear a dress too, Zack?"
I shook my head sadly. "My parents say I'm not allowed to wear girls' clothes."
"Oh, that's too bad," Carol replied. "All the other girls in our class are."
It was then I began to wonder why I was not allowed to be like the girls and why I was not one myself. Everyone always called me a boy and saw me as one but I never had. I wondered if other boys ever wanted to wear dresses too. I thought we should be able to.
I went home that night and asked my parents if there was a way I could be a girl. My parents looked shocked.
"Why would you ask something like that?" my mother questioned.
"I want to be like Carol and the other girls," I replied. "It's not fair boys can't be girls too."
My father glared at me. "You are a boy, Zack. There is no changing that. Perhaps you should start acting like one."
"But I don't understand. Why do boys and girls have to act differently?" I was not trying to argue with my father. I just wanted to understand his viewpoint.
My dad sighed. "Because that's what makes boys, boys and girls, girls. Just how it is."
Suddenly I had a brilliant idea that would solve the whole problem. I smiled and declared, "Then I'll be a girl so I can wear dresses and be just like Carol. We will tell everyone from now on that I'm a girl."
This solution sounded wonderful to me but my parents did not see it that way. My mother looked like I was starting to grow another set of eyes and my father hung his head. I tried to explain to them on this would fix everything and make it so I could be like the other girls. My parents still did not understand my point of view.
"Honey, it's late, why don't you head up to bed now?" my mother suggested.
"Alright, but does this mean I can wear a dress for Easter like Carol?"
My father shook his head. "No, it doesn't. Just go to bed now."
My shoulders sagged and I turned to head back up to my bedroom. After that day, things changed for me. I was no longer allowed play dress up with Molly or Claire. I also had to donate all my barbies and dolls. My mother said it was to give the toys to children who needed them but I knew that was a lie. Molly and Claire did not have to give up any of their toys.
My father signed me up for a local baseball team. I did not like playing baseball at all. I was afraid to catch the ball and was always slow running the bases, if I ever hit the ball at all. My father practiced with me nearly every night but I never improved much.
The worst part was when my dad told me I could not play with the girls at recess anymore. I also would not be allowed to see Carol outside of school more than once a month. I felt this was incredibly unfair. I begged my parents to let me continue to play with my friends. My parents said there was no changing their minds.
I rarely threw temper tantrums but I did then. Tears streamed down my face. I screamed at the top of my lungs, kicked my legs and pounded my fists against the ground. I told my parents I hated them and wished I could live with Carol. My mother began to cry and turned her back to me. Father grabbed me and hauled me up the stairs. I was grounded for a week for my behavior.
The next day at school I informed Carol what happened last night and that we could no longer be best friends.
Carol looked shocked. "But Zack, I want to be your best friend!"
I nodded. "I want to be your best friend too. I'm sorry, Carol. I will really miss you."
"Does this mean I will never get to see you again?" she asked.
"No, we can see each other at school and once a month have playdates." I sighed. "I really tried to change my parents' minds but I couldn't..."
Carol gave me a hug. "It's alright, Zack. I don't blame you."
I wrapped my arms around her tightly. "You'll always be a best friend to me."
"We will find a way to stay friends, I'm sure," Carol whispered in my ear.
She gave me one last smile before letting go of me and going to join the other girls. I had to turn away so she would not see me cry.
I felt my parents were trying to turn me into a person I was not. My parents would never allow me to be like Carol or the other girls, even though I was happiest with them. I had to learn to act like a different person.
The boys I befriended were nice. I did not mind being around them. They played games like tag and kickball which I liked. I did not like wrestling though. When they rough housed, I would often sit on the sidelines. It was at those times I would glance over at Carol having fun playing jump rope or skipping through the grass. I would find myself tempted to join her but I was still too afraid to disobey my parents.
I went through the rest of Elementary School acting like a regular boy. In time I buried my urge to go back to the world of barbies and hop scotch. But I never forgot those feelings or the memories I had. They were always with me, I just could not let them show.
I gradually improved at baseball. I did not like the sport so much but it made my dad proud of me. I went onto joining the school team in Junior High. I was quite good by then and a valued member of the team.
In 8th grade, I got my first girlfriend. Her name was Amy. She was a member of the track team and a very fast runner. All my friends were jealous of me because Amy was a very attractive girl. Amy was one of the most popular girls in school. I thought she was a very nice kid. We would hold hands in the hallways and I would walk her to class. People thought of us as the perfect couple. To me though, Amy was nothing more than a friend.
I felt like a lost soul. My peers saw me as a popular jock who always seemed to have everything go his way. That was the facade I created for myself but not who I really wanted to be. Despite all the years that had passed, I still envied the girls who could wear skirts to school and gush about their latest crushes. I did not like my thoughts and feelings. I thought it was abnormal since that is what my parents had taught me. Soon though my life was changed once again, this time for the better.