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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Transition Thoughts & Reflections - Anne

In 1971, I often found myself frequenting a dark corner of my university library, continuing the research I began in high school. I was trying to figure myself out. I had a pretty good feeling want I wanted to be but I thought I was alone in the world with these feelings. Anything regarding changing sex and gender was at the top of my reading list.

In 1971, Anne became a woman, yet she never experienced life as a girl. She had figured herself out and did something to right the situation.

I first "met" Anne via a comment she left on another blog. She's not a blogger, but this woman can write. In my book, she's a rock star. A self-made, successful business woman, she has lived out her life to the fullest.

We have come to know each other very well. In one very touching email exchange, involving our nearly identical religious backgrounds, Anne made me realize why I was placed on this earth.

As an active dancer, Anne keeps herself in good physical condition. The picture was taken in 2003.

She has truly been an inspiration to me and I hope she will be to you, also. I look forward to meeting her soon, in person.

If you would like to contact Anne, please drop me an email and I will forward your note to her. You can also leave comments and, perhaps, reach the authors of these guests posts on the T-Central Facebook page (link at the bottom of this page).

- Calie

Anne's Story

A short Bio, 2008

I was born in 1947 and christened Adolfo Enrique, after the father I never knew. He was the son of a Columbian father and a Dutch/Jewish mother, whose family had emigrated from Holland in the early 1930's. My mother’s family, who raised me, traces its roots to the original Spanish settlers of Central America. The events surrounding my conception are a bit cloudy but the end result was that my mother legally emigrated to the USA prior to my birth. I currently am known by my legal married name.

I knew from my earliest consciousness that I was a girl. Despite what everybody told me, I knew that someday I would grow up to be a woman. The most significant confirmation that there was a serious dichotomy between whom I believed myself to be and the contradicting physical realities occurred when I started kindergarten. I was told to stand with the boys. From that day forward, my life became a constant struggle to live up to that lie and the expectations of others to be someone I knew I was not.

In 1965, I graduated High School in from a Catholic College Preparatory School for boys run by the Jesuits. I enjoyed learning and was highly motivated to excel. In 1969 I graduated from a Major University with a degree in Psychology, which included a minor in Philosophy. I went to work for the United States Government after graduation and learned quickly that I was not suited for that type of bureaucratic drudgery.

Less than one year later, I was working as a carpenter’s apprentice in a small town in a region of the United States known as the InterMountain West, where I had moved to ski the “greatest snow on earth”. Here is where I met the first mental health counselor with whom I felt comfortable enough to discuss what was just now coming to be described as gender dysphoria. I had read all the available literature, which was not extensive, while I was an undergraduate. I understood the jargon, but it was obvious, that no one had any idea what caused this phenomenon or what to do about it.

Nevertheless, I agreed to move to a major city to work with a “specialist” that “might” be able to help me. In addition, the snow was deeper, dryer and better at a newly opened world class ski resort. This “enlightened professional” tried to “cure” me by using electric shocks. This obviously did not work. The good news was that besides the better skiing, my move to this Major City allowed me to take advantage of a special program offered by the local University in their efforts to train and recruit teachers fluent in both English and Spanish. After completing the course work for a Master’s in Educational Psychology, (the art of learning), I accepted a contract to teach high school history and social studies for the local School District.

1971 would be my last year on this planet for me as a man. I had exhausted all known available options. I had tried living as a man with a woman. I had explored the possibility that I was gay to no avail. Cross dressing was most certainly not the answer for me. I could not see myself staying alive much longer by pretending to be someone I was not. I was now left with the one option that offered the possibility, however remote, of becoming the woman I truly believed I was. I had finally arrived at the incontrovertible conclusion that I could, and would, have to change my physical, morphological sex.

Starting in the early spring of 1971, under the direct supervision of a medical doctor, I began taking massive doses of female hormones. That fall I began my first and last term as a high school teacher. I was sporting a beard at the time and I kept my suit jacket on even as the weather warmed the following spring to conceal my newly developing breasts. By the end of the term I could no longer stand the hair on my face and finally shaved my beard the last week of school. Apparently the change in my appearance was so dramatic that some of my students noticed. There was some interesting speculation among them I am sure, but a week later, school was out for the summer and I was on my way out of state for surgery.

Very few surgeries of this kind had been performed in the United States prior to 1971, although they were becoming more common. I knew it would be a painful and risky procedure. It was not known if I would still have the capacity to orgasm or what would be the extent of other possible complications. Despite the risks, I knew that the cold, hard truth was simply, that I had no other choice. Fortunately, after a long and painful recovery, I survived with excellent cosmetic and functional results.

I returned home as an attractive young woman and legally changed my name. Surprisingly, this was accomplished by the simple order of a sympathetic judge. I chose to not continue as a teacher but would not allow the school district to revoke my teaching credential. I was able to address the district board directly and after consultations with State’s Attorney General, they agreed that I had earned my credential and had provided them with no legal cause for them to take it away.

In 1972 I began my career as a real estate investor. In the early 1970's, rental property could be acquired for as little as $9,000 for a small house in the City. I bought my first 4-plex for $22,000. I continued buying and selling and renting residential real estate until 1974 when I moved back to the state of my birth, where I married my first husband. He was a successful businessman and that allowed me to embark on my next great love in life which started with an extensive remodel of our home by the sea and evolved into designing and building custom luxury homes. My first marriage lasted ten years and he never knew that I was transsexual.

In 1985 I tried marriage for a second time. My second husband was an aerospace engineer and this again allowed me to continue to design and build homes. I also started a very successful engineering consulting business which evolved quite nicely into a recycling business. I retired from this highly successful business in 1997.

Also, by then my second marriage was on the rocks. I would not consider this one a failure, as we are still the best of friends. The simple truth was that we were just not compatible. My second husband did not know that I was transsexual until I told him years after our divorce. Initially he was nonplused but recovered well the following day.

My third attempt at marriage was short lived and ended in 2001. I told him that I had a transsexual history, before we married, but he was not to be dissuaded. Nevertheless, we also remain the best of friends. Since then I have lived exclusively with my current “significant other”. We do plan to marry “someday”, but in truth, what’s the hurry?

In the course of the nearly 40 years that I have lived as a woman I have accomplished very little of any social significance. I have been blessed with good health and above average intelligence. I have traveled the world over and experienced many incredible things. I have no children and few regrets. I have lived by a simple code of do no evil and try to be of benefit to others. I do have a deep faith in God and the power of prayer and I am extremely grateful for the blessings I have received and the time that I have been given on this earth. I sincerely hope to leave behind me a legacy for good.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story Anne. I note no one has commented so far, with most relating more to Karen's story, so I'm assuming the non-transitioning route is more pertinent to most of the readers here.
    Your comment about your Kindergarten years reminded me of my nursery (same thing here in the UK) years, where I too had been forced to blend in and participate with the boys. Isn't mind blowing how self aware we are even way back before school years and any thoughts based around sexuality? It proves we know who and what we are right from the beginning, regardless of our original physical gender.
    Much respect to you, and may you continue to enjoy your life to the full Anne.
    Alex. x

  2. Sadly, I think one of the reasons this post hasn't received as many comments is because there's nothing really contentious or dramatic here. Angst-ridden non-transitioners or transitioners whose wives are about to leave them or who are having problems at work...that's all ripe for reflection, advice-giving, and rage. Someone who is on the other side of transition and whose life is pretty good...unfortunately that's just not sensational enough to draw big ratings.

  3. This is my forth time back to see how the comments are going and like me everybody is lost for words!

    Of all the subjects this is the one I feared reading the most. You finally got the lucky break and made a successful change and had a wonderful "normal" life like countless millions lucky enough to have been born without the inconvenience of incongruity between body and mind. Yours is the life story little different to that of millions of natural born women out there who have no idea just how lucky they are.

    I thought it would trigger envy or jealousy but then again this is not the first story like this I have read. What I do feel is anger.

    Anger towards that group in the health "industry" who took an oath "to do no harm" but have failed us completely over the last six decades, earned a fortune but have ended up leaving legions of us out here to suffer our whole lives decades after answers had been found to alleviate our condition and return us to society to live out our lives in peace and happiness.

    This has also held up that societies acceptance of our condition.

    My wife has just read the post and feels I should be envious except for the elecro-convulsive treatment which I was lucky enough to avoid. Seems envy can drive you on to strive for something better, I just don't do envy.

    Congratulations on achieving a happy and successful life.

    Caroline xxx

  4. I will say that I really admire those like Anne who had the courage to transition when it was still something quite unusual. In a lot of ways, I would have been much better off transitioning in the early 1970s as well, but there is no way I was ready at that time.

  5. I have to say this is one of the most beautiful stories I have heard. The story of someone, who had the courage of her convictions to do what was right for her, when that choice was less obvious as it is now and to hear that it all worked out [relatively] well in the end. Most of all it's that Anne has loved and lost, and then loved again, found happiness and moved on when it was necessary. Just Anne being an ordinary woman is what's so wonderful about this post.
    It's nice to have another happy story to balance those of us who are a bit more unsettled.

  6. I've learned that just because a post doesn't garner comments doesn't mean it wasn't read or not appreciated. I too thoroughly enjoyed this, though I don't see much to discuss here. It's a simple story of success that needs to be out there sans the drama of the usual transition story.

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  8. In reading your comments I am again reminded and heartened as to why I have returned to my "beginnings", for lack of a better word.

    Let me first thank Callie for providing me this forum and for her strength in courage in the face of circumstances which I find almost unable to comprehend. Callie, you have my deepest respect and admiration.

    I think that Caroline's comments most accurately reflect my feelings and highlight most accurately the reasons why I have "virtually" stepped out to speak and write on behalf of those who are suffering from a distinct(and in my opinion, politically motivated) lack of adequate, knowledgeable and compassionate system for diagnosis and medical care.

    Caroline wrote, "Anger towards that group in thehealth "industry" who took an oath "to do no harm" but have failed us completely over the last six decades, earned a fortune but have ended up leaving legions of us out here to suffer our whole lives decades after answers had been found to alleviate our condition and return us to society to live out our lives in peace and happiness.

    In that vein I would like to leave you all with a link to a very sad story of a woman who suffered severe complications resulting from a very unfortunate mishap during her Genital Reconstruction Surgery. My point in providing this link is to draw attention to her call (in the latter part of her follow-up article)for what she calls a "trans-root" movement to wrest the political control power that those academic/male dominated agnencies such as WPATH, HIBIGDA, and NCET, Get Equal, etc hold over our lives and well being by controling the discourse and "defining" us when they ZERO clue who WE are.

    Sorry about the tirade.

    I love you all and wish you all nothing but the best.



  9. Not sure if the link posted.

    As Callie mentioned I am certainly not a blogger


  10. @ Anne,

    Well you certainly should be. :-)

    Thank you for you say, if someone's going to speak for us, it should be us.

  11. Alex, well after having been out of town all day, we certainly have received some comments.

    I will note that this entire series, including your essay, which was the first in the series, has been getting about 350-400 visits per day, with about 5-6 minutes average spent on the site. The number of visits really has nothing to do with the number of comments.

    Calie xxx

  12. I find that bringing up the topic of 'no comments', tends to create the desired reaction (in my view anyway). I have been referred to by many a definition over the years, with 'manipulant' being intimated on more than one occation as well........I like to think it is more a case of experience.
    Anyway, the comments were well worth the wait. I'm glad to see the level of hits as well Calie, so a big well done to you and Lori for coming up with the idea.
    Lastly, my respect goes out to you all.
    Alex. x

  13. I have no advice. I do not even understand my own situation. It just WAS, and I did the best I could to deal with it. I was blessed. I was so fortunate not only to have survived but to have prospered, with no regrets and no walking wounded left in my wake.

    Although I have just recently returned to my "roots"(?)/"beginnings"(?), I cannot help but compare my outcome To the pain and pathos of which the stories related here, represent but a tiny fraction. And YOU are the survivors!!! You are all still among the living, despite all that you have suffered and struggled through.

    I will say this, and I believe it may be in disagreement with Alex's perspective, but only patially.

    I agree that there is no "right way" to do this. We each make our own bed that we must lie in. We can only live with the decisions that we have made. We live with the consequences of or actions.

    In my case those consequences were mine and mine alone, Because I transitioned very young, there were no children, no immediate relatives that would be mortally wounded.

    I am of the opinion that we can never retrace our steps, we can only move for ward. In our lives, in this existance, there is no "re-load" buttun. There are no "do-overs" We can only move forward through time.

    Having said that it is my hope that we each as individuals will move forward in a positive way. We will make future decisions based on what we have learned from our past mistakes.

    I sincerely believe that what we are all doing here, by sharing our life's experiences, is offering to ourselves, and what we have learned through hard experience, to others thatthey might learn and possibly gain some insight, some clue on how to deal with their individual situation.

  14. That was over a year ago. The comments lasted ONE DAY.

    I wish that people could now comment after witnessing how "Anne" has mocked people in transition, and the General Transgender Population.

    Calie, you should be ashamed of yourself maintaining this page, especially when you yourself know what "Anne" has since done! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!!

  15. Indeed. It is sad to see how poorly people react to the truth.


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