According to Wikipedia, here is the definition of transgender transitioning.
Transitioning is the process of changing one’s gender presentation and/or sex
characteristics to accord with one’s internal sense of gender identity – the
idea of what it means to be a man or a woman, or genderqueer (in-between). …
Transitioning might involve medical treatment, but it does not always involve it.
The article on Wikipedia goes on to discuss that there are three seperate components of transitioning — physical aspects, legal aspects and social, psychological, and aesthetic aspects. For the first two of their components the answer can be rather definitive. I began hormones of December 31, 2014 and that was the first proactive step I took to make physical changes to my body consistent with my gender identity. On February 16, 2017 I legally changed my name to Veronica Glenne and had the gender marker on my state ID changed to female. I also contacted my medical providers, financial insitutions and Social Security to update my information. So for both of these components I can point to a very specific date. However for the third components — social, pyschological and aesthetic aspects — it is less about actions taken than about how I see myself and how I am seen by others.
When I was five years old, our family was staying with my grandparents, Dad’s parents. My grandmother worked as the personnel manager for Spokane’s downtown JCPenney store. As such each morning, as a professional woman, she would get dressed for work. I cannot recall sitting on the bathroom counter beside the sink and watching her put on her makeup. I was particularly fond of the part of the process that involved applying her blush. [At the time, it was more commonly called rouge if I am not mistaken.] However, it was not so much the process as the result that I loved. My grandmother would have been around fifty at the time and would have been showing some signs of age. When the process was done, however, she was always so beautiful. I do not feel it would be inaccurate to suggest that I was envious of her womanhood. I knew that as a boy I would not be allowed to wear makeup. It did not help I am sure that at about this same time I often heard the story of how I was suppose to be a girl. A part of me wanted to wear makeup and knew that if I had been born a girl I would one day wear makeup. But alas I was born a boy.
I am a transgender woman. So according to those who are the best authorities on the topic of child development as it relates to identity, at the age of five I must have been a transgender girl. Without question, watching my grandmother do her makeup and wanting to be able to do my own makeup someday was not the behavior of the average grandson. While it can not be said that I had made any proactive decision at that age to live a life more consistent with my gender identity, it was defintely part of my process of stepping outside of the ‘boy’ box and seeing myself as someone who would be a better fit for the ‘girl’ box.
A stronger case could be made for my decision to go to my sister’s bedroom and try on some of her clothes. It should be noted that at the time I did so I knew –as I had told such for years — that I was a boy and that I could never be a girl. I did not go to her room that first time to find some congruence between what I wore and how I presented myself to the world and my gender identity. However it was not curiosity that took me to her room. I spent several weeks, maybe even months, applying to suppress my desires. Need is a term to easily used when describing some life choices so I am not going to suggested I needed to try on some dresses. However, without a doubt, the desire to do so would simply not go away. If I did not act on my desires, I knew I would continue to battle the urge to do.
It was not long after I started crossdressing that part of the process of dressing up was to be seen fully dressed up. I would stand at my bedroom window hoping someone would walk by and see the girl in the window. When I was a bit older I found the courage to step outside when I was dressed. When I was eighteen years old and had my first car, I often let my parents know I was going to a movie and then spent the next couple hours driving around the streets of Spokane fully dressed, hoping other drivers would see the girl in the next car. I had reached a point where it was simply not enough to be pretty. I had to be seen by others.
There were other important milestones in my life that might represent the start of my transition or the continuation of my transition. When I first read about Christine Jorgensen I knew that a sex change (to use the term applied to her operation) as possible. It became something I could work towards. I gave up my dreams of teaching because I simply did not see myself being hired as a ‘female’ teacher and I wanted to be female. I did not see my divorce as a question of being married or not being married. If it had been that simple I would have fought for our marriage. Instead it was a question of whether or not I could pursue my dreams to be a woman. I was thirty eight years old the first time I went out to a gay bar en femme. There is little question that on that night I wanted to be fully accepted as a woman. Maybe the stongest case can be made that my transtioning began when I was in treatment for alcolhol and made the decision to share my gender identity as part of my recovery process.
In conclusion, there is really on definitive answer to when I began my transition. However I truly believe that on some level it began about the time I started sitting on the bathroom counter and watching my grandmother awaken her beauty. So I will begin my transtioning story back around the age of five. Some may find my approach controversial, but that is the beauty of writing your own blog — you set many of the rules.