Desperate Times

I just couldn't reconcile my male body post puberty, my desperate urge to be female, my belief there was no solution, the catholic pressure, my severe guilt, my brothers wanting a `manly' elder brother and the immense social pressure to be masculine.


I went through periods of manically working at school, periods of total inaction, watching television in a trance, sitting up in trees, riding my bicycle for hours and hours, walking by the beach, sitting on Hook Pier during wild storms.

salute the decaying eagle
i try to distract myself
Whitefriars on retreat
a bit stressed
I don't fit anywhere! - why do they say I'm male? - drinking helps me forget!
get a degree
pretend you fit in
Under Sydney Harbour Bridge

I started an Engineering degree at 17. I couldn't focus. I tried to fit in; to drink; I was sick; I knew I didn't fit in; I joined every club I could; I studied Engineering so I didn't have to face how I felt; but whenever I stopped for even a split second the wanting-to-be-a-woman thoughts came back.


I was not really functioning very well; I was just keeping my head above water; I couldn't shave I just couldn't look in a mirror; I wasn't even brushing my teeth; I started to go to the psychology lectures; I needed some answers; a women I knew from the film society said she thought men who had beards were hiding something yes I said I agree she looked shocked; inside I was screaming but couldn't express even the simplest feeling; Catholicism was twisting my mind; get away; I quit engineering; study psychology; I needed to find out how to fix myself I couldn't tell anyone they'd think I was a weird sicko freak; of course I failed psych; I totally missed the point; get a job can't cope with the pressure of uni; I worked backstage at uni; that's it work in theatre; television will do I get a job at Auntie.

I drive fast - I drink fast - It could be over very soon
nine steps
An accident could happen and I'd have no more stress!! - what a sweet sweet thought
fit in to get a job
I just couldn't shave
barbed path ahead

A woman at Uni said she thought that men with beards were trying to hide something
"yes" I said

© Copyright Julie Peters 1999