Identity Quest

Man, Woman or Other?


my new camera shows too much detail I felt so alive - being a girl - I wanted to remember it. I bought a camera - a good camera - a Pentax SPF.
I needed the photos of me as a woman to help me get through the days when I was pretending to be a boy.

This identity quest took almost two decades; and was the longest period of my life. It was if I was locked in a never ending loop.

And just in case you get sick of reading this segment - I certainly got sick of living it - I'll tell you what happens so you can skip to the next page if you wish. I didn't know who I was so I tried every stereotype I could think of and eventually realised I really wanted to be myself.

Logically it still made no sense. Why couldn't I be happy as a male; it seemed that most men were happy being male. I wanted to be a woman.

girl bumps boy bumps

1976: dress sense I thought transgendered had the "dress sense" gene.

Maybe I'm really gay and am just too homophobic to admit it?

lumberjacking again

1980: my superhero!

I looked for any excuse to dress as a woman; parties especially fancy dress parties; be a party girl.

People expected me to look male; I could do it; but I didn't find it as joyful and freeing going as a woman.

1975: I always get my man?

1977: dress down to pass

I could always go shopping on my days off. I enjoyed taking public transport it seemed I was relating to the world as a woman. I didn't like be laughed at; I tried to pass as a woman. Most women don't wear lots of make-up; they look rather ordinary. If I want to be ordinary - dress ordinary.

OK! I'll admit it - I was inappropriately ordinary.

1988: Lygon St, Carlton

I want to be a model sophisticated

But ordinary is boring. Be elegant, sophisticated - I don't think I know how? Sometimes I seem to totally misjudge and look terrible - but I shouldn't think that. Study hard!

how embarrassment!

boy with a perm

Hormones and waxing and electrolysis and girly hair help me pass better - look more feminine. But hormones and a perm make me a very feminine looking male. If I have to be male at least I can be a feminine male.

Everyone at work still thinks I'm a boy - I can't bear to say man. - I'm sort of keeping it together.

1984: tower at Ripponlea

1976: Society 5 1988: Guillia of old

I need excuses to dress up bigger and better. I could go to clubs - you know where they encourage that dressing up sort of thing.

proud of new fence

I can build a fence; but I'm still wearing fallen down knee-high stocking things.

1989: sultry 1989: day tart 1989: sexy? 1989: red head

I want to look good - I want to improve my technique. I do make-up classes. I learn dress making. I try lots of differnt images at home in front of my camera - most of these looks don't make it out of the house.

I tell my family nothing.

1989: My family: now 8 sibs et al

1985: Victor Harbour

But still I wanted more! I know! - I could take holidays en femme.

I was so depressed when I had to change back.

1996: Mt Kosciuszko

This is all very silly. Why don't I just admit I'm male and learn to deal with it. I stop taking hormones. It's very stressful being half-way.

1985: at work 1977: half-way

1988: I always wanted to be an actress in
 the 40s.

1976: lots of leg 1976: old school jumper 1976: boy in a bikini

I don't have to be girl to have fun dressing up.

heated rollers heated rollers

Guess who has discovered heated rollers?

walk like a girl One of the Christian Brothers told me that girls walk with their feet one behind the other and boys walk feet side by side.

pink and black

Maybe I could do it professionally - a waitress? or a drag queen.

I tried it at home; it sort of seemed pointless.

red plastic

hairy face I wish I didn't have
such a hairy face.

1989: could I be a french model

I could learn acting and singing and do my own songs and I'd have an excuse.

1989: I could be Edith Piaf
My 60s record cover

I'm sure this isn't acting; it is still dressing up.

1988: I always wanted to be a bride in the 50s.


I want to understand. I study Biology. I go back to University to finish my degree. I can then get a job as a woman. I get my degree. I don't think I couldn't cope with the pressure of being a transsexual - I want to be a real woman.

1985: They won't change my testamur to my
 new name.

1988: feminine male

I get depressed looking like a male so I take hormones again and look feminine again.

I am expending so much of my energy every day of my life just dealing with not being a women. I'm sick of this obsessivness! It is dominating my life and stopping me feeling and growing.

Spirit and Passion
© Copyright Julie Peters 1999