Sunday, May 24, 2009
Robert Hardy Craig or Kate Craig-Wood
I was a happy little boy. I played with cars and computer games. I had a tree house —albeit a very tidy one. Then puberty kicked in and I thought: “Hang on, my sister is developing breasts and hips. Why aren’t I?” As my face started to change and I got hairy, I was horrified and desperately ashamed. I thought I was some kind of freak.
One of my guiltiest secrets was trying on my sister’s clothes, but it just made me feel worse, because when I looked in the mirror a boy’s face stared back. I thought there was no hope for me.
I grew up thinking that transsexuals were slightly gross: I didn’t want to be someone who looked like a man in a dress; being a target for ridicule would have just added to the pain. When I saw a transsexual in the street — 6ft 2in with a huge man’s face — the distress I felt was indescribable. I didn’t realise that the trans women you don’t see are those who have had successful surgery and have vanished into society.
A friend’s mum told my mum she thought I might be gay. I wasn’t: my first girlfriend became my wife and I loved her deeply. It was a meeting of minds that transcended gender. I played the role — the good son, the good husband — because I thought there was no choice. I balled the pain up inside myself and closed down emotionally. I never drank alcohol, because I knew if I had a couple of drinks, someone more feminine, more animated, would emerge..
at 3:35 PM