As I look back, my life has been filled with a number of dynamic ironies. Of course, due to my gender dysphoria, presenting and living a feminine life rated towards the top of my list.
For example, let’s take my military service for example. As you Cyrsti Condo regulars know, I went to high school and college during the Vietnam War days . Otherwise known as the draft era when the war was so unpopular participants had to be forced into service. While the idea of serving was not one of my goals at the time, steering clear of donating two or three years to the Army really upset me. Why? Even more than the prospect of leaving home and playing soldier for an extended length of time was the more daunting fear of not being able to express any of my feminine desires. Somehow I thought shaved legs and a mini skirt wouldn’t make it on a guy in the Army.
Here is where the irony comes in. After I served a year of my three years in Thailand, where many of the pretty prostitutes were boys (no I didn’t do anything) I was sent to Germany to finish my three year tour of duty. In Germany I was destined to shave my legs, apply my makeup again, buy a wig and mini dress and attend a Halloween party.
How could I do this? Because I worked for the American Forces Radio and Television Service as a morning disc jockey in Stuttgart, Germany. By doing so, I was part of one of the most un-military units in the military at that time. In addition, since our broadcast unit was so small, we received extra money to live off base. Plus, close by was a big “PX” (mini shopping mall) where I could pick up some much needed items also. An example would be a wig.
As the party approached, I still remember the apprehension I felt. Prior to this Halloween, I never had the nerve to express my feminine desires in a public setting before. Plus, I needed a place to do my “prep” work. Here is where the woman who was destined to become my first wife comes in. I was able to borrow her apartment to shave my face, legs and apply my wig, dress and makeup. All too soon it was time to leave for the party.
The overwhelming majority of the people at the party were from a local medic’s unit which was also stationed nearby. So the only people I really knew when I arrived were my future wife and two others.
This all happened back in 1973 so there are no pictures and a whirlwind of memories. I only remember the amazement of several people concerning my costume and the rush of hands on my panty hosed legs. Back in those days it all validated my fragile idea of being a woman.
Weeks went by after the party until one night as we were under in influence of great German beer, the subject of our costumes came up. I was lucky. When it was my turn to discuss “costume”, I told the truth and said I was a transvestite which could have been enough to get me kicked out of the Army if anyone told. No one did and even more important, no one cared.
It turned out my most feared time of my life (being in the military) would turn out to be the most beneficial. I was honorably discharged, married my first wife, fathered a very accepting daughter and went on to use Veterans Administration resources I accrued. Including HRT.
Life is but a circle. What I feared the most came back to help me completely.