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  • Hi everyone,

    A while ago I wrote a speach about being transgender and I thought it might help people to understand what we go through, I gave this speach to the staff of a shelter for abused wonen, the shelter I stayed in and recieved what I truley needed, affermation of my womanhood.. This, of course, is my story and although it is my path through life it is the same in kind as other trans folk.

                                                                               Girls can’t be boys and boys can’t be girls!


     A simple phrase and one that floated in around my head for far too long,  55 years or so, back to when I was almost three my mom was giving me a bath with my sister Pat. I remember it as if it were last night the water was warm and there were lots of bubbles to play with. My sister and I splashed the in the water and I still remember the soft warm facecloth as my mom washed my back, arms and legs. Every ounce in a while my mom would scoop up some bubbles and put them on our noises, we laughed and giggled, it was great fun. All too soon, the bubbles popped and melted away to wherever it is that bubbles go, the water cleared and I could see my sister. I pointed at her and asked, Mommy, why is Patty like that? She said simply because she’s a girl. I said I want to be a girl! My mom looked at me, smiled and then said girls can’t be boys and boys can’t be girls.

                Saturday mornings I would wake up early and go down stairs to the kitchen were my mom would be ironing and watching documentaries on the little TV. I would sit on the floor and watch with her. When she had finished the ironing she would brew a pot of tea, make herself a cup of tea and one for me, mine was milk with a touch of tea for colour and a bit of sugar for taste. We took our tea into the living room, mom would turn on the big TV and tune it to CBC for Coronation St. we would sit on the couch, I cuddled up close to mom and we drank our tea together as we watched Coronation St. I’m telling you this because those Saturday mornings were and still are very special to me, I had my mom all to myself and I gained a love for documentaries and learning. One documentary that stuck in my mind I cannot remember how old I was when I saw it only that it’s grainy grey toned video haunt me much in the way that some Holocaust documentaries do. It was on Psychiatric Hospitals, only then they called them Insane Asylums.

                What I remember clouded by time, are the pictures, faded, and the audio silent; I remember seeing people milling about in various states of dress and undress. Some were crying, some were laughing, others screamed and yelled, and some were even sleeping. There was no privacy for these poor soles and the term snake pit was a fitting description of where they were. I remember seeing this one person in particular, she was wearing a dress and caring a handbag, but she was different, she had a beard. I don’t know when I came to the conclusion that men who think they are women end up in these places, but I did and I did not want to be dragged away from my family, from all that knew, from everyone I loved just because something inside of me was telling me that I’m a girl.



                It was not easy living as a boy when all I wanted was to be a girl. At night, I would pray to God to make me a girl by the time I woke up and many more times I would cry myself to sleep. In school, I shied away from everyone, except for my friend Keith. From him I learned how to be a boy. I did not care to play with my brothers I had sisters and I felt so much more comfortable with them and their friends.  In grade school, the boys and girls had separate playgrounds. I would venture over to the girls playground and join in a game of hopscotch or skipping or even just to chat with some of the girls. Inevitably, a teacher would send me away, “back to the boy’s yard” she would say and I went. By the time, I reached grade 7 I had become somewhat introverted, it is also my earliest memory of suicidal thoughts, which I calmed by dressing. Dressing in my sisters clothes was my escape; it was time I spent in the bathroom being me. Outside of the sanctuary of the bathroom, in the real world I was lonely I did not fit in, and at school. Classmates made fun of or just ignored me. High school came with a very different set of problems. I was socially awkward and puberty kicked in, a late bloomer as they say. My grades were fine I was an honor student rarely getting a grade below 85%. The change room was always a source of anxiety I tried changing in a bathroom stall but that just drew more attention and name-calling I remember sitting in class, biology, and the teacher was taking attendance. His name was Mr. Ebizouzaki and when he got to me, he called my name then paused and said. “Judging by what you’re wearing perhaps I should call you Miss,” the whole class broke out in laughter. This joke by a teacher led to a traumatic event for me. Later that week we had swimming class and at the end when I had just taken off my swimsuit, a group of my classmates grabbed me. I struggled as they carried me to the entrance of the girls’ change room. The door was opened and they threw me in. Laughing as they repeated what Mr. Ebizouzaki had called me. “You belong in there Miss Pollard.” I was the one who got in trouble for being in the girls change room, not those who threw me there. I left high school in grade 11 I could not take any more abuse. What is it like being Trans? In a word horrible, People do not understand they look at me and they see a man, they hear me speak and they hear a man, but inside where it counts, in my heart, my very soul I am a woman and I have always been female. Being transsexual is difficult enough without having the comments, the staring, the pointing, and the laughs and giggles that you get from strangers and the outright denial of me being a woman. I have been called a freak, weird, fag, sissy, sick, and so much more but worse than all of that is how I have always felt about my body and at times, I still do. You see my body has always been a source of self-hate, I have always felt that I was ugly and that a certain part of me did not belong, it was as if it was glued on. I had even tried a few times to remove it myself but better judgment prevailed and I took the medical route. As a husband and a father, I was still looked upon by others as more feminine than I should be. When my wife was pregnant, I was jealous only because I wanted to be the one who was pregnant. I was very involved throughout all six of my wife’s pregnancies, her maternity clothes fit nicely on both of us. She never knew that I wore them. There are so very many stories I could tell you and perhaps one day I will.



                I was plagued by depression, thoughts of suicide, and finally an attempt at ending my life. The Angel of Death as I called depression knew that if I could not end this play I would end my own life and he would have what he desired. Half a century passed me by and life became hollow and meaningless a cruel twist to an evil plot. Finally, it brought me to a place where serenity was at hand. No longer, would I play the leading roll my emotions drained and with a clear and decisive mind, I would write the final act. Poison my choice to bring down the final curtain. It would seem that there was nothing good about the fifty-three years that has been my life but this play will end and unlike Julius Caesar, Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet this play ends not with the death of our hero but the birth of a heroin. Her story began on a warm summer’s eve in a bathtub with her sister she knew who she was and through all the misery, pain and deceit that entered my life she was there to comfort me, and the only reason I am here today.

    I finally understood

    I searched my memories for meaning and time and time again, what made me feel good about myself was being female. The hardest thing I have ever done was coming out to myself and in doing so, it gave my life meaning. Nevertheless, we do judge a book by its cover and

    Willow place was no exception!


    I sat in my room gathering strength trying to control my emotions, and then I dialed the number. I was scared and half hoped that no one would pick up. Hello, there was a woman on the other end I tried to explain my circumstances but she kept telling me they were a women’s shelter. I tried in vain, telling her I was transgender that I have had Sex reassignment surgery (a sex change) that I had a vagina that I am a woman and all I got was the number for men’s services, I said thank you and goodbye. I sat in my chair and tears just flowed I had nowhere to go and I could not stay where I was I thought I would be better off dead no one cares!


    Once again my biology betrayed me, my voice as soft as it is, is still masculine if only they could see past the cover, open the book and read, was I asking too much? Emotionally spent I fell asleep in the chair. A few days later I saw Renee and I told how things had fallen apart, I felt as if I were disappointing her, that once again I had failed, she was so kind, so caring that when I left I had some hope. While I was trying to deal with living in a home where I was constantly being belittled and threatened Renee was hard at work she cared! I remember when she called me to tell me that Willow Place would put me up in a hotel, I had a way out! I called Willow Place and we arranged for a cab to pick me up in the morning. The next day I slipped out of the house and into the cab. When I arrived at Willow Place, I sat by the front desk and waited. It seemed like forever but a counselor came to greet me and then we went downstairs to chat. After our chat, I was sent to the Hotel. Now alone in the hotel I had time to think, not a good thing at the time. I was scared and anxious, I wondered if I had made a mistake because now I could not go back and I saw nothing to go too, I went to sleep. I slept most of the day it was my only escape but even that was interrupted, my mind would not rest and so I slept an hour or two at a time. In the morning I would go back to Willow Place to see the counselor, at least for an hour I would have some human contact. Still it seemed as if they didn’t care, as if they would rather I disappear so they wouldn’t have to deal with a Trans woman. Then along came Gloria, we connected right away and she said she would do everything she could to get me into Willow Place proper. 

    She pulled it off and I was allowed in, I can’t tell you how much this really helped. I was no longer alone. There were people to chat with and things to learn. What I found helped me the most at Willow Place was the girls, the other residents. We were all connected by one common thread, the thread of abusive relationships. Our stories however different were the same and bonded us together as sisters. Not one of the women ever misgendered me. They were curious and asked questions, usually in a respectful manner but sometimes In a playful manner and I always answered because knowledge is powerful and we can all learned from each other.

    As I look around this room all I see are beautiful women who care so very deeply and I thank you!

    • Hank Marie Dueck (2)

    this is my story, my path, but it really is the same in kind for most trans people, our pathes through life may be different and yet they are still the same.

  • Welcome Brandy
    blessed be blessed be
    From Vancouver Island
  • Thank you so much for that lovely comment you left on my page, I hope you find much here to your liking, and feel free to add your own stuff too!

  • Merry meet.Mystic Pagan :) and thank you for allowing me into your garden.

  • Greetings Brandy and welcome to our garden, we are happy you could join us and hope you enjoy your stay!

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