Friday, July 15, 2022


By Paula Gaikowski

I couldn’t sleep the other night, so I began to remember, trying to find the earliest recollection of being transgender. These are some of the experiences that ran through my mind. It helps to share them with others who might have had similar experiences. Please feel free to comment or share your own thoughts or experiences. These times and events bond us together into a community

I remember being very young and watching my Mom get ready for work putting on her makeup and doing her hair. The smell of lipstick and hair spray are comforting and bring me back to this time.

I thought about the wedding I went to when I was 5-years-old and became so jealous of the flower girl. I still remember her yellow dress.

My First Communion, wishing I was on the girls’ side wearing one of those pretty white dresses, praying the host would magically transform me into a girl.

Watching the girls in 2-3 grades go to ballet class after school and thinking why can’t that be me?

When I was 7- or 8-years-old, seeing a young boy dressed as a girl at a Halloween party and me becoming jealous, I still remember the beautiful bouffant pink dress with black Mary-Janes and white tights. He truly wasn’t happy about how cute he looked. Oh I wish I could have taken his place.

It was the spring of 1968, I know because we just got our new car. I was 9-years-old and one Saturday morning I went down into my sister’s room and dressed in her clothes. It was the first time I dressed as a girl. I knew I was a girl at that moment. I knew I had to find a way to make everybody understand.

Coming home to an empty house and dressing in my Mom’s and sister’s clothes from age 9 until 18.

Having crushes on girls and wishing I could be them or like them.

Feeling embarrassed changing in a locker room full of men.

Feeling elated when an aunt told me light heartedly that I would have made a wonderful girl.

Going to a go-go bar with my friends and feeling sorry for the way the women were being treated.

At 19-years-old, dressing as a woman for a Halloween party, getting tipsy and then making out with a guy on a couch in the basement.

Cashing my first paycheck at 22-years-old and then, next thing I know I had bought  a pretty black dress with a white collar, pleated skirt and red bow and the cutest pair of patent leather pumps with a heel and a bow in front.

Feeling confused and anxious when I married.

Being devastated when my wife called me a pervert.

Finding the Internet and communicating with other transgender people.

Shaving my legs for the first time.

Saving $5 a week so I could get a makeup lesson at Vernon’s in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Being ecstatic when my wife showed the least bit of acceptance.

Getting a Jamie Austin makeover – Wow!

Sneaking my clothes out of the house for a business trip.

My first time through a shopping mall in Florida, a black pantsuit, cute shoes and blonde hair.

Working from home one day a week and doing it as a woman.

Memories of laying in bed sleepless and remembering...

Tiffany Coyne
Let’s Make A Deal’s Tiffany Coyne

Femulating in the 2006 British short Private Life.


  1. Hi Paula,
    Good on you for filling in some content for Stana!

  2. i recall shopping at Vernon's many, many times 😊😊

  3. AnonymousJuly 15, 2022 I the only one who wants to hear more about Paula locking lips with the guy on Halloween??

    1. AnonymousJuly 16, 2022

      Definitely you Re not the only one! Did the guy know?

  4. I remember being four years old, after digging through the clothes plies on a wash day Monday, and trying on my Mother's and Grands undies as they laughed! But the next Saturday as the nightly bath 🚿 was done my Grandmother dressed me in a combination of her and mom's little girl clothes 💯 complete with little Mary Janes. A process that was repeated many Times. My hair was already Allowed to grow below shoulder length till first grade.

    But the first time I saw myself in the full length wardrobe mirror...WOW! That little girl is Me! The Realization.

    My other Grandmother was a full time cook for the Railroad, N&W, at their five story transit workers "Hotel". She did the 5 am Breakfast and Lunch shift, with the last thing making the start of the Bread Dough for Supper and 11PM set downs.

    She doubled her income by doing Seamstress custom work.
    In the Sixties, our local headquarters town of the RR, was having it's 75 year founding festivities, a full month of balls (36+), 100 Church Choirs singing presentations and many other galas over a June Month.
    All events choose a decade from 1880 to 1940s as the dress code for the night.
    Grandma was very busy for eight months sewing away for her clients and friends. I was impressed 😁 as the clothing form for weeks, on end.
    My favorite was the 1890s mutton sleeves outfits, they required the full under Dressing to make the session work......many days and nights spent in my heaven. Still brings many 😁 smiles to my girlish soul.