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.

  5. I started maybe at age of 10, with my mother's high heel pumps. Then I took a skirt as well, and tried sometimes to walk outside in the fog, when nobody was at home. Then nothing happened for years, then I went to the university to another city, far from home, there I bought my own clothes, and I told to some of my friends, that I like to do this. We had no Halloween dressing at that time, so I had to use the usual February carneval to dress up as a woman twice. After the university I moved home for some months, and because I had no job, I moved to another country, where I could have even more clothes and time for my female alterego. I had a girlfriend, still have her, I tried to tell it to her sometimes, but she did not like even the tiny parts I told her. But 5 years ago I finally told her the whole thing. She accepted it by now, well, most of that. But I can wear heels and skirt at home in front of her :)

  6. I have never stopped trying understand where it all started for me. During my last 3 Baghdad tours with the USArmy, as a forward convoy gunner, besides injuries, losing Commander, soldiers, and too many friends, I was exposed continuously to radiation and dangerous chemicals. With my advanced age, and exposures, I have lost many of my early memories. I have tried to rely on the female cousins primarily, that were my closest playmates, to help fill-in some blanks, but, all photos of the most wonderful feminine times with my mom were destroyed. The first memories, of course were my mom's fragrances, her touch, beautiful hair, eyes, her soft and pillowy dress. I loved everything about my mom, and wanted to be like her. I loved brushing her long hair, and trying to wear her shoes. She invited me to be with her when she was getting dressed, and smiled when I was hiding inside her crinkly dresses, or trying to walk in her shoes. She sat me next to her, when she was getting ready in the morning, putting in her make-up, and maybe playing my eyes and lips. Growing-up, with a brother, 2 years older, my underwaer was different from my brothers, mom put me in warm cabbled-tights, when the weather turned cool. Mom tried to find a matching top to hers for me, along with matching coats. I remember mom buying me a white muff, for my hands. One of my most vivid memories, while shopping for matching coats, was when. we we brousing for coats, in the girls department, a young mother came to us, asking if mom could help her with a problem. She was tryng to buy a full-skirted coat for her daughter, but her daughter wasn't with her. She told mom, that her daughter was about my size, and could she use me, to get the correct size. I was volunteered to stand there, while this women, kept trying girls coats on me. She was concerned, that it had to fit right, over her wide-skirted dresses. I don't remember what happened next, but, suddenly, I felt cold a bare, as mom as this stranger., started selecting dresses, that would work under the coats. Is this where I was first put in a dress?, I wish I knew, but, someting brought a lot of smiles. The first time I saw a girl, everything about her made me jealous, long, curled, be-ribboned hair, clothes, sparkley eyes, so clean and dainty. Something stired in me, and I wanted her life.
    Growing-up in the 1950s, that there was a closely guarded family secret, that only my mom, grandma, and aunt knew, that when the Doctor told my mom, that she would probably never have another child, from her perspective, never get her daughter, that she desperately wanted, according to my aunt. her sister, she fell into a deep depression. what brought her out of it was, that I became her secret daughter. My late father was a rather rough, WW2 veteran, and would have never accepted it. This was a closely guarded family secret, that only started coming to light, through my mom, grandma, aunt, and dad's brother, before they passed. I am trying come-to-grips with that part of my life, through REAL SIMILAR STORIES, and REAL, NOT MANIPULATED PHOTOS of REAL BOYS, that were given the opportunities, to experience their feminine side, encouraged by their mom's, grandma's, etc. that was forbidden by societal norms, for boys. My loving mom, taught me most of the skills. that most moms teach their daughters. According to tests, my 70% feminine side, has always been with me, and still is. thank you,