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My brother became my sister

Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need.
— e. e. cummings

“When did the desire to be female first occur?” I ask Chevey. We are talking on the phone in March of 2006. He has come home from an extremely painful bout of electrolysis on the West Coast, and will go to San Francisco in April for the facial feminization surgery.

“I’ve thought about that question many times. It was at Ashley, when we lived in the country. I distinctly remember going up into your room, which was along the hall and up the steps in the old part of the house, and trying on your clothes when no one was around. I’ve since tried to go back and figure out how old I was at that time, but I don’t have a frame of reference. I guess about six or seven years old. We lived there till I was ten. So that’s all I have to go by.

“I do remember times when Mother would say things, not realizing what she was saying. Like one time she mentioned this silly thing, how if you could kiss your elbow it would turn you into a girl. And though on the surface I ignored it, inside I jumped. I know it was idiotic but I must have just about broken my arms a couple of times after that, trying to hold my arm in a door, to see if you could get to your elbow. But of course, you can’t.

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