My story Long Version
Imagine growing up pre-internet with thoughts, fears and feelings you can't understand. Hello, my name is Kimberly Tiffany Egleston and I was born in January 1969. I was declared as a male at birth by the doctors because of my body parts. Shortly after my birth my biological father stepped out of my life. I’ve never had any contact with my biological father since he left. I was my mom’s first-born child and again more than blessed to have such a loving person to look after and care for me. It’s with great respect to my mom that I’ve grown to be the kind of person she raised me to be. Although I believe deep within my being was my gender issues with which I didn’t understand. I hid my feelings of being different and believe lost a lot of my bond with my mom. I never lost my love or respect for my mom, but my inability to express my true feelings made me pull away. My fears of hurting or disappointing my mom made me hide what I should’ve shared. My mom remarried around the time I was three, and my new dad adopted me. I’ve been truly blessed in that my dad provided for me a loving home and gave me the guidance needed to grow up into an exceptional person. My dad let me annoy him as he worked on the car, house or as I tore things apart to learn some things. I received my discipline when it was necessary but continual love always. My mother adopted his daughter and son who were both older than me. Since I’ve had a brother and sister from early on in life, I know no difference. I enjoyed my sister for as much as she’d put up with me. My brother and I were only two and a half months apart in age and were completely different. We shared a room a good majority of my childhood and really didn’t form a great bond on any level. I feel like my gender kept me hiding my true feelings of who I wanted to be and played a major part in my relationships with my siblings. During my parents’ marriage they had my little sister she was nine years younger than me. My little sister, because she was so much younger allowed me to experience a baby being born and raised. I’ve always had a fair relationship with my little sister. Having siblings, I think caused me to further hide my true feelings about my gender. Feelings which I didn’t understand or share. My parents were strict with rules as I grew up in bed at eight thirty, ask to leave the table, ask to go out to play, clean everything off you plate and many more. I was raised up in the Catholic Church and attended church every Sunday. I attended a catholic grade school till seventh grade. Religion is part of my reason for hiding I was taught being LBGT wasn’t Gods way. Again, at this time my knowledge and understanding of my feelings kept me from acknowledging my issue. I was truly blessed with grandparents and parents that were very loving and educational. I spent as much time as possible with my maternal grandparents. My grandpa and me shared a tight bond of all my family would say the closest bond. My grandpa and me enjoyed being together working whether mowing or making cakes. My grandma taught me many things about cooking and several other things between both grandma and grandpa the lessons of life I was beyond blessed to have such an excellent example of love. One of the great things every year was spending time and making Christmas cookies and making treats for the churches Oktoberfest. My paternal grandparents were always loving and kind although I spent considerably less time with them as they had many grandchildren, I did get to enjoy working on a couple projects with grandpa doing some remodeling work on my childhood home. Again, beyond blessed to have excellent examples of love. Growing up I enjoyed playing with cars, bikes, Barbie's, baby’s, and many other things. Throughout my childhood I couldn't understand why I wanted to play with the girl items and felt like a girl on the inside. I hid my true feelings for the things I wanted to play with because I would’ve been teased by my sister and brother. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy playing with cars or some other boy toys. To be fair I didn’t totally understand my feelings with the little knowledge I had at this point. There were a few rainy days that I had the opportunity to play with Barbie's with my sister which was awesome. I did try to act like I didn’t really like it because I didn’t want anyone know of my secret. Throughout my childhood I’ve always had an extreme fear of displeasing my mom, and I never liked getting in trouble because it hurt me emotionally. As a kid I hid my feelings of being a girl out of a fear that I’d get in trouble or be made fun of because no one would understand who I am. Probably around age six or seven we had sitter watching us while the parents went out. I remember her having a very soft and fluffy peach/tan colored scarf and gloves. I enjoyed playing with these while she was watching us. This was my first memory of wanting to dress as a girl. I don’t remember my age the first time I wore a dress or skirt. I used to admire my mom, sisters, girls or ladies’ shoes, dresses and skirts. I loved looking at ads for dresses that I would like to have. I never shared my thoughts of this feeling that I was a girl with anyone. I really tried to avoid getting too close to anyone as I feared someone might find out my secret. I often had thoughts and dreams about being a girl and at some level I felt it was wrong to have these feelings. I was scared to share my thoughts with anyone as I was unsure of what would happen if I told of my secret. In third grade my teacher had a very soft maroon hat, gloves, and scarf. I remember looking at those items and really wanting them. There was a feeling and I couldn’t understand the want to wear these things. All the while my fascination with dresses in ads sparked a very curious feeling. I wondered what it would feel like to be a girl and then I would feel like this was wrong. In my mind there was no reason for me to feel this way and want to wear a dress. I had a great passion for racing and couldn’t understand my want for girl things because I loved racing. My curiosity with building things and trying to mechanically fix things also made me even more curious. Why was there this battle about how I felt? My body parts said your male my mind and heart said girl. My opportunities to wear anything feminine was limited because of my family. I didn’t really have a time at this age to be alone in the house all I could do was look and dream. One time while I was playing with neighbor kids at grandma and grandpa’s house the girl across the street came out to play wearing a dress. I can remember it was a pretty yellow summer dress and my thoughts that some way I’d get forced to wear it by the boys so no one would make fun of me. Although this didn’t happen the thought of wearing the dress thoroughly filled my mind. I remember hoping everyday she come out to play that she’d be in a pretty dress for me to dream about. In catholic grade school where all the girls wore a plaid jumper style dress, I wanted so badly to wear one. There was no way for me to wear one because I would’ve been teased beyond my ability to cope. In general, I was a happy hard playing kid and I liked creating things. I wasn’t a great student as I suffered some form of attention problem. I can read but my ability to retain and remember takes a lot of rereading. My attention span is not the greatest in reading as I easily get distracted. I’m a lot stronger trying to build or work with my hands. Because of the attention problem my thoughts often wondered into being a girl wearing dresses and racing. I’m not sure where my desire for racing came from but I have always had a great desire to race. I can remember one Halloween around the time I was 10 to 12 that my older sister dressed me in a cheer skirt, but my fear wouldn’t let me leave her room because I worried about what my dad would say. In my mind I wanted to be the girl and go trick or treating except my fear of disclosing myself forced me to change into something different. When I reached junior high my thoughts and feelings about being a girl kept getting stronger. I used to sneak around and wear girl stuff that didn't belong to me which isn’t something I’m proud of. I can remember a few times home alone playing with some of mom’s make-up and perfume. I really did a sloppy job but felt at ease with my looks. The removal always scared me because I always felt like there was some showing after the make-up was removed. There’s no way to describe how much washing I did to remove the perfume smell. I always felt somewhat emotional when a typical male wouldn’t typically have these feelings. I had to work hard at hiding the feelings that were inside of me. I hated fighting and being rough, but I did enjoy playing soccer and ball in the backyards. I played a lot with neighbor kids as a distraction from my thoughts about being a girl. I started collecting any girl items I could wear big or small. I remember once in the summer trying to use my mom’s sewing machine and make a skirt. I had very little knowledge of how to sew it wasn’t as easy as it looked. I still couldn't understand why I wanted to be a girl. I dreamed many days that magically I’d be transformed into the girl I felt like. When I dreamed of a happy place my dreams consisted of being a girl for countless hours. The only other dream was racing. There isn’t a way to fully explain my feelings at this age as my knowledge of gender just didn’t exist. I somehow managed to get my hands on some panties and panty hose and would wear them to school under my boy clothes. I worked hard at finding girl stuff that was being discarded and started my collection of girl items. I had managed to get my hands on a skirt and a few other pieces which I would wear any opportunity when I had privacy. I hid girl stuff in between the mattress and box spring on my bed. I usually wore some girl stuff to sleep in because I could hide under the covers. As my collection of girl clothing grew, I hid my stuff in the floor joists in the basement and in the hole in my closet. I would dress up in girl clothes every night after I closed my door to sleep. My seventh-grade year the freshman class was in the same building and I totally admired the cheer girls and their outfits. My time was consumed with dreams and thoughts about how I felt like a girl on the inside. I decided in eighth grade to attend a prep seminary my freshman year of high school thinking maybe if I become a priest my thoughts of being a girl would disappear. So, I headed off to Illinois to live in an all-male dorm with other guys considering the priesthood. I left all my girl stuff hidden at home thinking the feeling of being a girl would pass. In November I came home for thanksgiving and couldn’t wait to wear my girl stuff. As I repacked to head back to school my girl stuff was packed in with my boy clothes. At school I hid my stuff in my cubicle. Two of us shared a cubicle which had no privacy. So, when no one was looking in the evening before lights out I'd place my girl clothes under my blanket. After lights out I changed under the covers to sleep and remove before crawling out in the morning as I had done at home for years. Thankfully we never had any emergencies at night. I finished my freshman year and the school closed. I was back home and rejoined the local school system with my thoughts focused on being a girl and racing. I had two very heavy thoughts most of the time racing and wearing dresses being a girl. I shared quite a bit about my love of racing but didn’t share any of my feelings related to my being a girl. I spent a good amount of time watching races on tv. I liked helping work on cars whenever the opportunity presented itself. I think in some ways racing was another outlet to help hide my true feelings. I didn’t really have any way to be directly in racing at this age. On the flip side I would dress up in between school and my parents getting home every chance I got throughout high school. I consistently loved wearing tights under my jeans frequently although I would have to race to the locker room and change to get the tights off before anyone else arrived for gym class. Quite frequently my toenails were polished usually in pink. I spent many hours in high school dreaming and wishing that I could just become the girl I felt like. There were even many dreams about being a girl racer. I couldn’t quite figure out the feeling that flowed through my mind. I carried these feelings and fear very secretly inside. I didn’t really try to hang out with classmates too much except my immediate neighbors. I truly believe that my fear of getting caught kept me thoroughly scared to get close to anyone. My feelings that I had to suppress such as crying and the feelings of so many things of a softer thoughts were hidden in my mind. I didn’t have the knowledge of what or who I was in high school. Occasionally there would be something on a talk show about a transgender person and if I heard about it my attention went on full alert. There wasn’t any way my fears would allow me to share in high school. The big uncertainty of what would happen kept me closed off from sharing. The thought of losing my family because they rejected me thoroughly scared me. I couldn’t truly understand my attraction to girls and wanting to be a girl. This created yet something else the fact of being lesbian, gay or something. This brought on some more fears of sexual nature. Many hours in school were spent admiring the girl’s outfits and dreaming of having the outfits. When I was sixteen and got my first job the money allowed me the opportunity to buy girl clothes. I was terrified at the store and would take forever picking something girly out but needed more clothes for my collection. I can remember going in and buying some cute little ankle socks that were a lime green and lacey. One of my favorite pair of shoes that I bought were a pair of white granny boots with two- and half-inch heel that tied shut. One of the problems with my boots they were at least a size to small, but that didn’t stop me from wearing them often. On Halloween at my first job I decided to dress as a French maid for work. It was my first time out as a girl, and I loved every minute. I had bought a cheap short French maids costume dress and the length scared me, so I bought a longer black dress to wear underneath. I also purchased a nice red long curly wig and a pair of high heels. I went to a wig store at the mall and spent close to one-hundred and twenty dollars on the wig. I truly loved the curls and the long length because at that time my hair was short. I did buy some fishnet hose to wear but used the panties and bra that I already had. I remember the girls at work stuffing my bra, so I’d have some small little boobs. I didn’t want the night to end and when I got home, I wore the maid’s outfit to bed. I was surprised in the morning when my mom came in and woke me up. My mom got a bit of a surprise seeing me laying there in make-up and a wig. My mom wanted me to install some carpeting in the kitchen which I did while still wearing my longer black dress. My mom kept asking me to change but I wasn’t ready to change. Carpeting installed it finally became time to change and face my current world. It was also in my first job I met my first true girlfriend and after dating for a bit I decided to tell her I like wearing girl clothes. On the night I decided to share with her that I like wearing girl clothes we parked on a dead end so we could talk. I was sharing the news with my girlfriend and she asked about things and I decided to show her my collection that was behind the seat of my truck. As I was emptying the bag full of clothes some cops pulled up in front of us as we had backed in. They approached the truck and asked what we were up to and I told the cop that I was sharing a secret with my girlfriend. They proceeded to verify we were no threat and suggested we leave. The next day my girlfriend broke off our relationship. This was the first person I’d ever shared my true feelings with about being a girl. She left almost immediately after I divulged my secret. I believe it was my second Halloween at my job I dressed up as a girl for work. After talking and working with my coworkers all night my secret was slightly discovered although I denied it. One night after work at a friend’s apartment after I again shared my feelings a friend went and got me a pair of girl jeans and did my make-up. I loved feeling beautiful when dressed up. When I first started working my transportation was my bike, and I would leave girl clothes hidden in the bushes at home for after work. It would be a little after midnight when I’d get home and change to wander around the yard for a few minutes before changing to go in the house. I couldn’t help but dream of being a girl every night and at school or anytime there was a moment. I did battle a little with my thoughts on whether I should be wearing girl clothing but there was no way to erase my thoughts and feelings. Through many more days of dressing in secrecy and still unsure why I felt this way my senior year I decided talk with a military recruiter, but I never signed up because I couldn't figure out how to let my girl side go. I felt something had a grip on me that couldn’t be shaken. My collection of clothes had grown rather large around 2 trash bags full plus. I would always keep a bag with a girl’s outfit in my truck behind the seat and I wore girl stuff while I was driving around. I worked hard at hiding my feelings afraid to cry or be feminine in any way because of my fear of being discovered. I love the color pink, I avoided wearing it because I assumed it would give my secret away. Through the many feelings inside I struggled trying to understand my feelings of being a girl. I couldn’t make sense because at some level it was wrong to be like this in my mind. I graduated high school and moved on to college continually dressing up as often as possible in secret out of fear. I had a fear that if caught my mom would be hurt and my family and friends would reject me. I attended college and was working when I met my first wife. I told my first wife that I was a crossdresser as we were dating because there wasn’t any way to completely hide. She accepted me sort of with the information but would have bouts of yes or no days based on her mood. I would hang out up in her room and wear dresses before we married. Most of the time I wore panties and pantyhose every day. My first wife got pregnant and we were married with several battles over me wearing dresses. Mind you I was still in complete hiding and even though there were some bad days other days were spectacular. A short time after our wedding and some arguing we went and talked to our minister. I shared my desires to dress as a girl to our minister. I was encouraged to give up dressing as a girl. I took all my clothing to the minister to dispose of my girl clothes. I lasted maybe three days before I started buying and replacing my collection. I couldn’t share immediately with my wife as I worked hard trying to hide but eventually my desires meant I had to share. My daughter was born and brought on a severe discussion about hiding. I decided to never hide from her and let her know of my girl side. During this time, I was working at a convenience store and would dress up for Halloween stretching the day sometimes to three or four days. The customers were amazed that I could walk in heels so well, but I had spent hours at home parading around in heels. I can remember being brave enough once on Halloween to go out and pay my insurance. One Halloween I went to photo store at the Independence center and took like 40 photos in the photo booth in a saloon girl outfit. As Halloween was an opportunity to be my true self, I always tried to find things to do whether work or fun. One time I dressed up as a cheerleader and went to renfest for the costume contest. Even though we missed the contest getting dressed up was total fun even though I was scared. I managed to wear my cheer skirt to worlds of fun and took an old-time photo with my daughter when she was like three years old in a big Victorian dress. I had managed to hang up several pictures in our house of me in dresses and such. On a couple of occasions, I got brave enough and had photos professionally taken. I dressed up as often as possible but if any of my friends came over to our house, I would race to change my clothes and remove my make-up. My love of racing was also very strong, and I spent many weekends at the track. I would watch the race then change to girl clothes to drive home. At one point during our marriage I made a connection to attend a Tri-Ess meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed allowing my girl self to attend, but unfortunately the group had an issue and disbanded. Our marriage was rocky to say the least for multiple reasons and I’m sure some of it had to do with my gender issues. We divorced and she got custody of our daughter. Fortunately for me after my divorce my nail tech Janet introduced me to her best friend. Now Janet my nail tech knew of my crossdressing and was very supportive and often allowed me to dress around her. This was a place where I felt safe and happy being my girl self. Janet’s best friend is now my wife of twenty plus years. It was never a secret with my wife while we were dating, she supported me and allowed me to dress at home whenever I wanted. While we were dating my wife would play with my hair and make-up and offer opinions on my clothing. After dating for around three years I decided to throw a Halloween party and ask her to marry me. I made a French maid dress for the party and invited her family to the party. During the party I got down on one knee proposed and she said yes. The wedding was in the church the following Halloween and I dressed up as a groom which didn’t feel right. It was a great wedding with family and friends but as soon as the reception was over, I went home and put on a dress and we went out for pizza with a couple friends. Through the years I’ve fought myself many times with taking the dress off, but I wouldn’t go out because of hiding in fear of getting caught. When we were dating, I can remember pacing and looking out the window for thirty minutes before I could make it to the car because of my fear that I’d get caught by the neighbors. Shortly after our marriage my wife and I attended a crossdresser function that took place in Arkansas for a few years. My wife and I would drive down with me as Kimberly without any male clothing. After the first one where my wife had to drag me out the hotel room, I felt the joy of being my girl self and my fears started to vanish. Back at home after these events I suffered a depression when I had to go back to male mode. Probably sometime around ten years into the marriage I finally started going out dressed up occasionally on a regular basis when it wasn’t Halloween. I would dress up when we went out to eat or attending the hockey games. Out of all the years of dating and marriage my wife only asked onetime that I quit dressing up and after a couple days told me to put on dress because I was being a bitch. Through the years I struggled with a fear of sharing my secret with family and friends whereas my wife had shared with her family. My mother in law was a great inspiration as she insisted on getting photos of me whenever I dressed up and took pictures. It was a great relief to have some support. The whole time my daughter was growing up through the ups and downs of parenting I never hid my wearing dresses from my daughter. My daughter never had a major issue with my gender issues. Sometime around thirty-five years of age I started progressing towards breaking out of the closet and being free. One of great things every year was attending the renaissance festival where I was known as Kimberly the fairy, because of my fairy costumes. A good portion of the cast all knew me as Kimberly which felt awesome to hear people holler my name. In 2011 A group of renfest friends were holding a fundraiser for a friend Pat who had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. Something happened the night of the fundraiser that changed me while celebrating and raising money for a friend who is dying. Pat walked up put a hand on my shoulder and asked me if I was alright. I was happy and in good health and your dying asking if I’m alright. I wasn’t best friends with Pat just a casual friend. Thanks to love and concern he had shown me at that moment I realized that night how life can be taken away from you at any minute and decided to allow myself to further my desires to be my true self the girl that I was inside. After that night I started dressing up and going out almost every night as Kimberly. I decided to check on laser hair removal in September of 2016 for my beard cover and signed up and started receiving treatments. It wasn’t till October 2016 that I really removed the pins from the hinges of the closet door and stepped out. I found a local support group and decided to attend scared to death. I went to my first meeting and very shyly and quietly attended and slowly got involved I learned so much. I learned about therapy, hormones, coming out to people, laser hair removal, and many other things. One of the questions, I was asked in the very first meeting do you consider yourself a crossdresser or transgender? I answered not sure, as I was scared to acknowledge my true feelings because I would need to face my fears. After a couple meetings with the group I decided to make an appointment with the therapist. I remember pulling over down by Swope park lake and making the call to set up the appointment scared to death. I knew a long time ago that I was transgender and just needed figure out how to deal with my fears. I had a fear of losing people in my life, fear of losing my job, fear of losing my racing hobby, and a few other small fears. I had to tell myself that if anyone left my life because I acknowledged my true gender it was their choice. I continued attending meetings and learning about who I was inside and how to work on my fears. I had a meeting with a therapist and started hormones in December 2016. I still had not shared the news with my family except for my wife and daughter. With support and encouragement from the girls of the group in April 2017 after talking with my wife and daughter I told my parents. They reaffirmed that they love me but have not accepted me for who I am currently. Telling my parents was my biggest and hardest fear that I faced and although things are not perfect, they haven’t asked me to leave their house anytime I’ve been there. My heart breaks from this as I continue to hold out hope someday something will break through and allow them to realize you don’t make a choice to be transgender. The choice I did make was to accept myself as the girl I am. I decided in 2017 to acknowledge my change on Facebook to friends and family. I also needed to inform my job of my transition another fear as I had around sixteen years on the job. So, in September of 2017 I managed to finally walk into human resource office and tell of my transition. I was scared and unsure as I told them that I was transgender and when I came back from Vacation on November 6, 2017 I wanted to go by Kimberly and use the girl’s bathroom. They replied with a very uncertain response regarding the news I delivered. I let them know of my intention to continue being as productive or maybe more productive than before. I also let them know about the osha guidelines, equal employment opportunities commission guidelines and Human Rights Campaign guides about coming out at work. I left the office with an uncertain feeling, but on with my day and fortunately it was group night. A mother of one of the other girls had joined us for group. She was something in the legal field and after I shared, she encouraged me to write an e-mail to human resources on the things we’d discussed. I composed and sent an e-mail the next night and the following morning received an e-mail stating there should be no problem, so on November 5, 2017 on Facebook I posted “did you know” which detailed many things about my life and informed of my transition to female. The following day at work on November 6 I broke out of the closet enjoying my job and life as the real me. I’m also a flag woman at a local racetrack where I’ve been slowly bringing myself out and get to enjoy my racing hobby. In February 2018 I legally changed my name and gender to the girl I am. I represented myself and even had to stand up to the judge. None of this would’ve been possible without support of friends, group, my daughter’s family and a fabulous wife that continues to love and support me. I can frequently be found enjoying auto racing, renfest, concerts, hockey games, bike riding, figure skating and much more. I created a website kimberlytiffany.com that I started back in 2001 after I got my first computer and as I started to learn about myself and trans issues. I can’t claim that every website is helpful, but I have read many that helped me grow and face some of my fears. In my lifetime of learning I’ve always allowed my Kimberly side to be present. I’ve never completely buried my girl side this was important because denying my girl self would have defiantly brought on anxiety, depression, anger, and who knows what else. I’m a lucky person who has had support of some friends and family my whole life and personally I’ve never felt any desire to harm myself because at some level have always accepted my girl feelings as Kimberly to be present in my life. The hardest part of acknowledging my transition was the fear of losing people that I love in my life. It’s very sad to me to have this fear of losing people because I chose to open up my inner self and be true to myself. There is no reason to cut someone out of your life for accepting their true gender. I’m truly blessed that most of my friends and family have been supportive and stuck by me. This far in my transition the main change for me is a glow of happiness and feeling my true self as the girl I am.
My Story(Longer Version)