Summer of 1997, I was 16 years old. If you went through that right window you would have found my bedroom, and if you climbed onto the second bunk and lifted up the ceiling tile above my bed you would have found a shoebox full of clothes and a handwritten letter to my mom saying that I wanted to be a girl.

Not just that I wished that I was a girl, but that I wanted to transition (tho I didn’t have those words for it at the time). I wrote that I wanted to start wearing feminine clothing and be treated like a young woman. I wrote that I wanted to have a sex change.

A few months later we moved to a new town. I saw it as an opportunity to reinvent myself. No one there would know me, nobody would remember that awkward teenager who was too effeminate for his own good.

I threw away the box, burned the letter, and resolved to be as male as I could be.

Spoiler: It didn’t stick.