Newest Girl in the 'hood(1985)

A week before my 27th birthday I moved to the dangerous squalor of the Tenderloin. I sought counseling at city-run clinic, where they refused me female hormones until six months. I had wasted so much life as a guy andcouldn't wait one minute longer. My new best friend Misty, a TS beauty who tended bar at the Spirit Club came to the rescue. She took me to her doctor, who injected me with a load of estrogens and wrote me a 'script for hormone pills. With my journey in full swing I took a new name: Pamela.

Misty took on an older sister role, encouraging me, passing along makeup secrets and other TS lore. I envied her lack of a beard, unlike me who had to start painful electrolysis. It was so slow I despaired it would take forever. My greatest fear was I'd never look good enough. At first I went out as Pamela only at night and almost always to the Spirit Club where I could relax. The other main transwoman's bar was the Black Rose, where the prettiest girls hung out and picked up tricks. I always felt so ugly in there. I would never be as pretty as they!

Seldom did the world receive Pamela well. Total strangers mocked and cursed me, and my few friends became former ones. Only my mom's gay friend Damien encouraged me. He related his days in drag and, intriguingly, the men who paid for sex. His old friend Glinda ran an escort agency, Price Wars, and agreed to take me on. It made total sense because I was always broke. More than that, it was my way of rebelling against the straight world that rejected me, and an easy means to explore my sexual orientation. However, since I didn't pass as a woman I became "A New Guy."

As Pamela sex with men was easy because I was really a woman inside. The extra income got me into a nice TL highrise, but when Glinda folded up the agency I had to take a cleaning job. I cleaned houses and had electrolysis during the day, took classes to complete my AA degree, and dabbled in hooking at the Spirit and even the Black Rose. When I attended school as Pamela even some of my teachers openly smirked at me, which hurt more than the frequent verbal abuse on the street. My grades suffered, but somehow I held on to finish the semester and graduate with honors.

Honors? So what? I would not transfer to a university and face continued hatred. I could no longer wait, I needed to live as a woman full time. I would go crazy if I didn't. I had no money anyway; I had to take a fulltime job. Yet after four months of satisfied customers the housecleaning company in "liberal" San Francisco would not permit me to work as a woman.

I vowed to myself I would never go back to being a guy, even part time. So I made a conscious decision to pursue the World's Oldest Profession.