by Ruby Dennemeyer*
At first glance Tara looks like a former model. She's got the height, the slimness and the classy demeanor. But in no way is she imposing like tall women can be. She doesn't command the room but rather appears to be a pleasant, shy and intelligent woman. And that's exactly who she is, no matter that her DNA says otherwise. That's right, this slight, fragile-looking woman was born male. [click on photo at left of my mom and I to enlarge]
Born as Taylor, Tara has always felt a certain familiarity with the female species. She explains to us how, when she was a young boy, she would play dress up with her mom's clothes and feel a certain sense of being comfortable with her body, even though she was still a little boy. Feelings of guilt would eventually rack Taylor, who, like other transgender people, felt that he was wrong to have feelings of wanting to be the opposite sex.
But no matter how much he tried to suppress his feelings, Taylor couldn't stop them from overflowing out of his body. After numerous trips to psychologists, he began taking hormones to change his body to look more like a woman. By this time Taylor was a young adult, and still struggling with his feelings and the pressures of society to assume the gender that he was born with.
Upon moving to Oregon, Taylor felt more comfortable with the fact that he wanted to be a woman andMom and Daughter began to live as one at night. But he still kept his male appearance up in the daytime, for a job he was keeping. The switch from Taylor in the daytime to Tara at night proved to be difficult and soon Taylor quit his job and began living as a woman full-time.
This is when Tara felt free to be who she really was and began to go to group therapy in Portland. She also opened her own bed and breakfast for other transgendered people who were about to get their operation. Tara has yet to achieve her goal to fully become a woman [I had my SRS with Dr. Brassard in March 2002], but claims she has been much happier since she's been able to live as who she really is. And it looks like this pretty lady has many more happy years to go.
*Ruby Dennemeyer was a student in mom's journalism class at Kauai Community College. This is her article reprinted with her kind permission.