– Time line based on School levels (exact ages not remembered)

Elementary School – In my earliest times of schooling there was no understanding of who I was nor what I am suppose to be. To think of it most in those years will not anyhow. One thing did stand out I come to recall is that I would be fascinated with pretending my shoes were like high heels. I do not know why I did that but it was fun to do so. Lots of kids play dress up but I had lots of fun with it. But still at the time there are no known traces of being different from a boy.

Middle School – This was the main key time of discovery. I was a very quiet person so you would not know how I am till you talk or have relations with me. Therefore only select people saw my expressions and others didn’t detect I was feminine at the time.

    6th grade I had mannerisms, thoughts and actions that were not masculine. I did not fit in well with the rest of the boys in any classes nor activities like others had blended in no problem. My name at the time was AJ. I had then gained bullies that like to call me Gay-J because they saw the feminine traits in me when I “was suppose to be masculine like them.” humans fear what they do not understand and therefore show aggression to the unknown. Don’t believe that is true watch all the movies that involve aliens haha. I believe this is also the time I had cut a jeans into a skirt and would dress into it when no one was around at home.

    7th grade I started to become confused to identify how I was suppose to be as a boy because I was getting negative feedback for just being me. I was bullied constantly, picked on, and a couple times physically confronted into fights that I wouldn’t have won and glad it occurred in places that adults were nearby to stop them. I was frustrated that people did not like me and I was just being myself. This is the last known time of identifying I was different and being myself was the female expressions on the gender spectrum. I dated a girl later that year and was still picked on with people saying she was my cover up. She also told me I was weird but had no answer to why. In theory she did like me but sometimes I think she just felt sorry for me. I tried my best to be the man role in “playful young dating” but I couldn’t fill those shoes. I wasn’t comfortable being with a female even though I admired her and her beauty. It was hard to detach thoughts of her for 10 years because she was the first non-family member to like me when everyone else hated or didn’t care to get to know me.

    8th grade I gained the best friends of my life as a handful but what happened that year was a bad turning point. I suppressed all that I was and made myself manly. It was totally fake and I knew it but I was tired of getting picked on. I also started to get stronger and began to go against all those who picked on me. I gained lots of respect but not for who I really was; for the fake self I created in fear. I hate physical confrontations and am very much afraid to get fought. Yes I was fine but single handily created deep sadness, depression, and major depressive disorder after that year for suppressing via fears. Worst decision ever but it was survival to me. I then somehow achieved the good grades I needed to get into AFJROTC in high school. I had always like the military so it was a cool idea to do so. Little did I know I had also started a route of hyper masculinity.

High School – In my fears of being picked on again I continued the fake personality for my protection. I kept very low key and participated highly in the cadet activities. It was a a great distraction from the pain of not being myself. Marching teams totally helped the suppressing part because you have to maintain military bearing and stiffness. All of those experiences made me a very rigid sad person on the inside. I know something was wrong with it all but I had no idea how to fix that fact. Therefore I would become addicted to AFJROTC in my fears and became a workaholic in that program. Yes it did lead me to a top position in the unit but looking back I obtained it through the wrong motivation base. Hiding is all that I knew and grinding through high school was my main focus. I had encountered attempting to date 2 more girls in this time frame but in both, I still didn’t feel right and therefore didn’t last long. This didn’t mean I liked boys at the time. I just wanted to survive and graduate. There was gang activity on campus and in no way would I want to get worse physical matters. My grades started to drop because of my sadness and burnout. The next problem was that being removed from all my programs intensified my deep sadness. Those same activities kept me distracted from the issue at hand and mildly happy. Towards graduation I then knew I had to dig deep and figure out why I am sad. I joined the Army in the senior year as result from ongoing hyper masculinity and military interest base. I had a growing interest for a gender neutral name with feminine spelling something inside told me to do. That something was the female at heart. At first I like the name Leslie but then decided Jessie was a better match due to Jesse sounds the same. The female spelling made me happy to be called that and to write it. The day before graduation I went to the courthouse and officially became Jessie .

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