It started when I was around 7. I would play dress up with my sister. I didn’t know it at the time, but those moments wearing her dresses were the ones I would feel more like myself than ever before. Years flew by, my parents forced me to do things boys are supposed to do, the part of me who liked being girly and pretty… suppressed. Then at the age of 14, I got a lucky break. I was able to stay home from school by myself. That’s when the idea of dressing up secretly in my sisters clothes hit me. I would do this as often as I could, every day feeling more and more comfortable in the clothes. Yet, when I hit high school I stopped… I don’t know if it was because of my desire to fit in, the fact I no longer had free time, or if it was simply because I had too much on my mind at the time. But after I graduated high school and went to college, I began having the thoughts again. I began crossdressing again, but this time it was accompanied by something else. That something was the desire to be accepted as a woman, to be a woman. This was new to me… It was the first time I felt the feeling and I liked it. No, not just liked it, needed it. It felt so right to have those thoughts, to have those feelings. After meeting with a therapist, we discussed what those feelings might mean. And after several sessions, it became clear. I am transgender. Now, I’m starting my journey. But it’s hard. I still have days where I am battling to accept myself… After all, for 23 years I was told I was a boy so of course it’s going to take some time. But I know now who I am, I know I am Kari. And I will stop at nothing to make sure my body finally matches who I am on the inside.