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Although Joan's husband tried to stop cross-dressing, he says his feminine side could not be suppressed. After 12 years of marriage, he made a life-altering decision—to transition into a woman and rename herself Sydney. "I just knew that I was a girl, and it's a hard thing to describe to someone," Sydney says. "It was a pretty deep secret for me."

Sydney says for years she wasn't sure how to label herself. "When I was in high school and very early university I had boyfriends, very superficially. They were like crushes—nothing serious ever happened. And I thought if I feel these feelings, maybe I'm gay. Because that was the framework that society was able to support at the time."

As time went on, Sydney says she realized that she was attracted to women. "So I thought, well, I'm obviously not a gay man. What am I?"
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FROM: Transgender Families
Published on October 12, 2007

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