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Though she's only been using mascara and curlers for a few years, Denise says she's felt feminine since kindergarten.

"I knew something was up, but I didn't have a name for it," she says. "I couldn't really say that I wanted to be a woman, but I didn't want to go out and play in the sand box. I wanted to play in the kitchen with the other girls. I didn't want to go out on the jungle gym. I wanted to be inside doing hair and makeup."

At age 14 or 16, Denise says she finally told herself, "You know what? I need to be a woman. I want to be a woman."

"Why not just gay?" Oprah asks.

"It's totally different," Denise says. "Sex is between the legs. Gender's between the ears."

Even though she's taking female hormones, Denise says she's never been interested in having sexual relationships with men. "I'm not sure if that's because I'm in a committed relationship and I have already somebody that loves me dearly, or if it's truly where my sexuality is," she says. "I don't know that. I'm not exploring it because I'm in a committed relationship. We're happily married."
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FROM: Transgender Families
Published on October 12, 2007

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