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HISTORY XXXVIII.--Miss V., aged 35. Throughout early life up to
adult age she was a mystery to herself, and morbidly conscious of
some fundamental difference between herself and other people.
There was no one she could speak to about this peculiarity. In
the effort to conquer it, or to ignore it, she became a hard
student and has attained success in the profession she adopted. A
few years ago she came across a book on sexual inversion which
proved to be a complete revelation to her of her own nature, and,
by showing her that she was not an anomaly to be regarded with
repulsion, brought her comfort and peace. She is willing that her
experiences should be published for the sake of other women who
may be suffering as in the past she has suffered.
"I am a teacher in a college for women. I am 34 years old and of
medium size. Up to the age of 30 I looked much younger, and since
older, than my age. Until 21 I had a strikingly child-like
appearance. My physique has nothing masculine in it that I am
aware of; but I am conscious that my walk is mannish, and I have
very frequently been told that I do things--such as
sewing,--'just like a man.' My voice is quite low but not coarse.
I dislike household work, but am fond of sports, gardening, etc.
When so young that I cannot remember it, I learned to whistle, a
practice at which I am still expert. When a young girl, I learned
to smoke, and should still enjoy it.
"Several men have been good friends of mine, but very few
suitors. I scarcely ever feel at ease with a man; but women I
understand and can nearly always make my friends.
"I am of Scotch-Irish descent. My father's family were
respectable, prosperous, religious people; my mother's family
only semi-respectable, hard livers, shrewd, but not intelligent,
industrious and money-getting, but fond of drinking and
carousing. There were many illegitimates among them. Both
grandmothers, though of little education, were unusual women. Of
my four maternal uncles, three drank heavily.
"When 43, my mother gave birth to me, the youngest of 8 children.
Of those who grew to adult years, 2 seem quite normal sexually; 1
is exceedingly erratic, entirely unprincipled, has been a thief
and a forger, is a probable bigamist, and has betrayed several
respectable women. Aside from his having inordinate desire, I
know of no sexual abnormality. Another brother, married and a
father, as a boy was much given to infatuations for men. I fancy
this never went beyond infatuation and of late years has not been
noticeable. A third brother, single, though much courted by women
on account of his good looks and personal charm, is wholly
unresponsive, has no gallantry, nor was ever, to my knowledge, a
suitor. He is, however, fond of the society of women, especially
those older than he. He has a somewhat effeminate voice and walk.
Though he has begun of late years to smoke and drink a little,
these habits sit rather oddly upon him. When a child, one of his
favorite make-believe games was to pretend that he was a famous
woman singer. At school he was always found hanging around the
"As a child I loved to stay in the fields, refused to wear a
sunbonnet, used to pretend I was a boy, climbed trees, and played
ball. I liked to play with dolls, but I did not fondle them, or
even make them dresses. When my hair was clipped, I was delighted
and made everyone call me 'John.' I used to like to wear a man's
broad-brimmed hat and make corn-cob pipes. I was very fond of my
father and tried to imitate him as much as possible. Where
animals were concerned, I was entirely fearless.
"I think I was not a sexually precocious child, though I seem to
have always known in a dim way that there were two sexes. Very
early I had a sense of shame at having my body exposed; I
remember on one occasion I could not be persuaded to undress
before a young girl visitor. At that time I must have been about
3. When I was 4 a neighbor who had often petted me took me on his
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