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The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1973
File 018
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The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1973 - File 018. 1973-06. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3445/show/3441.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1973-06). The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1973 - File 018. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3445/show/3441

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1973 - File 018, 1973-06, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/3445/show/3441.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title The Nuntius & Our Community, Vol. 4, No. 6, June 1973
Contributor
  • Frank, Phil
Date June 1973
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 28912012
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).; Pages 8 and 13 of this newspaper issue are numbered incorrectly.
Item Description
Title File 018
Transcript Toni vividly remembers the first time little Richard Anthony Mayes of Houston, Texas was subjected to the unusual. "I remember one experience when I was; about five years old and I had slipped into the bathroom andputon my sisters ' clothes. I had done this before because I had been told not to wear hear clothes and I had found that I had to hide to do it. My sister had to use the bathroom on this occasion so I quickly took off her clothes except for her panties and put mine back on. By the end of- the day I had forgotten them and when my mother put me to bed she found them on me. She spanked me for that and the next -day she put my sisters red frilly Sunday best dress on me and sent me out to play with the "other boys." She was trying to shame me but instead X rather enjoyed it thus discouraging ;her following this line of punishment any further. Instability marred Toni's childhood - parents often divorced, mother often married (eight times at last count), a year spent in an orphanage, living with various relatives in different parts of the country, and all the time the child felt like and knew he was a girl, and was forced to live as a boy. "Normally, I wound up playing by myself." Toni found it very difficult to find friends in other children because of her problem. At the time when little girls don't like little boys Toni was the same way. As a girl she didn't like boys either, and because she looked like a boy the little girls didn't like her. There were occasional bright spots. During the "Bat Man Era" Toni couldplay with a purse, saying it was the masked mans utility bag and wear a cape and pretend it was a ball gown. When Toni was eight years old her mother put her and her two sisters in a orphans home in Denver, Colorado. Toni was separated from her sisters because of her male body. Girls were on one side of the home and the boys on the other, this confused Toni because at eight she still could not accept being male and didn't understand why she was separated from her sisters. "1 think my relatives thought there was a difference in me because after about a year in the home my grandfather came to Denver and moved us children to Corpus Christy, Texas and my sisters lived with my grandparents while I lived with my aunt and uncle and their son. My uncle was in the Navy and his son was about my age. I think they felt I would realize I was a 'boy' if I was in that kind of environment. We spent the summer there and I really enjoyed it. I found a close friend in the neighbor girl next door and we played such games as jump- rope, jacks, house and other typically 'girls' games." At other times when no one else was home Toni could enact the childs idea of a housewife. Toni also remembers risking ridicule to change into a skirt and blouse in a grade school restroom to join the girls in the gym for a game of basketball. Why? "I was crying out for someone to realize I was a girl! No matter what I did nobody understood." Another phase of Toni's life involved hiding some of his sisters clothes underhismattressandthen dressing in them at night when everyone else was asleep. "I was about ten or eleven at the time, and 1 was living with my fathers brother and sister-in-law and their six children in Sheldon, Texas. I couldn't dress during the day because there.were too many people around so I had to wait until after everyone was asleep. I was still living with them when I was twelve and my cousin was just beginning to-wear a bra-and I began adding that to my wardrobe at night. The bra didn't Tit properly so I had to adjust it .every night and after about two weeks my aunt had a word or two with me about it. She'.never actually said'she thought I was the - one who was; changing the adjustments on the bra but I decided hot to readjust it;after that." Despite the inner turmois Toni did well in "school, skipping a term. . in the fourth grade and another in the fifth. But Toni failed the seventh grade. (Toni, as.With most true transsexuals, has'a very high I.Q. . . Her I.Q. is 125.on the Welcher Adult Intelligence Scale," where 19:9% is above ad- verage.) "Seventh grade was perhaps one of the niost. traumatic times of my life. With puberty came my voice change and along with it came other undesired changes. I really realized I had problems. Like the rest of the girls I wanted to date guys. I also realized this wasn't addepted. I was expected to be like the 'other guys' and date girls. I knew I wasn't a boy and the idea of dating girls was foreign to me. 1 just wasn't interested in girls. The girls didn't-want to date me either because I wasn't the 'Ideal Guy." A compromise was reached eventually when Toni met a girl who likedto skate. "We were skating partners and ours was a platonic relationship." Another disappointment came that same year when Toni tried to get on the school cheerleading team. "I wanted to be a cheerleader more than anything in the world. She school didn't have any male cheerleaders and they wouldn't make any exceptions. So, I wound up running track instead." (Toni today regrets those athletic pursuits, for they developed her arms and legs so that she now doesn't appear as feminine as she would like.) Other diversions were swimming, ceramics and breeding blue-tailed guppies. "I found that if I had a great many other tings to keep me busy I didn't have to date." At age 14 Toni was two weeks into the eighth grade and still hadn't adjusted to having a male body. She ran away with a cousin to California. "Why was I born with this deformity? It was a fate worse than death - a living hell. I had not friends and 1 had long since learned I couldn't tell anyone how I felt." When Toni reached California she had a nex experience which for a short while she thought offered a solution to her problem. "My cousin and I met two homosexuals and we spent the night with them. My cousin was repulsedbytheiraggresivness and he left the next day. I said to myself, 'Perhaps this is what my problem is. Maybe I am gay. I decided to give it a try and I learned the first night that I wasn't gay. I was still being treated as a male and my male genitalia was the object of most importance in any sex relationship with gay men. I hated my male genitalia and I was as upset with that kind of sex as my cousin was. I decided to continue and experiment with it because it at least offered a solution to my situation. My cousin had called my mother and told her the type of enviornment I was in and- ' she called'the authorities and- she called the authorities and had me sent back to Houston.' I spent . about two weeks with the two men ■ and by that time I was sure I _ was not gay." "After that I ran away twice again, once.to Tennessee -and once to Florida. I -,went hungry, a lot and I often ate well too so it pretty well evened out. I lea'rned tcr fend for myself.- I also learned a lot about.Tife.and people. Toni was'unhappy and unadjusted to the male role." She cOuldn't make, friends and finally decided to try and adjust to being the man her body dictated she be. She had an uncle (the one she spent the summer with in Corpus Christi with) who had retired from the Navy. Her family said that joining the navy was the best thing she could do.."The Navy will make a man out of you," they said. So at fifteen she tried to enlist with her mother signing the papers. Somehow the Navy found out she was only fifteen and wouldn't let her join. "I was disappointed and ran away again..'! went from place to place taking odd jobs like dishwashing and sweeping floors to stay alive,. I even worked one summer for the City of Houston as a basket boy at the Mason Park Swimming Pool. When I was old enough to enter the service at seventeen I enlisted." During boot camp Toni excelled in all courses, and was on the swim team. Her company earned sixath- letic flags (awards) mostly due to her ability to swim. "I enjoyed boot camp for the Challenge, but I hated it for other reasons. Like having to shower with seventy- five guys .- ". .1 found it very embarrasing even though I was physically no different than they were. Toni fell in love for the first time while in boot camp. He was an Iowa sailor and they became good friends. The man never suspected the relationship was anything but the traditional "buddy type." Toni decided to go home with him on leave and when they left camp she had her first heterosexual experience. The sailor had written home to his girl and had her line up a date for Toni. "We went to a show the first night there and I fell asleep, I didn't want to try anything. I really only wanted to be with my buddy. He was upset about my going to sleep and spent several hours telling me off. The next night I spent the night with the girl and had sex with her to satisfy my "buddy"." After boot camp Toni was assigned to sea duty. Toni "couldn't take being aboard ship with 3500 men", and went absent without leave, returning to Iowa to stay with the girl she had met and dated during boot leave there. This girl later became Toni's first wife. Although they infrequently ha intercourse, they had a daughter two years and one month after they married. (Toni has said the child will never see her father again.) "I loved my daughter very much, more than I have ever loved anyone in my life. I would like to be her mother, of course I know that could never be, I don't believe I ever really lover her mother. as a husband perhaps should, but then, that to me, would have been homosexual. "The common law marriage ended in divorce after four years. During this period the Navy caught up with Toni. While in the brig at Great Lakes Illinois Toni discovered a way to get out .of the Navy . . . .permanently. In response to a question on an evaluation' form "do you have any homosexual tendencies?", Toni replied, "I don't know but I like men." The result was an undesirable discharge for her. Toni wishes she hadn't done that now however because she now thinks the navy was a good experience for her and she would like to return to the- service after she has her sex changed and get an honorable discharge. Deciding "I hadn't tried as hard ;as I could to be what society thought 1 should be" Toni enrolled in a college in Iowa studying electrical engineering and computer sciences as well as participating actively in student governmentand campus organizations. She was president of her class, social editor of the yearbook, Iowa State advisor for Vocational Clubs of America, President and organizor for the schools bowling league, and captain of her team, she also organized a scholarship program to be maintained by the electrical engineering class for future students who needed a helping hand to go to school. "I went to school full time and worked part and full time jobs. It was hard to do but my wife also worked and that made it easier. I never had a hard time going to sleep at night during those years." Toni was a licensed radio operator at the time and the need to be herself never ceased. At night when her wife would go to bed Toni would tell her she was going to stay up to try to contact other radio operators on the radio, and Toni would then dress up and be herself for a few hours. She often wouldn't even go to bed, but would stay up until time to go to school. 9. 6AY «W \ (pfflNITY tttffffT** MEETING ROOMS Meetings Wed. 7:30 p.m. MONTROSE GAZE 528 9069 104 Fairview Page 17
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