Update: Since this story was originally broadcast in 2015 Scott shares that he's moved to Iowa and will be marrying a cis-gender, gay, man who, "accepts me for the man I am." He is one of the inaugural members of One Iowa's LGBTQ Leadership Institute.
Scott Fieker says he realized at a very young age that he didn’t identify with the gender he was genetically born with.
“I knew what boys and girls looked like, but it wasn’t until I was probably 5 that my cousin Cathy was born that I realized that my penis was missing, and that that’s why people were calling me a girl,” says Fieker, a counselor for Swope Health Services in Kansas City.
“I was convinced that I was a boy, it's just that my penis hadn’t gotten there yet.”
Fieker is a gay trans-man, but he was born genetically a girl. He says his early years were hard — in grade school, he quit using the bathroom during the day. He trained himself to hold it, so he wouldn’t have to go into the girl’s room.
In those days, Fieker also had to wear dresses to school, which he didn’t want to do. He would stash a change of clothes in a tree, and change into shorts and a T-shirt on the way to school. Eventually at a parent teacher conference, his behavior was outed, and his parents were not happy.
“They wanted me and my brother to look good to others. And they didn’t want any negative feedback,” Fieker says. “So it was difficult for them to have somebody who was being crazy acting. My mother’s mother was schizophrenic, and so when I started doing what they thought were bizarre things, that alarmed her.”
In college, Fieker came out again, but he recalls that people still didn’t get it.
“I would say that I was a boy, or that I felt male, but it wasn’t talked about a lot back then, back in the early '70s,” he says.
'The support that I didn't have.'
Fieker says there were hardly any trans role models while he was growing up, not like there are today. He gives this advice for people today who are struggling with gender identity and trans issues.
“The most helpful thing I could say is you know who you are, and you have a right to be who you are. Not all trans-people want to do a medical transition. Some people can’t for medical reasons. But as far as having a hair style, clothing style preference and changing your name, being who you are, you can do that at any time, at any age. I hope the younger kids have the support that I didn’t have.”