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When he was only about five years old, Heyer's grandmother began to dress him as if he were a girl and even made a dress just for him. The result was a very confused little boy.
"I look at it today as being pretty abusive. While it seemed very benign at the time, and maybe even playful, I can see today...that it was really abusive to my psyche," he told The Christian Post on Wednesday.
But his early struggles didn't end there. His father became angry and fearful of the influence of Heyer's grandmother on him, and began to treat his son differently as a result. His mother was young and immature - she had two boys of her own before the age of 20 - and she was heavy-handed with her discipline of them. Heyer's uncle viewed the situation with his grandmother as a joke, and sexually molested him when he was still young.
After a while, Heyer began to wonder if he would be treated better if he actually was a girl. He tried to bury his feelings, but the more he withdrew the more he began to fantasize about being a girl.
By his early teenage years, the fantasy had only grown. He adopted the female name Andrea West, and began cross dressing. At age 15, he also began learning about Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) and, although he struggled against his desire to be female, he says those feelings were like a radio playing in his head that he just couldn't turn off.
Source: Christian Post | Jeff Schapiro