Eventually, I did stop fighting -- but the dream never died. It went underground. My desire to identify as female has always existed; sometimes, it's just been hidden.
The dress cost a little more than my thrift-store clothes ($27) but I couldn't resist buying it. Can you put a price on a dream? An anodyne?
The only problem now is, I don't want to take it off. I want to wear it all day. I want to live in it. I want to watch movies with my girlfriends in it. I want to eat popcorn and gossip and giggle. I want to squeal during funny stories and laugh with other girls.
Oh well... at least I have the dress...