Reading Mike: The Annotated Bailey: Chapter 8, page 155

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Bailey Commentary

[155] 8 Terese and Cher

the ceiling mirror partially detached and hit him in the head. He wondered what people would have thought if he had been killed and his body subsequently discovered. He began to doubt his sanity, but could not stop. He was becoming seriously depressed. He was lonely, and disgusted with what he felt was his own narcissism.  
Soon after this, he sought treatment for depression. He confided in a psychiatrist about his secret life. By coincidence, the psychiatrist had worked with John Money, the eminent sex researcher. He suggested that Chuck might be a transsexual rather than "merely" a transvestite (or heterosexual cross-dresser). Subsequently, Chuck was assessed at a gender clinic in Wisconsin, where he was diagnosed a transsexual. This was an enormous relief to Chuck, who felt that his obsessions were now more explicable. Chuck now knew what he wanted to do with his life: become a woman and have sex with other people rather than by himself. He dismantled "robot man" and began to plan for his transition.

Cher (named for the performer, whom Cher feels she resembles) was born in 1991. Her mother had died by then, but her dying father accepted her decision in good spirits. His death later that year gave Cher the inheritance she needed to pay for her surgery. One year and a day after Chuck became Cher, Cher got sexual reassignment surgery in Montreal. She was 40 years old. By then, both parents were dead, and many of her remaining family rejected her. (This was due, in part, to disagreements about the disposition of her father’s estate.) Despite this, for the most part Cher has been happier than Chuck was. She is more outgoing and feels that she lives a real life now, instead of a fantasy life. Despite her negative experiences with her family, many other people have accepted her. For example, she attended the 25th reunion of her all male high school class—as a woman. Pictures of that event clearly show that her classmates enjoyed and admired her. She continues to play the dulcimer in the Irish folk music group she helped form as a man; her fellow musicians had no problem with this.



During the time between Cher’s birth and her full transition, she

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