In 1991, I had aversion therapy.
I was presenting male, had no thought of transition, in fact self-identified as transvestite. I had not told anyone of this, and felt great shame. So I would buy women’s clothes compulsively and wear them, and I thought, well, I have a stressful job, if this is how I manage to relax, why not? It does no-one any harm. Then, after a week or so, I would throw them out, thinking, I am a man, this is unmanly and I do not want to be unmanly, so I will stop. Either of these positions seemed entirely sensible and acceptable to me. What I could not bear was oscillating madly between them. I lost count of the times I bought clothes and then threw them away.
So I saw my GP, who referred me to a psychiatrist, privately. The psychiatrist thought that I had transsexual tendencies, but nevertheless referred me to a psychologist who offered me the choice: we could work together to try and make me feel more comfortable with cross-dressing, or he could give aversion therapy. And I chose aversion therapy.
I stood in front of a huge mirror, in underwear then in a dress, while they sat behind me. One told me how ridiculous I looked, one told me how disgusted everyone- family, friends, colleagues, strangers- would be if they saw me, and how no-one could ever be attracted to me, looking like that. Then I dressed male again, left the clothes with them to dispose of, and did not dress again for six months.
After six months I saw the psychologist again, and he was impressed with how I had not lapsed in six months- and I took this, ridiculously, as permission to lapse.