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‘I Am Nancy,’ a Brooklyn man’s journey to womanhood: Part 2

Nancy Owen, a pre-operative transgender and divorced dad from Bay Ridge, has walked in Caitlyn Jenner’s high heels.

At 11 she began wearing her older sister’s dresses, bras, and panties to satisfy her burning desire to be a woman, but at college she managed to dodge the urges — for the most part.

“One time I stole a pair of panties from a dryer and wore them in my dorm room,” says the vivacious brunette, 39, who likes to call people “sweetie” and asked her real name not be used.

On breaks home she raided her mother’s and sister’s closets, while her gender anxieties confused and terrified her: she associated her dress-ups with being gay, but thought of herself as heterosexual, despite being attracted to both sexes.

Just before turning 21 Nancy sought professional help to wean herself off cross-dressing — unsuccessfully.

“It was a terrible idea,” she says. “I was only putting off the inevitable.”

Halloween became her fashion runway, allowing her to present herself freely as a woman in public. One year she went as a sock-hop girl, receiving compliments on her self-applied makeup.

“A lady said it had a woman’s touch,” says Nancy. “Little did she know she was right.”

Yet she clung to her traditional beliefs, meeting a woman online, although her gender dysphoria continued to grow after the couple moved in together.

“One night I went to a cross-dresser-transgender night at a bar in the city, after I told her I was playing poker with my friends,” says Nancy. “I wore a short, dark-green dress that belonged to her, and I kissed a man for the first time that evening.”

The couple married and had two sons, but eventually divorced due to other issues, she claims.

“We married because we were in love, but we divorced because we became different people,” says Nancy.

Her sexy eBay purchases and mounting gender crisis didn’t help.

“One time I slipped on a pair of her plain cotton panties as a joke, and she flipped out,” she says. “Another time I mistakenly had a pair of red thigh-high boots shipped to my house instead of my secret P.O. Box, and she found out.”

The divorce, an ultimate relief, left Nancy emotionally bereft and facing the undeniable.

“I decided I had to start the path to transition,” she says.

Next week: Part 3, coming out

Follow me on Twitter@BritShavana

Read Shavana Abruzzo’s column every Friday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail here at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com.

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