“I’ve gone back to being a child,” says the once married Canadian man. He has abandoned his seemingly beautiful life to live the one he has always dreamed of—as a six-year-old transgender girl.
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Stefonknee “Stef-on-knee” Wolscht, aged 52, uses child play to escape real life and to cope with a childhood he felt he lost growing up. Stefonknee, who lives in Toronto, split from her wife after she threatened to kick him out if he became a transgender. The marriage lasted for 23 years.
Stefonknee has found solace with friends who have accepted her ways. They have even gone as far as playing her adoptive parents and dress her up in children’s clothing.
Stefonknee says of her family, “I have a mommy and a daddy—an adopted mommy and daddy—who are totally comfortable with me being a little girl. And their children and their grandchildren are totally supportive.”
The transgender girl now lives with an elderly couple, who have willingly accepted her in their home. Life has not always been happy before she was finally accepted as Stefonknee admits she did encounter a lot of trials along the way and felt deprived of who she really wanted to be.
Now Stefonknee still does regular adult stuff like driving a car or heading to the mall, only that she does it looking like a real six-year-old girl.
When Stefonknee started living with her new family, she began dressing as an 8-year-old and shifted to an even younger girl when her new “sister” asked her to be six instead.
While coming out as transgender has slowly become something that can be considered acceptable by most society, clearly Stefonknee has made decisions that are questionable. But contrary to what many think, she considers what she’s going through as something better than what others do like drugs or harmful fetishes.
“By not acting my age, I don’t have to deal with the reality that was my past,” she shared.
Stefonknee had some run-ins with the law in the past as well and shared that she was once placed in solitary confinement. She had to resort to playing like a child to get by that nine grueling days.
“It’s called play therapy. No medication, no suicide thoughts. And I just get to play,” Stefonknee said.
Years before she began dressing as a six-year-old, Stefonknee was a man named Paul. He was a mechanic and a devout Catholic, which added to his fear of being different. Paul married his now ex-wife Maria and had seven children with her. As documented in The Transgender Project, he grew up confused like many others who don’t feel like they fit in their own bodies.
It was Maria who discovered his uncanny love for dressing up in woman’s clothing. But after a few years of being supportive of it, Maria had enough and left him.
Paul had to later admit the reality to his own children, who had mixed emotions about him being a woman.
“Dear Dad, I feel it is very imbarassing [sic] to see you walk around like that. But if you rilly [sic] want it, it will be OK with me. Love, Peter,” the note read.
His other children just could not understand what he was doing, even going as far as saying they were “grossed out” by what he had done.
But that didn’t hinder Paul from pursuing his plan to become a lady. He underwent hormone replacement therapy and is now on his way to becoming a full woman going by the name Stefonknee.
It was a long road for the transgender, as she was hospitalized after joining Toronto’s transgender rally. She also began having suicidal thoughts along the way.
Stefonknee was fired from her job as a mechanic and was homeless for almost a year.
She attempted a second suicide around 2012 when her daughter Amanda got married. The event could have been good news, but for Stefonknee, it turned out to be a heartbreak. Her daughter would only let her go if she dressed like a man and sat in the back of the church without saying a word to any of her siblings.
“I paid a pretty heavy price for transitioning. I’ve already lost everything, and everything has happened. I’m gonna be me, and I’m gonna show other people that it’s OK to be feminine for a guy,” she said in an interview with the Daily Xtra.
Luckily, Stefonknee has finally found the solace she needed by joining an LGBT/transgender community in Toronto, and she now has a place to live where she is accepted for who she truly is.
Stefonknee is stronger now. She has built a strong community around her, meeting other transgender people and even others who want to “play” with her.
“I have a whole bunch of friends who want to play, so they still do their job during the day, but when they’re stressed out, there’s nothing wrong with us pulling out a puzzle, or coloring in a coloring book, or watching cartoons,” Stefonknee said.
“We have a quasi-family that we’re creating. And I’m allowed to be exactly who I am,” Stefonknee said proudly.