Teena Brandon Evolves into Brandon Teena

The most significant event in Brandon's youth was that she was a victim of incest by an uncle when she was in grade school, a fact which came to light only years later. The records show that she was abused on a regular basis from 1977, when she was five years old through 1981, when she was nine. This was never reported to her mother or to authorities. Her sister, Tammy, verified that she herself had been sexually abused by the same uncle.

Sometime after Brandon obtained puberty, she began to reject her own sex. She began dressing like a boy, cut her hair short, bound her breasts, and even put a sock in her pants to simulate male genitalia. She began posing as a boy and started dating girls. She was repelled at the thought of being touched by a male.

After her expulsion from high school, Brandon began a series of unskilled jobs including working in a lumber yard and selling vacuum cleaners, posing as a male. She was consistently short on money. She began having brushes with the law which culminated in her being charged and convicted of a felony check writing offense in Lincoln, and was subsequently placed on probation and was instructed to have psychiatric evaluation because of the transsexual ideation that she displayed. It was during this counseling that the history of incest first appeared.

In 1991, Brandon attempted suicide and was obviously very unhappy and depressed. In January, 1992, after having been charged and convicted of second-degree forgery, Brandon ended up at the Lincoln Crisis Center and was diagnosed with a gender disorder, possibly transsexualism, as well as an adjustment disorder. Records dated February 1992, indicated molestation when she was about nine years old. This was the first her mother knew of this. In April, 1992, Brandon was placed on probation by the district court, and was required to go to a mental health clinic as part of her probation. In August, 1992, Brandon again talked to her counselor about the abuse by the uncle, which resulted in her leaving the session actually physical shaken. In October, 1992, Brandon was terminated from the clinic, indicating there was no change, and in December, 1992, she was terminated from the program for failing to follow treatment. In November, 1993, Brandon was diagnosed by another counselor with transsexualism and a personality disorder.