Stefonknee “Stef-on-knee” Wolscht, 52, from Toronto, is a man who was married and has seven kids, abandoned his beautiful life in order to fulfill his true identity being a six-year-old girl.
“I’ve gone back to being a child,” she said.
The father of seven used child play to escape real life and cope up with a childhood she lost growing up.
Stefonknee realized she was transgender rather than simply a cross-dresser at the age of 46. During this time, her ex-wife, Maria told her to “stop being trans or leave,” to which she chose the latter.
Their marriage lasted for 23 years.
“I can’t deny I was married,” she said. “I can’t deny I have children, but I’ve moved forward now and I’ve gone back to being a child. I don’t want to be an adult right now.”
Now, Stefonknee lives with friends who she calls her “adoptive mommy and daddy”. Living as a six-year-old girl, dressing in kid’s clothing, and spending her time playing and coloring with her adoptive parents’ grandchildren.
Stefonknee began dressing as an 8-year-old and shifted to an even younger girl when her new “sister” asked her to be six instead.
“I have a mommy and a daddy, an adopted mommy, and daddy, who are totally comfortable with me being a little girl,” Stefonknee said about her new family. “And their children and their grandchildren are totally supportive.”
While living like a kid, Stefonknee admitted that she 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.
In the winter, Stefonknee earns money by plowing snow, and when she’s at home with her adoptive family, they play with colors and “do kid’s stuff”.
“It’s called play therapy,” she said. “No medication, no suicide thoughts. And I just get to play.”
“By not acting my age, I don’t have to deal with the reality that was my past,” she explained.
Stefonknee, who previously went by the name Paul, worked as a mechanic and was a dedicated member of the Catholic church, says she was trans before she got married to Maria after high school, but wasn’t educated about what that meant, and was terrified of being different.
Paul married his now ex-wife Maria and had seven children with her. It was Maria who discovered his strange love for dressing up in a woman’s clothing, but after a few years of being supportive of it, Maria had enough and left him.
In a previous episode of “The Transgender Project”, Stefonknee said she first realized she was different from other boys as early as age six because she was always jealous of the girls at school who got to wear new dresses on picture day.
At age 44, after attending some transgender workshops in Toronto, she confessed the truth to her own children and told them that he was a woman. Her kids had mixed feelings about him being a woman.
He asked the kids to write him letters about their feelings and read a letter from his son, Peter, loudly on The Transgender Project.
“Dear Dad, I feel it is very imbarassing [embarrassing] to see you walk around like that. But if you rilly [really] want it, it will be OK with me. Love, Peter,” the note reads.
His other children said they were “grossed out” by what he had done.
“I was a trans-parent for 23 years,” Stefonknee shared with The Daily Xtra. “It scared me because I didn’t know how to not be trans.”
After splitting from Maria, she moved to Toronto to live as a woman and began hormone replacement therapy in 2009.
But then her life began to fall apart. She lost her job as a mechanic after customers could not accept her being transgender, slept in a homeless shelter, and attempted suicide.
Then, in 2012, Stefonknee was invited to her daughter’s wedding but was asked to dress as a man and not speak to the family and sit at the back of the church. Hours later, she attempted to end her life once more.
“I paid a pretty heavy price for transitioning,” she told The Daily Xtra. “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.”
Fortunately, Stefonknee has now found acceptance by joining an LGBT/transgender community in Toronto called Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, where much of the congregation is made up of LGBT members who have formed a special support group just for her.
Stefonknee claims that she 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,” she proudly said. “We have a quasi-family that we’re creating. And I’m allowed to be exactly who I am.”