Formerly a mechanic named Paul, Stefonknee (pronounced ‘Stef-on-knee’) Wolscht, 52, of Toronto, Canada realized she was female at age 46. She left her wife, Maria, after she told her husband to “stop being trans or leave.”
What’s most unusual about Stefonknee is that she’s not only transgender as male to female, but she believes she is 6-year-old.
To fulfill what she believes is her true identity, Stefonknee now lives with friends she calls her “adoptive mommy and daddy.” She spends her days dressing as a little girl, playing with dolls, coloring and playing with her adoptive parents’ grandchildren.
The reason Stefonknee says she’s obsessed with being a 6-year-old girl is that as a child she never had the opportunity to be the little girl she truly was. Now, she has the support system she needs to be just that.
Before becoming a 6-year-old girl, Stefonknee lived as an eight-year-old, until the couple’s granddaughter asked her to be the younger sister instead.
Stefonknee’s wife, who eventually gave her the ultimatum to stop her transition or leave, was initially supportive. She even bought her husband an outfit. She was okay with him cross-dressing but not being transgender.
“To me, ‘stop being trans’ isn’t something I could do,” she explains. “It would be like telling me to stop being six-foot-two or leave.”
After Paul transitioned to Stefonknee, she lost all her customers and eventually her job as a mechanic. It got so bad that she had to live in a homeless shelter. She says that coming out as a transgender was the hardest thing she ever had to do.
In 2012, her daughter invited her to her wedding, but only if she would dress like a man and sit in the back of the church. That day, she attempted suicide for the second time in her life.
Stefonknee has now found support at Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, where much of the congregation is made up of LGBT members.
“It’s a fresh start,” says Stefonknee. ‘We have a quasi-family that we’re creating. And I’m allowed to be exactly who I am.”