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At Age 3 — Transitioning From Jack To Jackie

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posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 07:46 PM
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a reply to: TamaraAndBrian

Now I have a few questions for either of you, if you don't mind? You've both done such a wonderful job with everything you've already written, some of the questions I thought I was going to have already have been answered. I'm just going to fire these out. My curiosities might be different than others and I hope aren't invasive? They'll probably be weird, but that's just me!

____

At that the point when you realized you needed to involve outside help with Jade, how much did you already know about what you were dealing with? Did you scour the Internet looking for information, did you have a particular starting point like an organization or group to look into and where did you find out about them from? How much about trans stuff did you already know or how did you know that's what you needed to be looking for?

I'm just curious if you started from scratch, used the web, used the phone? Did you get a referral from a family doctor? If someone, a parent, was just beginning to consider what to do or where to start, would you have any suggestions?

When you did first involve medical professionals for evaluations and counseling, etc., were they specialized in gender issues or more just general family or child type practices? If you did start with some one more generalized, did you trade up to others with more specialized qualifications and experience along the way. Were there some you really liked, disliked or were meh about? Were there any you liked but Jade didn't? What was some of the best and some or worst advice you received?

You mentioned PFLAG. How did you get turned on to them in the beginning? Were you apprehensive at all getting involved with this group and what were some of the good (or bad) things you got from it. Certainly just knowing there were other parents out there going through what your family was working on must have been supportive? Are there any other groups or organizations you've been involved with, good or bad?

Finally, I am interested how you utilized technology to help. Did you do a lot of online reading and research? Did you join any online community and forums that were helpful? Were there any particular websites that were of most value to you? Did you find some really negative and nasty ones full of hateful comments? I just did recently. It looked like it could be an informative and supportive blog with a lot of information that looked credible at first. On closer look most of the fancy and scientific articles were not what they seemed and I got angry at so much junk was being passed off as truth. If you encountered any of these sites or just read a lot of negative ugly things, how much were they considered.

That's all of these I have for now. Just sort of wondered where someone else might start out with their own child

Thank you! If you ever did want to speak more discretely about anything, Jade has my email addy




posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 07:53 PM
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a reply to: EKron

Yes i agree 10000 % like you catch yourself wondering what if i was loved...

i'm sure they are already proud of Her, but her intelligence, confidence and poise is flawless and something to be proud of



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 11:21 PM
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originally posted by: EKron

originally posted by: JadeStar
I'm so sorry. I was afraid that might happen. *Hug* please know that you have helped a lot of people here who may not even participate in this thread, but who have read your experience and have achieved greater understanding about these issues.

No worries, Jade. These are my feelings and I own them. Well, sometimes they do try to pwn me now and then like yesterday but I always win. If I didn't, I wouldn't still be breathing. I am a veteran survivor of this crap.


Yes you are and that in and of itself is something that you should be proud of.



Your posts aren't what did this or caused my dismay.


Oh ok. (breathes a sigh of relief)



It was my mother, father and step-father and the times. Keep in mind, the lines of gender were much more strict and that boys/children had no option to transition or try things and were expected to just suck it up. I got away with more than most but not without some baggage. I'll post this here for further understanding of our struggles and maybe if your parents read it, can wonder what they'd have done with you in the 50's and 60's with no information and no doctors to turn to with knowledge of what to do.

I don't blame or hold anything against my folks. How can I? It was not like I was unloved or mistreated. As a somewhat weird and very sensitive only child, just the opposite was true. My parents were only being diligent and concerned and doing what they thought was the very best for me like I suppose when bloodletting was thought to cure illness, parents felt that was the best thing for their children too?


I try to imagine what it would have been like to go through all of that back then and I can't imagine it. I can't even imagine how people found anything out without the internet. I mean even if your parents had let you be who you are how would they have found other parents to talk with? And would they have even *felt comfortable* talking about it? From what you tell me and what other older people say, people didn't talk about these issues back then and if someone was like us they were shunned or sent to places where they put electrodes on them to do some sort of barbaric aversion "therapy".

I doubt that I'd have been as strong as you were/are. I'd have gone quietly into that good night.



Unlike you, I did not strongly verbalize wanting to be a girl as much as I just naturally acted out. Concessions for my behavior were made at some point, I did have babies to play with and an apron for a pretend dress which was not something boys were allowed to do but I'm clueless how or when things got to this point, Maybe I was one of those 3 year old kids that spoke up but was viciously suppressed and harshly forbidden to express it? Who knows? I don't remember being three and there's no one to quiz about it. At 5 -6, do remember my father and mother loudly fighting about this more than a few times and knew they were arguing about me but I wasn't giving up my babies.


Yeah it was at or around that age that it started becoming very clear that I wasn't going through some phase. I think in both of our cases our parents tried to do what they felt was best for us in the long term. I remember crying so much when my mom threw out my dollies and girl clothes.

And yes, it could be that you spoke up at 3 but were suppressed and so you didn't want to speak up again. I guess you'll never know though.

As for me, I was very talkative and as my mom said very expressive. I didn't shut down and stop talking until I was being suppressed (or is it oppressed?). That's when I remember I only found peace and happiness when I would dream that I was a normal girl, playing with other girls my age and being treated no differently. Then I'd wake up in my sad childhood reality. Even so, I felt if I didn't speak up about what I really was I'd be lost forever. IDK if that makes any sense? (continued.)



posted on Jul, 7 2015 @ 11:42 PM
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originally posted by: EKron
My dad was a Marine that fought in Korea and was unrelenting in his attempts to attack, belittle, humiliate and embarrass me at every opportunity without exception and I hated him for it. I've never forgiven him for buzzing my hair at 8 and for lacking an ounce of sensitivity about it. To me, this turned his verbal abuse into physical abuse.


Amazing the parallel to my experience with my dad (who was in the Navy) taking me to have all my hair cut off, which I already talked about.

Here's an interesting question? So like, you, that other transsexual girl from my town I told you about and a couple of the kids I met when I was younger all have parents who served in the military.

Is that some coincidence or what?

Also I saw someone in the thread earlier ask if the kid in the NPR story was an only child would they still feel the same. Well you were an only child and you still felt that way so you are a living answer to whoever pondered that.



I long ago accepted this was done out of love but it doesn't stop the pain or memory of how much these things can hurt. My mom was obviously less hardcore and sensed my true nature and I know she felt bad for me at times. My behavior of me being me was a source of contention between my parents. However, after they separated and as I got older, my mom picked up the torch where my dad left off and began to push with her own brand of shame and guilt until toward the end of my junior year in high school when she either mellowed out, was afraid I'd suicide our just gave up? I had had several "evaluations". Maybe she was told to back off and let me be me?

"Why can't you be more like a boy?" "Other boys don't do that"." Stop acting like a girl and man up." "Why won't you go outside and play with the neighbor boys?" "Do you want people to think you are a sissy?" "What, do you think you're going to grow up and be a girl?" "If you don't cut your hair, people are going to start thinking you're a girl" "Boys don't wear that". I could fill up a page of this "love".

It's one thing to encourage, guide and suggest. It's another to malign and harass. None of it worked as intended and if anything, strengthened my resolve to do, be and feel whatever the hell I wanted.


It's amazing to hear that because that same stuff was said to me but its like all of that was compressed into the years of my early childhood until I was 7. So we experienced very similar things but it stopped for me when my mom told me that they would let me be a girl and that they were sorry for how they had treated me. In your case there was no child psychologist to advise your parents on what to do with you and back then i can only imagine the horrible things they might have recommended.

It seems like some people in this thread would be perfectly happy to return to the dark ages rather than trust that these issues are better understood than they were from the 1950s-1990s.



So, when painful things from my past do sneak above the horizon in my mind once and a while, I remember what it took to get where I wanted to be and then have to pinch myself I've actually made it to 60 years old. In a way, that alone is a big FU to all the BS.


I still sense a lot of anger in you. I don't blame you. You had to put up with a lot of things for a very LONG time. I know that I was once very angry and depressed and hated the world when it seemed I was trapped in an untenable situation and that no one was listening to me.

Well isn't it great those sad days are behind us? You achieved something marvellous at a time when very few did. You and others from your time helped make the world a better place so that kids like me didn't have to go through all of what you went through for as long as you went through it.

For that you have nothing to regret. Like you said, you made it to 60 despite those who would rather you didn't exist, so celebrate life
:yay:


Ok, my parents are going to log in soon, but won't be up as late as last night. I see you already have some questions for them.

If anyone else has any, please post them here.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:50 AM
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originally posted by: EKron
a reply to: TamaraAndBrian

Now I have a few questions for either of you, if you don't mind? You've both done such a wonderful job with everything you've already written, some of the questions I thought I was going to have already have been answered. I'm just going to fire these out. My curiosities might be different than others and I hope aren't invasive? They'll probably be weird, but that's just me!

____



At that the point when you realized you needed to involve outside help with Jade, how much did you already know about what you were dealing with?


(This is Tamara, Jade's mom)


I realized we needed outside help with Jade when her issues were affecting her education. She was a perfect student in terms of grades, but the elementary school she went to gave her bad marks for social involvement. She was withdrawn, closed off and other than speaking to the teacher when called on she didn't talk with anyone.

Her teacher knew that she had been teased in kindergarten about playing with other girls and feeling more comfortable in their activities rather than playing with the boys. It was around that time Jade clammed up and stopped expressing herself at school.

So Jade's teacher suggested that we might want to think about taking Jade to a child psychologist.

At this point Brian had already began thinking we might be in over our head. So it was decided that Jade would see a child psychologist who our health insurance company referred us to.

We knew next to nothing about gender issues. Certainly we had heard of transgender people but we just assumed it was some choice people made as adults to live a certain way. We had not yet heard anything about transgender kids.

As it turned out the first child psychologist we took Jade to was not very helpful. He did all of the normal psychological and personality testing. It took about a month before Jade opened up to talking with him more than simple yes and no answers but when she did she told him everything and he began working with her on her feelings that she was born the wrong gender. Some time later he told us that we had a very intelligent child but that he was at a loss as to what advice he could give us. He stated he had tried a number of techniques to see if Jade was somehow associating being female with something she was lacking in the home or perhaps just had a very active imagination and those test were negative so he was at a loss as to do. He said he could continue working with her but that perhaps someone who was a specialist with regards to gender identity issues would be more productive and he gave us several names of other psychologists which we followed up.



Did you scour the Internet looking for information, did you have a particular starting point like an organization or group to look into and where did you find out about them from? How much about trans stuff did you already know or how did you know that's what you needed to be looking for?


(Brian here, Jade's Dad)

Yes. I looked on the internet for anything about parents of children who felt like Jade. At first I didn't come up with anything useful. I did however learn that somewhere in the Netherlands there were kids like Jade who were being allowed to live as the gender they were most comfortable as and that the kids were mostly happy. I then looked for any organizations which could potentially help us as parents and I came across the website for PFLAG so I contacted their national headquarters and explained our predicament. They said that we weren't alone in dealing with this issues and that there were quite a lot of parents who had children like Jade. They referred us to a local PFLAG chapter and they were very helpful.

First off, they looked at the list of psychologists we received and they said that all were very good and that it was up to us to find the best fit for us and Jade. They also asked if we'd like to speak with or meet another family who had gone through something similar with their child. At first we declined but did end up calling them back once Jade started seeing the second psychologist who told us that Jade was suffering from what was called gender dysphoria. That's when things became a lot more serious at least for me. I realized then that a lot of what I thought would help Jade adjust to life as a boy was actually causing more problems than solving them. That's when we decided to start attending PFLAG meetings and talking with other families who had gone through or were currently going through similar issues.





I'm just curious if you started from scratch, used the web, used the phone?


We started from scratch and we used both the internet and phone.



Did you get a referral from a family doctor?


Yes.



If someone, a parent, was just beginning to consider what to do or where to start, would you have any suggestions?


I would suggest getting in touch with PFLAG and buying a book called The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals which was published around the time that the three of us made the decision to postpone puberty for Jade to give her a little more time to think things through and before deciding on the changes her body would undergo in either eventuality. That book covers dealing with transgender children from birth to college age. Wished it had existed back when she was born. It would have helped us immensely an saved us all a lot of heartache and headaches.

edit on 8-7-2015 by TamaraAndBrian because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 01:08 AM
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Still here


Just following now.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 01:43 AM
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originally posted by: EKron a reply to: TamaraAndBrian
When you did first involve medical professionals for evaluations and counseling, etc., were they specialized in gender issues or more just general family or child type practices? If you did start with some one more generalized, did you trade up to others with more specialized qualifications and experience along the way. Were there some you really liked, disliked or were meh about? Were there any you liked but Jade didn't? What was some of the best and some or worst advice you received?


(This is Tamara again)

I think Brian answered the first part so I'll just answer the second part. Basically it's like this, we went to the first psychologist and he did what he could but he had no experience with children like Jade. Also Jade really didn't like the guy and at times would shut down again because from what she told us, he just kept asking the same questions and saying the same things over and over again. When we asked him about this he admitted he didn't know what else to do, so he gave us a list of people who he heard specialized in dealing with our situation and we settled on one who Jade began seeing and this time Jade immediately opened up about her feelings and after oh, I guess about a year or a year and a half we got the assessment that Jade had a condition which would be better dealt with by letting her live as a girl. And so that's when we sat down with Jade and told her that we loved her and that she was going to be ok and that she could start living as a girl at home and that our home was a safe place for her.



You mentioned PFLAG. How did you get turned on to them in the beginning? Were you apprehensive at all getting involved with this group and what were some of the good (or bad) things you got from it.

I was more apprehensive than Brian. I mean like I said, I come from a very religious background and so anything with the terms Gay or Lesbian in it was viewed with suspicion by me cause that's how we were raised. But I also know that often the things we are raised to believe are wrong. For instance. I was raised to not ever trust white people and certainly not a white man. But look who I married! So I thought, you know, far be it for me to judge who people fall in love with. The Bible says "Judge not, lest you be judged." So I told Brian that I was ok with talking with other parents because I was certain we could not handle this alone. We were in a very lonely place at this point and it made sense to reach out for help with Jade and how we would have to protect her once we realized that there was nothing anyone could do or say to to Jade which was going to change how she felt. We realized that's just how she was born and that others like her were able to be happy with themselves once they were allowed to just be themselves.

Certainly just knowing there were other parents out there going through what your family was working on must have been supportive? Are there any other groups or organizations you've been involved with, good or bad?


YES! Realizing that we weren't alone in this and that we had other people we could talk with and learn from really helped us a great deal. As for other organizations, there was a new group starting up called Washington Gender Alliance. We were curious to learn from some people who were now adults but were transgendered and I guess I have mixed feelings on that group as it seemed at least at that time to have people all over the map. Some people were like Jade and knew when they were very young, others didn't know until later in life so I didn't know what to make of that other than all agreed that it was better for Jade that we accept her, no matter what she might later decide to do one way or the other.

PFLAG was the most helpful back then when this was all so new to us. For me personally, being able to talk with other mothers was invaluable.


Finally, I am interested how you utilized technology to help. Did you do a lot of online reading and research? Did you join any online community and forums that were helpful? Were there any particular websites that were of most value to you?


(Brian here)

Yes we both did a lot of reading. It seemed almost like going back to college. I mean, at times it was overwhelming mainly because while we learned about all of this, we were also learning how a lot of how we handled Jade previously was not only counterproductive but potentially destructive. I had no idea and like I said, things like the incident at the barber or me taking a belt to her when I caught her wearing one of her sisters dresses, they still haunt me because of what I know now.

As for online communities we have been active on a closed forum which we reach through the website for GenderSpectrum.org. It is very good in that they screen people before they can join and as such we know that the people are good people and information we are getting is from credible sources. There's a lot of crap out there and I had to sift through most of it. I'm not going to bother going into it but as you said you've encountered some place that were not the best. Such is the internet. Most of the more helpful sites we've been to we learned about through personal interaction with other parents and families.



Did you find some really negative and nasty ones full of hateful comments? I just did recently. It looked like it could be an informative and supportive blog with a lot of information that looked credible at first. On closer look most of the fancy and scientific articles were not what they seemed and I got angry at so much junk was being passed off as truth. If you encountered any of these sites or just read a lot of negative ugly things, how much were they considered.


Well I am not familiar with the blog you are talking about but I do know that there are often a lot of negative comments on news stories about children like Jade and those comments come from a place of extreme prejudice and ignorance. I try not to dwell on the negativity and usually if I have the time I'll comment on such articles as a dad to a lovely daughter who is very happy, successful and well adjusted today.



That's all of these I have for now. Just sort of wondered where someone else might start out with their own child


I'd have to recommend PFLAG, GenderSpectrum and that book The Transgender Child which I highly recommend. There are many more resources for families who have a child like Jade today. We wish a lot of them, like that camp for instance, had existed back then. That said, we found ourselves lucky in that by the time Jade was 10 much had already begun to change, for instance she was accepted to the Girl Scouts and more people in the education system were becoming well versed in these issues. In some ways Jade was born at probably the first time that kids like her could start to have somewhat normal childhood experiences.



Thank you! If you ever did want to speak more discretely about anything, Jade has my email addy



Your welcome. Jade has given your address to Tamara.

We've gotta go but if you or anyone else have any further questions we will be back to answer them tomorrow evening Pacific Time.
edit on 8-7-2015 by TamaraAndBrian because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-7-2015 by TamaraAndBrian because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 07:36 AM
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originally posted by: JadeStar
I try to imagine what it would have been like to go through all of that back then and I can't imagine it.


By the same token, I can't imagine what it would have been like and how my life might have been different with parents like yours and been able to follow your timetable. Take all the support and caring, the loving family and early help out of the picture, what stands out for me or the part or your journey I'm most envious of is the skipping the puberty thing and the revolting changes that came with it. I would have given anything for that. It would have been something to die for, not something to want to die because of.


I can't even imagine how people found anything out without the internet.


Technology certainly has become an indispensible part of life today and information is instantaneous but back when we were living in caves people visited these things called libraries. There were these big wall of things with tons of little drawers you pulled out full of cards you looked through to get a number corresponding to a book on a shelf somewhere. Then you got to hunt all over through rows and rows of shelves with these book things until you found the number you were looking for. Then if you were lucky enough to find one of these books, if it had a reference to another book, you'd go back to the drawers with all the cards and start over.


I mean even if your parents had let you be who you are how would they have found other parents to talk with? And would they have even *felt comfortable* talking about it? From what you tell me and what other older people say, people didn't talk about these issues back then


I think you're grasping the whole impossibility of this happening back then on so many levels. People had heard of Christine Jorgensen but it's not like the floodgates of social acceptance suddenly flew open and you could go down to the corner store for SRS. Homosexuality was illegal in most places and a lot of everything was kept hush hush and not ever talked about. Referencing back to your "Boomer" thread, I think one of the things that gets to people is that today, everything is just out there. Topics that were once taboo are now commonplace and it seems nothing shocks you damn kids. Lawn.


someone was like us they were shunned or sent to places where they put electrodes on them to do some sort of barbaric aversion "therapy".


I've mentioned my fear that something like this could have happened to me and why for my own safety it was best not to share what I knew. I was genuinely concerned about being sent away or locked up somewhere and talking to a psychologist or doctor, who wouldn't have known anything about this anyway, could have meant a quick trip to the funny farm.


In your case there was no child psychologist to advise your parents on what to do with you and back then i can only imagine the horrible things they might have recommended.


What bugs me is that my parents did know something but whatever it was, it wasn't talked about. Other than the IQ test excuse, why they were even taking me to someone wasn't talked about. The time I went that got me out of the 7th grade shower thing could have been life changing if this gender stuff was better known then. Obviously, I was exhibiting extreme discomfort, the reason for which I'm sure today would have been better recognized. Curiosity will always remain what the reason given was in the letter to the school that got me out of the boys locker room? It's like, hello? I'm not going in there because I don't belong in there. Duh.

I have suspicions of other dubious psychological recommendations too and again, will never know. At least one of the two things my mother said when I came out to her I'm pretty sure was her following advice? When she said "I always knew you'd do something like this", she did say it was because she always knew who I really was inside and I can believe that. But when she said she "was just waiting to hear it from me first", I can almost bet this is what she was told to do? Keep quiet - maybe it'll go away?


I still sense a lot of anger in you.

Not really so much. I'm not angry, if anything I'm uppity! To go through the early part of my life the way I did and survive did take a bit of anger, piss and vinegar but I've reconciled myself with most of my past demons. Like I said in another post, you can't change the past and there's no point in fretting or obsessing over it. There are frustrations like not being able to fill in some of the gaps on things but what can you to? In spite of all pains and trouble, I've never felt victimized asked "why me"? I guess if anything I did has increased the body of knowledge or advanced the science about what being transsexual is all about and if that has made things better for young people like you today, then there's my answer to that question right there.

edit on Wed Jul 8th 2015 by EKron because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 11:48 AM
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originally posted by: EKron

originally posted by: JadeStar
I try to imagine what it would have been like to go through all of that back then and I can't imagine it.


By the same token, I can't imagine what it would have been like and how my life might have been different with parents like yours and been able to follow your timetable. Take all the support and caring, the loving family and early help out of the picture, what stands out for me or the part or your journey I'm most envious of is the skipping the puberty thing and the revolting changes that came with it. I would have given anything for that. It would have been something to die for, not something to want to die because of.


This for me was probably the greatest thing my parents did for me next to bringing me into this world! I can't imagine how horrible my life would have been had I not been able to postpone male puberty and then once I decided to begin estrogen hormone replacement therapy, go through most of the normal body changes other girls around my age were. I remember being given a detailed description of what I'd go through if I had decided to stop the hormone blocker and go through male puberty and it scared me to death so I can only imagine what you had to go through both then and then afterwards to correct for the effects it had on you. At the same time I was also presented with a detailed description of how my body would change if I began estrogen and I was delighted!

I will say that those two things, postponing puberty and hormone replacement therapy allowed me to be accepted among other girls my age and my life became pretty normal in my teens. I felt free finally. Like I no longer had to worry so much about this stuff. I was able to just focus completely on my studies and socializing.I was able to be confident and I was ECSTATIC over how pretty I was becoming!!!! I mean I am not a vain person or anything but I remember one day during my sophomore year in high school, my sister was doing my hair for a dance I was going to and my brother saw me in the mirror and said, "you realize you're now probably going to be the hottest girl there right?" and my sister smiled and it's like the gradual changes that I had noted in my diary all of a sudden hit me. I had always been a cute girl but now I could totally see that I was becoming a very attractive young woman. I began to really love life!!!! I began to have even more friends both at school and elsewhere and i LOVE my parents for giving me that opportunity to just be normal.

That changed my life for the better, forever. So much of who I am today is due to those decisions.

I saw in one other thread where someone said that what my parents and I did was "un-natural". I just laughed when I read that because nothing at all felt un-natural to me! The changes I went through fit me like a glove and I started to feel right in my own skin.

I feel it would have been WAY more un-natural (and very scary) to have gone through male puberty, grown a beard, developed a deep voice and have my body fighting itself when starting hormone replacement. YUCK!!!!!

edit on 8-7-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:25 PM
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originally posted by: EKron

originally posted by: JadeStar

I can't even imagine how people found anything out without the internet.


Technology certainly has become an indispensible part of life today and information is instantaneous but back when we were living in caves people visited these things called libraries. There were these big wall of things with tons of little drawers you pulled out full of cards you looked through to get a number corresponding to a book on a shelf somewhere. Then you got to hunt all over through rows and rows of shelves with these book things until you found the number you were looking for. Then if you were lucky enough to find one of these books, if it had a reference to another book, you'd go back to the drawers with all the cards and start over.


LOL, we still have libraries! But today we use computers to find the books or better still just pick them up at the counter! I imagine all that looking for card stuff took all day. So people would like spend a whole day at the library?

Oh, another question: were books on transgender stuff available back then?

I remember getting a book when I was 11 which was written for kids like me, it really helped me feel like I would be ok. And like my dad said, around that same time other experiences were opening up for me, where I was just accepted at face value as a girl, which helped give me more confidence since I was accepted and could grow up to be happy and successful and follow my dreams in life. So besides my parents and family I would also have to thank the Girl Scouts, the Pacific Science Center and my teachers! They were wonderful! I wouldn't be who I am today without them!





I mean even if your parents had let you be who you are how would they have found other parents to talk with? And would they have even *felt comfortable* talking about it? From what you tell me and what other older people say, people didn't talk about these issues back then


I think you're grasping the whole impossibility of this happening back then on so many levels. People had heard of Christine Jorgensen but it's not like the floodgates of social acceptance suddenly flew open and you could go down to the corner store for SRS. Homosexuality was illegal in most places and a lot of everything was kept hush hush and not ever talked about. Referencing back to your "Boomer" thread, I think one of the things that gets to people is that today, everything is just out there. Topics that were once taboo are now commonplace and it seems nothing shocks you damn kids. Lawn.


ikr? So many things I take for granted were taboo back then huh? And no one talked about ANYTHING to do with gender until the 1980s at least?! And everyone had like these rigid gender roles which if they varied from them they were considered evil or subversive. That's just crazy to me.

It all sounds like an old sci-fi book I read when I was in high school called "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. Have you ever read it? It's really good! But the way you describe how life was in the 1950s-1990s, it sounds a lot like that.

I guess to you it would seem that nothing shocks my generation. I mean I wasn't even the only transgender student in my high school. By the time I graduated there were three of us. That comes as a shock to a lot of older people when I, my parents, or my siblings mention it.




someone was like us they were shunned or sent to places where they put electrodes on them to do some sort of barbaric aversion "therapy".


I've mentioned my fear that something like this could have happened to me and why for my own safety it was best not to share what I knew. I was genuinely concerned about being sent away or locked up somewhere and talking to a psychologist or doctor, who wouldn't have known anything about this anyway, could have meant a quick trip to the funny farm.


In your case there was no child psychologist to advise your parents on what to do with you and back then i can only imagine the horrible things they might have recommended.


I once watched this show called Ghost Adventures (i know don't laugh, the guy who hosts it was hot!). Anyway, like they went to this old mental asylum in Utah(?) I think and they showed this chair that had like electrodes and stuff on it and talked about what patients went through and I getting a cold shiver remember more afraid of that than any supposed "ghosts" they encountered!



What bugs me is that my parents did know something but whatever it was, it wasn't talked about. Other than the IQ test excuse, why they were even taking me to someone wasn't talked about. The time I went that got me out of the 7th grade shower thing could have been life changing if this gender stuff was better known then. Obviously, I was exhibiting extreme discomfort, the reason for which I'm sure today would have been better recognized. Curiosity will always remain what the reason given was in the letter to the school that got me out of the boys locker room? It's like, hello? I'm not going in there because I don't belong in there. Duh.

I have suspicions of other dubious psychological recommendations too and again, will never know. At least one of the two things my mother said when I came out to her I'm pretty sure was her following advice? When she said "I always knew you'd do something like this", she did say it was because she always knew who I really was inside and I can believe that. But when she said she "was just waiting to hear it from me first", I can almost bet this is what she was told to do? Keep quiet - maybe it'll go away?


That might have been it. I wish you had spoke up. I mean idk, maybe your mom would have let you be you a little sooner or maybe she would actually have helped you then? You know, when my mom finally accepted me she started teaching me a lot of things and I felt loved and that I could talk with her about anything and everything! And I know that drew us a lot closer and put my hate and pain into the distant past. SO MUCH of who I am today is a result of things she taught me about or prepared me for.




I still sense a lot of anger in you.

Not really so much. I'm not angry, if anything I'm uppity! To go through the early part of my life the way I did and survive did take a bit of anger, piss and vinegar but I've reconciled myself with most of my past demons. Like I said in another post, you can't change the past and there's no point in fretting or obsessing over it. There are frustrations like not being able to fill in some of the gaps on things but what can you to? In spite of all pains and trouble, I've never felt victimized asked "why me"? I guess if anything I did has increased the body of knowledge or advanced the science about what being transsexual is all about and if that has made things better for young people like you today, then there's my answer to that question right there.


Well, I am very happy that people like you helped pave the way to make things better for people my age and those who are trans kids today. The stuff you suffered wasn't for nought. If it's up to every generation to make life for the ones that follow them better, congrats!!

edit on 8-7-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:33 PM
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originally posted by: JadeStar
This for me was probably the greatest thing my parents did for me next to bringing me into this world! I can't imagine how horrible my life would have been had I not been able to postpone male puberty and then once I decided to begin estrogen hormone replacement therapy, go through most of the normal body changes other girls around my age were. I remember being given a detailed description of what I'd go through if I had decided to stop the hormone blocker and go through male puberty and it scared me to death so I can only imagine what you had to go through both then and then afterwards to correct for the effects it had on you.

Yeah, yeah. Rub it in why don't ya!


It was pretty terrible but it did not completely destroy my body and for all the negatives and things I wished didn't happen, there was one and only one that did which turned out to be something life changing for the positive and of incalculable value measuring my overall satisfaction, happiness and quality of the life I've had. It was an inexplicable fluke but it wins over any downside or hassles or personal inconvenience dealing with the rest of it and I probably wouldn't still be around if not for it.

You are cute and exceptionally pretty but look around, not all women are rock stars or blessed with being beautiful nor are all women of transsexual history that did have to go through male puberty "men in a dress with a deep voice and five o'clock shadow". Ouch! I wish my hands were smaller but so did my mother. I was never bulked up or muscular but am big boned. None of the women on either side of my family are delicate and petite but I'm only 5/8ths of an inch taller than you. Yes, I had to have electrolysis but I'm blonde, blue-eyed and have very fair skin and at most was fuzzy and I do not have a deep voice. I was a "late bloomer" and puberty could have been much worse and there are many many natal women whose body and looks I'm glad I don't have. Like you though, the changes happening from estrogen did one day make me stop and say "holy crap" but that's probably universal? This was all so long ago and I'm secure and confident in who I am and with being just average.

At any rate, I am so happy that there are trans kids with so many options today and you are so fortunate to share the natural beauty of natal women. This is something I will never know but when it comes right down to it, it's what's inside that counts. Your beauty and grace shine there as well.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: TamaraAndBrian

Thanks to both of you, Tamara and Brian.

JadeStar is a wonderful girl. I have told her that, too.
Well done, both of you!!!




posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 06:08 PM
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Sorry, but at THREE, you don't have an original thought.

This is totally parent driven, not parent approved.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 06:26 PM
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originally posted by: JadeStar
LOL, we still have libraries! But today we use computers to find the books or better still just pick them up at the counter! I imagine all that looking for card stuff took all day. So people would like spend a whole day at the library?

Oh, another question: were books on transgender stuff available back then?

Day at the library? You meant weeks, right? There were a few books available at the main downtown library and a lot of them scared the living daylights out of me. I found more at the local state university but this is all when gender dysphoria syndrome was gender identity disorder and the attitudes and standards of care somewhat different. Just as we hyperlink from source to source today, it was one book that lead to finding another. If you did want to get more information, you would write a letter and wait for a response. It took me months to find a doctor and when I did, he was 150 miles away and looked like an old dope smoking Santa Claus. He and his wife, who was also physician, had been early pioneers in gender research and surgical techniques were but no longer actively involved. He was currently a practicing gynecologist and plastic surgeon and I forget what she was, gyn too, I think? Office visits were just hanging around and casually held outside in a lush patio setting, often with wine and food. It was surreal. These people were so important to me, wrote my first letters for changing ID and stuff and then later, one of my three surgical referrals. They left to work with the native populations in Pago Pago, the territorial capital of American Samoa, and I was never able to visit again post op.


I remember getting a book when I was 11 which was written for kids like me, it really helped me feel like I would be ok. And like my dad said, around that same time other experiences were opening up for me, where I was just accepted at face value as a girl, which helped give me more confidence since I was accepted and could grow up to be happy and successful and follow my dreams in life. So besides my parents and family I would also have to thank the Girl Scouts, the Pacific Science Center and my teachers! They were wonderful! I wouldn't be who I am today without them!

That's wonderful. It's a good thing in school I was never measured for social development. I joked before about being raised by gypsies but the truth is, the 7th grade was the first that I started and finished one whole grade at the same school. I didn't bother making friends. In high school, I did not socialize at all. Went to class. Went home. Got beat up twice and figured the less exposure the better. I did have one good friend I hung out at lunch and studied with for a couple of years but her boyfriend didn't like me so much and we drifted apart senior year.



ikr? So many things I take for granted were taboo back then huh? And no one talked about ANYTHING to do with gender until the 1980s at least?! And everyone had like these rigid gender roles which if they varied from them they were considered evil or subversive. That's just crazy to me.

Well, there was a lot of talk about it in 1977, the same year I had srs. That's when Renée Richards hit the news and the freak show aspect and controversy about her playing women's tennis was all over the place. People did start talking about it and like today, it made people less than happy. When she was allowed to play, the women's tour did come to town and I watched some of her matches. I tried to meet her but couldn't get access.


I guess to you it would seem that nothing shocks my generation. I mean I wasn't even the only transgender student in my high school. By the time I graduated there were three of us. That comes as a shock to a lot of older people when I, my parents, or my siblings mention it.

Did you see that Jazz has a new show starting on TLC next Wednesday at 10:00. Just saw a promo for it this morning.



I wish you had spoke up. I mean idk, maybe your mom would have let you be you a little sooner or maybe she would actually have helped you then? You know, when my mom finally accepted me she started teaching me a lot of things and I felt loved and that I could talk with her about anything and everything

What's funny, that although my mom and my communication style was argumentative, which drove my step-dad nuts, we were very close. I could talk to her about anything except this one thing. Cooking? Grew up doing it, part of my job forever and good at it. Sewing, needlepoint, embroidery? Uh huh with the last two from my grandmother. As a farm girl from Ohio, my mother also taught me how to use a saw, swing a hammer and drive a tractor. Like I said, in spite of all the nagging to be more boylike, most of my childhood was actually more gender neutral and how I managed. Without bringing up the nature vs. nurture debate because I do believe it is nature, I had plenty of nurture which kind of actually worked out.


Well, I am very happy that people like you helped pave the way to make things better for people my age and those who are trans kids today. The stuff you suffered wasn't for nought. If it's up to every generation to make life for the ones that follow them better, congrats!!

You give me more credit than I deserve. I've never been out there waving the flag and have been just part of the woodwork which is really the main goal of all of us. Just to be ordinary regular folks, nobody special just getting on with day-to-day life like everybody else.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 06:29 PM
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originally posted by: babybunnies
Sorry, but at THREE, you don't have an original thought.

This is totally parent driven, not parent approved.


You know, this doesn't really deserve a response but it is kind of funny. If you would take the time to read the whole thread, you'd realize you've just made yourself look pretty silly.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 06:49 PM
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a reply to: TamaraAndBrian

Thank you both for your interesting and informative answers to my questions. It should be a helpful road map for someone that might be in a similar situation. I was just curious to know if you had looked into any of this when Jade was younger and were somewhat prepared for it but see you indeed started from scratch.

With all that was done, you've really gone above and beyond the call to give your daughter the best in life. I'm not the only one here that thinks you and your family deserve the highest praise. Jade thinks I did something brave and pioneering back in the day but to me, you all are my heroes.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 07:11 PM
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originally posted by: Annee
Still here


Just following now.


You've had popcorn and snacks, right?

Annee, what do you think about all this? There's a ton of reading and information in this thread but has any of it opened your eyes, shown you anything or helped you to form an opinion? Have you been bored to death? Have you gained insight into transsexual matters and people?

I think we're all a little bit awestruck about Jade and her inspirational family story. It's hard not to be. Anything else?



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 07:15 PM
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originally posted by: Annee
Still here


Just following now.


Same. Still here and following, not much to add to the discussion, just understanding the circumstances and struggles involves in each of your situations.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 09:17 PM
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originally posted by: EKron

originally posted by: JadeStar
This for me was probably the greatest thing my parents did for me next to bringing me into this world! I can't imagine how horrible my life would have been had I not been able to postpone male puberty and then once I decided to begin estrogen hormone replacement therapy, go through most of the normal body changes other girls around my age were. I remember being given a detailed description of what I'd go through if I had decided to stop the hormone blocker and go through male puberty and it scared me to death so I can only imagine what you had to go through both then and then afterwards to correct for the effects it had on you.

Yeah, yeah. Rub it in why don't ya!


Sorry. I wasn't trying to. I was just expressing how happy I was about those crucial decisions. I can certainly understand your envy and I will be more reserved with talking about that with you in the future. Please accept my sincerest apology. I probably should have known better as another older lady of a similar background as yourself expressed similar envious feelings regarding the decision to postpone puberty.




It was pretty terrible but it did not completely destroy my body and for all the negatives and things I wished didn't happen, there was one and only one that did which turned out to be something life changing for the positive and of incalculable value measuring my overall satisfaction, happiness and quality of the life I've had. It was an inexplicable fluke but it wins over any downside or hassles or personal inconvenience dealing with the rest of it and I probably wouldn't still be around if not for it.


I know! And in that way you are so lucky! I hope someday to have children too. But that's a long way off.



You are cute and exceptionally pretty but look around, not all women are rock stars or blessed with being beautiful


Oh i know! I probably sounded incredibly shallow and vain remembering that moment when I realized that I was pretty. Like I was totally ok with just being average. In fact I think until that point I really played down anything appearance wise.

I mean like my mom said, I'm a girly girl but I always wanted to be noticed for my brain and so like the women scientists who I learned about, most of them were pretty plain and probably had had to be because even today there are still biases against women in the sciences.

But like I guess when I realized that I was pretty it was kind of like this big "Wow!! I can do anything now!" moment. That's not to say that I felt I was better than anyone or anything but more like, "omg I am more pretty than i thought i could be!". That was just as empowering for me moving forward as my grade point average and advanced placement classes.

Until then my focus had been so much on my studies academically up to that point that I kind of "hid behind books or a computer screen". I was certainly not looking for attention, I just went plain to blend in more i guess? So like in that very moment in the mirror, I realized that I wasn't plain but actually very pretty and not long after that I realized that being pretty would definitely help me in certain ways. I also felt it would also help those who knew my past be more comfortable with me I guess? And I think that it did with some of my friends I later made.

And still later I had learned about the old 1940s Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr who in her time was an amateur scientist. She invented frequency hopping/spread spectrum communications during World War 2 and probably saved a lot of people's lives. Also our WIFI would probably not exist in its current form were it not for that.

So like I figured, "if she could be a beautiful actress and did science on the side, then I can be a beautiful scientist right?"

I had been perfectly happy to be completely plain or even unattractive if it meant that I could just be myself, be left alone and just have a normal life. So anything beyond that was like a dream come true within a dream come true i guess? I don't know how else to explain it. Alot of girls dream of growing up and becoming beautiful women, i was no exception but I'd have been just as happy being plain as long as I was me.




nor are all women of transsexual history that did have to go through male puberty "men in a dress with a deep voice and five o'clock shadow". Ouch!


Oh. Um, sorry, I didn't mean that they did. I was using an extreme which often gets thrown at transsexual women regardless of whether it's true or not. It's like a stereotype which we all get stuck with once people know our history but perhaps haven't met us face to face, you know what i mean?




I wish my hands were smaller but so did my mother. I was never bulked up or muscular but am big boned. None of the women on either side of my family are delicate and petite but I'm only 5/8ths of an inch taller than you. Yes, I had to have electrolysis but I'm blonde, blue-eyed and have very fair skin and at most was fuzzy and I do not have a deep voice. I was a "late bloomer" and puberty could have been much worse and there are many many natal women whose body and looks I'm glad I don't have. Like you though, the changes happening from estrogen did one day make me stop and say "holy crap" but that's probably universal? This was all so long ago and I'm secure and confident in who I am and with being just average.


Right. I just was worried about the stuff people kinda said transsexual women were and I didn't want to be that. I guess? like I didn't want to stick out. I wanted to blend in. So when I realized oh wow, not only have blended in but now I'm sticking out because I'm pretty that gave me confidence that I could do anything and that allowed me to become more social.


At any rate, I am so happy that there are trans kids with so many options today and you are so fortunate to share the natural beauty of natal women. This is something I will never know but when it comes right down to it, it's what's inside that counts. Your beauty and grace shine there as well.


Thank you and I agree it's what's inside that matters most. I think people like us, who had to have some extra help with the outside might understand that more than a lot of people who sometimes can be very judgemental based on how someone looks. I've always hung out with people regardless of how they looked because I was more concerned with how they were as people and how they might treat me, whether they knew my past or not.

BTW: Mom and dad are about to log on. I told them to come earlier if they could because a lot of east coast people are probably asleep by the time they show up at night here on the west coast.
edit on 8-7-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 09:35 PM
link   

originally posted by: EKron

originally posted by: JadeStar
LOL, we still have libraries! But today we use computers to find the books or better still just pick them up at the counter! I imagine all that looking for card stuff took all day. So people would like spend a whole day at the library?

Oh, another question: were books on transgender stuff available back then?

Day at the library? You meant weeks, right? There were a few books available at the main downtown library and a lot of them scared the living daylights out of me. I found more at the local state university but this is all when gender dysphoria syndrome was gender identity disorder and the attitudes and standards of care somewhat different. Just as we hyperlink from source to source today, it was one book that lead to finding another. If you did want to get more information, you would write a letter and wait for a response.


It seems like everything moved really slow back then. I can see why so many older people on ATS feel the world is moving too fast for them now.


It took me months to find a doctor and when I did, he was 150 miles away and looked like an old dope smoking Santa Claus. He and his wife, who was also physician, had been early pioneers in gender research and surgical techniques were but no longer actively involved. He was currently a practicing gynecologist and plastic surgeon and I forget what she was, gyn too, I think? Office visits were just hanging around and casually held outside in a lush patio setting, often with wine and food. It was surreal.


Wow that sounds so informal compared to the place I went to which you know about. Everything was very organized and clinical and very matter of fact.


These people were so important to me, wrote my first letters for changing ID and stuff and then later, one of my three surgical referrals. They left to work with the native populations in Pago Pago, the territorial capital of American Samoa, and I was never able to visit again post op.


Oh America Samoa huh? Did you know they have an official 3rd gender there? I heard about that when I saw this film with my boyfriend. Since you're into sports I thought you might like it:





That's wonderful. It's a good thing in school I was never measured for social development. I joked before about being raised by gypsies but the truth is, the 7th grade was the first that I started and finished one whole grade at the same school. I didn't bother making friends. In high school, I did not socialize at all. Went to class. Went home. Got beat up twice and figured the less exposure the better. I did have one good friend I hung out at lunch and studied with for a couple of years but her boyfriend didn't like me so much and we drifted apart senior year.


Awww that's a shame. *hug*


Did you see that Jazz has a new show starting on TLC next Wednesday at 10:00. Just saw a promo for it this morning.


No I didn't. Who is Jazz?


What's funny, that although my mom and my communication style was argumentative, which drove my step-dad nuts, we were very close. I could talk to her about anything except this one thing. Cooking? Grew up doing it, part of my job forever and good at it. Sewing, needlepoint, embroidery? Uh huh with the last two from my grandmother. As a farm girl from Ohio, my mother also taught me how to use a saw, swing a hammer and drive a tractor. Like I said, in spite of all the nagging to be more boylike, most of my childhood was actually more gender neutral and how I managed. Without bringing up the nature vs. nurture debate because I do believe it is nature, I had plenty of nurture which kind of actually worked out.


Ok that totally makes sense now.


You give me more credit than I deserve. I've never been out there waving the flag and have been just part of the woodwork which is really the main goal of all of us. Just to be ordinary regular folks, nobody special just getting on with day-to-day life like everybody else.


And that is why I give you a lot of credit. You helped make being born this way more "normal" and less "freak show". You blended in and others like you who did so played a very important role in the direction of gaining more social acceptance perhaps even more than those who waved flags. But then again what did you say I was? A little conservative?




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