originally posted by: MountainLaurel
I hope my questions aren't too personal...
Not too personal. FWIW, I am not "out" in real life and my transsexual medical history and childhood experience is not something known outside of
family and one or two very close long term friends. It took some convincing but I've decided to be open and honest about my life here so that others
may gain some awareness and understanding about people like me.
I appreciate your insight, and am happy to hear you made it through a difficult childhood. I read that you said separating kids into groups of
girls and boys was painful for you as a child. What do you think would have made things better for you and other transgender kids?
Things are so much different and there is so much more understanding these days than there was in the 1960's and early '70's. What would have been
helpful goes along with the simple suggestions about not dividing things along gender lines as either boy or girl. Certainly, there are some
situations where anatomy does force segregation such as PE showers and locker rooms, etc., but in general, making a distinction by boy or girl can be
difficult and uncomfortable for TG kids. Accommodations of some sort or another would be helpful.
In my case, in junior high (7th grade) when PC class also meant taking showers, I had a meltdown and totally refused to step foot in the boys locker
room. We're talking 1967 here and I was immediately hauled off for psychological evaluation. Of course, transsesuality in children wasn't exactly a
recognized or treated thing then but I still got a medical exemption excusing me from what would have been a traumatic experience.
Would you have preferred to be identified as a female sooner in life ? At what age did you KNOW for sure your soul was a female ?
I'll answer your second question first - my clearest childhood memories go back to being five. I knew then and didn't have any doubts even though
everything in my life said otherwise. I would have preferred to have been a girl then instead of going through the next ten or eleven years of my
parents trying to make me into something else. I have little doubt that my mom knew what was going on but still, out of love and for her not wanting
me to marginalized and ridiculed, letting a boy live as a girl was out of the question and not something that would have been accepted by society as
it has begun to be in the last twenty years.
Probably on the advice of psychologists that I had been taken too multiple more times and realizing their efforts to make me a "normal" boy were doing
more harm than good and after sucking up their own embarrassment, after my junior year in high school, they just let me be whoever I was going to be.
In 1971, "transitioning" was still out of the question but I had very long hair, pierced ears, shaved legs and dressed as androgynously as I could get
away with. By the time I graduated, I was sexually ambiguous and people couldn't tell what I was.
I left home within a week of high school being over. At 5' 7 and a half inches tall, slightly built and 130 pounds with blonde hair almost to my
waist, it didn't take too long with only slight visual cues before my androgyny was abandoned and I began to socialize and be known as a girl. By the
end of that same year and shortly before my 19th birthday, I came out to my parents that I would be living the rest of my life as a girl. Since I had
been merging that direction for several years, this came as no big surprise or shock and it just made everything in my life so much better and easier
and a lot more normal and natural.
In my experience as a child once and now a mother, is that kids do enjoy hanging out with their own gender a lot...sure all kids can have fun
playing together...it just seems to be "natural" for many kids....so I can imagine that could be very painful for a transgender kid.
Most transgender/transsexual kids hang out who they are comfortable with or at least try to. As a young kid, I hung out with girls, playing house,
playing with dolls and having tea parties. I hated to be forced into boys activities. Naturally, my parents were concerned about this but couldn't
stop it and unquestionably, boys teased and hassled me a lot. As a teen, I was socially withdrawn and considered to be some kind of queer freak but
still most comfortable in the company of girls especially since boys wanted to beat me up and be as mean as possible.
Like you said, times have changed and I think by the time kids become teenagers they are more opened minded these days. I would think that
even more important then school would be how the kids family treats them...Yes / No ?
Kids these days don't care so much about this stuff but a lot of that is dependent on regional culture. Trans kids and adults are still marginalized,
denied housing and employment, discriminated against and beaten and murdered on a regular basis and why those of us that can, remain hidden in
society. The most important thing for kids like I was is that their parents love them, educate themselves about these issues and be supportive as
possible while kids work this stuff out.