Where's that beating a dead horse gif when you need it?
I wrote this reply over a day ago in the wee morning hours but decided not to post it. It has been condensed down from three posts to hopefully just
one? Why am I posting this so late after the fact? Well, because questions were asked that weren't answered and because this has nothing to do with
the election and a little non-political discussion seems to be needed right now even if it is about this crap?
The sentiment has been expressed that kids that grow up trans, transition young and have the rest of their lives ahead of them makes more sense or is
easier to understand than someone doing it later in life. This is to hopefully address that?
originally posted by: eletheia
April Ashley was the first occassion that I encountered any semblance of transgenders. I am sure that was before your time?
No, I didn't know who April Ashley was when I was young but of course I do now. I sure as heck knew who Christine Jorgensen was though and so did
other kids. You have no idea how many times the last two years in high school I was taunted with "Hey Christine" and that's when people were being
nice and on their best behavior. There's a lot of content on YouTube about both April Ashley that recently turned 80 and the late Christine Jorgensen
that I have found interesting.
I do know someone that 'transed' at aprox 30 yrs of age (you may need to forgive any terminology mistakes I make) they were married with
children and it came as a shock to all that knew him, because there wasn't a hint of him not being happy the way he was!
Lately in the news a few men around their 60's have transitioned (excluding Caitlin Jenner) and I wonder why they have waited so long, because
bluntly they have already lived most of their lives and have on an average perhaps only another 15 years, some of which will include
"Transed" works for me but transitioned would be more correct although that's as equally nebulous in meaning as the word transgender. Someone can
transition just socially but most, around 2/3, transition socially and at least partially medically. The other 1/3 fully medically transition with
genital reconstruction i.e. sex reassignment or sex change surgery. Someone can be transgender whether they transition or not. That's what they say
I can answer your questions if you really would like to know and are open to hearing them? Doing so drags me into a highly contentious and politically
charged discussion that has gotten me into some trouble here before from those within the transgender communities so I will try to tread lightly and
hopefully not step on anyone's toes.
Firstly, the language used to discuss and classify these things has changed over time and some of the distinctions that were once made no longer are
so nobody gets offended or excluded and because science and medicine has also gotten smarter or maybe just more PC? Without going into the different
theories about the etiologies of either, most of the modern pioneering research done during the 1960's into the nature of transsexualism recognized
two distinct groups of those presenting for treatment.
Later in time, definitions like "primary", "secondary", "true" and "classic" transsexualism were used to label these different groups but they no
longer are. Some European medical communities still refer to early onset and late onset transsexualism as distinct things but the division in this
country at least, is sociopolitically taboo. It would be an over simplification to think that age was the only factor in making these distinctions but
that is a good deal of it.
Where it gets tricky for me is trying to describe these two different groups without inferring superiority of one over the other not to mention as a
member of one of these groups, it is hard not to feel a bit of bias but I'll try to be as PC as possible. Trans kids and trans adults have the same
problem with the same desired outcome but perhaps though without the same precursors or experience.
Today we see trans youth that in the past would have been called primary, classic or true transsexuals before the language stabilized sometime around
1980. Just by those adjectives alone, you can see why some would object to this terminology and why it is no longer used.
eletheia, and for anyone else that may be interested and reading, here is some of the information about the questions that were asked about why some
older people feel the need to come out and transition. I can't speak toward anyone's motivation nor from experience but here's things as I understand
them and some general info:
The median age of transition for MtF's in the early onset group is 20 years old, with a range from very young children to mid 20’s. More than 95% in
this demographic transition full time before the age of 25.
As it takes time for the cross-gender identity to form, establish itself and be acknowledged for late onset transitioners, the modal age is 35 to 40
years old, the mean is between 40 to 45, with a range of early 20’s to very old age. One renowned gender surgeon in California reports the average
age of her surgical patients is 48.
We see and hear a lot of stories and articles about trans youth because it makes a lot of people's heads explode and sells newspapers but they
represent only about 10% to 12% of the overall number of people going through the transition process at any given time. To simplify, those that
transition later in life are far more prevalent.
It is hard to not talk in stereotypes without writing a book on the subject but typically, the early onset group knows from a very young age something
is fundamentally wrong. Almost without exception, their behavior, interests and personality is gender atypical in relation to their birth sex. That's
where the "born this way" thing comes from because they (we) are and it is usually obvious, sometimes painfully so.
Many kids today reject or rebel against traditionally expected gender roles and may present in a non-binary or even non-gendered fashion. It's kind
of a trendy thing to do but being gender non-conforming/variant/expansive is not the same thing as being actually transgender although those
expressions may be signs of it or steps along the way as is coming out as gay. Some transgender children do come out as gay as a stepping stone to
coming out as trans. It should go without saying that being trans is much harder and difficult to accept within one's self or reveal to others.
Again resorting to stereotypes, while the late onset group may also feel like something is indeed wrong from a young age, they are traditionally
outwardly gender typical. Many are aware of their feelings but they are too difficult to face or their situation simply doesn't allow so they
compensate, repress and adjust. Some grow up to be macho and hyper-masculine or join the military. Some even become Olympic athletes and many marry
and start families hoping it all would make them "normal" and make these hidden, repressed and shameful feelings all go away. That sometimes works -
for a while or for years. Then from out of the blue, it all boils over and they "decide" to transition. This is the most common path for the majority
and it must be very difficult.
-- Didn't fit. Who was I kidding? Continued below --