posted on Dec, 18 2016 @ 10:28 PM
This is a very long post but I urge you to please take the time reading it if you want to truly know more about this subject. I've spent my
afternoon/evening writing it with the hope that it might make a difference to some that have never known or encountered a transgender child. I have a
wee bit of personal experience with this.
Post election, I was determined to stay out of ATS discussions but this thread has dragged me back in because I can provide a unique perspective on
the subject of transgender children that may possibly help bring a bit more understanding to this issue? I have well over fifty years of intense
research into this field, vast experience with the medical establishment treating this condition plus my own anecdotal evidence of having been a
transgender child and adolescent in the 1960's and early 1970's.
Briefly, I was born male bodied eight days shy of 62 years ago but I have no memories of ever thinking of myself as anything but a girl. As one can
imagine, this incongruity presented some fundamental problems between the outside world and what I knew myself to be, the way I behaved and acted and
how I was perceived by others. Needless to say, this was problematic and deeply troubling.
For those of you that are parents, try forcing your son or daughter to live as the opposite gender and see how well that goes over or how distressing
to your child that would be emotionally and socially. Would their pretending to be something they are not in heart and soul to meet your and societies
expectations not be psychologically damaging? Believe me it is and all the major medical establishments agree that for children diagnosed with gender
dysphoria, forcing them into an identity that doesn't fit who they are is more harmful than letting them express themselves congruent with their
innate personalities and why we now see young children socially transition.
Sharing my own experience, being able to live openly as the girl I knew myself to be would have been far less problematic than being forced to live as
a stranger in a strange land but such things simply weren't done back in the day. I have the scars, both physical and emotional to attest to the
difficulties that trans children go through and this isn't something you would wish on your worst enemy.
Don't you think my parents were concerned? They did everything they could to encourage me and/or force me into being a boy but I simply never was or
never have been. Because of this I was ostracized and isolated and far more deeply troubled by all this than any young child should have to be. In
1965 before starting the 5th grade, my parents reluctantly sought professional help.
In today's world, transsexualism i.e. gender dysphoria is recognized in children and the vast preponderance of medical evidence and consensus points
to biological causes of this supporting the born this way paradigm but in the 1960's, it was virtually unknown and undocumented. Although I was
allowed to grow my hair very long and do "girl things" and have girls toys, I could still not BE a girl which vexed me to no end and was only more
painfully exacerbated by the fear of and signs of male puberty. Like an unwilling passenger bound to a train going somewhere I didn't want to be, I
wanted out of life and out of my body and was a depressed, withdrawn and miserable wreck. The only way I saw to escape was to die and constantly
thinking about suicide as an early teen along with the monumental social problems I faced everyday with people that didn't understand me made simply
existing hostile and toxic.
This wasn't like being the fat kid or the kid with acne or the poor kid or the funny looking kid. Those kids were still boys or girls which is far
more fundamental than other attributes or traits. As any child development book will tell you, a person's sense of their own gender is the core
foundation of personality and it is established at very young age, around 2 or 3 and well entrenched by 5 or 6 years old. Think back to when you were
children. In the first grade, was there any doubt whatsoever in your mind that you were a boy or a girl. Could anyone have done anything at all to
change your mind? We're not talking fantasy or make-believe here or wanting to be a tiger or a soldier or pretend anything. We're talking about a
basic and elemental sense of self that takes presidence [sic] over everything else in life and something that clouds and colors the whole world in
dark, dull shades.
I was very lucky. It took a while and a horrific "homophobic" assault that put me in the hospital and nearly killed me in the 10th grade but my folks
finally recognized the depths of my distress. Although I was frequently misgendered growing up, by the time I was 16 people could really not tell if I
was a boy or a girl but due to the laws and attitudes at the time, I could not officially "transition".
I began taking cross sex hormones my senior year in high school. Upon graduation my folks switched to using my girl name and female pronouns which was
the only thing that made sense to anyone. There was no surprise, shock or big moment of "coming out". Who I was, the person inside in heart, soul and
mind had always been obvious. Although I had been seeing psychologists and psychiatrists regularly since the age of ten, it wasn't until 1973 when I
was 18 that a specialists diagnosed me with the deprecated term of having "primary transsexualism" later known as gender identity disorder and now
simply called gender dysphoria.
I went on to live my life as a normal young woman fitting quietly and invisibly into society while spending countless hours and tens of thousands of
dollars undergoing painful things to undo the effects of testosterone and to correct what to me was an anomaly of birth through sex reassignment
surgery. I'd been analyzed, evaluated, diagnosed and counseled more than most people will be in a lifetime by the time I was 20. Turns out I was a
pretty together person in spite of what I had been through as a child and teen. My adult life has been no different from any other. I've been married
and divorced, had a career and have owned my own successful business for the last 21 years. I've been healthy, happy, free of psychological problems
and taking hormones for 45 years that haven't killed me or caused problems yet. My history is known to very few, private and not something people can
tell. I've only ever discussed this online here at ATS. I've put my own story out there as a way to help educate, inform and share facts so that those
that are willing can "deny ignorance". If you have sincere questions, if asked respectfully I will do my best to answer.
So, back to the topic at hand - transgender children. Yes, they are a real thing. Yes they know what they are long before and independent of sexuality
coming into the picture. People make the comment that kids like on the cover of NatGeo are too young to make lifelong decisions but being trans isn't
a decision one consciously makes, it is a state of being that just is on a more spiritual or psychic level. It makes you grow up fast.
-- Continued next post -