After several months of walking around it, my child has one foot firmly planted in the transgender pool. He’s changed to a boy’s name, which was the original middle name, so that makes it a little easier. OK, maybe not easier but cheaper than paying for a name change. And he told me this week that next school year he wants to “go back with that name, so we’ll have to talk to the school about it,” he tells me. Seems committed to this.
And for those of you who think this is “just a phase” or he “read about it online,” it’s not.
This is not about “choice.” It’s about “feeling.” That’s one of the things that was discussed in the transgender family support group last week. (Yes, I joined one of those. And yes, it’s incredibly helpful, if for no other reason than to know that my partner and I are not alone. More about that later.)
People ask, “When did this all come about?” Although we’ve only recently seen outward signs, I believe it’s been happening since this child was born. He just never really had to address it until puberty hit. Up until then, even though there may have been some gender dysphoria, it wasn’t nearly as obvious or uncomfortable until this male started developing breasts and got a period. Once those things started happening is also when this child began looking for answers as to why he felt the way he did. Where did he look? Online, of course.
Now let me say this about learning about this stuff online. Thank goodness! I am so glad that my child was able to find this information, and to put a name to these feelings, and to know that he is not a freak or alone in this. There are others (and have been since there were people!) who are the same.
How do I know it is not a phase? Of course you can never be 100% sure, but really… No non-trans (or “cis”) child is going to read about it and think, “Hey, that sounds like fun. I think I’ll do that! Yeah, I’ll invite rude comments and idiotic opinions into my world. I’ll struggle to hold my pee while looking for a bathroom where I’m not stared at or endangered in. I’ll wear a binder that squishes my breasts flat ALL DAY LONG.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’d be doing that.