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#1 Dec 16 2011 at 6:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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to start transgender therapy?

http://articles.boston.com/2011-12-11/lifestyle/30512365_1_twin-boys-transgender-jonas

Long story short, one of a pair of twin boy starts identifying with the female gender at an early age (3-4 iirc from the article). After much deliberation, the parents submit the boy to a transgender youth clinic in Boston where the boy receives hormone therapy to prevent the early onset of puberty.

The twins are now in high school, but have necessarily been enrolled in a private school with a noted tolerance for LGBT issues and have had their fair share of issues, including a pending discrimination lawsuit against a previous school, which is of course backed by the ACLU and GLAD.

I'm not sure how I feel about this situation. I can see both sides, but I tend to wonder, how old must a child really be before they can truly identify this type of issue and cope with it in a healthy way? A doctor from the clinic even says that a good portion of children who identify with the problem early on turn out not to be transgender at all, which makes it all the more important that the hormone therapy is reversible. What about parents who might incorrectly encourage the therapy, either out of ignorance or personal motives that conflict with the child's best interests?

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#2 Dec 16 2011 at 8:16 AM Rating: Good
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Well, it's a really complex system. Not all trans peoples actually fully identify with the opposite ***. Many of then don't ever actually attempt to fully transition from one the other, but are happy to stay somewhere in the middle. There are also gender-***** peoples, who might be markedly uncomfortable with their own gender.

One thing that is important to remember is that gender identities are largely a social construct. We live in a culture that arbitrarily limits the number of identities to two (which is what trans groups are attempting to change). Most Native American societies had 4 gender identities. In Samoa, there are (or at least used to be) at least 3. Etc. Someone who is rejecting a gender identity might not necessarily want the other one--they might be embracing it more because it is what they are left with.

Overall, I agree with the parents. Trying to force the identity on the child isn't going to make anyone happy. If they turn out that they want to stay a boy, then at least the child will remember that they made the choices that led to that. If they do continue to transition, their childhoods were a **** of a lot better than the rest of the trans peoples I know.
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#3 Dec 16 2011 at 8:42 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
If they do continue to transition, their childhoods were a **** of a lot better than the rest of the trans peoples I know.
And if they don't continue?
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#4 Dec 16 2011 at 9:01 AM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
If they do continue to transition, their childhoods were a **** of a lot better than the rest of the trans peoples I know.
And if they don't continue?


There's no choice that is perfect for every eventuality. Hopefully, psychologists get better at predicting whether or not a child will ultimately want to transition. You don't need to start hormone treatments until they are 10 or so, I'd imagine.

I'm going to guess* that there's a high probability that a child that comes to this clinic will ultimately want to transition, at least partly.

What does worry me, however, is that a sexual transition will be too strongly put forward. We have a culture that really, REALLY cares about what they have in the pants. Honestly, that should be a completely personal choice on part of the child. A ton of transgenders never even seek gender reassignment surgery (though for many of them, it's because it's insanely expensive--requires over 2 years of therapy before hand, plus the surgery, and none of it is covered by insurance, iirc).

In any case, its commendable to actively seek to get your child into a positive atmosphere. Even if the kid mentioned in the OP decides not to transition, I'm guessing he'll be better off in this scenario than he would have been if they insisted on trying to force maleness on him.
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#5 Dec 16 2011 at 10:18 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
You don't need to start hormone treatments until they are 10 or so, I'd imagine.
So to answer Stubbs' question, you think anything under 10?
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#6 Dec 16 2011 at 10:45 AM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
You don't need to start hormone treatments until they are 10 or so, I'd imagine.
So to answer Stubbs' question, you think anything under 10?


I <3 brevity.
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#7 Dec 16 2011 at 11:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
You don't need to start hormone treatments until they are 10 or so, I'd imagine.
So to answer Stubbs' question, you think anything under 10?


Without knowing anything particular about the science, I have no clue. But 10 sounds like a decent age to start with.

For the psychological stuff, on the other hand, I'm on board. Kids shouldn't be forced into gender norms, and it's a good idea for those kids to have an outlet to help them cope with pressures from others to conform.
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#8 Dec 16 2011 at 11:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm not an expert on this *at all*, so take what I'm about to say with a huge grain of salt.

Without getting into specifics, I could have very very easily have been diagnosed* as a female-identifying male as a kid (and still have a few departures from what's considered normal for a guy my age), and I have a damaged pituitary gland from a very young age (2) that caused other hormone deficiencies, so it wouldn't even be unreasonable to consider the option of hormone therapy for someone like me.

That said, I would be [b]super mega ultra ************** at my parents if they had put me in a female hormone therapy treatment program, especially at that young of an age. Despite what an outside observer may think, I am a male-identifying male, I like being male quite a bit, and am of the opinion that--no matter what society says--if I'm doing something, it's "manly" [i]simply because I'm the one who's doing it; whether that's baking cupcakes, watching slice-of-life Anime, or playing online games, or whatever, because I am confident in myself and my identity. Likewise, any stereotypically male activity will be "womanly" (or the associated adjective of any other identities) should a woman decide to enjoy that activity.

Nothing is set in stone physically until the onset of puberty, so there shouldn't be a need to rush things (again, I'm not a doctor, medical professionals will trump my opinions here). Just make sure to love and support your kid, and use your best judgment. If you're really trying to look out for your kid, and not just trying to enforce what you want them to be, I don't think any kid who grew up in such an environment will look back and say their parents did wrong by them.

*I don't know if diagnosed is the right word, but just roll with it, I think it's clear what I mean from context
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#9 Dec 16 2011 at 1:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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...whether that's baking cupcakes...
Manliest thing on earth.
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#10 Dec 16 2011 at 1:24 PM Rating: Good
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Aliekber wrote:
...whether that's baking cupcakes...
I always wanted to be a baker.

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#11 Dec 16 2011 at 1:24 PM Rating: Good
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Any parent that says their three or four year old is capable of discerning their own gender identity needs to be investigated for child abuse. It worked out for them, but ten out of nine times I'd have placed money on the parents wanting a boy and a girl instead of two boys so they manipulated the kid into that role. Seriously, twins that young, and one just happens to like dresses and such? Where was he getting those dresses? Sounds too **** suspicious to me.
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#12 Dec 16 2011 at 1:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm going to say this because I know that happens. Most TG's start identifying with the other gender early. I
know that I was playing with girls things instead of guys from the start. I thought I was a girl back then. Then I learned I was a boy and of course my parents did all the stuff to try to stop me from my girl like tendencies. It was never effective. I dressed and still liked and identified with girls. Of course I did try all the guy stuff and did sports and even lettered in several but the girl in me never went away. Pretty much TG's are trapped in the wrong body. We are wired as the opposite gender. The change makes your body match your mind.

I've advised and helped many other girls start and make the change. I'll tell you if its done early enough its
much better for the person going through it and it's so much easier to be passable as a younger developing body reacts better with the hormones. The youngest I helped was aged 16 and her parents were very supportive. She's happy and totally passable in person. At the age in the story the child may develop as a complete woman and it may be the best for them.

One other reason for people to change is that many are born and like the story the parents make a choice to have a boy rather than a girl if they have both genders at birth. I know several girls that found out they were born female and changed to male. Just like most TG's they have issues and many change back later. I know several that did this also. It's one complex and volatile issue and many people do not understand it nor want to. Ignorant people are afraid of change and many TG's experience high rates of suicide and discrimination by others. That I'm experienced and know all to well about.
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#13 Dec 16 2011 at 2:10 PM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Aliekber wrote:
...whether that's baking cupcakes...
Manliest thing on earth.


STFU, cupcakes are delicious.
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#14 Dec 16 2011 at 2:29 PM Rating: Good
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Had to rate up Tailmon for that.

(Mod up: Insightful.)
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#15 Dec 16 2011 at 2:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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The kids aren't taking hormones themselves at a young age; just hormone blockers. They've been used for a long time with cases of precocious puberty, and kids will go through puberty after they stop taking them. If they find they conform to their birth ***, they'll stop them and continue on as they normally would.

Now, for transgender women starting the transition after puberty, especially if they have some very masculine characteristics? They're @#%^ed.

Edited, Dec 16th 2011 3:00pm by Sweetums
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#16 Dec 16 2011 at 4:05 PM Rating: Good
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I totally didn't even know those existed Sweetums. Rate up for teaching me something new. :)
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#17 Dec 16 2011 at 4:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sweetums wrote:
Now, for transgender women starting the transition after puberty, especially if they have some very masculine characteristics? They're @#%^ed.


Not always true. It depends on the person. Each situation is different. As I said earlier the younger you take HRT the more convincing you are. Even after I did HRT my body changed more than I expected. Even your bones change. Just as your fat ends up in different spots. Not just Boobs but other places women have it. I know a few TG's that have been on the TV shows. Can you guess who is a man or woman? All of my friends were women to the audiences. Many of us have seen that people can have dramatic physical changes even in their twenties.

Even facial features can be changed rather well and not that expensively now. I had some surgery to change
my face to make it more feminine and its much different than before. I've had friends have major facial surgery and they look completely female now. Even boob jobs are common but not advisable untill a person has been on HRT for a few years because they take time to develop.

Edited, Dec 16th 2011 6:14pm by Tailmon
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#18 Dec 16 2011 at 5:28 PM Rating: Good
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Tailmon wrote:
Sweetums wrote:
Now, for transgender women starting the transition after puberty, especially if they have some very masculine characteristics? They're @#%^ed.


Not always true. It depends on the person. Each situation is different. As I said earlier the younger you take HRT the more convincing you are. Even after I did HRT my body changed more than I expected. Even your bones change. Just as your fat ends up in different spots. Not just Boobs but other places women have it. I know a few TG's that have been on the TV shows. Can you guess who is a man or woman? All of my friends were women to the audiences. Many of us have seen that people can have dramatic physical changes even in their twenties.

Even facial features can be changed rather well and not that expensively now. I had some surgery to change
my face to make it more feminine and its much different than before. I've had friends have major facial surgery and they look completely female now. Even boob jobs are common but not advisable untill a person has been on HRT for a few years because they take time to develop.


All the more reason to let the kid grow up a bit before subjecting them to therapy. Let them make up their own minds along the way IMO. The percentage of kids below age 5 who associate with the gender opposite their own *** is pretty high. But it's usually a passing phase and has more to do with realizing that the other gender is treated differently, or wears different clothes, or whatnot and thinking that being that other gender will be "better" in some way. I suspect that nearly all children go through something like that at some point, even if it's just an unrealistic jealous "grass is greener" thing.

Transgender changes are significant and come with some pretty serious social obstacles. The harm in waiting until someone is absolutely sure that's the life for them is (IMO) vastly less than that in convincing a young child who might not otherwise have pursued such a path that he/she is transgender. I just think that it's one of those things that you *really* need to be sure of, and I can't see how anyone could make that choice at age 3.
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#19 Dec 16 2011 at 5:34 PM Rating: Decent
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As always, gbaji needs to paint things in terms of benefits. Smiley: oyvey

Transgendered people don't change their gender because they think a different one is better. They change because it's the gender they identify with. They don't ever think "I'm going to become a woman." They think "I'm a woman, and I think I'm going to change my body to reflect that."

That's actually a heteronormative statement though. Plenty of trans peoples identify as either or both genders. And then there are gender ***** peoples, who don't feel they actually fall on the spectrum of gender at all.
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#20 Dec 16 2011 at 5:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory wrote:
They don't ever think "I'm going to become a woman." They think "I'm a woman, and I think I'm going to change my body to reflect that."
Eventually, sure. Doubtful at three. My daughter hates dresses with a fiery passion. I don't think it's because she identifies with being a boy, but because she recently learned what running is and her dresses get caught on things sending her sprawling.

I kind of feel like a bad father for finding it freakin' hilarious, but that's neither here or there.
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#21 Dec 16 2011 at 5:49 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
As always, gbaji needs to paint things in terms of benefits. Smiley: oyvey

Transgendered people don't change their gender because they think a different one is better. They change because it's the gender they identify with. They don't ever think "I'm going to become a woman." They think "I'm a woman, and I think I'm going to change my body to reflect that."

That's actually a heteronormative statement though. Plenty of trans peoples identify as either or both genders. And then there are gender ***** peoples, who don't feel they actually fall on the spectrum of gender at all.


Wow, you completely misunderstood what he was saying, probably because you're stupid. That was what he was contrasting actual transexuality with.

How are you so stupid?

No, I don't agree with him.
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#22 Dec 16 2011 at 5:51 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
As always, gbaji needs to paint things in terms of benefits. Smiley: oyvey

Transgendered people don't change their gender because they think a different one is better.


I read it as him describing a phase that a lot of kids that age go through, not describing true transgender people.

I played with barbies at 3, my son played with dolls, dollhouses and cupcake kitchen sets. Doesn't mean I should turn him into a woman.
#23 Dec 16 2011 at 6:06 PM Rating: Good
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Tailmon wrote:
Sweetums wrote:
Now, for transgender women starting the transition after puberty, especially if they have some very masculine characteristics? They're @#%^ed.


Not always true. It depends on the person. Each situation is different. As I said earlier the younger you take HRT the more convincing you are. Even after I did HRT my body changed more than I expected. Even your bones change. Just as your fat ends up in different spots. Not just Boobs but other places women have it. I know a few TG's that have been on the TV shows. Can you guess who is a man or woman? All of my friends were women to the audiences. Many of us have seen that people can have dramatic physical changes even in their twenties.

Even facial features can be changed rather well and not that expensively now. I had some surgery to change
my face to make it more feminine and its much different than before. I've had friends have major facial surgery and they look completely female now. Even boob jobs are common but not advisable untill a person has been on HRT for a few years because they take time to develop.

Edited, Dec 16th 2011 6:14pm by Tailmon
Yeah, that's definitely true. I guess I'm mostly thinking of the cases where they're misgendered in public. I certainly wouldn't be able to tell that Julia Serano wasn't cissexual unless I'd have already known
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#24 Dec 16 2011 at 6:13 PM Rating: Good
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KTurner wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
As always, gbaji needs to paint things in terms of benefits. Smiley: oyvey

Transgendered people don't change their gender because they think a different one is better.


I read it as him describing a phase that a lot of kids that age go through, not describing true transgender people.

I played with barbies at 3, my son played with dolls, dollhouses and cupcake kitchen sets. Doesn't mean I should turn him into a woman.
Uhhh, and you wouldn't be. Many transexual people actually criticize these strict gender roles because when THEY don't conform themselves, they have to go through this ******** song and dance to get the medical treatment they need.

You don't have to worry about homones until you're older. All a little boy needs to look like a little girl is basically a dress.
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#25 Dec 16 2011 at 6:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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As I said before TG's are not someone that just plays with dolls. They are wired differently than normal.
Consider it being trapped in the wrong body. That was what I felt from a very early age. It's a recognized
fact. Playing dolls with your sister is not the only thing that makes you someone like me. It's much deeper
and part of your soul to say. You know your a different *** but your body is wrong. Dressing and being with
other girls helps but its not enough to help you. Eventually you can become self destructive and antisocial
or even seeking other things to help ease the problem. That is why many non opp TG kill themselves. The process
to become a TG and be on HRT takes time and therapy. With the process taking time because once you leap there is
no looking back.

As my therapist told me. "Be prepared to loose your Family, Friends, and Job. Because it will happen." I actually doubted her about that because I thought people were more open minded than when I was younger. The truth was that many were not and even all of my family stopped talking to me. I lost all but my *** and TG friends. And it took them many years and lots of tries but they finally got rid of me at my past job. As I have indicated before I've coached many others and actually moderated MSN's TG forums years back.
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#26 Dec 16 2011 at 7:18 PM Rating: Good
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My point was that, if you are considering gender as being something they actively choose for any logical reason, you've already missed the point. No child has a conception of their gender at 3. Doesn't mean they aren't actually already conforming to one or the other (or neither).

Your gender identity is an psychological development, formed by your societal definitions of genders. You never consciously stop and really consider it or choose one.
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