ITT: A lot of people who don't understand anything about *** (the physical trait, not the fun passtime/baby making process) and gender talking about it and confusing themselves into a state where they understand even less.
Sup OoT, another TG poster bargin' up in your thread here to lay down some explanifying. I've still got a very clear memory of my childhood, since I'm only 20, so I think I may be able to clear some stuff up for you guys.
Gender Identity is easiest to explain by describing it as the brain's version of a *****/******. It's something hardwired into your physical make up from before you're even born, and is a static, unchanging variable in a person's core self. Basically, the most accurate way for someone not in the field of ***/gender studies, and/or someone who is not trans, to think of how being trans works, is like a form of intersex (hermaphroditic) birth defect, but rather than developing intersex characteristics in the genitalia, as one would typically assume, they are split between the external sexual characteristics, and the internal ones.
to be more blunt; rather than developing some degree of both a ***** and a ******, a trans individual develops externally "normal" genitalia of one ***, but at the same time develops internally as the other ***.
To everyone questioning the validity of knowing your gender at a young age, I'll posit that like tailmon and myself, there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of trans people who can and do regularly attest to the fact that, yes, they have felt this way since they were only 3-4 years old. In fact, I used to have some quick links to studies done that supported this, but I can't find them atm. In fact, even among the transpeople who don't expressly state that they knew for certain when they were young, there are many who can clearly remember a distinct feeling of something being very wrong with their body. This perfectly describes the feeling of those who do say they knew, it's just that in the case of those who don't, they simply lacked a proper way of identifying what they felt. To explain more in depth and in a less convoluted, vague manner, I'll just give my own personal version
My earliest memories are of me when I was three. I can go back through every childhood memory, all the way back, and I'll find the same, powerful feeling of something being "different" or "wrong". It's hard to describe this feeling in a way that allows people who aren't trans to understand it, though, which is what causes a lot of the confusion and doubt. For myself, I never had a name for what I felt. I knew I liked doing girl things, playing in a way girls played, watching "girl" shows on tv, etc. It's not just as simple as playing with dolls over trucks, because there are plenty of transgirls who identify as tomboys. I was raised catholic, though, and in the midwest. The idea of "maybe I'm supposed to be a girl" itself didn't cross my mind until I was 12, at which point I had my retroactive ************ epiphany and realized I was trans, though I still didn't find the name for what I was until several months later. As I matured and went through gradeschool, middle school, and high school, the feeling of what I was interested in matured with me, but never strayed from the "female" line of thought. Not just "feminine", or "girly", but straight up female. The core of the feeling of "wrongness" that I, and basically every other transperson, feel, never changed, and feels the same now, at 20, as it did when I was 3.
To try and explain how it feels, the only real example I can give that even comes close would be this; Have you ever had a significant amount of hair cut off? For ladies (and some guys), going from long, long hair, like, down past your shoulderblades, to having hair up near your ears. For guys, something like going from shaggy hair to a 1/8 buzz cut, or even a completely shaven head. When you suddenly had that much hair missing, it felt... weird, right? You were consciously aware of your head more than normal because your hair felt completely different, especially right after you got it cut. If you can picture what I'm getting at, that's about 1% of the intensity. For me, it wasn't as bad as a young kid. I would say that hair feeling was about 10% of how strongly the "wrongness" felt up until around when I hit puberty. Once you hit puberty, when you're trans, it's kind of like someone set forcefed you downers, because you know your body is already wrong, but it's only going to get worse.
To the people posting here about how there is no way a kid can know that young (I love you gaxey, but you're so wrong on this it's painful), I'll simply give you three things;
First: the number of people who transition, but stop halfway through because they changed their minds and decided they aren't trans is about 1%. 99% of the people who stop halfway through transition do so because of financial issues, or because of significant family or peer pressure to stop.
Second: Prior to puberty, there is absolutely no need for chemical treatments of a child who identifies as trans. Little boys and girls develop fairly androgynously most of the way, and typically, the first step for hormonal treatment is near, or at, the onset of puberty, where the child is given hormone-blockers to prevent puberty from causing irreversible changes. It's not typically until 11 or 12 that the "do we just delay puberty, or do we give our child the full hormone treatment" debate actually takes place. If a child has openly and continuously expressed cross-gender identification for several years prior to that point, there is very, very, very, very, very little chance they'll suddenly change their mind now (as in: I've never heard of a single case that was handled properly where the child identified as trans and then regretted their choice later on)
Third: Would you ever be willing to gamble with your child's life through the rule of four? Explanation: The rule of four is something pointed out by a trans-crisis hotline and that has since been backed up by a rather shocking study; it states that 3 in 4 transpeople will seriously consider commiting suicide, 2 in 4 will attempt suicide, and 1 in 4 will succeed in ending their own life. I've been researching gender and sexuality since I was 15, and I've spoken with hundreds of trans individuals, and my experiences, while obviously not empirical, also gives the rule of four serious credence in my mind. In the hundreds of trans people I've spoken with in the last 5 years, 12 said they never once considered suicide. Twelve. out of Hundreds. Interestingly, all twelve were people who had started transitioning (not chemically) before puberty, and started hormones at some point between 12 and 18.
as a final comment, for people who think that the gender identity of a young child can be influenced by how the child is raised, I'll ask that you look for and read As Nature Made Him: The Boy who was Raised as a Girl, by John Colapinto. It tells the story of David Reimer, who was, as an infant, the victim of a botched circumcision, which lead to his parents being coached into raising him as a girl. A Naturally born XY male child, raised as a girl.
if you want the tl;dr: it didn't work. It failed. Badly.
For transkids, NOT allowing them to be themselves is effectively the same as what David Reimer was forced to endure.
____________________________Theytak, Siren Server, FFXI [Retired]
Amerida Baker, Balmung Server, FFXIV
LOLGAXE IS MY ETERNAL RIVAL!
Am I the only one who clicked on this thread expecting actual baby photos [of Jinte]? o.O
Except if it were baby photos, it would be like looking at before and afters of Michael Jackson. Only instead of turning into a white guy, he changes into a chick!