109

I am just listening to a podcast with Helen Joyce (who I love) and she’s just talking about the medical and surgical pathways children are put on when they are perceived to be gender non-conforming. The example she’s giving is Suzie Green of Mermaids who transited som aged 4.

This will ALWAYS chill me right to my core.

I remember pleading with my parents to let me a boy, I felt strongly that I was one. I played with boys toys and I liked boys clothes. I hated the “girly” toys my sisters played with and when they played dress up, I would dress as a boy while they were Disney princesses. My parents were extremely chill and told me I could play with whatever toys I wanted and wear whatever and it didn’t mean anything bad about me. I remember having sad conversations with my mum where I was embarrassed that no other girls liked the things I liked.

Turns out that was a phase I grew out of as I’m now a grown adult and very happy I’m a woman and very comfortable in my body.

Childhood memories are hazy but still there yet I cannot imagine the course of my life being altered by decisions I made and things I said back then. I also believed Hogwarts might be real and I low-key waited for a letter to arrive for me by owl inviting me to go to school there.

It chills me to my bones though to think what could have happened to me if I was born a few decades later and growing up now.

I am just listening to a podcast with Helen Joyce (who I love) and she’s just talking about the medical and surgical pathways children are put on when they are perceived to be gender non-conforming. The example she’s giving is Suzie Green of Mermaids who transited som aged 4. This will ALWAYS chill me right to my core. I remember pleading with my parents to let me a boy, I felt strongly that I was one. I played with boys toys and I liked boys clothes. I hated the “girly” toys my sisters played with and when they played dress up, I would dress as a boy while they were Disney princesses. My parents were extremely chill and told me I could play with whatever toys I wanted and wear whatever and it didn’t mean anything bad about me. I remember having sad conversations with my mum where I was embarrassed that no other girls liked the things I liked. Turns out that was a phase I grew out of as I’m now a grown adult and very happy I’m a woman and very comfortable in my body. Childhood memories are hazy but still there yet I cannot imagine the course of my life being altered by decisions I made and things I said back then. I also believed Hogwarts might be real and I low-key waited for a letter to arrive for me by owl inviting me to go to school there. It chills me to my bones though to think what could have happened to me if I was born a few decades later and growing up now.

105 comments

[–] Nediljka_Orwell PITA crone 12 points Edited

I was one of those "neglected" free range kids of the 1960s and 1970s who somehow managed to reach young adulthood without getting killed or abducted, LOL. Our only rule was to be home for supper. Oh, we got hurt alright; stitched flesh, broken bones and chipped teeth were very common. But we healed and learned invaluable lessons.

My given name is a mouthful that my siblings couldn't pronounce easily so I have been called a single syllable male nickname all my life. I loved it when my father would say "my daughter <male name>". A fun joke. There was a few years gap between myself and my siblings, so when they got older and pursued their own interests, my father (who was a maker and doer extraordinaire) turned me into his apprentice and honorary son. I did everything he did. Restoring old cars and maintaining new ones. Clearing land. Building and growing things. Most of it was hard physical work done outdoors using tools and machines. The desire to "be a boy" never entered my mind. I was already living it in many respects. Even well after puberty.

We moved when I was 15. My new school was unusually tolerant and intimate. It was very small, with grades 7-12 (approximately 900 students) in one building. Unlike my bigger previous town (which was gentrifying and growing like mad, with new families moving in from all over) it was a slightly depressed and isolated blue collar town that didn't have much cachet or turnover. Most families had lived there for multiple generations and had very deep roots. At my new school no one thought twice about or bullied the non conformers (sexual or otherwise) because everyone had grown up together. High school stereotypes were rare. Cliques were practically nonexistent. There were cheerleaders who drank beer and smoked dope. And slept around, LOL. There were super smart kids who played sports. And peddled drugs. Economic status wasn't a big deal either. My graduating class's power couple was composed of an underachieving dirt poor guy and an affluent A student beauty queen and everybody loved and admired them. (Except me, LOL.) Social status was mostly merit and family based. Everyone partied together on the weekends. Even though I was a quirky new girl without historical roots I was quickly embraced and integrated. It was only after I entered college and started hitting the walls of convention and conformity that I realized that my upbringing and high school socialization were unique and that the rest of the world wasn't quite ready for a female like me. It still isn't, LOL. But safe harbors were found. And I'm still here after 6 decades. I can't imagine what it's like for young people nowadays. You have my deepest sympathies. So much has been lost and changed.