there are few things that hurt a parent more than bearing witness to their child’s pain. the depth of love we feel for our children touches us to everything they must endure…a fever, nightmares, hurt feelings when another child betrays them, bullies them…the frustrations they encounter are our own, the diseases they contract we’d gladly take upon ourselves to spare them pain.
my daughter was born under a sentence…one that was unfairly imposed upon her…one that only grows more painful with the passing of time…the words: “it’s a boy”.
she’s not a boy. altho it took 3 1/2 years for her to be able to tell me, and another couple of years for me to hear it, she is really a girl…
since 6 years of age she has been living as the girl she is, dressing in the clothes she chooses, her hair down to her butt almost, everyone using the proper pronouns in referring to her…even the name she has chosen as her own…all add to her identity as a girl. but of course, there are body parts that aren’t a girl’s parts. and lately these have been causing her mountains of pain. you see, she has reached an age where erections have become frequent, and the testicles have begun to fill out. i can’t imagine how much this must bother her, how unfair it must seem to her.
so she has once again, as she did when she first found out that the ‘boy parts’ (her words) wouldn’t just fall off some day, begun verbalising a desire to ‘cut it off’…and verbalising how she’d rather die than have these parts.
her dysphoria is intense! no matter that she knows there exist some transgender females who are not opting for surgery to change them, who know they are girls no matter what parts they do or don’t have, she is adamant that for her surgery is a must…she wishes we could lie about her age so that she could have it done yesterday! no matter how much she understands that these ‘parts’ are really her ‘girl garden’… one day to be used to fashion her new and more fitting parts.
she is into tanner level 2 now. a magickal assignation for transgender girls because at this stage she can be placed on testosterone blockers, or puberty blockers…she hopes that these will stop the ‘stiffies’ (again, her words) that she so hates for the reminder they are to her of that sentence she is under…the one spoken when she was born.
it means she will either get an implant or have monthly injections to stave off any testosterone changes, hair growing where girls shouldn’t have it, voice deepening, bones lengthening, hands and feet getting large, an adam’s apple…all the things which that hormone would do to further rob her of her identity as a girl.
so in just under a month, we will be at the child and adolescent gender clinic at ucsf discussing which method we will use for delivery of the gnrh…and when to begin the subsequent cross hormones that will usher her into puberty as a girl.
i hurt for her, but i can’t really know her pain…i’m a cis-gender woman, i’ve always had the parts that affirm my identity as female. still, i am as anxious as is she to get this show on the road, so to speak. to take the first steps to move her toward a goal she knows she must attain if she’s to feel completely ‘good’ about herself.
until then we’re both on pins and needles!