When I was a very little boy I wore dresses, fake nails, make-up (if I could get away with it.) and played with barbies instead of G.I. Joes. My favorite things to watch were “Sleeping Beauty” and “Thumbelina”. I knew what all the other boys were into, and none of it appealed to me. I didn’t want to be rough, I didn’t want to go outside, I didn’t want to get dirty, their dolls were boring and they acted gross.
My ultra-conservative family was concerned, while this wasn’t outright apparent to a child of that age,but when my “girl” cartoons starting suddenly disappearing, when I could hear one parent expressing disapproval to another over what toy was brought home, when more encouragement was mounted on me to do boy things, to be everything I didn’t want to be I knew something was up. One morning, I woke up very early and told myself that I was a boy and that I needed to act like one. While my parents slept I gathered up all of my toys and one by one threw them away. When they woke up I told them that I was a boy and that I knew this and it was time to be one. More “boyish” things came my way and over time, in a kind of survival mode, adapted to this role. It wasn’t a good fit though by any means. The first time I was called “faggot” was when I was in the second grade, then pretty continuously after that. I was a majorly bullied child through out both elementary and middle school.
High school was a more liberating time for me, my family had moved to an area with more diversity and maybe I would fit in a little bit better. I did. I found the theatre kids,. I was beginning to have the freedom to express myself a little more in an friendly environment with these people. There were gay kids there too though, and like our gay neighbors across the street I was disgusted by them. I grew up in a family where I regularly heard things like ” Why do good men have to die in wars? There are prisoners and gay people, why don’t we make those people fight them? they should all be lined up and shot.” So my aversion to gay people was very much ingrained. I had not correlated yet that I was gay…no matter about daydreaming about male friends/classmates or any of that kind of stuff. I, growing up in this christian conservative household, thought of ways to cure gay people. Why couldn’t they be normal? Why couldn’t thy be just like everyone else? They could be, I thought…working with the typical gay stereotypes of the butch lesbian and the flamboyant gay man and the idea of the top/bottom dynamic for both sexes I deduced that a sex change operation would do it. They could even get married then! Honestly, from the mindframe that I had at the time that was a very easy quick fix option that I couldn’t fathom these people wouldn’t look into. Later on my Mother would ask me “Do you think you were meant to be born a girl?” which I remember years later because that question, thanks to a conservative community and society had been something I had given thought to for years. On one hand…yes. It made sense…I liked “girly” things and, like a(hetero) girl, I liked guys. On the other hand, my male biology had never bothered me. No, I didn’t think I was meant to be born a girl, I was born a male and that was obviously what was meant to be because it was what was.
So many gay, lesbian and gender nonconforming youth are pressured from parents and the world around them to think they are actually born in the wrong body. “Progressive” modern parents encourage their children by pandering to their make believe of “being a girl” or “being a boy” despite a blatant reality of what the child actually is.
Personally I feel the parent, being the adult in the situation, has an obligation to allow a child to grow as they are and to accept them for who they are, not who they aren’t. Kids make believe all the time. A child make believing that he or she is something other than what they are is not uncommon, and it can last for a while, this doesn’t make their make believe valid or a reality. It’s make believe. I can’t help but think that If I were born a decade later I may have fallen for all of this bullshit. It’s that pervasive of a narrative these days, and lets not dress it up as “progressive” in any way please. Trans theory is a conservative notion. Lets look abroad to other countries, lets look at the most conservative of countries and how they treat and cure gay people- with a sex change! Because if you are gay…we will kill you unless you conform.
Conservatives don’t mind trans folk. They are conforming…if a person “acting like a girl/woman” or “acting like a boy/man” then by God they are one! Because in Murica (and several other countries.) we know our places.