Something is Wrong
Why don't I fit in with the other boys? Why do they tease me?
Why do the other boys refuse to let me play in their sports?
Why do I have this weird inner need to wear dresses?
Why does my body feel like someone poured acid in it?
I'm most comfortable when I with my girl friends. It's fun to talk to them about everything under the sun. Even about boys.
I love to play girls' games: quiet games that don't involve throwing, hitting and kicking things. Or being knocked to the ground.
When I can't be with them, I watch the girls intently from the sidelines: I envy their bright clothes, the art of their movements, their bright smiles. Most of all I envy their friends; their constant chatter.
Even my brothers tease me constantly. They say I'm a sissy and terrify me with snakes & spiders.
Why don't my parents like me? I never do anything right. They're always yelling at me and telling me what to do and how to act.
They order me to play with the boys, even though I always end up watching the game from the bench, alone.
My parents won't let me talk to my girl friends.
Most of all, I hope they don't find the clothes I've hidden under my bed -- I can't stand any more humiliation or another spanking.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of other people who think they can't be happy unless they make a 10-year old's life miserable. That's their problem. Your problem is to find happiness & fulfillment in spite of what the others say.
The first step is to discover yourself and make goals. (These can be refined as time goes on.) The next step is to find allies. An ally is someone you can trust, who is looking out for YOUR best interest, not theirs. That is, they listen to you first and respond to what YOU say. Run away from anyone who interrupts you with a lecture about how you should be. SCREAM if they start talking about good and evil, sin or the Bible.
Your parents may NOT be your allies. Your religious leader, doctor or psychologist may not be either. Other youth can be useful allies at school, but only an adult ally has the power to protect you from society's hostility. Most religious congregations have a few good people who offer love, kindness and protection instead of curses & harsh doctrine. Parents of other LGBT youth may have learned compassion through their experience. (Or they may NOT have.) Teachers are another possible resource -- or perhaps ask at the local Pride Center.
...Be careful that someone you approach doesn't Out you to your parents. Test the waters first by asking something like, What do you think about restroom laws? Or What do you think about gay marriage?
Someone who accepts gays may NOT accept transsexuals.
Everyone needs someone to talk to. Tell your ally what you've found in your self-discovery. Tell them your goals and aspirations. Hopefully they'll give you feedback about whether you're being reasonable, or offer possible paths to accomplish your goals. Talk about your feelings -- especially about depression, despair, and the amount of trans distress that you have. Discuss all major decisions, like coming out or running away. Tell them about any threats, harassment or fears you might have.
Most of all, take time to be happy. Don't dwell on misery, guilt or fear. Find things you like to do, and figure out how to do them without interference.
The Family Portal
Then the doctors tell you that you're too young to know about gender. (Huh? Really?) Hopefully you'll become normal as you get older, but you might end up gay. However, the news made your parents happy.
That's NOT what trans youth need to hear. They're looking for answers, not confusion. The first step is to look within: Forget about what other people say you should be. The things your biology teacher said aren't quite true.
What are your interests? Who are your best friends? Yes, there's a reason you're driven to wear women's clothes, so don't fight it. You're you, you'll always be you, and there's nothing about you that needs to be fixed or changed. (Well, okay, Your bed needs to be made and your room picked up. Minor details.)
Most of all, trans youth (and their families) need reassurance that transsexuality is okay -- it's normal. There's a reason God blessed you with transsexuality -- find out why? The only question is how you're going to express your transsexuality in your own life. There are thousands of ways to be transsexual. (One of them is to ignore it and just be you.) Which way will bring you fulfillment? What will bring you happiness? What will make you feel proud of yourself?
Those are the issues, not mental illness or gender non-conformity!
Gender Basics Portal
At some point, every transsexual is driven find out what's wrong with them. Nowadays, the term "transgender" is easy to come by, but what does it mean?
Often a "transgender" browser search is enough to curl the hairs on your toes: a bearded man with garish make-up and hardly any clothes -- especially around the crotch. Am I going to grow up to look like this?
Transsexuality is normal. It's part of natural human diversity: People have brown eyes or blue eyes; black hair, auburn hair or blond hair; some are math geniuses while some are athletic superstars. Some people are intersex, and some are trans. A trans person is no different from anyone else. They have the same range of gifts, interests, challenges, insights and needs. They think, love and feel. They are all God's children and are precious to him.
Stash & Purge
Girl sessions are unpredictable & difficult to come by. There may not be a lot of time. It helps to have a secret place for hiding clothes & toys, so it's ready at an instant's notice.
Besides that, it's hard to get the dresses, jewelry and make-up. Every treasure you find needs to be quickly hidden away.
The collection gets bigger and bigger....
Until the fear & guilt become overwhelming. Maybe spring cleaning is underway. Or there was a powerful sermon in church last sunday. Or maybe it was just the way mom looked at you when she got home from shopping. (Was there a lipstick stain somewhere?)
In a panic, you run to the attic to throw everything away. No more! I'll never dress again! It's perverted, and someone is going to find out!
But a week later, you begin to regret the purge. The need is still there. It can't be stopped or ignored. And every passing day the distress becomes more intense. Collecting the clothes is so difficult, dangerous and time-consuming. There's no choice but to begin collecting again. This time I won't throw it away.
A transsexual life is surrounded by secrecy. The biggest secret is the clothes, hidden under the bed. And those wonderful times when you're where no one can find you, and you're wearing a dress, and you pretend that you're a princess -- or maybe some of your girl friends have come over for a bit of tea. ...Or maybe you just want to sit in a corner and brush your doll's hair.
That doll was taken from a sister, or maybe found in a dumpster. It's worn from years of being hidden in the crack in the wall behind the door. The hair is always tangled & matted, so it really does need combing.
Make-up is always fun: lipstick, eye shadow; maybe some powder. That's easier to steal from other family members.
What if someone suddenly bursts through the door and finds me?
Why do I do these things? Other boys HATE girl things. I must be really strange or perverted.
Hmmm. If mom is going shopping, maybe I can sneak into the attic with my dresses and dolls.
The New Gender Paradigm