A 16 year old kid is confused about himself and posts to r/asktransgender:
This seems like a pretty typical teenager trying to find his place in the world.
“You’re trans. Oh and by the way, you don’t really love your penis, just wait”.
Another confused poster seeking answers (excerpts):
I’m a wretchedly confused 21 year old male.
I don’t think that I fit the typical profile of someone who actively wanted to be female from a very young age. I feel like I’ve just… fallen into it? Maybe I’m just trying to distance myself from it all by saying that. I can’t tell.
In the past two years, despite the risks of living with my family I’ve gone so far as to go out shopping and buy female clothes to cross-dress in private, frequently shaved my body clean and even dabbled in makeup, though I was getting scared by how far I was taking it and the risk it posed (how the hell do you remove nail polish from the edges of your fingernails?) and binned some of it a few months ago. Still, until recently I’ve always dismissed it as a fetish, because it’s been so tied up in eroticism.
I’ve never had a great relationship to my body, but especially now that puberty is essentially over I’ve come to distaste, if not sometimes hate my maleness. I look in the mirror and feel like I’m staring back at a gorilla. The body hair and stubble, the muscle, the flat profile, huge nose, rough skin, deep voice… but lately, at least for the first few seconds, I see a female “soul” in my eyes, and so I increasingly can’t face myself in the mirror. Self-awareness is becoming dysphoric. At the same time, it isn’t a constant feeling, at least yet. Being male isn’t all bad.
Still, I’m also so sick of the emotional shutdown I’ve had to impose on myself for being male. Despite how analytic I’ve become, it’s absurd how easily I’ll cry sometimes when watching sappy videos or listening to powerful music online. Part of the reason why I’m such a recluse is that I’m expected to be stoic when I’d like to have a good cry at the end of a movie, you know? I can’t contain myself despite the walls I’ve built up.
After saying all of that I in some ways feel foolish to not think that I’m transgender, but I’ve spent my entire life in such doubt over almost everything that matters, and I’ve consistently made poor decisions when I have acted, so I feel incredibly torn.
Am I just reinterpreting history to suit a self-indulgent narrative? Is this just escapism taken to its utmost extreme? How can you possibly tell if you’re in denial, especially when you’re consumed by doubt? Are dreams just an exploration of hypotheticals, or an expression of deep-seated desires?
I’m not sure if I am transgender, but I’ve read enough stories to know that I don’t want to suffer with dysphoria and regret for the rest of my life.
The gist of this seems to be that this is a guy who likes to crossdress for sexual reasons, who feels like being male is “not all bad”, but dislikes stereotypes like being expected to “be stoic”. He’s unsure if he’s reading too much into these feelings. Note the last paragraph – he has been reading trans stories online. A very common theme in these narratives, as we have seen many times on this blog, is that being trans is a lifelong condition and that the only way of treating it is by invasive medical treatments.
Here are some of the replies:
(the link in the first comment goes to a page that simply says “yes”).
There are more replies of the same type. Either straight up “you sound trans”, or “your story sounds so much like mine!”, with the implication being “so therefore you are trans too”. This is the problem with communities like these, they are like funnels. There might be people with the same experiences who aren’t transgender, but they don’t hang around in r/asktransgender, so the young questioners never get to talk to them. Combine this with a solid dose of the sentiment “cis people don’t question their gender” that we have seen here, and we have a very effective way of convincing young people that medical transition is the right thing for them.