I didn’t like doing all the stereotypical girl things

A young teenager tells the internet “how I knew I was trans”:

Partial transcript:

basically…it has to do with my coming out story…and…well…ever since I was a little kid I knew there was something different about me and I didn’t like doing all the stereotypical girl things that all my friends liked to do at the time. I…as soon as I was able to dress myself I…I started dressing from the guys department

(…)

my mom put me in ballet and I decided no I don’t wanna go to ballet, I’m gonna play in the mud and so yeah. I did sports as a little kid and I was really into that kind of stuff and I always thought that I’m eh…I’m different

(…)

I dressed like a guy every single day, I wore guy clothes, guy shoes, I did guy things, hung out with guys, um, everything that a little boy would do. My mom started getting mad, she  told me I need to dress like a little girl and act like one too. And I was like “no mom I don’t like doing that and I never wore dresses and  never wore a skirt, never wore heels. Graduation was a…graduation was horrible, I mean…dress shopping, it didn’t feel right!

(…)

halfway through sophomore year I was watching this video on YouTube of a boy and his transition, and I was like oh my god, this makes sense now

It’s a familiar story in many ways. A female child who does not like to do the things that society tells little girls that they should like.  Parents who, as the kid grows older, to an increasing degree try to force the kid into this role they do not want. And finally, discovering YouTube and the many “transition videos” on it. Bingeing on these videos for a couple of weeks, and suddenly wanting to change their sex.  These kids end up medical patients for the rest of their lives. They want to start taking testosterone. Ten, twenty years ago, finding yourself as a teen meant getting a tattoo of a Chinese character, maybe some piercings. For these kids, it means starting medical treatments that can make them sterile. After five years on testosterone, the cancer risk explodes and a complete hysterectomy is required. Quite the price to pay for wanting to escape the restrictive feminine gender role.

Several commenters have similar experiences to the young person in the video:

I tried to force myself to wear dresses
“I’ve always tried to force myself to be ‘girly'”

Where is feminism for these young women? Where are the role models that can show them how to be women without being “girly”?

A similar comment on a different video:

binge watched videos for a week and now im trans wheeee
“I binge watched videos for a week, and I just knew”

Again and again, we see this tale. Young women who dislike performing femininity discovering transition videos, and becoming transgender.

A slightly different story, told by Aydian Ethan Dowling, is seen in the video below. As a young girl, Dowling was not gender policed as heavily as many other aspiring transitioners.

Partial transcript, from around 8:15:

I didn’t know what transgender was. I didn’t know you could live that. Maybe if I knew that when I was younger, maybe I would have, um you know. Maybe I would have been more vocal about wanting to do that [transitioning], or maybe I would have known earlier that I wanted to do that. But I didn’t know I was transgender. I didn’t! I had no idea. Ah. Maybe if I lived in a house where…you know, I was being the girl, I was made to do dishes, or, or, clean, or cook, or you know, do my nails, or what, you know. I didn’t have those pressures of doing that.

So apparently, according to Aydian Dowling, if a girl is not trans, she’d be just fine with being made to do dishes, cook, and do her nails. And presumably, if Dowling had been made to do those things, then “maybe I would have known earlier”, to quote the video.

More and more young women are watching these videos on YouTube. Not just watching them, binge-watching them, and in a very short amount of time they decide that they are transgender. These are often troubled young women, trying to fit in in a society where the genders are becoming more and more separated by stereotypes. Many of them are having a difficult time coming to terms with themselves, with their bodies, with their sexuality. But the implications of the stories told in these videos is often sexist. These young women need other stories, other voices.

 

9 thoughts on “I didn’t like doing all the stereotypical girl things

  1. It is striking how often it seems like these girls believe they cannot even have short hair without testosterone shots and breast amputation. The play acting of trying to look masculine gets weirder the more of these videos that I watch. I have never seen a teen boy rub his nose with the his hand every 30 seconds but this is always a part of the young ftm YouTube video. Stocking caps are also required apparently.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My daughter is like the first person. She’s 9 and prefers to shop from the boys’ department. She loves button-down shirts, jeans, boots, cute little ties, and keeps her hair short. She’s never been pink or sparkly; in fact she rejects those things most of the time. I’ve waited all her life for her to go through a princess phase — hasn’t happened. She broke her arm recently falling from the top of the jungle gym, which was not exactly a surprise. I think the difference between my daughter and these boys is that my daughter has heard all her life the feminist message that girls and women can do and be and look like anything, there is no essential feminine nature, and if people give you shit about it, that’s their problem, there’s nothing wrong with you. My girl is very comfortable with herself so far and I can only hope she continues to feel that it’s on the scale of normal to feel and dress and behave as she does. She’s a kick-ass little kid and it will break my heart if anyone tries to convince her that her personality and preferences are inherently incompatible with being female.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. My daughter is like the first person. She’s 9 and prefers to shop from the boys’ department. She loves button-down shirts, jeans, boots, cute little ties, and keeps her hair short. She’s never been pink or sparkly; in fact she rejects those things most of the time. I’ve waited all her life for her to go through a princess phase — hasn’t happened. She broke her arm recently falling from the top of the jungle gym, which was not exactly a surprise. I think the difference between my daughter and these boys is that my daughter has heard all her life the feminist message that girls and women can do and be and look like anything, there is no essential feminine nature, and if people give you shit about it, that’s their problem, there’s nothing wrong with you. My girl is very comfortable with herself so far and I can only hope she continues to feel that it’s on the scale of normal to feel and dress and behave as she does. She’s a kick-ass little kid and it will break my heart if anyone tries to convince her that her personality and preferences are inherently incompatible with being female.

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  4. As a little girl, I enjoyed both ballet lessons And playing in the mud. I wasn’t a girl who was part of a girl clique and my best subjects were math and science. I liked miniskirts and wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. It looks to me like the trans movement is fighting very hard to force everyone to choose whether to live in the blue box or the pink box, and no playing mix-and-match. To me this is the opposite of freedom.

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  5. I support equality and the right of people to do what they want with their lives. I also support the right of people to meet in peaceful assembly with those that they best identify with. I support the right of groups to express themselves respectfully without the fear of being targeting for harassment, and threats. The transgender community has secured these rights and it is only fair that Gay and Lesbian groups should be respected in retaining these rights.
    I also strongly support the right of children to be free of exploitation, including freedom from medical experimentation. Hormone blockers are not FDA approved, just as hormones are not FDA approved for the treatment of transgenderism. The risks of infertility and other permanent damage and long-term negative health outcomes are unknown. No long-term studies have been done to prove the safety of these medical “interventions”. Also, no long-term studies have been done to prove that children who are not “transgender” (i.e.. kids who do not meet cultural gender stereotypes and are perceived to be “non-conforming” but grow up to be gay, lesbian or straight with no persisting gender dysphoria) will not be accidentally targeted for extreme and potentially dangerous medical “treatments.” Children should have the right to have their bodies left intact until they are old enough to decide for themselves what elective surgeries (if any) they would like to have performed in adulthood.
    I feel that in many ways the transgender narrative is in conflict with the interests of the LBG. The LBG does not seek entry into gender specific spaces that are not specifically designated for them. Even when gay bashing is a real threat, I have never seen a gay man ask to enter a woman’s bathroom. And no matter how many lesbian friends this person has, I have never heard of a gay man insisting on being welcomed into groups where he is not invited. Also, most LGB people do not insist on validation of their sexuality – people may assume that we are straight but we generally do not feel compelled to correct people unless we are being propositioned or romantically pursued . Also, most of us do not identify as the “Gay”friend, or “Lesbian” neighbor. Some of us even choose to keep our sexuality private, not because we are in the “closet” but because we don’t need strangers to validate us and we do not require our identities to be defined by our sexual orientation. We are teachers, parents, doctors, janitors, coaches, activists – we are so many things more than our sexuality. Even if our gender is sometimes confused, most of us just ignore the mistake as it does not threaten our sense of identity. We should also be respected and have the right to choose our sexual partners without being called “transphobic.”
    Transgender people may feel that their situation is different and I agree. In fact, that is my point. The LBG is different than the T in many ways. It is similar to the rights of Indigenous people compared to the rights of African Americans. The groups may suffer in similar ways but they are not the same and they have different organizations and different needs.
    Regarding gender identity. It is problematic that the idea of gender “non-conformity” and even “body dysphoria” is thought to be a “transgender issue” only. Many girls who played with trucks, loved math and got in fist fights grow up to be lesbians. Many boys play “dress-up” or prefer Barbie dolls over trucks and are emotionally sensitive yet grow up to be gay men. But how will the children be identified today and what will happen to these kids?
    Not every kid who experiments sexually with friends of the same sex will grow up to be gay, why would anyone assume that a boy who prefers to play “dolls and house” with his sisters or a girl who wrestles and goes hunting with her brothers will grow up to be transgender?
    It is troubling to see that gender identity for “detransioners” is not supported with the same vigor as transition for people who identify as “transgender”.
    It is disturbing to research and learn that the Transgender Law Center and Sylvia Rivera Law Center support the rights of convicted felons to acquire hormones and surgeries (at tax payers expense) and to transfer to women’s only facilities. One may be surprised to learn that status as a registered sex offender or even a history of homicide with not prohibit the diagnosis of transgendersim – including the right to medically transition and legally change one’s identity documents.
    Interestingly, legal groups representing transgender rights that extend even to convicted felons, seem to offer no legal help for detransition for average citizens. From what I can see, there is not even legal support to reverse name changes on legal documents.The WPATH also seems to offer no information on desistance. So gender rights to transition are supported in a “one way” direction?
    I suppose the argument that could be made is that being “Transgender” does not include “De-transition” as those who desist are not truly transgender. But I find this stance to be ironic coming from a group that has benefited so much from attaching itself to the LGB. Even the most recent laws against “reparative therapy” were piggy-backed on to gay an lesbian rights to be free from “shock therapy” and other extremely aversive and harmful “psychotherapy techniques” that were used legally, up until quite recently, to change sexual orientation. So, if a person has been diagnosed as transgender (even as a minor, who is too young to consent) an this person undergoes “treatment” with hormone blockers as a pubescent child, hormones as an adolescent and the removal of their breasts as early as age 15 – an they discover at 17 that they are really not transgender, they are out of luck? Even if the person does all of this at an older age, it seems crazy that there is no legal support to help to reclaim their identity. And when that person realizes that they are Lesbian, Gay or Bi-sexual, the Transgender community feels no debt as part of the LGBT to help support their right to not be misdiagnosed and treated with medical negligence? There are no laws to protect such a person?
    You may want look at the links below to verify see if I am missing something but I see no legal support for detransition. What I have seen all over the internet is that when a person “detransitions”, they are ridiculed, dismissed as “fakes” and rejected. Their story is essentially erased.
    TRTV’s RealTalk With The Cummings & Guest Walt Heyer …
    Video for detransition+Walt+real+talk▶ 1:31:27

    Jan 26, 2016 – Uploaded by REALTALK W/The Cummings
    Author of Transgender’s Faith, Kid Dakota and the Secret at Grandma’s House an autobiography novel …
    http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2014/08/26/laverne-cox-distances-herself-controversial-trans-inmate
    http://transgenderlawcenter.org/archives/12048
    A Gender Variance Who’s Who: Synthia China-Blast (1974 …
    zagria.blogspot.com/2014/09/synthia-china-blast-1974-convicted.html
    Sep 2, 2014 – “Synthia China Blast: convicted for the rape, murder and abuse of the corpse of thirteen-year-old Ebony Nicole Williams”.
    Michelle Kosilek: Transgender killer who won taxpayer …
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Michelle-Kosilek-Transgender-killer-…
    Daily Mail
    Nov 19, 2012 – In Court: Transsexual killer Michelle Kosilek, pictured, is suing the … Kosilek is serving a life sentence for the 1990 murder of her wife Cheryl.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So, so glad to hear that voice of reason. My oldest younger sister is 17 and enjoys having short hair and playing as male characters, and she has periods of crippling insecurity, so I’m kind of worried at time that she’ll stumble upon the “trendy trans” sphere and decide that those facets of her mean she has to be transgender.

    As you said, it’s appalling that even though we’re supposed to live in societies based upon equality, gender roles are so rigid that an increasing minority of teens will feel that they’re transgender just because their interest don’t line up with what is expected of their gender. Not to pull the “good old days” card, but I’m pretty sure it’s a step back even from the 19th century, where women like Laure Junot or Lily Foy didn’t feel the need to question or justify themselves just because they cut their hair short and enjoyed horse-riding and shooting…

    Like

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