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