” I feel like I have to try so hard as a guy” vs “I hate how I’m treated”. Motives for wanting to transition

We have seen previously on this blog that people who want to transition to the other gender often have other motives for doing so than gets presented in the usual stories we see in the media. The stories we see in the media portray being transgender as being true to some inner essence – like the rebirth of  Bruce as Caitlyn, someone who was always there, inside, the real soul inside the body.

In reality? People who transition have many different motives for doing so. Some transitioners feel that their personalities would fit better in the bodies of the opposite sex. .Thinking that the other sex has it better and easier is not uncommon. This is also seen in this post:

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Sometimes, sexual feelings are part of it, as we see in this post:

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Some questioners (especially the ones who are born female) hate the way they are treated by others as their birth sex:

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Regular old-fashioned sexism is now making young women question whether they are really men inside. This is a sexist consequence of a sexist ideology.

“OMFG I HAVE WAITED SO LONG”. Teen goes from questioning to taking hormones in three months

It is starting to become a familiar story. Young teens come to transgender communities on pages like reddit, being confused about themselves because they don’t conform to sex role stereotypes. Within months, they become convinced that they are transgender, and start experiencing despair over their bodies.

Here is another such story. It begins three months ago.

Am I a familiar story?“, the kid asks, and proceeds to rattle off a laundry list of stereotypes:

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The elements are very familiar to anyone who has read a few of these questioning posts. Painting nails, playing with dolls, being good at recognizing emotions, having female friends, and not fitting in as a guy, are all given significance in figuring out one’s identity. Conversely, liking science, Indiana Jones and explosions are considered signs of a “male” identity. This kid clearly has a very rigid perception of what being male and female is. Which is okay! Many kids and teens do, and who can blame them, growing up in a  sexist society where gender roles are rigidly enforced.

And some of the posters point this out to him.

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However, the comment with the most upvotes does no such thing:

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“Sounds trans. Sounds trans. Sounds trans”. This commenter wants the kid to know that liking nail polish and dolls makes him sound trans.

The exchange continues, concluding with this:

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“My mom still seems to think I need to wait a year before hormones”. To most people this would sound reasonable –  after all, going on cross-sex hormones without having completed natural puberty can sterilize you for life, and is a major decision to make, especially for a 15 year old. But to this kid, that is not important. This is kind of why we don’t let 15 year old make big, life-changing decisions. They are not good at thinking through the consequences.

He posts again, asking if he “has to be comfortable with public cross-dressing” before getting hormones. The answer is an overwhelming no.

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Not just is it not a good idea, it can even lead to suicide!

This is worrying because it makes it so kids feeling this way are told to not even experiment with being gender-nonconforming. Maybe this kid would have discovered that he is in fact a boy who enjoys wearing fabulous clothes and nail polish, and settled into being happy as a feminine male. Instead he is told that hormones are what he needs, and urgently.

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Any psychologist who tries to make a patient live in their desired gender role before administering sterilizing treatment should go to jail!

A month later, he’s taking puberty-suppressing drugs, but is still dissatisfied and wants estrogen:

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And the commenters oblige, giving him links to guides for obtaining hormones without a prescription:

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Then comes a rush of posts asking for advice on how to “pass” as female: (no direct links here to protect privacy, just screenshots of comments) Here is a commenter pushing him to get on hormones so he can become pretty.

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After which he makes another post asking about estrogen:

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More posts asking whether he passes, more commenters telling him that he needs to take HRT:

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And now he starts to become depressed about his looks. The comments he is getting on his pictures, even the ones who tell him that he looks male, still tell him that he is cute, adorable, and rocking dresses and “girly” clothes. But because he has decided that only looking like a biological female is good enough, he still experiences distress. Like we have seen in a previous post on this blog, becoming determined to undergo radical changes to your body can make you feel worse about yourself, especially when your goals are unrealistic.

And then, not fully 3 months after first posting, he is starting hormone replacement therapy, and wants to know “how long estrogen takes to reshape your face“.

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“OMFG I HAVE WAITED SO LONG”. Three months. This kid has waited THREE months from starting to question whether his love of nail polish as a 5 year old makes him “female”, to suppressing puberty and taking hormones that will sterilize him for the rest of his life. And he thinks these hormones will completely transform his face. What is going to happen to him when he realizes that actually becoming fully female is not possible? Instead of being happy as a boy who likes to be feminine and wear “girl” clothes, he is going down the road of obsessing over medical treatments.

“You’re in the last stages of denial”.

A 16 year old kid is confused about himself and posts to r/asktransgender:

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This seems like a pretty typical teenager trying to find his place in the world.

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“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:

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(the link in the first comment goes to a page that simply says “yes”).

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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.

“At least get on blockers. At the very least! You’ll regret waiting further”

We have seen previously here on Transgender reality that there is a lot of pressure to start taking either hormone blockers or hormones for young people who think they might be transgender. Sometimes it’s supposed to be a sort of diagnostic tool, the thought being that if you feel better on the hormones of the opposite sex, that means you are transgender. Often, the decision to start blockers or hormones is presented as something you need to do as soon as possible, even if you aren’t sure if it’s the right thing, even if you’re just 13 years old and confused. Going through natural puberty is framed as “watching your body get ruined”.

Kids going to reddit and the many large transgender subreddits there get presented with this over and over again. You need to start hormones now or you will never pass! Testosterone is ruining your body! It doesn’t take much for them to internalize this and start obsessing, as we have seen previously.

Anything I can do?” asks a 16 year old, and gets told by several commenters to “get HRT asap”:

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Can I pass?” asks another 16 year old, and again HRT comes up several times:

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What do I have to work with here?” asks a 14 year old. The second comment mentions hormones:

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Other commenters talks about how it’s possible to get androgen blockers online:

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“Get blockers”:

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Note that this kid has not even seen a therapist yet, and still people are egging him on to get hormones.

“Is transitioning early really worth it?” asks a 15 year old. The commenters start talking about HRT straight away:

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“Stop the damage of testosterone on your body”:

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Do it now do it now do it now, you’ll regret it if you don’t:

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This kid, who found out he’s trans less than a month before and has not talked to a therapist or even told his parents, wonders how hard he should “push for hrt”. The answer: very hard:

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This 19 year old wonders if he could pass. This exchange is very typical:

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In a nutshell, he’s told to get on HRT as soon as possible. He mentions feeling stressed out because he’s not even sure he wants to transition, but worries that “I don’t have enough time to decide”. So obviously, the answer is to “start an anti androgen”. His concerns about fertility are handwaved away. Can’t worry about fertility when the more important thing is to become as pretty as possible!

This premise is most often left unspoken, but if you pay attention it is very pervasive. Passing as a woman isn’t enough, the desire to be an attractive, beautiful, sexy woman is very deep among many would-be transitioners. When you take this into consideration, the preoccupation with getting people on hormones in their early teens makes more sense. Here are just a few examples of this sentiment:

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This is a recipe for disaster. Young teens go into these communities with problems that are incredibly typical, like feelings of not fitting in with peers, or liking clothing or activities that are seen as being “for” the opposite sex. They are told that even questioning their gender means that they are trans, and to get on puberty blockers or hormones as soon as possible. Again and again, the idea that taking one’s life is a natural and inevitable consequence of not being able to get these medications is reinforced.

What happens next?

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Yeah. That post was written by Josh “Leelah” Alcorn, who committed suicide later that year.

“The catalog of her interests, behaviors and clothing choices”: On gender stereotypes in stories of transgender children.

If you pay attention to news stories about transgender people, especially young kids, you will notice that they are often brimming with stereotypes. Here are just some examples:

So I might have had a daughter who would paint her nails with me and play Barbies. I could have helped her braid her hair and, later, pick out her prom dress. I could have watched her walk down the aisle with pride. I am sure that life would have been good, but I promise it wouldn’t be nearly as fulfilling as the journey I’ve had with my son.

The above quote is from the mother of FtM child, who also describes her child as getting a ‘boy haircut’. The child, who is 16 years old, has also gotten “top surgery”, which is the cutesy name for a double mastectomy often used in these stories.

Another parent tells this story:

she requested that we get rid of the horrible “boy” things that had plagued her all of her young life. That year, she worked with a joyful, fevered intensity as she yanked down every single item in the house that hinted “boy” to her and dropped them with relief into the front room.

The mother of the child described by this quote goes on to describe how she suddenly realized that her child “never was a boy” because he didn’t make car noises when he played. She also says:

Quickly my mind raced through the catalog of her interests, behaviors and clothing choices, and I saw how many clues I had missed.

It cannot be said any clearer: this parent really believes that a child’s interests and clothing choices are significant indicators when it comes to administering medical treatment that will have to be continued for their entire lives.

She  goes on to describe her child like this:

My beautiful teenage daughter, with her flowing hair, strong sense of style and love of gossip

Apparently male children cannot have flowing hair, a sense of style and a love of gossip.

In another article, we find this quote:

Except both these girls were born boys. Within a couple of years, as soon as they could talk in fact, they were preoccupied with anything normally associated with girls – dresses, jewellery, dolls and girls’ names.

The toy preferences of toddlers are again taken as signs that there is something wrong with them (born in the “wrong body”). Male children playing with dolls are pathologized.

According to their parents, from an early age Lily and Jessica were very aware of gender. They became increasingly unhappy with their gender and were drawn to dresses and toys more typically associated with girls.

If a child is told that their interests are “wrong”, and that a specific toy or item of clothing is “for girls”, then OF COURSE the child is going to be “unhappy with their gender”. Children are growing up in a time where gender stereotypes are VICIOUSLY enforced, often by parents.

And not unhappy in the way a child might be unhappy if you forced them to tidy their bedroom or eat sprouts. Lily and Jessica were becoming uncomfortable and even distressed about being boys.

“If I had to live as a boy I would be really upset,” Lily says. “Really upset. But now I’m sort of living as a girl I feel much better.” It’s a medical condition known as gender dysphoria or gender variance.

Has anyone asked this child what he thinks “living as a boy” and “living as a girl” means?

The next article features a boy whose parents very obviously tried to enforce gender roles on him:

At 3, Mark asked to dress for Halloween as Dora the Explorer; his parents bargained him down to Darth Vader, which at least featured a cape. 

Why do parents have to “bargain him down” from a Dora the Explorer costume? For those who don’t know, Dora the Explorer looks like this:

dora-the-explorer

A pink t-shirt, orange shorts and a purple backpack. Speaking as a parent, the author of this post would be thrilled by such a straightforward and simple costume. No need for sewing, or complicated masks, capes or accessories. But apparently, to the parents in the article, this costume was so objectionable that they could not allow it.

The child’s father elaborates:

I’m in a conservative business; I sell software,” he says. “I want the normal life. And this was gonna be different, when my son is getting out of the car in a dress in front of everybody. But then you have to think about who are you protecting? Yourself or your kid? People would say, ‘I can’t believe you’d let your kid do that. That’s abuse.’ I’ll tell you what’s abuse: suicide. Do you want a live daughter or a dead son?”

A son in a dress, unacceptable. But a daughter in a dress, much better.

The article concludes:

though I am using male and female pronouns to differentiate between the time before and after the transition, her parents don’t. Out of respect for their daughter, they use “she,” or try to, even when talking about the past. Similarly, they have edited out of their albums and wall displays six years of pictures of Molly as a boy and have bought a new carved oak figurine to update the genders in a family crèche on the mantelpiece.

Does this strike anyone else as incredibly sad? They have literally edited their child’s history our of their lives.

Another story of a girl child with parents who have very clear expectations of her behavior and interests:

In the fall of 2009, we welcomed a beautiful redheaded baby girl into our family.  We swaddled her in pink and lace, bought baby dolls we expected her to play with soon.  But Lola had other plans. Lola had no interest in dolls, instead gravitating toward trucks, cars and dinosaurs. In stores, she would ignore the girls section and go right to the boys. “I want these, Mommy!” she would say, pointing to the blue Vans with airplanes on them, and the dark blue or red flannel shirts. We were open, so we indulged Lola with typical toys for boys.  But I started to wonder, and gently ask. Was this a phase or part of my daughter’s true identity?

If you describe letting your child play with the toys that interests her as “indulging”, you are not, in fact, “open”. And what is “true identity” supposed to mean in this context? The idea that which toys a child plays with are indicative of their “true identity” is a RIDICULOUS idea, and yet it is so pervasive.

Lola even started to come out to my family members. During a trip to California, she said, “Uncle Dave, I have something to tell you.”

“Yes, Lola?” he said.

“I’m a boy.”

“Well, OK!” he responded, not totally surprised given the previous indicators and their shared interest in “Star Wars” and dinosaurs.

This child’s entire family seems to be extremely invested in narrow gender roles.

The examples are abundant. Here is a boy who wanted to play with barbies:

At the toy store, Brandon would head straight for the aisles with the Barbies or the pink and purple dollhouses. Tina wouldn’t buy them, instead steering him to neutral toys: puzzles or building blocks or cool neon markers. One weekend, when Brandon was 2½, she took him to visit her 10-year-old cousin. When Brandon took to one of the many dolls in her huge collection—a blonde Barbie in a pink sparkly dress—Tina let him bring it home. He carried it everywhere, “even slept with it, like a teddy bear.”

But his parents are reluctant, trying to force other preferences on their child.

Tina had no easy explanation for where Brandon’s behavior came from. Gender roles are not very fluid in their no-stoplight town, where Confederate flags line the main street. Boys ride dirt bikes through the woods starting at age 5; local county fairs feature muscle cars for boys and beauty pageants for girls of all ages. In the Army, Tina operated heavy machinery, but she is no tomboy. When she was younger, she wore long flowing dresses to match her long, wavy blond hair; now she wears it in a cute, Renée Zellweger–style bob. Her husband, Bill (Brandon’s stepfather), lays wood floors and builds houses for a living. At a recent meeting with Brandon’s school principal about how to handle the boy, Bill aptly summed up the town philosophy: “The way I was brought up, a boy’s a boy and a girl’s a girl.”

Parents refuse their child to play with toys he’s interested in, because they are “for girls”. Parents then get very confused when child tells them he’d rather be a girl. How about we stop trying to make children “match” their genitals with respect to clothing, toys and behaviors?

Another teen goes from “I’m happy in my male body” to “I am truly a girl” in a few days.

Could I be MtF?” asks a 14 year old male in the middle of puberty:

Before I start let me say that I'm 14 -hormones raging, puberty at its highest, etc. Here goes: Ok, so I'm a self-identified bisexual male (I haven't come out yet though but I know I am. I also took the Kinsey Sexuality Test and got a 1-2 (where 0=straght and 6=gay)). But my real question here is, could I be MtF? I'm not unhappy with my male body but I think I'd be happier as a girl, and I have some memories of times in my childhood when I thought much the same. For example, when I was 4-10 years old I'd have nighttime fantasies about becoming female. I used to put blankets under my shirt as fake "boobs" and so on... and I can remember one particular dream from when I was about six years old, where I went into a machine that changed me from being a boy to a girl. I also find that I can communicate with and understand girls better. The majority of guys my age seem like complete idiots. I've never been particularly interested in stereotypical girls' toys but neither have I in boys'. And I'm happy in my male body; I could imagine living my entire life like this but again I think I'd be happier, if only a bit, as a female. Could I be MtF? Or is this just a "want to fuck them, not be them" scenario? Any advice is appreciated. :)

He’s not unhappy with his male body, in fact he explicitly says he’s happy with it. He reports having thoughts about becoming female as a kid, and of pretending to have boobs. He also notes that he feels like he can communicate better with girls.

You're at an age where you'll question a lot of things about yourself. If it's persistent - and having cases from your childhood provide some evidence that it is - then it's something you'll want to look into. If you think your parents would be accepting, see about getting yourself a dress, or find a tutorial on makeup. If not, find a way to "try out" being female/feminine in private.

User Chel_of_the_sea advices him to look into it, and advises that the childhood memories can be “evidence” that there is something to it.

A few days later, the same kid posts again, stating that “Lately I’ve been feeling dysphoria with varying levels of intensity”, and suggests three possibilities for what this might mean:

1. I’m truly female, and I’m feeling increasingly disconnected with my male self.

2. I’m truly androgynous, and I’m being torn between being male and being female.

3. I’m truly male, and I am taking this harmless questioning too far.

He then presents what he feels is “evidence” for each of these options:

Evidence for (1): I've never before felt so strongly that I'm truly a female. I want to be female. This is a huge one. I've had experience in the past of dressing up as a female and enjoying it. I feel comfortable being referred to as "she" and all corresponding pronouns. My friends as a joke used to refer to me as the feminine equivelant of my name. I secretly enjoyed it. I can completely imagine identifying as a lesbian. Over the past few days I've gone from being totally comfortable in my male body to feeling like I've "pulled off the covers" and realized my true self. From there I've stopped feeling so secure as a male. Not to the point of hating it like many (other?) transgenders have reported, but to the point where I definitely feel I'd be happier living as a girl. I'm generally able to associate and communicate much more authentically with girls than guys, and I find it more fulfilling. In writing the previous statement I was tempted to write "other girls" (I think that says something ;D). I used to knit. KNIT.

Note that he simultaneously states that he truly is female and that he wants to be female. No explanation of what being female means to him. Note also the gender stereotypes: he apparently thinks that knitting is an activity that can only be enjoyed by females. Most noteworthy however, is the statement that he has gone from being “totally comfortable” in his body, to experiencing feelings of no longer “feeling secure as a male”.

He continues with presenting evidence for the second possibility: being “truly androgynous”:

Evidence for (2): I don't feel completely uncomfortable in my male body. I vary in my masculinity and femininity, sometimes feeling more male and others more female. I enjoy lots of non-gender-specific activities such as basketball, video games, playing piano, writing music, maths, reading and so on. I've never been into stereotypical boys' or girls' toys.

“Varying in my masculinity and femininity”, or “having a personality that isn’t a cardboard stereotype” as we could also call it. Again the gender stereotypes crop up.

Finally he lays out what he considers evidence of the third possibility, him actually being male and just confusing himself:

Evidence for (3): Up until a few days ago I could realistically imagine myself living the rest of my life as a male. [note the "up until a few days ago" bit.] I've had somewhat of a yo-yo effect with my "coming out to myself". I started off thinking I was completely female inside. Then that kind of wore off; I started re-seeing myself as more male than female. Now I'm not sure. I would describe the way my mind works as being more masculine than feminine. Masculine traits I have include being good with spatial reasoning, thinking logically not emotionally, and enjoying activities that challenge my left-brain. Feminine traits I have are an aptitude for language, and that's about it. Of course males can have female traits and vice versa, so I'd take this point with a pinch of salt. [I believe the testosterone is responsible for these.] I can look in the mirror and see a male, and not be weirded out by that fact. [yet.] [edit: oh god now I am. :D] I'm not used to acting like a girl, and because of that it feels somewhat weird to me. [I'm sure I would be able to get used to it though.]

Note how he says that he can no longer imagine living the rest of his life as male after being exposed to these ideas, and how he has begun to be “weirded out” by seeing himself in a mirror. And again, a bunch of gender stereotypes, illustrating his immature view of what men and women are like (which for a 14 year old isn’t surprising).

Of the replies he gets, not one calls him out on his blatant gender stereotypes. No one asks him what he means by “feeling female”.  What he gets instead  is this:

 [–]lessendianness MtF jonesing for the right hormones 2 points 1 year ago  It is amazing how much you sound like myself this last week. Give yourself some time to process these new thoughts and feelings. My first few days were pretty rough. I found it helpful to mentally disengage from the incessant questioning and continue your daily routine, albeit with a new perspective. As you go about your "normal" life, take mental notes of how you might feel being female/male/androgynous/etc. I ran into a lot of fear and mental resistance to the idea of "changing" my identity, but it helps to remind yourself that you are really just exploring newly discovered facets of your identity. I've had somewhat of a yo-yo effect with my "coming out to myself". I started off thinking I was completely female inside. Then that kind of wore off; I started re-seeing myself as more male than female. Now I'm not sure. This is almost exactly what I went through, and why I recommend giving yourself time and space to balance out. I will say that for me the "re-seeing myself as more male than female" stage was more like "maybe I can just ignore all this and continue living a male. It would be easier." Maybe you've had those thoughts, maybe not. Finally: I used to knit too, and I am a totally-normal-straight-cis-dude... or not. Okay, maybe there is something to this knitting thing. :D Anyway, hang in there. I can relate to what you are going through.

Someone who vaguely says “you sound just like me”.

Do you think cis people make lists like that and think about it that much? My advice is don't ignore it and don't keep it to yourself.

Another instance of the phenomenon covered in this post, the idea that the very act of being unsure of your gender identity makes you trans.

80% of your listings were transgender sounding ... I don't know you, but what I read from here is that you sound trans to me... Just my opinion though and ofc, your body your choices in life. Do what makes ya happy.

“You sound trans to me”

OK. Yeah, just wanted to make the point that you're really probably not cis if you think all of those things. There's a lot to figure out. I honestly think that many of your doubts are pretty common amongst folks who go on to transition and are ultimately happy with that decision. I think the worst thing you could do for yourself is let your doubts control what you do, and ignore the whole thing and hope it goes away. But I guess posting here is a good sign you're not going that route.

“You are probably not cis if you think all of those things”

Whatever the answer the real question is still the same, what do you want to do about these feelings? So whether you're Female/Androgynous, or Male/Androgynous the ultimate question is: "what do you want to do?" Do you want to take steps to make your body more feminine/female? If so, then your actions should be based on the answer to this question. If you don't want to change your body, then don't. Perhaps there are other steps you could take from here, but that would depend on you. Which one you really are matters less than what you feel you want to do, and is something that can be explored deeper once you start taking actions. Finding answers to what you are comes naturally with time and experience in trying different things, thinking about it can leave you stuck. Since you're almost sure you're female, or at least androgynous, then I'd start considering if you want to transition - take hormones and blockers, grow out hair, stuff like that.

It wouldn’t be a “am I trans” post if someone didn’t mention hormones!

Not long after, he is 99% sure he is trans and wants to tell his parents.

I'll try and make this as quick as possible. Basically, in the past few days I've gone from having a tiny bit of suspicion I might not truly be male, to knowing with 99% certainty that I'm truly female. Problem is, I've only come out to one person so far - my girlfriend - and I'm not sure where to go from here or who else to tell (and in what order). Do I come out to my parents next, and have to deal with the inevitable denial and questioning that will come afterwards? They're not religious, so no problems there, and they're not terrible people, but they get angry easily and often have trouble controlling their immediate reactions to things. With this in mind should I come out to them directly, facing their first responses which will likely be along the lines of disbelief, betrayal and anger? Or should I come out in writing, perhaps by leaving a note on the bench just before I go to school? Or should I just begin to act femininely, and tell them when they bring it up? And once I've come out, then what? Do I start taking T-blockers and/or estrogen? Or should I grow my hair out first, train my voice and experiment with feminine clothes and makeup? What about "that awkward phase" where you're not really a guy anymore, but you're not a girl either? I have a lot of questions. Any advice? Thanks :)

From being comfortable as a male to being “truly female” and asking about body mods.

Then asking how to convince his parents it’s totally not a phase, and being in a hurry to start hormone blockers:

I'm in a bit of a time dilemma here as well, because I know that the later you start on hormones the less effective they become. I want to start taking T-blockers and possibly estrogen as soon as possible, but before that can happen I supposedly have to have been in therapy for at least 3 months with near certainty that I am MtF. Before that can happen though, I need to come out to my parents. And having them not believe that I am trans will not help.

Then, his coming-out letter to his parents:

Please listen to me when I say that this is not a choice, and it’s not something I can change. It is not a phase; it will not go away; it will only get worst if ignored; it will eventually kill me if I keep it in.

I may be biologically a boy, but I am truly a girl.

(…)

In terms of wanting to be female, not just acting like one, I can remember events such as dreams and daytime fantasies from as early as three or four, upwards to about 10 years old. They got pretty intense at times, and I can share them with you later if you like (they don’t translate very well to paper). The reason they stopped at about 10 was basically because gender conditioning that dictated that I must act as if I were masculine got in the way of my real identity. What’s more it made no sense that I would want to be feminine, since I wasn’t gay and I certainly wasn’t biologically female – so I tried to stop. For the most part, it worked, but hiding my true identity was not an act that would last forever. It wasn’t until recently that I realised all this consciously though, so I basically went through my pre-teen years and into the start of my teenage ones believing that there was something wrong with me for wanting to be a girl, repressing the feelings, pretending they were never there in the first place, putting on a phony masculine front, hating myself for it, pretending that everything was okay, and repeating the cycle. I know this may be a bit of a shock to you as I rarely seem truly upset, and when I am it’s usually about something trivial and goes away within a couple of hours at most. This was a different kind of sadness though; one which I was able to hide reasonably well, especially from myself, and pile other feelings on top of to keep it out of sight. But it was always there.

Perhaps puberty helped me come to the realization of my true gender identity, or perhaps it was just that my understanding of my life grew large enough for me to be able to see this pattern, question it, and come to the conclusion that I am transgender. And of course having access to resources about transgenderism, mainly websites by older and more experienced people who have been through it themselves, as well as doctors and medical professionals, only helped accelerate this process.

So what do you do about a transgender child? Just as you cannot “cure” your child if they are gay, you cannot “cure” a transgender and make them happy living as their biological gender. Doing so will not end well, for you or for them. Nearly half of all adolescent transgenders have attempted suicide, and are supposedly eight times more likely to do so if they are rejected by their families, or forced to live as their birth gender as opposed to their true one.

So the real solution, however difficult it may be, is to let them express themselves as their true gender, for life (let me stress that this does not go away). This entails a lot of things, some of which are purely social while others are physical. The checklist varies depending on the person but usually will include for Male-to-Female (MtF) transgenders:

* Therapy

* Voice training

* Buying new clothes and changing their appearance

* Choosing a new name

* Taking T-blockers to limit testosterone levels (this is a must)

* Taking supplementary estrogen (usually only when 16+, depends on the specific case)

* Various corrective surgeries, these are usually only done after 10+ years of living is a female, if they are done at all

Notice first how he twice talks about suicide, which reminds us of this post. Suicide is seen as the inevitable outcome of not transitioning. This in a boy who only days before was happy with his body, who has not even talked to a therapist yet. The only people he has talked to about his feelings are people on the internet, many of them much older than him. And all of them are people who define themselves as transgender. No doubt there exist people who have had these kinds of feelings, but who have realized that they are happy as their birth sex. But such people don’t hang out in transgender websites, and thus this kid isn’t reading about their experiences at all.

He also talks about his childhood experiences with “acting as a female” (remember that this is a kid with extremely immature and stereotypical views of what men and women typically do). Suddenly these memories have become a lot more detailed and he sees them as a much more significant than he did the first time he posted.

His letter also contains a list of things necessary  to “express one’s true gender”, including taking hormone blockers and estrogen, and surgery.

We’ve seen the same type of story before on this blog. Young person who does not fit into stereotypical gender roles starts reading certain trans communities, and within a very short period of time they no longer like their bodies and are planning extensive body modifications and threatening suicide.

“I’ve given plenty of trans girls shots from my supply”: creepy behavior in the trans community

As adults, we know that people on the internet aren’t always who they claim to be, and that they don’t always have our best interests in mind. For young people, like teenagers, who can be both naive and impulsive, this is not always immediately obvious. Predatory males exist all over the internet, also in the transgender communities. We have already seen that there are plenty of young teens posting to these communities, and after being exposed to them for a while, many of them start wanting to take hormones. How convenient that there are older people (males) available to offer their assistance!

The person in the first two screenshots is an adult male, and a moderator of several trans and LGBT subreddits.

ol, my T levels are thru the basement, i dont take any AAs. and i do shots, so if you want me to jab you with a very sharp needle and load you up with two weeks of SUPER GIRL JUICE, then come on over. lord knows i've given plenty of trans girls, plenty of shots from my supply.

The same 42 year old male offering a 13 year old to come to his apartment in exchange for prescription medication.

shit, with the number of trans girls that have come thru my apartment, i need to rename it Drewie's House Of Wayward Trangirls.

Another example of creepy behavior: an 18 year old posts their picture in r/transpassing. An adult male makes this comment:

You are an "exquisite specimen". Are you bi? Even if you are (actually) a female, please say yes.

The poster also get this reply:

I don't care if you have to DIY. I'll send you links on how to do so and get em for cheap. Three words: GET ON HRT. NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! InHousePharmacy Alldaychemist and whatnot. Add me on Steam if you want.

This is the advice given to a suicidal 15 year old desperate for hormones. This commenter is an adult:

You might need to be 18 to get a P.O. Box. Are there any universities in your area? They might have an LGBT group. If you can find another trans woman in your area maybe she can help you. Or any ally.

Other posters try to get the 15 year old to disclose personal information like location: (this commenter is also an adult)

Where exactly do you live in the deep south? If that's too personal for the internet, what's your closest big city?

Here we see a male in his early 20s offering hormones to a 16 year old:

Yah know... If you could spare some of that stuff... Nobody needs to know... Joking of course, sorta... If I weren't going to get in trouble with my therapist and the children's hospital for it, I would totally go DIY. permalinksaveparentreportgive goldreply [–]NordicFairy 21 MtF HRT Jan 15, non-op, Czech 3 points 1 day ago  If you could spare some of that stuff I have excess supply of Cypro and Quetiapin.

This is just some of the behavior that goes on in the open. We can only imagine what goes on via private messages.