So you are a parent of a child who just opened up to you about being transgender. I’m sure one of the first thoughts that comes into your mind is that your child isn’t developed enough to make such an important decision. Don’t let the fact that children are naïve cloud your judgement. Gender identity is one of the clearest thoughts your child may have at this time. It can often manifest itself as early as the age of two.
With the increasing amount of awareness the transgender community has gained even in the past few months more children are going to begin to discover their gender identities from a young age. It may surprise you but this is actually a good thing. Transitioning before puberty will save your child a lot of emotional anguish, and even more money. This is especially true if your child identifies as a transgender girl.
As a trans woman who transitioned in her early twenties, one thing I wish I could have changed was having the opportunity to transition before male puberty began to consume my body. My once cute, hairless body started sprouting all these hairs, which confused me in so many ways. I was one of the people cursed with massive amounts of body and facial hair. This may not be a problem for a lot of men but when you feel like a girl and this is happening to you it is quite devastating. My family began calling my hair “fur” because of how much I had. Every single time I heard that phrase come out of a family member’s mouth it was like they were stabbing me and hiding the pain was pretty difficult.
I tried so hard to embrace the “manliness” but to no avail was I able to get past the girl begging to be set free inside of me. After twenty-three long years I finally realized that I wasn’t some kind of freak and I could stop hiding who I was. By this time, I was several years too late. Male puberty had shaped me into something I couldn’t stand to look at in the mirror. Yes, hormones helped change some of the features, and yes, hair removal is an effective method of change, but a lot of the features won’t change and the hair removal costs a small fortune for someone with my amount of hair, and let’s not forget the excruciating pain that comes along with the hair removal.
Living in a rural area I tried to find a decent place to get the annoying hair removed. I only had luck finding a sweet lady who runs a salon out of her house and happens to be trained in electrolysis. This wasn’t ideal for someone with my amount of hair to start with electrolysis but my determination was overpowering. I spent two years trying to make progress but after spending over $5,000 and getting almost nowhere I had no choice but to stop. I finally decided it was worth making trips to the city to have laser done and this was certainly the right choice. After only two sessions I can already see a difference but I’m still far from being done.
Having this experience has made me want to speak out against preventing kids from transitioning before puberty. If you have a child going through this I urge you not to ignore it. Talk with them and take them to a gender therapist who can work with them and help them sort it out. Get them on the right track to avoiding this unnecessary amount of emotional stress and spending. It will benefit both you and your little one significantly in the long run.