Monday, May 13, 2013

Ch 16: Puberty the teenage horror story and how many trans hide from the world



    I'm sorry I didn't post this weekend, it's funny how it works I find more time during the week to sit and write than I do during the weekend when I have the whole day to myself.  I guess it's a routine thing, the structure of the day helps time not get away from me.  Where as the weekend there is no set schedule so it's easy to lose yourself in a project and not realize the whole day has passed you by.  It's all relative really, the older you get the faster time goes because you've experienced more of it.

   That and this weekend I was rather down on myself.  I was excited about a few things, and I'll just say sometimes even if your ready and excited other people in your life may not be ready.  I understand the fact that my loved ones are losing 'the male' they knew and that I am slowly changing into someone else.  But as we stated before in any relationship regardless of transgender or not change is inevitable as people grow and expand they change.

   This segways nicely into todays topic of change.  "[E]veryday Transsexual Teens go through a real life horror story called puberty. Body Parts are turning into something foreign to them. Voices are changing, things are growing. They are becoming their worst nightmare right inside of their own skin, something repulsive to them. Its sheer terror. Meanwhile their peers are going through the same thing but its different for them. They embrace their metamorphosis as the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Their minds and bodies become one. This is not the case of the Transsexual teen.
In the movies at least the victim at least has other characters to share their terror with. In real life though transsexual teens often go through their horror alone. Most dare not share what's happening to them. They dare not tell their homophobic parents and most have few if any real friends. Most school counselors are ill trained and overcome with their own prejudices to be helpful. The terror is the same whether its for male to female (MTF) Transsexuals or female to males. Who do they tell? Imagine the terror as a Teen FTM has monthly periods and an MTF Transsexual has nocturnal erections. Who will quiet their nightmares?
   Teenage years are difficult enough for everyone. It certainly is no picnic even for a psychologically healthy kid. A transsexual teen though does not have this advantage. Their minds and bodies are not in harmony with each other. Most have know this from their earliest memories at the age of four or five. Growing up knowing you are a different gender than what you appear is the essence of a living nightmare," (http://www.lauras-playground.com/horror_films.htm).
   I understand the sentiment behind this statement, while being a guy I didn't go through it to quite the degree it is stating I can imagine for a FtM individual it would be very distressing to grow breasts that they felt were not supposed to be there.  While as a 14 year old boy with my parents divorcing, I had a surge of hormones, but my body didn't change much from what it had already been.  I had been dealing with the inner feelings my whole life and had come to learn how to hide them to be generally accepted in public, by friends, family and everyone I knew.  I based who I was off of their expectations and not my own.
   "If my mail is any indication though, there is an entire group of people who rarely see the light of day. They spend their lives or a good part of them in their homes with the shades drawn, their ears pricked for every sound that someone might be coming. They are ready to change in a moments notice all to avoid the specter of disapproval and in some cases even death.
   These people are Transgendered. They are cross-dresses and Transsexuals. Some are Female to Male (FTM) and others are Male to Female (MTF's). Of course not all of them are hiding. However out of the last 200 letters I've received well over 75% seem to be in at least some partial form of hiding.

   Some Transsexuals in transition go to work in their new gender as Required in the Real Life Test (RLT), they legally change their names and are subjected to daily harassment and unpleasant gossip by their co-workers. Yet after work they are at home instead of living their lives as every other citizen seems to have the right to do.

   Sadder yet is that this exile is often self imposed. Its a way to avoid the taunts that many of us have endured since childhood. Those that pass in the other gender usually live stealth where no one knows their secret. Those that don't pass are likely Vitamin D deficient from the absence of sunlight that touches our bodies," (http://www.lauras-playground.com/hiding_dark.htm).

   Even those of us who are open and true about ourselves, usually face harsh resistance from the world.  Many of the people in our lives are as I said before not ready for the steps we ourselves may be ready to take.  In having such a different and varying world a lot of times even if we come out and tell everyone our intentions it feels like we are taking one step forward and ten steps back.  Facing roadblocks, inequality standards and harassment at every turn.

   To me it is like a character in a game I play, he is a scarecrow who uses the crows he attracts to kill his enemies.  There is a comic strip that shows a bunch of the girl characters of the game having a birthday party, and the scarecrow breaks out of the cake in an attempt to destroy those who had put him in the 'evil' light.  Some of you may know this better from watching Wreck it Ralph, where the cartoon character was tired of being the 'bad-guy' and wanted to win a metal to prove that he could change his colors.  In the end sometimes it's that simple, and as the ending to the scarecrow story goes, 'He just wanted a birthday party.'

   So we as a people are demonized, stereotyped into something we are not, afraid of the world and all that it holds it is no wonder that we hide.  It is funny too as the quote above states that even after we are finished our transitions, those of us who decide to not have genital surgery hide our own secret and those of us who do, hide our past.  Why is it so shameful for us to be who we are? I'm not sure, but I think it has more to do with the inability of others to understand us, rather than how well we understand ourselves.

to be continued ...
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