TG Parents: How to Help your Transsexual, Crossdresser, Transgegender or Intersexed Child
by Laura Amato
Transsexualism is a condition where the person's body is one gender and the mind and soul or essence is the opposite gender of what they are physically born with. Indeed it is a proven to be a birth condition. In studies it has been determined that the size of the hypothalmus in the brain, in Male to female (MTF) Transsexuals (TS) is female in size and in Female to Males FTM's it is male in size. It is the hypothalmus that govern's ones sexuality. Many assume that being Ts is a matter of choice. It is not. It has nothing to do with religion or will power. It is a product of our enviornment and even nature itself. There are other species of fish and animals that are transsexual.
Besides who would choose this life on purpose? It is a life where most know what they are as their first conscious thought at the age of four or five that body and mind don't match up. Interests are very different than others of the same physical gender. The MTF doesn't want to participate in boy activities and the FTM doesn't like girl ones. They truely feel they are the opposite gender of what their eyes tell them and you. Few will listen to their pleas to let them be themselves though.
Children instinctively know when one of their peers doesn't fit in. Ts's are bullied, taunted and ridiculed. Their lives will be hell at a time they should be happy. Many start to blend in out of self preservation internalizing their true selves. Many may not be whole for many years, if at all. Its like having part of you in a spastic coma, unable to respond. While all appears to be well with the Transsexual child everything is far from ok. The child may become depressed and lonley as he/she has no peers. When possible some may dress as their true gender when opportunity presents itself. This isn't crossdressing to the Ts, but an expression of ones self.
The years pass until puberty arrives and the Transsexual childs Horror story begins. While most teens embrace their metamorphsis it is a living nightmare for the transsexual. All their body parts are changing into something most feel is monsterous and foreign to them. If they weren't themselves before, they certainly are further away from that now. They are growing in a very wrong direction. At this age many start "cutting" away at their own changing body parts and limbs. The TS suicide attempt rate is as high as 50% at this age. Some will die without parents knowing why. The transsexual teen is painfully alone in his/her disfigurement. Even normal teenage self-gratifaction becomes extremely confusing instead of reassuring. Some may not be able to at all. They grow abhorent to their own bodies.
Many older transsexuals did not have a happy childhood. They were forced to be something they were not. Most were seen to be going through a phase. Children in a homophobic family are not going to confide in their parents. Mom and Dad are more worried about their children becoming "gay" and may try to reinforce the childs physical gender. It doesn't work and often drives the child deeper into themselves and into dispair. Ts's who make it to their 20's and beyond often regret that their childhoods did not exist in their perceived gender. Some elevate the illusion of their physical bodies gender and sometimes even marry, praying that it all goes away. These marriages rarely work though. They are often left with the aftermath of puberty that will make passing in their true gender almost impossible. Many will need to face expensive body and facial surgeries in order to look somewhat believable. What about the 6'6" MTF and the 5'1" FTM? How do they fit in? Many are worried about this. Today many aging Transsexuals have had horriffic lives and are changing as late as the mid 60's. Lives are shattered and reborn. Careers and relationships in tatters they face rebuilding often alone.
We now know that the earlier the Transsexual is treated the better their chances are for fullfilled and happier lives. Treatment can begin as early as when school age is achieved. The first step is to obtain a Gender Therapist for your child. They can help come up with a plan and goals to achieve. In some schools it is possible for a child to attend school in their true gender, with the therapists backing. As early as the age of eleven hormone blockers can be introduced to delay puberty after Tanner Stage 2. Cross-sex Hormones can now be given at age 16. Your teen wil develop as other teens in their true gender would with the exception that they could not have children. There are guidlines in place that therapists and Surgeons must follow called The HBIGDA Standards of Care.
Children who go through treatment at an early age will be able to remember their childhoods in their true genders. Both the hormone blockers and hormones will make passability much easier as children will appear much like their peers will. Heights will be more normal. Lonliness should be less likely and voices for both MTF's and FTM's will develop in more normal ranges. Older Transsexuals will not develop any of these advantages. So the earlier the Transsexual starts treatment the better.
Kids are very resilent. As long as they are provided the basic tools that other children have they can do well and learn and grow. The untreated transsexual wil sorely lack in social skills at a time they need them most to develop fully. This will not serve them well. Delaying treatment is a mistake and will stunt that growth. Your child will likely not grow out of this, it is not a phase. So I urge you to contact a gender professional for your child today. Your childs future depends upon it. We have it in our power to make sure that present and future TS generations do not have older, newly emerging, troubled transsexuals in their 40's 50's and 60's, trying to salvage wrecked lives. The Transsexual suicide rate of 31% can drop dramatically with early childhood intervention. It all begins today.
of TG Kids Support Meeting
Laura Amato is not a Therapist. She relies on 57 years of experience as a Transsexual and a vast array of research on the subject she has personally done. Ts's should always seek the help of a qualified Professional Gender Therapist.