Growing up Trans in the 80s
This is something I have never told anyone about. I don't know if this is the right platform for this, but I want people to know that it is possible to struggle with gender dysphoria as a child and become a healthy well-adjusted adult who conforms with your biological sex. I am glad I am not a child in this time. My life would have been ruined before adulthood.
I was born into a well-off family with a strong Christian faith and strong Southern pride. I was sixth out of seven children, being born the younger child of a set of twins. My twin is a girl, I am a boy. There were four girls and three boys. Culturally we were deep Southern. Relations between the sexes were as follows: Women were always right. Women were inherently morally superior to males in every way. Motherhood was held as the highest prestige career possible. Women could do no wrong. My mother exceeded the cultural expectations put on her and deserved all the special privileges that she got. As a young boy, my mother was the largest influence in my life.
From first grade till about sixth grade, I wished I was a girl. I didn’t believe I was born in the wrong body. I wanted to know what it was like to be pregnant. I wanted to be a mother. When I first heard about sex-change surgery, I thought that could be something for me. As I went thru those elementary school years, I found several different reasons for why life would be better as a girl. Here are several of those reasons:
Most of my school friends were girls. They were always nice to me. The boys were mean bullies.
Twins are usually the same. If I was a girl my twin and I would be the same.
My name… when I was born it was a boy’s name, shortly thereafter, society decided it was a girl’s name.
I did exceptionally well on the sit-up portion of the physical fitness test. So well, the coach questioned if I was cheating somehow. After watching me redo the sit-ups, coach accepted my accomplishment. I was not very athletic, but I was exceptional at sit-ups. Not good enough to break any records, unless I was a girl. Had I been a girl, I would have set the record and probably held it for several years.
There were more girls in my family than boys. I’d have more siblings to be close to.
As a female, I’d be allowed in the female only private spaces. Even though I wished to be female, I was still male. I am fascinated with the female form and find it a thing of beauty.
I could walk in high heels much better than my sisters could.
I never talked about this desire to be female. I confided it once to my twin sister. To the rest of the world, I was just a normal boy. It didn’t control my life. No one made a fuss about it. No one went on a crusade to make this childish dream become reality. I may have made many wishes on stars, or said many prayers in vain, but it never escalated beyond wishing.
Twice, all my sisters decided it would be fun to give me a makeover. I thought it was a fun game to play. I remember when it happened, I wasn’t thinking about how I wished I was a girl, I was simply thinking it was fun to play pretend with my sisters. When they were done, they showed off their work to my mother. They presented me to our mother as their new sister. Mommy was not amused. Unlike her usual freakout, she was unusually calm about it all. It happened once more. I suspect after the second time, my mother had a talk with my oldest two sisters. It never happened again. I remember her saying, “You’re going to confuse him.” My mother usually shouted, yelled, belittled, and insulted. But for some reason, she didn't make a big deal of it.
When the girls my age started growing into women, I outgrew this desire. I knew I was a boy. I prepared myself to be a good husband and father. I worked hard. I got an education. I grew into a man. I found the right woman, and we got married. We had four children. I was the sole breadwinner until the kids were all in high school. I am a very involved father. We have an excellent family life, and I wouldn’t trade fatherhood or husbandry for anything in the world. It is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. The only thing I wish was different was that I could do it more. None of this would be possible if I had tried to live out my childish wish of being female.
Had I grown up in current times… someone would have found out. Society encourages this type of fantasy and encourages kids to tell others about it. I didn’t talk about it because I instinctively knew that it was wrong. Today so many voices encourage it that I would have eventually embraced the fantasy and made it part of my identity. Doctors and schools would have intervened to give me hormone blockers or even sex-change surgery. It wasn’t until my 20s that I found out that sex-change surgery doesn’t give you the ability to experience reproduction as the other sex, but that it simply destroyed your ability to reproduce and mutilates your body to appear as a horrific cheap copy of the other sex. As a young elementary school boy, I wouldn’t have understood the long-term consequences of such “medical” decisions. I know my mother would have been opposed to the entire thing. This would have brought down the wrath of the school district and doctors upon my parents. The state would have intervened. With six other children in the family, CPS would have swooped in, scattered us all to the winds, and our excellent family life would have been ruined. Instead of producing seven well-adjusted adults who are all contributing to society and raising their own children, all the work of my parents’ marriage would have been laid waste, and we’d all be emotionally and mentally damaged adults of the government foster system. As an adult, I would never have had a family. I would have regretted my decision and probably have killed myself.
The treatment that worked for me, was to ensure I lived my life as a boy, not give it a lot of attention, and let nature clarify things. I had a mild case of wishing I was a girl. Had I grown up today, my mild case of "I wish I was a girl" would have been inflated to something life ruining. Modern society would have ruined my life. I empathize with the children that struggle with sex identity. Our society is not doing them any favors. I am glad some states and governors (Florida, DeSantis) have passed legislation to protect children from the many loud voices and influences that would ruin children's adulthoods. I hope it spreads to other states. To any children struggling to accept their biological sex... it's okay to feel that way. Not everyone has that struggle, but some of us do. You are young, get to know yourself more before defining yourself by this desire. Nature will straighten things out for you. If, after going through puberty it doesn't, please get counseling. You will be much happier experiencing the love and connection of having a traditional family than giving into those desires. I know because I lived it and had a good outcome. You can too.