Profile picture
Logan @ToUnbecome
, 36 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
A thread on what transition for trans kids is like, because many people are under the false impression that kids are receiving irreversible medical treatment, causing parents to be labeled "child abusers" for loving and affirming their kids. 1/
First off: NO KIDS RECEIVE IRREVERSIBLE MEDICAL TREATMENT. Let that be said. Now we'll start at the very beginning. Many kids display GNC, gender non-conforming behavior: behavior we categorize as belonging to a gender. Boys playing with dolls. Girls playing with trucks.
These kids are NOT all trans. They might not be in any way LGBT. Nothing happens when a child simply doesn't adhere to the restrictions society has placed on gender. It's when a child actively challenges their assigned gender that you can even start to THINK they might be trans.
And even THEN professionals advise against letting a child immediately socially transition. Because they're children. Because they don't take gender as seriously as adults do. So parents are urged to let their son keep wearing boy clothes and keep his birth name.
Some children grow out of it and happily go back to the same gender role they occupied before. Some children don't get over it. They can't take it. Dressing them becomes a battle. You can see depression setting in. It's time to listen to your child.
Social transition is still completely reversible. No amount of telling a child they're a boy or girl will change their mind. If they change from male to female pronouns, they can always change back. You change clothes, names, pronouns, but nothing permanent. Because they're kids.
So, say you have a child that from an early age insisted they're of the opposite gender. They have socially transitioned and you have a happy child back. Surely they must be trans, right? They have to be? So what's the next step? Still nothing permanent. Because they're kids.
So after years of seeing how using different pronouns and wearing different clothes makes your child happy, you go back to the professionals. Because your child is now a preteen, and puberty is knocking on their door. You know what leads to permanent changes? Puberty.
It is clear your child struggles with their assigned gender. But it is still too early to tell if they want to spend the rest of their lives as someone of the opposite gender. So, what do you do? You give them time. You give them hormone blockers, if they want them.
People seem very confused about these blockers. Studies have shown that when stopped, the body resumes the normal processes that take place during puberty. But when taken, it gives a kid time. Time to change their mind. And also: time to avoid unwanted physical characteristics.
"Boys" avoid their voice dropping. Beard growth. Imagine being forced to go through male puberty when you've always known you were a girl. You'd need expensive, painful laser treatments. Your voice will never go back to the way it used to be. With blockers, you avoid all this.
For "girls", it restricts breast growth and periods. If blockers are taken, a chest surgery that leaves minimal scarring will suffice, rather than huge visible scars across their chest. Blockers buy kids time. And like I said, are completely reversible.
Hormone blockers are given as soon as puberty has started when there are serious suspicions a child might be trans, not because they played with a doll or a GI Joe once. Usually a child has already socially transitioned and it's clear this has made them happier.
So, now you have a child who's been on blockers for several years, identifying as the other gender for years longer. At this point, there's not really denying anymore that they're trans, but in case there ARE doubts, nothing irreversible has happened still.
Now, the specifics vary here based on country of residence and specific protocols, but the international standards are largely the same - around 16, hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, can generally be prescribed to patients of which they're SURE they're trans.
Again, not people who walk into a clinic at 15 and say they feel like the opposite gender. These people don't walk out with an immediate prescription. They might still be able to receive blockers, depending on the circumstances, but they don't immediately get HRT.
Is 16 too young for HRT, which, like original puberty, causes permanent changes? Consider that thousands of medical professionals have come to the conclusion that this is a sensible, safe age. Consider that you're allowed to make ALL your medical decisions at 16 in most places.
Consider that at this point, a child might have been expressing their gender for over ten years. Consider that if there are ANY doubts, from the child, parents, or professionals, they can push back the hormones. In some places you might not be able to get them until 18 anyway.
Plus, hormones work very gradually. If, for whatever reason, someone DOES decide hormones aren't right for them, even after years of their gender being closely examined, they can stop, and the changes will be minimal.
So now these trans kids have been expressing their real gender for years, through social transition, through blockers, through hormones. And they STILL persist in this. So NOW you can start talking about surgery - when they turn 18, of course, because like I said...
That can't be said often enough. And again, they also don't prescribe hormones to kids and preteens. Yes, some teens get HRT earlier than 16 - these kids have lived as the other gender for years and years. Blockers aren't hormones. Remember this.
After they turn 18, they can receive surgeries. In many places, if someone realizes they're trans at a later stage in life, they have to go through months or years of evaluations just like these kids have.
Informed consent is becoming more common for hormones, and especially in the US many pay out-of-pocket for surgery. Which puts the responsibility on the person (ADULT) who asks for these things. But that all doesn't apply here; this thread was about kids.
Kids who tell their parents that they are not a boy or girl, because something inside them KNOWS that this body is wrong for them. No one to this day knows exactly why. The leading theory is that hormones in the womb influence the gender identity, causing a physical incongruence.
Should a parent immediately throw out the entire wardrobe, give the kid a new name, and insist they are now a boy/girl? No. Experts advise against that. But you SHOULD listen to your child, and do what makes them happy. Do they like dresses? Give them a dress.
This is called being AFFIRMING, and it will make all the difference in that child's life. They might be happy to go to school in boy clothes, as long as they can put on their dress at home. This might be enough for them. They might need more. Listen to your child.
Whatever your child does, whether they're just crossdressing or turn out to be gay or just experiment with gender and turn out completely cisgender and heterosexual... don't ever let them doubt you love them. Letting a boy put on a dress will not make him think he's trans.
Gender is stronger than that. Try to make yourself believe you're a woman when you identify as male - can't be done. They did an experiment raising a cis boy as a girl after he lost his penis - the boy always knew something was wrong. His body didn't match what he felt.
You can't raise someone to be trans. Or cis. The parents who let their child transition are doing the right thing. Deny their identity and you will have a child that resents you. A child that might end up dead. Dysphoria is difficult enough to handle even with love and support.
All a child wants is to be loved and respected by their parents. Yes, it might be difficult to accept that your son wants to be your daughter. The child isn't the only one going through a transition. But if you love your child, isn't the most important thing that they're happy?
Affirming them makes them happy. Affirming doesn't mean making irreversible changes. Affirming doesn't mean "convincing" them of being a certain gender. Affirming doesn't mean doing everything your child asks of you.
Affirming means listening to them, to professionals, about the best next step, and loving and supporting them whoever they turn out to be. The first thing you find out about them is their sex. Everything else you find out later. Sometimes you find out the gender doesn't match.
Just love and listen to your child. Maybe they're trans, maybe not. If they are, they have a long, difficult road ahead of them. Do whatever you can to make it easier for them. Let them know they always have you to fall back on. Dysphoria kills. So do rejection and invalidation.
Perhaps even more so. Love and acceptance are scientifically shown to reduce suicide attempts in trans (and other LGBT) youth. Being trans is hard enough. Give them a fighting chance. Give them the love they deserve like everybody else. /end
How to talk to your kids about the existence of trans people:

Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Logan
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!