This is backdated to February 11, but that's a lie. :P I wrote the bulk of this post's explanation-bit in September 2008. Wanted to add some stuff, clarify some stuff, about the initial post. This is gonna go public too, so I figured it might as well be categorized on the same date. Most of the actual content is, if not the same, very similar.
Right. Ever since I put that story up on the web, I've been a little unhappy with it. That's not exactly the right word. Perturbed.
I didn't like its lack of inclusion for anything but the, uh, "wrong-body" model of transgender. That model doesn't really apply to me anyway (or to many trans people I know in general). It's too freaking easy.
And ease is what my little bro needs, which is frustrating. He says himself that he doesn't like change, that he has a hard time being flexible. These are some of the most obvious traits about him, both to him and to others -- characteristic of autism, yeah.
Abstract thought, weird sociological Thingies, the sheer wtfness of our culture's treatment of gender ... that kind of thing is a second language to him. I mean, it would be like this to some extent even if he was neurotypical. Eleven-year-old (yeah, he's 11 now) cissexual boys usually don't make super-great gender theorists. Although I'd love to be proven wrong on that :P
But the text still wasn't working for me. And I've just about got an appointment for hormones, so it's pretty well time. There are parts I wish I could go over -- about how there are plenty of cis women more masculine than I am, and I'd still want to transition even if I were a feminine person, and how "masculine"/"feminine" is different from core identity.
So. But. I rewrote and clarified the text. I scrapped the bits from GIRES -- it's mine, mine, mine now.
I'm still not entirely satisfied (in some ways it's more brother-friendly and trans-worse), but ...
I want to tell you a story.
In our house, some things are going to be changing. I know you don't always like it when things change. But you can be a brave boy, and you can read this story to yourself. You can read this story when you're working with people, or at night, or by yourself.
The story will help you understand why things are changing.
I will start by telling you something that you already know:
When you see a boy, you expect that he will grow up to be a man. And when you see a girl, you expect that she will grow up to be a woman.
Mothers are women, and fathers are men.
Aunts are women, and uncles are men.
Sisters are women (or girls), and brothers are men (or boys).
You already knew that, right? That was easy! Most of the time, it is pretty easy.
But sometimes it's a little different.
For ____, it's going to be different.
When ____ was born, everybody said, "This baby is a girl!" And they thought to themselves, This baby will be a woman when she's grown up! That's the way it usually happens. Usually, when a child is born with a female body, that child grows up to be a woman.
But when ____ started getting older, she started to realize something about herself. And it was something that felt very, very important to her.
____ realized that it makes her feel sad when people think she's a girl. And she likes it better — she feels a lot more comfortable, and a lot happier — when people think of her as a boy.
So she wanted people to call her "he" instead of "she." She wanted to be a man when she grew up, instead of a woman. She wanted to have a low voice, like men do — and a smooth, flat chest, like men do — and to shave, like men do.
She wanted to be a big brother to you, instead of a big sister.
We don't know exactly why she felt that way, but she did. This feeling lasted for years and years, and it never went away, and it's not ever going to go away.
So, even though ____ was born with a girl's body, she is going to grow up to be a man.
While ____ was still growing inside Mom, the outside of her body was growing into a female body. By the time she was born, she looked like a girl on the outside.
But she has known for a while that she is really a boy, on the inside. And she knows that she wants to be a man.
So ____ would like you to start to call her "him" and "he," and you should start using a different name, a boy name. ____'s new boy name will be Adam. That might be hard to remember at first, because it's a big change. But it's something you need to try to work on.
Soon Adam will start taking some medicine that will make him look more like a boy — on the outside as well as the inside.
The changes in his body will be slow. His voice will get deeper over time, and his face will start looking more like a boy's face. He might start to need to shave.
He has wanted to use this medicine for a long time. It will help him feel more comfortable with his body. Although he won't look exactly the same, he will still be just the same person, and love you just as much.
Other changes will be pretty fast. Right away, most people will start to call him by his new name. Right away, they will start to say "he" instead of "she."
It's important that you try to be really flexible about these changes.
Here are some things that are fine:
• It's fine for you to have questions.
• It's fine for you to talk about this at home.
• It's fine for you to talk about this when you're working with people. They might have some good ideas that will help you adjust to the changes.
Here are some things that are okay, but not really fine:
• It's okay for you to forget to use the new name at first.
• It's okay for you to accidentally say "she" instead of "he" at first.
Here is one thing that is not okay or fine:
• It's not okay for you to talk about this loudly in public places, like school or at a restaurant, where lots of other people can hear.
Here is what's going to happen, and here are some things that are true.
• We are all going to begin to use the name "Adam" instead of "____." When we talk about Adam, we are all going to say "he" instead of "she."
• Adam is a boy, and is going to grow up to be a man. Our family used to think that he was a girl, but now we understand that he is male and not female.
• Adam will take the medicine, and it will make his body look a little different. But he will still be the same person, just like I said before. He will remember the same things, and go to the same school, and wear the same clothes.
Thank you for reading this story. If you have a question, you can ask the question. We can all be nice and flexible while these things start to change.
We love you, and Adam loves you, and we always will.