Sidewinder wrote:I question whether someone below the legal age of consent, is emotionally and physically mature enough to handle the changes a "transition" will bring. Can those who chose to change their own gender, share their experiences during adolescence?
Legal age of consent where I am is 16. In Germany, where Serafina is from (I hope she doesn't mind me mentioning that), it is 14 with various corollary's. Both of those are still in the High School catchment period.
I will answer your following questions, but I will point out that I only had the confidence to actually begin transitioning in the last few years.
Sidewinder wrote:How did your then peers react? If they didn't react- presumably because they didn't know you'd become a transgender person- how would they've reacted, had they known at the time?
Were you able to deal with your adolescent peers' reactions? If so, how did you deal with it?
I first came out to a very few people when I was 16. I knew who I was, but I also knew my parents reaction if I had told them. Their reaction to my informing them of my sexuality was shitty enough already. My peers reaction was positive, and those out of my peer range (my counsellor, and the head of a trans support group) were also very positive. But then my school environment was a relatively unique one, it being a quaker run private school.
When I was at school, I dealt with bullying, harrasment and insults. None of this was to do with my gender identity, and yet the main cause of my depression, my self harm and my eventual attempted suicide was because of dysphoria. That's how shitty it can be for someone.
AniThyng wrote:Not to be too facetious, but would there be people who would object to being called a purple pengiun, as it denies their inner orca nature? Or is this whole "otherkin" thing some sort of joke perpetrated by tumblr users?
Ehhh... There seem to be several variants? There are the people who honestly believe themselves to be 'animal-spirited' or an incarnation and treat it as a spiritual thing, there are... well, to be perfectly honest, the furries and also there is the hard to take serious 13 year olds with a huge list of things they definitely are. People can self-identify however they like, but this is certainly a less well accepted one.
As for the purple penguin thing... Can we not just say people? Go gender neutral, rather than shooting straight for uncomfortably weird. "Hey, people, line up." Or kids. *shrug*.
Sidewinder wrote:I admit I don't.
I hope that relating my experiences as someone who did wait will help you understand how damaging it can be.
I thought it would be safer for one to wait until the knowledge and experience to understand the consequences of such a decision (such as the financial cost of gender reassignment surgery, the health risks of it and hormone use, societal expectations of the target gender), has been made;
In the UK, GRS is covered by the NHS as is hormone treatment. No financial cost.
Hormonal health risks... well, a trans woman who starts HRT has a swift drop in the chances of heart disease and other cardiac issues. The chance of various other things go up. A properly managed course of HRT (rather than getting hormones without prescriptions, which happens) is about as safe as naturally producing those hormones.
Also, societal expectations of the target gender? Umm... nah. Society as a whole still expects women to be submissive, to wear make-up and heels, and so on. Gatekeepers, that is psychologist and medical specialists who allow access to transition based treatments, will often be less accepting of a trans woman who doesn't fulfil a stereotypical female presentation. And you know what? Fuck that shit. If I want to be super butch, and wear plaid (this is still a stereotype, i'll point out) I will. If I want to be the femmiest of femmes, I will be. Either way, I'm still a woman.
at the very least, they should wait until they're a safe distance from those who would express disagreements via a societal pressure or manipulation (say, a parent cutting off a transgender person's allowance), emotional or physical violence (it's all too easy to imagine high school bullies ganging up on someone they recognize as "queer").
What is a safe distance? Trans women are murdered in the streets by strangers because of who they are. Post-puberty transitioning trans women still get cut off from their families, get isolated by society and refused work because of who they are. Hell, the support we recieve from LGBT groups is often shitty and awful. The HRC (Human Rights Campaign, the guys with the = symbols) are particularly awful at eliminating trans people and especially trans women. Societally speaking, transitioning might be one of the most dangerous things there is these days. There isn't a safe time. So we do it when we feel ready, when we feel confident enough.