In my last article, I spoke of my hormonal disability which I was born with and was undiagnosed until I was in my early thirties.
From time to time I will be publishing posts from guest authors whose writings I think will interest people. Of course, all opinions and assertions in these posts belong solely to the authors and do not necessarily agree with mine. Please direct your praise and criticism to the author. — rjb
Today’s guest author is Laird Smith
When I look at my life as a preschooler, I was comfortable with adults but not so comfortable with children, although my parents were unable to discern that fact in my life at the time. I started school at the age of five because my birthday fell in early December which was the cut off to make me ineligible for grade one. The failure of beginning school that early didn’t really come to fruition until I started grade seven and entered puberty. But that is getting ahead of myself.
As an primary school student, I wouldn’t punch anyone in the face, which is what boys did to one another when they fought. Nor would I fight, I just cried a lot. The boys in my neighborhood chased me and I ran away as much as I could. If the boys caught me, all it took was a mean look and I would break down into tears. Sometimes I took a punch then broke into tears. Generally I got along with most children. At no time did I think that I was anything other than a boy. Girls cried, boys didn’t cry. I cried, but it never made me question whether I was meant to be a boy or a girl.
Grade seven was a troubled year for me. My lack of surging male hormones caused me much trouble because my emotions were out of whack and I was deeply confused. The adults in my life were of no help either. One teacher that I had for five subjects, tormented me continually and I wept a great deal. The adults misunderstood me as much as I misunderstood myself. The stress caused by a hormonally unbalanced body leaked into my whole life and colored my every decision, but at no time did I question whether I was a boy or a girl. I failed grade seven and was glad because the tormenting teacher wouldn’t be part of my life anymore, I reasoned.
During the summer holidays I did many things, climbed trees, fished, climbed in the hills near our house, and picked tree fruits for money. The question of whether I was a boy or a girl was not a question in my mind. I was called a girl because I cried when intimidated or punched by the bullies, but sexual identity was never a serious consideration. The lack of hormones gave me a great deal of indecision which culminated in running away from all difficulties. I quit high school and went to seek my fame and fortune.
The driven male sexuality was never part of my life especially as I grew into adulthood, and again I still didn’t question whether I was a boy or a girl. I continued to cry when frustrated right on into marriage. One time my wife told me that men don’t cry. I took that to heart and forced myself to stop the tears and never again cried out of frustration.
The discovery of my hormone issue arose when we were attempting to get pregnant. I went to a urologist and he told me the news, that the issue could be treated with medication, but I would never father children. I began the treatment and my emotional life began to stabilize from that point on as my body reacted to the stress relief given it by the male hormones.
This whole previous dialogue is to illustrate how we change as we grow from children into adults. Today children are supposed to be how they feel. If they feel like a girl while in a male body, then they want to change their sex to a girl and vice versa. Surgery is a radical transformation. When that child goes into puberty and the hormones begin to kick in, then they will have to take medication to counter the sex they were born as anyways, unless the prostate is removed with the testicles in the case of boys changing to girls. So, why cannot those children be counseled to hold off on surgery and be treated with medication during puberty instead? These children will likely change their minds again and again as time passes by. Children being surgically altered to make them happy is very short sighted. Counseling is by far the better choice.
I feel very fortunate to have grown up when I did. As a child I had enough on my plate without trying to figure out whether or not I was meant to be a boy or a girl.