Ask transman Scott Newgent!
A young adult transman reaches out to me who medically transitioned as a child and enters adulthood with a question many of us trans have but often keep to ourselves.
Because we believe that we are probably the only one that struggles with the fundamental question of "Who am I after the medical transition?"
Or a more accurate question would be:
"Where do I belong?"
Allow me to bring you into a struggle so many transgender people have with no answers out there to be found.
Two days ago, I received several voice messages from a young adult transman, a total of 56 minutes of talk time. I pressed the play button on the first message, and it began,
"Scott, I know you probably won't listen to these, but I'm lost, and I don't know where to turn. Will you please help me?"
As I pressed the last voice message, I heard an echoing of a battle I had been dealing with, as if a parrot was in my ear, regurgitating my thoughts into words from another's mouth. What he was asking me was something I had been asking myself for nearly two years, and somehow his question raised in a third party aided me with something I have been grappling with!
This transman was started on puberty blockers at age 11 and then progressed to cross-sex hormones, advancing to the top surgery, then bottom and to 100% medically transitioned. He recently left his teenage years to wander into adulthood and is beginning his twenties.
The last voice recording stunned me; this is the recording typed out precisely as it can be heard in the recording. I asked to use this and decided only to use typed words to hide this child's adult identity—still a child to me. I chose to hide his identity because he is fragile, and of course, he is who wouldn't be?
"Scott, my problem is that I am not a natural man,`11` that I am neither a natural man, nor a natural woman...I was a natural woman, but I destroyed myself.... OK sorry...I cannot, I, sorry, I'm really bad at getting to the point. So, the only thing I wanted to know from you is how you cope with this, what's you do, what pronouns you use, do you want to be called she or uuu or do you want to be called, and umm him, he and ummm (long pause) yeah, ummm. I think that, umm that, I think I had another question, but I already forgot it...I arr yeah umm I ar umm. The other question is, is that do you believe that nobody is really born in the wrong body? So don't you believe that it's possible that someone has a male brain?"
My precious new young friend, I listened to them all. First, the emotions you are having are had by many trans and normal. Congrats, you passed normal with flying colors!
The best advice I can give you is to consider yourself a soul and embrace what you have done & how you feel. The answers will come. But you are correct; you are not 100% male, you are a biological female, and because of the testosterone, you have altered your body, and you will never be the healthy woman you could have been, which is a hard pill to swallow! You are NO mutant, you were a child, and your parents did the best with the information they were given. You cannot expect your parents to see around all the corners of childhood medical transition if they are not there to be had. The truth about transition is hidden carefully, and public relations dance around the unknown facts because the medical transition is 95% experimental.
Genspect.org has a program called Beyond De-Trans. This organization has developed a program to help deal with your feelings. No books or advice abound; it's a solitary struggle until this program, genspect.org created. Please reach out to them; I trust them to allow you to navigate where you need to go to be OK because you being OK is the most crucial thing!
To answer your inquiry about male and female brains, my apologies, but I believe this is all hogwash, and I'd gamble on it! The problem is that feelings are not quantifiable; facts, feelings and cemented truths don't go together. Feelings are fleeting, they change from one minute to another, yet why they change is not understood, it is an enigma. Because of this, the sentiment that people are born with a faulty brain cannot be proven or denied. The definition of an unproven belief based on ideas is just that an ideology, unable to be confirmed and destructive, in the wrong hand, causes massive chaos if deviant intent is to be had. A human being can be convinced of anything if delivered consistently and strategically. Just look at history, and my point is made.
The facts are we have two sexes, males and females. Who males are and who females are having been defined into a tiny box that most people don't solely fit 100%. Some fit better than others, but these rigid ideas of what women are, and men are again unprovable! The truth is males and females come all different ways, and therein lies what the problem is within today's popular ideology and hot topic, transgenderism.
Transgenderism takes us back in time; there is no progress or enlightenment within transgenderism. Transgenderism, or the idea of 'being born in the wrong body,' is old fashion, stereotypical, chauvinistic, and demeaning to women and men! The idea that men don't feel deeply, have no style, are not able to nurture young, care deeply or be able to put a fabulous outfit together is ridiculous and NOT true. Some men do all these things, and some men don't. Some men who do these things are attracted to the same sex attracted, and some are not! Again, boxes. The only truth is that men come all different ways!
I decided to pull apart male stereotypes because we seem tormented by the embodiment of who and what a woman is supposed to be. But pull this apart from what binds around the idea of a man, and it casts a light bulb. We are female-chauvinistic, with men at the same level as women! Men are not just burly beings meant to open jars, open beer bottles, scratch balls and grunt and point when they want something. Men are diverse, different and come in all different extraordinary ways.
You see, transgenderism doesn't extend the box of understanding; it limits, and boxes are not meant for a human being, only cereal!
Being transgender is a choice, no different than any other plastic surgery; it doesn't cure anything; for some, it might help them walk lighter in life, but wrapping the idea that it heals people that do not fit in is NOT progress. It's the opposite. What we end up with is confused young adults like yourself that didn't fit into the stereotypical box or much less than others, and instead of grabbing your 11-year-old hand and saying,
"You are an incredible little girl, your grit, desire to lead, aggression, strength, longing to be heard are all things that make a girl turn into a mighty woman that society needs. But right now, at 11? All these extraordinary traits are disguised as being different. But what you don't know, and I do, my feisty daughter, is that your differences are superpowers...Let me show you what that means and how to use them, sister!"
I do not doubt that they would have done differently if your parents had been told what I just conveyed to you. But what is done is done, and now you have a precious life filled with marvels, a future and decisions that will lead you down roads of adventures, falling in love, and building your family; however, that looks. All the dreams you dreamed of being are still there for you; you have to commit to them and make them happen. Remember, you are a robust and aggressive woman. So, what, you look like a man who cares. Grab your dreams with the same strength that made you and others believe you were male! Use your gifts regardless of what your shell looks like. You have so many things waiting for you, but if you obsess about a box that fits no one, well, well? Isn't that the exact definition of wasting precious time? I am fifty and I could swear yesterday I was 20! Leap for life, my young new friend.
What pronouns people use are none of your or my business. People will use what they see and hear, and you do not have the self-importance to correct people from what has taken thousands of years to ingrain into our sub-conscience for survival. Instantly, when we hear someone speak or see someone, pronouns are selected for us, the work is done, no need to labor over a chore already completed. Who are you to go against thousands of years of evolution? It's self-righteous, a waste of time, something you can't control and quite frankly, should not allow anyone to burden you with, "What pronouns do you want to be called," are always answered the same way by me,
"Use whatever brings you comfort. I decided to transition medically, and my choice should not have to burden you. Use whatever pronouns you like."
PS. You touched me with these recordings, such emotion felt and given to me to care for is quite a gift of trust. Thank you for allowing me into who you are and your struggles. This is true strength, and believing I could help you is a great honor. I hope I have helped.
Thank you for trusting me!
Here is my number 469 XXX-XXXX. Reach out anytime!
These recordings made me weep at the end because I have been struggling with who I am, what I am, and what I have done has been weighing on my mind every night before I go to sleep. As I change clothes for bed, I pass the mirror and say inside my head, "Who are you, and what have you done?"
My dirty little constant rant to myself before bed was outed by this precious young person and inspired this.
I hope it makes sense!
My rainbow is the human rainbow.
by, Scott Newgent
I learned from a young age to see past differences in beliefs, sexuality, social and economic status. Empathy has always been an important instrument in my emotional toolbox. This tool comes with positives and negatives. When you feel intensely, the teeter-totter of life is a rollercoaster, and I have found that I have closed myself off from many opportunities, hiding to survive. Sensing the feelings of others tips the teeter-totter to ache inside people more often than ecstasy. Feeling that in others is potent, and for me? It makes me feel indebted to help improve it! Knowing something is an obligation; hiding from people helps lessen my burden. Still, the ticktock of the grandfather clock of time as your only companion leads to a lonely yet unobligated life.
As I recover from the carnage of medical transition, both physically and emotionally, it has been a rocky road! Staring in a mirror, not recognizing whom I see, the name change, the pronoun change, the expectations of understanding the secret code each gender has been drilled to know since the day they were born is an awkward trial and error leading to confusing glances from people who don't understand why I don't know what is expected of me as a man. They see a man, and I should act accordingly, yet I wasn't conditioned to do so. I am still a woman who took synthetic hormones and will have to play dress-up for the rest of my life, a character in a play that others believe is reality.
The entire process has forced me to look beyond the physical person of who I am. Who I see in the mirror is a stranger, except for glimpses of seeing and recognizing my parents, but the physical appearance? Somehow, I am aware of the family I belong to, because I look like 'my people' I just have never met this relative, a stranger but bonded with DNA. I no longer recognize myself in the mirror, but inside, I do. Inside is the same person, and recovering from this brutal process has forced me to look at myself from the inside out. I didn't want to do that, but I had no choice, forced into the work, yielding perspicuity at a tremendous emotional cost. To be OK, I have to look where I recognize myself, and the recognition is now only from the inside.
Charismatic sales executives, athletic, and a high achiever in every realm have also been my coping mechanisms. I knew this on some level, but I now understand in great detail the survival necessity of this truth. Others rarely claim these high marks in one area of life. Yet, my need for survival had to achieve multiple levels to keep the room filled with buoyant emotions ensuring my intuitive nature wasn't overshadowed by the ache of others. I always thought until now that this was who I was, all these achievements were me. The truth is that these achievements toned down the ache of others, my achievements tuned out an obligation that was too heavy to bear.
The relationships I developed with anyone I let close inevitably led to something I heard from every person I ever loved; a view most never see:
"Wow, you're a loner, internal and pensive; I never guessed that before I got to know you!"
But this intuition, empathy, whatever it's called, has also been a gift. Most feelings are not one-sided; what aids also rescinds, but the ability to analyze the process objectively, examine and untwist the pieces, get to why someone has a particular belief, line in the sand, so to say, giving an understanding of how and why that person got to that particular belief in the first place? Knowing how and why, is key to understanding anything. The intensity someone feels about religion, homosexuality, politics, parenting, or anything has a journey that is usually only known by another person harboring the opinion. Empathetic people can seem more profound than the service, and when you understand how someone got their beliefs, it softens the blow if the view is different from yours.
If we look past our infantile differences, the world turns from a scary place to one of grace with boundless potential for human growth and enlightenment. Words of wisdom came to me once when my ears were susceptible to mentors, a whispered moment as I sat at a lesbian dinner party at the tender age of 20. The giver of wisdom, who I think of often, was a 70-year-old lesbian. I had just made an impassioned speech about hating straight people, how every lesbian and gay man should band together to create a superior community where straight and bisexual people could live without the unique gifts and talents homosexual people have given to society since the beginning of time without recognition and with the oppression that had never lifted and never would. The old dyke turned her head towards me and snapped her fingers crisply and with authority, piquing my curiosity instantly. I leaned in, eager to hear what I thought would be a song of praise, but this is what I heard instead:
"Kellie, if I stayed within lines of safety because I wanted complete acceptance of who I am before I allowed people to know me, I would have never had a single conversation with any human on the face of the earth. I am a 70-year-old African American, Jewish, Republican, bull-dyke lesbian who listens to country music. If you stay within the lines, you believe are safe because of not wanting to be challenged by the differences of others, your challenge will become learning how to not wither away and die because, let's face it, you wouldn't be invited to dinner parties like this and you would have no one to talk to because you're an asshole, a passionately cute asshole, but one, nevertheless. Simmer on that a bit and shut up. You learn by listening, and it doesn't make you look like an idiot as much as you do now."
When my son was two and a half, he knew how to get my attention. At that time, I was at the dead center of my career as a business account executive, leading the USA with record numbers for Verizon wireless. I was fierce. But my mind was always obsessed with the next presentation, the next business meeting, the next chess moves to further my career. My baby son knew if he wanted my attention, he had to be different. One day when I was running out the door, he ran up to me and said,
"Stop Ma, stop right now, right NOW STOP, SIT down, there."
My two-year-old son demanded commands with such strength and presence that I did just that; I stopped. A feat in itself; grown men with VP titles and master's degrees in business could not slow me down from an insult, correction or being pointed at with why we didn't get a deal, the stupidity of one was not held back. But my two and half year old commanded so much that I not only stopped but listened when he said,
"Sit down, couch, there,"
In his toddler language, he directed me to where he wanted me so he could deliver his important message. It was a big deal; I could feel it, something he pondered before he sprung it on me. To my surprise, I listened and sat on the couch. He crawled onto my lap, straddled me, and cradled each little hand on one side of my face. Then he leaned in and pressed his nose to mine, so close that I heard his breath, felt the air leaving his lungs, and the excitement and anticipation he had with what he wanted to tell me. He was so close to me that I noticed the speck in his left eye, a yellow sparkle that was out of place as my left eye was and my fathers before me. He's my son, in almost every way, a little mini-me of awesomeness and a personality people flock to <---Not me, lol. What can I say? He's awesome! I could be biased, but I'm not he's brilliant beyond words and amazes me with his mind and how he processes thoughts!
"Don't listen to them, just to me, just me, not them, k Ma, me not them, just me?"
He had my total attention, he knew he had to slow me down to get the proper attention he was after, or he would get the inevitable,
"Yeah, OK sugar, sure sugar, lunch, candy, you bet, just go ask your nanny."
His face couldn't hold in the excitement; he knew he had the attention he was after and blurted out,
"Ma, waterslide, 'member? You said waterslide; it's not there outside, I need waterslide, please, K Ma?"
The week prior I had been running through a store, and he'd spotted a huge, blow-up water slide for parties, and I said I would buy it in between my calls and texts. Well, later had come for him, and he was determined to let me know. I immediately called in, got the day off of work, picked him up, and before night fell, he was having a ball on his vast, commercial $800 waterslide in our backyard. To this day in my family, if you have something important to discuss, you say, "don't listen to them, just me," and immediately no matter what I am doing is dropped and I plug in.
That's what we need to do. We have to grab society's face and say, "give me a minute, just listen to us for a minute, don't listen to them, just us," with the same heartstrings that a child holds within his mother's heart. The most effective way to do this is for the message to come from family, a familiar place that is and has been a soft place to fall. My son got my attention because of the way he did it but most importantly because of who he was to me. I believe this approach would work to stop the dangerous trans radical craze that we are currently experiencing.
Don't get me wrong; the LGBTQ community is family to me. I was a lesbian for twenty-five years, and I have been a transman for five years. I am a familiar, I am family. I am a parent to three adolescents, an age when children are professing their transgenderism in record numbers. If it's done in the right way, with the right people, with hearts in the correct place, we could save children who don't even know they need to be saved.
We need courageous people to say what needs to be said, be guided in the most appropriate and best way to say it, and to take criticism to ensure what is written is done in the most powerful manner possible. We need to be willing to work within a team to save kids because make no mistake; as a transman, I am telling you that these kids need to be saved a million times more than you already believe. Let's march hand in hand to the forefront, representing children, to keep children safe and criminalize any medical professionals who medically transition a child. Speak in unison saying.
"Here's a transgender person. Here's a gay person. Here's the evangelical person. Here's the Republican person. Here's a Democrat. We have everybody covered. OK. So, you can't call us a bigot. Cause we got the whole circle around. We're all here. Now let's talk about facts.
Medical Transitioning Is No Place for a Child & here is why!"