It’s not conversion therapy to learn to love your body: A teen desister tells her story. An interview with a 14 year old girl, Noor.
Noor believed she was male for 2.5 years, from age 11-13, but has changed her mind. In a Skype interview (transcribed below), we asked Noor to tell us about her journey towards a trans identity, and how she came back home to herself as female.
A few questions and answers; entire interview at the link:
For a couple of years, you thought you were transgender. How did it start? Why did you think that?
It started when I was 11. I thought I might be trans after spending time online where I saw people saying that if you feel dysphoric, you must be a different gender. So many people were saying it, that I came to believe it. At first, I identified as agender and then after thinking about it more, I realized I was a boy because I wanted to be “masculine.”
What did that mean, be “masculine?”
For me, it meant wanting the physical characteristics of adult males: a beard, being taller and strong. And being masculine was about feeling safe.
Were you dysphoric?
I felt like I didn’t want to be in my body. I didn’t like it. It kinda felt like my body wasn’t mine and I wanted a different one. …
“Lots” of the kids were trans? How can that be, when trans make up a miniscule proportion of the population?
I wonder how accurate the data is that tells us only a “miniscule proportion of the population” is trans, because most teens I know identify as anything other than “cis.”
In my homeschool group, there were only two girls who didn’t have trans identities. Talking about gender identity and sexuality was very popular with my friends and also some of the parents. There was a parent who identified as pansexual and “demi gender” or something like that. She came and talked to all of us about using preferred pronouns and sexuality stuff. She was a facilitator there but not for my group. It was just a bad time even though I had a few really good friends there. There were some kids who were always talking about how oppressed they were and they weren’t. At all. They thought disability and mental illness were cool. They’re not. It was hard for me to hear them talk about all their self-diagnosed issues when I had to give myself insulin every day (I’m diabetic) and I hated my body. Also, my grandfather had just died. My mom started not wanting me to go there because I would get really anxious and have panic attacks and she would come pick me up early. …
What made you change your mind?
I realized that the only reason I was trans was because I wanted to feel big and safe and also, I didn’t conform to what I thought being female looked and felt like. But then I learned that being female isn’t a feeling. It’s a biological reality and I could feel however I feel without it meaning I was male. …
Did you want one?
God, no. During that time I did want a penis, but not a fake one.
So you eventually wanted surgery?
No, I didn’t want bottom surgery. I just wanted to be a biological male. …
What would you say to other girls who think they are boys? Any advice for them?
There’s nothing wrong with your body. To be straightforward, you will never be male. You will never have a Y chromosome. You will never have a real penis. Stop hurting yourself. Not wanting to be female doesn’t mean you’re really male. Not wanting to be female makes sense when girls are sexualized before we’re ready to even feel sexual, and when people think we’re weak both intellectually and physically, when people don’t take us seriously, when people tell us to smile and be nice.
hat-tip Stephen Neil