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Kids... Should they get gender affirming surgery, take HRT, etc?

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Managing Ambassador
(@michellelarsen1)
Noble Member     United States of America, Virginia, Front Royal
Joined: 5 years ago

So, you are absolutely correct that this is one hot potato. A topic that probably shouldn't have a cookbook, cookie cutter, resolution. I think a case could be made for each of these possibilities. I'm sure that some kids should not venture past the gender ID stage as they may need more help, time, and knowledge. Still others, changing their name could be of help in their finding their own path forward.

Some may be in a situation where parental understanding and knowledge is an absolute necessity. Some may be quite the opposite. Both of which require ample time, knowledge, and understanding to fully vet. And further more may be best served to wait until they are adults.

As for the surgery and medication camps; with all that entails, I'd be inclined to think a very slow, careful, and stepped approach would be the best path forward. Because, at least for the surgery side of the equation, once the scapel makes contact, it is a done deal.

I think, that of all these possibilities, the scariest is the one not talked about; the pushing the child into that because of predetermined outcomes envisaged by the 'adults in the room'. These are children, who by their very age and definition, do not have the advantage of years of like, knowledge, and experience. Looking to us for guidance, do we not owe it to them to partner with them to make the best decisions. There is no absolute right or wrong answer or approach, but we had all make sure we do our best for them, or we will do the worst for all.

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(@ellilynn)
Trusted Member     United States of America, Indiana, Bloomington
Joined: 1 year ago

I am curious what you mean by parents should be in charge of the narrative.  What part do you think they should be in charge of, and what part should be left to the decision of the child?

Personally, I think the only thing parents should have a veto on is surgery, and I don't think any teen has enough growth or experience to make a good choice at that age.  The brain isn't fully developed until somewhere in the early 20s.  We don't consider 18 years old people responsible enough or educated enough to consume alcohol.

I don't have any issue with a kid deciding he would rather wear dresses or she would rather dress like and hang out with the boys.  I don't have an issue with HRT for either MtF or FtM, because it's something like 95%+ reversible should they decide not to continue, and about 2% of those that start HRT decide not to continue it.

However, surgery is a whole different bag of worms, and I think anyone considering it should have some real life experience away from schools and cliques before making an decision that's can't be undone.  Would I stop my 18 year old child from getting SRS at that age?  No, but I would try my most eloquent best to encourage them to wait a couple years.  Learn more about the real world and how they feel about it before making a choice that can't be reversed.  Learning to deal with and appreciate delayed gratification is something I wish I had known at 20 instead of not learning it and understand it's benefits until I was past 50.  This is one of those things I thing should be taught in school, along with rational thinking,  learning how to do research and learning to recognize when someone is feeding you a line of bull, but we don't seem to teach any of these things any more.

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Ambassador
(@flatlander48)
Noble Member     United States of America, California, Cathedral City
Joined: 5 years ago

Note that you can enlist in any branch of the US military at 17 years of age.

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Posts: 78
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(@ellilynn)
Trusted Member     United States of America, Indiana, Bloomington
Joined: 1 year ago

I look at this from a couple very different points of view.  I, too, knew before I got to 1st grade that I would rather be a girl than a boy.  I was more interested in the things they did and were interested in than I was in the things boys did and were interested in.  The closest I ever got to mentioning it to anyone was on a shopping trip with my mother when I decided I wanted a pink shirt and rainbow colored tutu when I was about 5.  This wish was quickly shot down, because it as 1958 and little boys just didn't do things like that back then.  She was an educated women and was well aware of the cost of being outside of the cis community.  Transgender wasn't even a word then, nor was the concept of the different types of sexual attraction.  Back then there were two accepted sexes, and two accepted sexual attractions, hetero and homo.  If you want to read some real horror stories, read about how homosexual people were treated by the government and society.  Besides being completely illegal back then, conviction generally meant a long stay at a very unpleasant psychiatric hospital where huge doses of mind and libido altering drugs were administered along with lots of the darling of psychiatrists back then, electroshock therapy.  Transport that same little child and his/her parents 50 years forward, and I think both my parents would have been fine with it.  As I grew older, I would have been expected to to a lot of reading and research on my choices, but that is because I came from a family of educators and researchers, and being both self aware and understanding consequences were important.  I suspect they would have gone along with HRT, but not SRS.  Like most 18 year olds, I was full of myself and thought my parents were completely out of touch with reality.  It took me until I was about 25 or 26 before I started to understand just how much more my  parents knew of and understood the real world than I did.  Mind you, my parents for their time were very supportive of everything I or my brothers chose to do, even when they knew it would end in disaster, because they knew we learned from experience then more than from the wisdom of our elders.  However, they were there to help pick up the pieces and make sure we learned the lessons we has set before ourselves.

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Topic starter
(@Anonymous 2388)
Estimable Member
Joined: 5 years ago

And we think the government has kids best interests in mind do we?

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Posts: 1784
Ambassador
(@flatlander48)
Noble Member     United States of America, California, Cathedral City
Joined: 5 years ago

Just pointing out the inconsistency. If it is possible to die in defense of the country, then why is the minimum age for drinking, voting, etc. higher? It suggests that the minimum age for the military should be higher.

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(@ellilynn)
Trusted Member     United States of America, Indiana, Bloomington
Joined: 1 year ago

DeeAnn, you can only enlist in the US armed forces at 17 with parental permission.

 

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Posts: 1784
Ambassador
(@flatlander48)
Noble Member     United States of America, California, Cathedral City
Joined: 5 years ago

The point is that you can be in harm’s way at 17. How you got there is not significant.

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