Tuesday, May 30, 2017

An Interesting Scenario

Nature vs Nurture
There is a recurring fantasy/story line that permeates many transgender visualizations. What if I had been raised as a girl? The scenario typically goes like this. Domineering mother wanted a daughter and was distraught at the reality of raising a male child. There was a weak or absent male presence in the home and the mother has free sway as to how the son is dressed, presented and raised. 

Causation as to why we are transgender, child abuse or fantasy come true? You choose. I wrote previously about the classic transgender fiction novelette, Frederique;  A story set in 19th century France. In the story Frederique (Fred), was reluctantly raised to become a beautiful woman by a doting but domineering Aunt.  

This is not my early childhood story. It would be so convenient to think that is why I enjoy femininity. Not the case.  

Question - could this happen? Introduced at an early age, femininity could imprinted upon us and thus we would want to return to that childhood comfort zone.  Therefore, a young male child raised in a total feminine environment could turn out to be feminine or at least be imprinted to more feminine in nature. I suppose this is the old nature vs nurture complication.  

Whenever I read an account of this scenario I am always suspect. The underlying incongruity many time runs between fantasy and self-justification. However, we do live in wonderful times where there are true stories emerging. There is Jazz, a boy who self-identified and there is Avery the cover girl in a National Geographic article.  Both of these stories are very public.  

"Athena Talks" is a site and forum that acts as a hub for conversation to help young women mature and become leaders - It is an advocate for equality. There last week I found the story by Allison Washington – “Girl, Begun: Why my mother raised me as a girl.”  Allison's words:

The author in 1989, age 32, Brussels, Belgium

In my girlhood there was ambiguity, uncertainty, a certain stealth, and, inevitably, an end. From age four, when my mother first began to appreciate the nature of my gender, and for the subsequent eight-plus years, my life floated within the norms of girlhood, albeit with occasional, painful caveats: a couple ill-advised and abortive attempts to enroll me in school, sometimes-awkward statements blurting from my mother’s mouth, strange looks when passports came out…

The story spans over four parts and does have a captivating ring of truth. Allison does identify today as a trans woman. She is a writer and has a blog where she is soliciting patrons/donors - You be the judge. 

In any case - An interesting scenario.


  1. very interesting topic Rhonda and one I have pondered over for many years. My mother had no part or interest in having me appear or be a girl in any way and was surprised to be told many decades later about the way I am but then in a world this big I am not surprised there are stories like this one.

  2. Nature vs. Nurture is a question that many great thinkers have pondered for centuries.
    I think that we are all born with certain innate talents and tendencies. Just like our genes determine our physical characteristics I think that they also play a big part in our psychological makeup. Add encouragement by nurture to an innate tendency and talent will bring the traits to the forefront. You and I may both be passionate about basketball. Your genes left you too short to play and my left me too clumsy. On the other hand your short genes work well when you dress. My size works against passing.
    We all must take what we have and do what we can to make the most of things.