Tuesday, January 14, 2020

About a Boy

At fourteen, Skylar, born a girl, adopted
 a boy’s name;  at sixteen, he started
 taking testosterone and had a mastectomy.
  Not concerned with being a “macho bro,”
 he plans to date boys.
Transgender At Sixteen.
New Yorker Magazine 

By Margaret Talbot - March 2013

Skylar is a boy, but he was born a girl, and lived as one until the age of fourteen. Skylar would put it differently: he believes that, despite biological appearances, he was a boy all along. He’d just been burdened with a body that required medical and surgical adjustments so that it could reflect the gender he knew himself to be. At sixteen, he started getting testosterone injections every other week; just before he turned seventeen, he had a double mastectomy. The essay question for the University of Chicago, where Skylar submitted an early-action application, invited students to describe their “archnemesis (either real or imagined).” Skylar’s answer: “Pre-formed ideas of what it meant to have two X chromosomes.” No matter what people thought they saw when they looked at him, Skylar wrote, he knew that he:

 Was nothing along the lines of a girl.

Skylar is an F.T.M., or “female-to-male,” transgender person, a category that has been growing in visibility in recent years. In the past, females who wished to live as males rarely sought surgery, in part because they could “pass” easily enough in public; today, there is a desire for more thorough transformations. Skylar took hormones and underwent “top surgery” at a much younger age than would have been possible even a decade ago. Yet, in his new guise, he doesn’t labor to come across as conventionally masculine. Like many “trans” people of his generation, he is comfortable with some gender ambiguity, and doesn’t feel the need to be, as he puts it, a “macho bro.” He is not sure yet if he will have genital reconstruction when he’s older.


In the fall, Skylar’s high school had announced that it would be electing a Homecoming King and Queen for the first time. After some students pointed out that, as Skylar put it, “not everybody would fit either label,” the school adopted the term “Homecoming Court.” Skylar decided to run for the court with his friend Julia, who considers herself “genderqueer.” They won. At the Homecoming Dance, Skylar wore a natty gray vest and a tie, and Julia wore aviator sunglasses and a tight black tank dress. They were crowned with matching gold plastic headpieces.

The next day, Skylar attended a conference on youth leadership. He gave a speech in which he recounted being picked for Homecoming Court, even though he and Julia are “ridiculously, openly queer.” He wasn’t bragging, he said—it just made him “really happy that that was possible at my school.” Skylar was amused, and flattered, when a girl from another school came up to him afterward to say that she and her friends thought he was cute. For a while that afternoon, there were several girls following him around, giggling and smiling over their new crush.


My Note: This is a long and well thought out article.  Read the complete narration. Considering it was written about 7 years ago, it get many points correct and discussed with candor the then emerging non-binary concept. I like that Skyler did cosmetic confirming surgery but not gender surgery. I believe many of us are in that place and define this to be our own brand of being transgender.   

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