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At fourteen, Skylar, born a girl, adopted a boy’s name; at sixteen, he started taking testosterone and had a mastectomy. For high-school seniors like Skylar—who live in prosperous suburbs, have doting parents, attend good schools, and get excellent grades while studding their transcripts with extracurricular activities—the hardest part of the college application is often the personal essay. Gift Certificates can be purchased in any denomination for travel booked through Travelonly. Posted on February 11th, 2013 By Scott Milnes in Circle of Love Coaching™ Program with 2 comments. I have always found it fascinating how we as a nation will, in my opinion, interchange words into places they clearly don’t belong.  It’s as if we come up with several words for the same definition. For example, after a person has gone through an extensive amount of education, hands-on training, and passed a litany of exams, he or she would be given the title of pilot and be given a pilots’ license.
The implication is that they have demonstrated the skill and can be trusted with an aircraft.  And while most of us may not be pilots, I think we can all remember learning to drive a car, taking the exam, and the rush of freedom we felt when we first got our drivers license. So, from those two examples, we can assume that when someone receives a license, they are qualified for the job at hand.  So far, so good- that makes sense. I don’t know about you, but the next time I get on an airplane, I want my pilot to have a license- not just a permit! Truth is, they’ve never taken class, attended a workshop, or worked one-on-one with a coach or counselor.  However, with some brief paperwork and a few bucks, they’ve got a marriage license. I realize that I’m throwing around semantics here, but my goal is to really get people to stop and ask:  Am I truly qualified to go through with this project?
In a perfect world (wow, I’m really stretching now), when a couple applied for a marriage license, there would be some type of mandatory marriage class or workshop series that would need to be fulfilled before a license would be issued.
The point is that we have to go above and beyond if we really want a marriage that not only survives- but thrives!! However, in doing this much needed soul-work, we realize that being perfect is a complete delusion and we therefore release that fantasy. When people discover that I’m a Relationship Expert and Life Coach, they often have a variety of questions about what I do and how I do it.
The front and back exterior of the car has an aggressive style that is made by the narrower head lights and tail lights. The interior will have pretty much the same list of standards as found in the regular version. Cruising through the city or highway is a lot more fun with these cool features: a USB port than doubles as a charger, a navigation system, an eight inch touch screen tricked with the latest infotainment system, and GPS Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. They’re typically asked to write about some life-changing experience, and, if their childhood has been blessedly free of drama, they may find themselves staring at a blank screen for a long time. Cars like BMW, Ford, Chevrolet, and Mazda have all redesigned a few of their 2016 and 2017 models in such a manner. Safety features of the 2016 Mazda 3 for both the passenger and the driver include: a traction control system, stability control system, a rear view camera, airbags and 5 seat belts.
With the cars all adopting a sporty and elegant look, it is clear that the market is looking for a vehicle that will offer great comfort but won’t compromise on performance and technological features.
Marriage is probably one of the biggest milestones in a person’s life and if we took pause to improve ourselves maybe we would have less divorce and be better parents. In Europe the new Mazda 3 2016 is called the Mazda 3 MPS (Mazda Performance Series), in the States it is dubbed the MazdaSpeed 3. There are many dating sites, social hangouts, and other resources dedicated to helping a man find a woman. Skylar would put it differently: he believes that, despite biological appearances, he was a boy all along.
Power from the engine is spread out to all four wheels using a six speed manual transmission. 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.
Cost of this compact car differs depending on version: hatchback, sedan, wagon or sport car. At sixteen, he started getting testosterone injections every other week; just before he turned seventeen, he had a double mastectomy. The remodeled vehicle has undergone some extensive changes which are set to please any sports car fanatic. The size of the wheels will offer the 2016 Mazda 3 a sportier exhaust system and a stronger braking system. The price can change at any time because its official release date hasn’t been made public. 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. 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. They may also be looking for casual dating and the activities that come along with that.Who are these rich women?There is not set rich women. Skylar lives in an affluent, wooded town near New Haven, a liberal enclave where nobody seriously challenged his decision to change gender. As he explained in his application essay, classmates kept telling him, “This is the most fundamental essence of who you are, Skylar.
They may be older and think that they are not as attractive as some of the younger women.These women have been in the house for too long and are looking to get out and have some fun.
In order to get the attention of men they are using money and spending power in order to get attention.Where to find rich women?Rich women may not be hanging out at the local bar.
They are bullied at school, rejected by their families, and consigned to marginal—even desperate—lives. Some of these women have not dated in a long time and many be wary of men that that meet in shady places.The internet is helping rich women date and men find them. Teen-agers who identify as transgender appear to be at higher risk for depression and suicide. Middle-class parents today tend to actively help their children get settled on a path in life, and often subscribe to the notion that “early intervention” is best for all kinds of conditions.
They can state if they are looking for a relationship, dating, or just someone to accompany them on a night out. Many therapists have begun to speak of even very young children as transgender (a category that few clinicians of past generations would have applied to them). At site like this, the woman can find a man that she thinks will be fun and attractive and prepare for a date.Benefits to dating for rich womenPhoto by pedrosimoes7There are some perks that go along with dating a rich woman.
And plastic surgery, tattoos, and piercings have made people more comfortable with body modification. Because this change is happening so fast, and amid a flurry of mostly positive media attention, it can be hard to recognize what a radical social experiment it is. Transgenderism has replaced homosexuality as the newest civil-rights frontier, and trans activists have become vocal and organized. Alice Dreger, a bioethicist and historian of science at Northwestern University, says, “The availability of intervention and the outspokenness of the transgender community are causing a lot more people to see themselves as transgender, and at younger ages.” A recent survey of thirty-five hundred transgender Americans found that, the younger the respondents, the more likely they were to have had “access to transgender people and resources at a young age,” and to have identified as trans at a young age. In a follow-up survey, more than two-thirds of the respondents between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two said that they had known other transgender people before adopting the identity themselves, compared with a quarter of those fifty-three and older. A kid today who hasn’t met other transgender young people can readily find them in popular culture and social media. Such characters appear on “Glee” (naturally) and on “DeGrassi.” On the Internet, Tumblrs and Listservs and thousands of YouTube videos chronicle the gender transitions of teen-agers.
Shot on blurry Webcams in the family basement or in jumbled, poster-covered bedrooms, they variously resemble diaries, instruction manuals, music videos, and manifestos. Last spring, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening’s child Stephen—born Kathlyn—attracted attention after making a video of himself for the site We Happy Trans. Stephen, then twenty and a sophomore at Sarah Lawrence College, explained that, at fourteen, he had “transitioned socially,” adopting his new name and attending school as a boy. He revealed that he was taking testosterone while “presenting in a femme way,” adding, “It’s nice to finally be able to have my identity be legible to people.” Skylar told me that “the Internet, and the fact that there are resources readily available,” had made a big difference in his decision to change gender. I don’t even know his former name—this was one remnant of his past that he refused to share.) In the early years of grade school, he hung out at recess with the boys who ran around playing real-life versions of video games, though he also had close friends who were girls. Waiters and sales clerks often assumed that Skylar was a boy, and it soon became clear to his parents, Melissa and Chip, that Skylar didn’t want them to correct the misimpression.
They divorced when Skylar was nine, and though the breakup was painful, Melissa and Chip remain aligned as parents, sharing a cheerful confidence about Skylar and his older sister, Dakota, now a sophomore at Pomona College.
Obviously.” Partly because of this attitude, and partly because little girls can get away with being boyish—in contrast to little boys, who still cannot easily get away with being girlish—Skylar did not have a hard time in elementary school. When I asked him about difficult moments as a kid, he thought for a minute and then mentioned a school assembly at which a magician asked for male volunteers. I guess I was kind of annoyed at people, but, then again, my physical presentation wasn’t something I was particularly aware of.
I didn’t have that much of an issue with how people perceived me, because I didn’t get how people perceived me.” Puberty complicated things. Skylar was sitting cross-legged, wearing baggy athletic shorts, colorful socks, and a hoodie. He had floppy bangs, bright teeth, and dimples, and wore a diamond stud in his ear and a clutch of rubber wristbands. The testosterone had lowered his voice by an octave, and he spoke slowly; his speech had less pitch variation than the average girl’s, and his voice didn’t lilt upward at the end of a sentence.
At one point, I asked him how tall he was, and he said, “Either five-six-and-a-half or five-seven.


At thirteen, Skylar was browsing at Barnes & Noble and came across the young-adult novel “Parrotfish,” by Ellen Wittlinger, which, along with books like “Luna” and “I Am J,” is a touchstone for trans kids. Skylar wanted to take testosterone right away—he wanted facial hair and a deeper voice and a more masculine frame. Melissa said, “To his credit, Skylar’s been amazingly patient with allowing Chip and me to internalize this and to get up to speed on it. You know, the whole idea of testosterone—there are permanent physiological changes that occur.
And, while Skylar himself was sure, he was, after all, fourteen.” Skylar started seeing a social worker in New Haven who works with transgender adolescents. Eventually, the social worker wrote a letter attesting to Skylar’s “gender dysphoria” but otherwise sound mental health. Endocrinologists require such a document before administering regular shots of a cross-gender hormone. Weeks after Skylar started ninth grade, he announced his male identity by creating a Facebook page with his new gender status and name. The reaction of peers and administrators, he said, ranged from matter-of-fact to enthusiastic.
It certainly didn’t hurt that Skylar, who projects quiet ambition, attends a public high school where superior students get respect from both teachers and classmates.
There was some awkwardness about which bathroom he’d use: initially, he was given access to toilets in the principal’s office and the nurse’s office. But when Skylar started using the boys’ rest rooms nobody said anything, and that was that. It had started in 2008, with just two kids, but by the time Skylar got involved there were sixty on the e-mail list and fifteen or so attending meetings regularly. There was a separate group for parents and, eventually, a group for siblings and one for kids under the age of twelve. The group’s leader was Tony Ferraiolo, a burly, bearded fifty-year-old with a shaved head and Popeye forearms scrolled with tattoos. In his day job, at a company that makes industrial switches and sensors, he supervises thirty employees.
Most of the kids had adopted new names and pronouns, but only a few were on hormones or had undergone surgery.
Some had slept with girlfriends or boyfriends; others weren’t sure what their orientation would be once they became sexually active. Sometimes I forget that coming out in terms of sexuality is still a big deal.” On another occasion, he said, “I’m in no way opposed to the idea of being with a girl or woman. But it’s a lot more likely it will be with a guy.” In trans circles, it is a given that sexual orientation and gender identity are separate matters. It can be hard for some of us to imagine a sexuality that is not inextricably linked to our gender.
Given that Skylar didn’t yet seem preoccupied with his sexuality, I felt almost boorish asking his parents how they felt his gender change might affect his romantic prospects.
Melissa told me that she didn’t worry about it: “There was a point at the beginning of all this when we all thought, How are you going to find someone to love you? Layne had started presenting himself as a boy in high school, after “faking it” as a lesbian since middle school.
When he was accepted at the New School, in New York, he pressured his mother, who was reluctant, to let him start testosterone injections, saying that he wouldn’t go to college at all unless he could go as a boy. At freshman orientation, Layne met Mimi, an outgoing girl from Seattle, and felt an instant connection; they started dating and, as sophomores, were still together. But some parents wouldn’t come near the group, so a friend or a grandparent brought the kid. In some families, only one parent approved of a child’s gender switch, and the marriages had foundered. There was a girl in the group who had begun to transition, and whose parents then divorced, at which point the girl’s father declared that he was transgender, too. Tony tells the parents, “You have to listen to your kids, affirm them, and then empower them to be who they want to be.” At the same time, he reminds the teen-agers that, overwhelming and fascinating as they find their gender identity, it’s not the only relevant thing about them.
At one meeting, a girl in her mid-teens, who was starting the process of becoming male, mentioned feeling behind the curve. Many of the kids in the younger group, who were doing messy art projects in a room down the hall, were socially transitioning in elementary school. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to come out late.” Clearly, “late” means something different to teen-agers. At the beginning of group meetings, Tony and each of the kids share a “highlight and lowlight” of the past three weeks. When somebody announces that he or she has started taking cross-gender hormones, or is scheduled for surgery, the others clap. Last April, Skylar shared big news: nine days earlier, he’d had “top” surgery to remove his breasts and “masculinize” his chest.
His endocrinologist and his therapist had recommended a plastic surgeon named Melissa Johnson, in Springfield, Massachusetts, who was willing to operate on kids under eighteen. After the kids stopped cheering for Skylar, they asked questions: Did he have a lot of pain when he woke up from the operation? Skylar said that all he needed was a few Vicodins on the day following the operation; after that, watching the first three seasons of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” back to back was enough to distract him from the pain. He said that he was looking forward to going to the beach wearing just a rash guard with his trunks (he had to protect the incision site from the sun for a year while it healed); eventually, he’d go bare-chested. Skylar wouldn’t be able to lift anything heavier than ten pounds for six weeks—he’d recruited friends at school to carry his backpack—but that wasn’t so bad. Melissa told me that she had initially had some misgivings about Skylar’s desire to change gender. She recalled when Skylar asked to buy a binder—a nylon-and-Spandex vest worn under clothes to flatten breasts. We, as women, grow up with a lot of expectations put on us about what we’re supposed to look like, and what we’re supposed to weigh and how big our breasts are supposed to be, and I’ve seen women mutilate themselves to try and meet that norm. So I just tell myself, ‘Pull out the rearview mirror and throw it away,’ because all it’s going to do is stop me from getting where I want to go. It’s not for me to want him to be a certain way.” Sometimes, deep in a conversation, Chip would mention having had doubts, but he sounded tentative when he tried to articulate what those doubts had been, especially if Skylar was in the room. In one such instance, he said, carefully, “We grow and evolve in such complex ways, and there still existed this lingering thought that maybe he’ll think, I shouldn’t have done this—I could have lived as a man without doing the surgery.” One afternoon, Melissa and I picked up Skylar at the True Colors Conference, an annual event for gay and transgender youth, at the University of Connecticut, in Storrs. Talking to Skylar and his friends drew me back to my years in graduate school, in the late eighties, when we talked a lot about “the social construction of gender” and frequently reminded one another that “sexuality has a history.” Skylar was reading the Epic of Gilgamesh for a class, and one day he told me, “This is so interesting to think about—my teacher had to sit us down and say, ‘Yes, Gilgamesh and Enkidu are lovers. Certain as he seemed that he’d made the right decision, one thing that remained unresolved was the question of whether he would live as “Skylar, the trans guy” or “Skylar, the guy.” He clearly longed to be the latter—to start college as a boy without a complicated gender story, to not always be a spokesman for the trans experience.
In more intimate contexts, it wouldn’t be possible, anyway, since only the top half of his body had been reconstructed. But he also felt an obligation to keep talking about being trans: to journalists, to school administrators, to questioning youths at conferences. There’s a lot of pressure to be out these days—to own your identity and declare it, proudly, to the world.
A few months before I met Skylar and his family, I met a woman I’ll call Danielle, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Danielle wasn’t convinced that gender confusion was the underlying cause, in part because her daughter, whom I’ll call Anna, hadn’t raised the subject until recently. Anna was a dreamy girl who loved drawing, chafed at the strictures of school, and was beset by anxiety. She hadn’t dated anyone seriously, but in high school she’d told her mother that she might like girls. When Anna was in her last year at an alternative high school, she wrote Danielle a letter saying that she wanted to start taking testosterone and then have sex-reassignment surgery.
He prescribed antidepressants, but Anna refused to take them, saying that she knew too many kids who hadn’t been helped by them.
The psychiatrist then advised Anna to take a year off before starting college, and to proceed immediately toward a surgical transition; that way, “her gender flags would be in order” when she matriculated. We’re all waiting” Share Tweet Buy a cartoon Danielle, who was divorced, had younger children at home, too, and they readily accepted the proposition that their sister was trans.
Danielle’s ex-husband, with whom she had a trying relationship, didn’t balk at Aidan’s switch, either. While Danielle was at her college reunion, on the East Coast, he took Aidan to a clinic that administered testosterone. I know the clinics giving them out think they’re doing something wonderful and saving lives. Maybe the gender feelings are the underlying cause, maybe not.” Danielle said that she had met many teen-agers who seemed to regard their bodies as endlessly modifiable, through piercings, or tattoos, or even workout regimens. She wondered if sexual orientation was beginning to seem boring as a form of identity; gay people were getting married, and perhaps seemed too settled. The drug culture of the sixties was like that and the sexual culture of the eighties, with AIDS. I think this could be the next wave like that, and I don’t want my daughter to be a casualty.” History is replete with examples of men and women who cross-dressed, and some of them, no doubt, would have remade their bodies, had the option existed. In the nineteen-tens, German and Austrian scientists interested in the new field of endocrinology began attempting to change the sex of animals. Success with guinea pigs and rats encouraged doctors to respond positively to the human beings who yearned for gender metamorphosis. In 1931, in Berlin, a German waiter named Rudolf Richter had sex-reassignment surgery, becoming Dora.


That same year, Einar Wegener, a Danish artist who had undergone several operations to become Lili Elbe, died after a failed procedure to create female reproductive organs. Cauldwell began using the term “transsexual” to describe people so alienated from their biological sex that they wished to change it. The endocrinologist Harry Benjamin took the lead in promoting this idea, wresting gender discontent away from the psychoanalytic realm, where it was diagnosed as a disorder of sexual desire (curable through will power and talk therapy), and defining it as a problem of having been born in the wrong body (fixable through hormones and surgery). Benjamin helped establish a protocol requiring patients to receive a diagnosis of gender-identity disorder from a physician before taking hormones or undergoing surgery. Many transgender people have resented this kind of medical gatekeeping—and particularly the implication that they suffer from a mental illness.
In 1973, homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and some trans activists worked for years to get “gender identity disorder” expunged, too.
Recently, they succeeded: in the next edition of the manual, which comes out in May, the term is replaced by “gender dysphoria”—a less pathologizing alternative that describes patients who report distress about their biological sex. BECOMES BLONDE BEAUTY.”) In the sixties, American medical centers, beginning with Johns Hopkins, started to perform gender reassignments. From the outset, clinicians sought acceptance for the surgery by downplaying sexuality and emphasizing the “born in the wrong body” narrative.
The patients most likely to be accepted for surgery were men who, like Jorgensen, seemed as if they could successfully live as straight women and not upset traditional roles all that much once they made it to the other side.
Fewer women sought operations, in part because the surgical techniques that were available lagged behind those for men. Creating a penis, a procedure known as phalloplasty, can cost more than a hundred thousand dollars. Daniel Medalie, a plastic surgeon in Cleveland who does sex-reassignment operations, told me, “It’s just really difficult to make a fully functioning penis. It’s much easier to make a vagina—it’s easier to take away than to add.” Estimates of the number of transgender people have never been particularly reliable and have almost certainly undercounted them. An often cited Swedish study, from 1967, included only people who had received treatment for gender-identity disorder, and showed one in thirty-seven thousand for biological males and one in a hundred and three thousand for biological females. But many people who consider themselves transgender either can’t afford treatment or don’t feel a need for it. Indeed, the term “transgender,” which became popular in the eighties, is an umbrella category that includes transsexuals, those who only take hormones, and people who defy their biological gender with clothes and makeup.
Newer estimates for the prevalence of gender dysphoria are closer to one in ten thousand for both males and females. In recent years, the most striking change for trans people is the possibility of switching gender at younger and younger ages. And, according to some estimates, thousands of American adolescents are taking hormones that forestall puberty until they decide whether they want medical or surgical interventions to change their biological sex. Starting in the late seventies, doctors began prescribing these drugs for children who suffered from extremely precocious puberty.
In 2000, a clinic in Holland began administering the drugs to kids who were struggling with their gender identity. The patients had to be at least twelve and had to have begun puberty; the drug put their sexual development on hold.
At sixteen, patients could stop the hormones, allowing puberty to resume its course, or they could start a regimen of cross-gender hormones, whose effects are generally not reversible. Cohen-Kettenis observed, “Early intervention not only seemed to lead to a better psychological outcome, but also to a physical appearance that made being accepted as a member of the new gender much easier, compared with those who began treatment in adulthood.” The first American medical center to offer trans kids puberty blockers was Boston Children’s Hospital, in 2009.
Clinics in several other cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Seattle, soon followed. When I spoke recently with Norman Spack, an endocrinologist who runs the Boston program, he said that doctors in half a dozen more cities—among them Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia—planned to adopt the puberty-suppressing protocol. Doctors who see kids with gender-identity issues often attribute their increasing numbers to media coverage.
The story with the biggest reach has been that of Jazz, who was born a boy and socially transitioned while still a toddler. Jazz was subsequently interviewed on “60 Minutes” and starred in a documentary, “I Am Jazz: A Family in Transition,” that aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Jazz’s parents have started an advocacy organization, the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation.
A YouTube clip in which Jazz explains that she has “a girl brain and a boy body” has been viewed more than a million times. There are people who are sympathetic to families with kids like Jazz but worry about the rush to adopt the trans identity. They point out that long-term studies of young children with gender dysphoria have found that only about fifteen per cent continue to have this feeling as adolescents and adults. In other words, many young kids claiming to be stuck in the wrong body may simply be trying to process their emerging homosexual desires. Walter Meyer, a child psychiatrist and pediatric endocrinologist in Galveston, Texas, has prescribed puberty blockers and considers them worthwhile as a way to buy time for some kids. But, in an editorial that ran in Pediatrics last March, Meyer urged families not to jump to the conclusion that their fierce little tomboy of a daughter, or doll-loving son, must be transgender.
So I wanted to say in that article that, with kids, gender variance is an important issue, but it’s also a common issue.
I’m saying to parents, ‘It may be hard to live with the ambiguity, but just watch and wait. The committee endorsed the use of puberty blockers for some children, but Coleman told me that caution was warranted: “We still don’t know the subtle or potential long-term effects on brain function or bone development. Many people recognize it’s not a benign treatment.” Alice Dreger, the bioethicist, said, of cross-gender hormones and surgery, “These are not trivial medical interventions. No child, with gender dysphoria or not, should have to decide who they are that early in life.” She continued, “I don’t mean to offend people who are truly transgender, but maybe a kid expresses a sense of being the opposite gender because cultural signals say girls don’t shoot arrows, or play rough, or wear boxers, or whatever. None of us said, ‘Yes, you’re a train.’ We’d play along, but it was clear we were humoring him.
After a couple of years, he decided that what he wanted to be was an engineer.” Some parents worry that their children will be prematurely locked in place by the new emphasis on identifying young kids as trans.
One mother in San Francisco, who writes about her family using the pseudonym Sarah Hoffman, told me about her son, “Sam,” a gentle boy who wears his blond hair very long. He liked Legos and Pokemon, loved opera, and hated sports; his friends were mostly science-nerd girls. But Hoffman and her husband—an architect and a children’s-book author who had himself been a fey little boy—felt some pressure to slot their son into the transgender category. Once, when Sam was being harassed by boys at school, the principal told them that Sam needed to choose one gender or the other, because kids could be mean. He could either jettison his pink Crocs and cut his hair or socially transition and come to school as a girl.
She told me, “Are we going to assume that every boy who doesn’t fit into the gender boxes is trans? Many other parents believe that they will be saving their children pain in the future if they sort out their gender confusion now. This impulse is ratified by many transgender adults, who say they wish they could have skipped going through puberty in the wrong sex. At a conference in Philadelphia devoted to transgender health, I attended a panel of parents discussing their gender-nonconforming kids. A man in the audience said that he had a son “who, at two, was very clear in teaching us how he wanted to dress and how he wanted to be in the world.
Now he’s almost three and I’m trying to let this be a wonderful gender-fluid period, but I wonder if I’m holding him back.
Her hair is cut in a ducktail—she recalled dashing into the barbershop in her little Pennsylvania town and asking for a crewcut, and being offered a compromise.
Some of her fondest memories of her nineteen-fifties childhood were of racing around town on her bike in only jeans, a cowboy belt, and high-tops—“A shirt would have ruined everything,” Tuerk said.
She called this period her “glory days,” and sometimes wonders why some of the girls she’s met through her work today don’t have more fun “liking to be boys,” as she did. As a heterosexual who became a happily married mother, she acknowledges that her memories may remain lovely for her because she was untroubled by her gender identity. A recent Health and Human Services Department memo cited research suggesting that in adolescents the brain is still evolving “in its ability to organize, regulate impulses, and weigh risks and rewards.” Because brain circuitry is still falling into place, it can be difficult for adolescents “to think critically before making choices,” and they’re more driven by impulse.
In the legal realm, this research has provided a scientific anchor for the idea that juvenile criminals should be treated with leniency; in the domestic realm, it has contributed to parental hovering and an acceptance of delayed adulthood. Trans politics, however, is moving in the opposite direction, toward allowing adolescents to make profound, unalterable decisions earlier.
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, in its latest guidelines, still recommends that Americans wait until eighteen for genital surgery, but says that chest surgery may be done earlier.
There is some scientific grounding for this position: researchers have found that, if a young child’s gender dysphoria persists past the onset of puberty, as Skylar’s did, he or she is likely to retain those feelings into adulthood.
Charles Garramone, a plastic surgeon in the Fort Lauderdale area, will not perform sex-reassignment operations on minors, because, he says, “patients need to have a mature outlook in terms of being able to really understand the irreversibility of this surgery.” In addition, Garramone thinks that the skeletal structure underlying the chest of a sixteen-year-old may change enough over time so that a second surgery will be required. Kathy Rumer, a plastic surgeon outside of Philadelphia who has a large transgender practice, also declines to perform reassignment surgery on minors.



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