Letters From An Alien: Postponement

Posted: April 30, 2011 in Identity, Letters From An Alien

(There is a new drug available-that ‘blocks’ the onset of puberty, that is beeng piloted to use for trans ‘children’ to make transition more practicable and less traumatic)

You: Like all this kind of new technology it will produce new sexualities – and identities. Plenty of kids, trans or otherwise, would be drawn to the idea of forever postponing puberty. It’s like the ultimate form of edging

Me: I hated puberty but I don’t think I’d have tried to postpone it. i just postponed sex which probably wasn’t a terrible idea. Though I did it in quite a S/M way by tormenting my poor boyfriend at the time. I get annoyed with all those ‘sex-positive’ people saying ‘virginity’ should not be a thing, because sex is all number of things and it is sexist to assume a girl in particular has to ‘lose’ her virginity etc. But as a good puritan I got off on all that! If I hadn’t had my purity to lose, I might never have bothered at all.

Me: Sometimes talking to you is how I imagine it’d be talking to Foucault. But Foucault was so much more precious about how his own sexuality informed his ideas. You, whether it is intentional or not, imbue all your words with – what is the phrase- a visceral sense of your own response to them. Or to the idea that led to them. I find it very compelling. And I found Foucault compelling in the first place. I am an alien, who has the good fortune to receive these notes, as brief as they may be, that throb and pulsate with the blood and desire of a real human being. (The desire, as ‘desir’ is, obviously is not aimed at me or anyone in particular, but there it is, waiting…)

Of course, I rarely think what it must be like for you, interacting with me. Tiring? Er…  I just don’t know. On one or two occasions someone has remarked on my intelligence. As if it is something they wish I didn’t possess. Or if I must have it, could I just not leave it in its box sometimes. Instead of constantly bringing it out and haranguing others with it?

  1. dennis mccann says:

    hmmmmmmmm methinks i dated all your older sisters, they tormented me too whilst all around were fucking like bunnies……………..lol…….i suppose

  2. Tim says:

    Erm, doesn’t puberty start when you are like 12 years old or so ?

    Does a 12 years old person already know that he or she is trans ?

    Also, why would someone not want to go through puberty and thus, grow finally up ? I remember my last years of puberty as pretty much waiting for nothing else than finally being a grown-up.

    • yes Tim. Puberty can start even younger – 10 in some cases. I wonder if kids really know what they want/are at that stage. But apparently the effects are not ‘permanent’ so they can come off the drugs at anytime. Still it is a little confusing.

      I think trans young people hate puberty even more than I did because it represents their bodies becoming the ‘wrong’ body. So they don’t want that to happen. But as some of us may feel, any adult body is kind of the ‘wrong’ body. Nothing is perfect once you have accepted your fate.

  3. splinteredsunrise says:

    It must be a tough time for kids suffering from gender dysmorphic disorders. But I’m not sure about whether a 12-year-old can give informed consent to a life-changing procedure. In my experience, 12-year-olds have a hard enough time making responsible decisions about what to have for dinner.

    Whatever sexologists thought this up should be asked if they’d like to take powerful drugs to shrink their genitalia, purely in the interests of science.

    • it’s tricky isn’t it SplinterS?

      I do think the drugs do not leave ‘permanent’ effects. Unless you choose to progress with the transition.

      But even giving kids the choice is possibly contributing to their confusion I really don’t know.

      But trans identities, like ‘gay’ identities, are becoming associated with ‘children’ now. And gay rights activists are encouraging this.

      Look at Hari and his ‘gay children’…

      • P.s. I can’t decide what to have for dinner. any suggestions?

        • Cathryn says:

          Tim & Elly

          Yes, I can tell you that a 12 year old can be fully aware that they are trans, since i did when i was 10 or 11. The treatment you are on about is nothing to do with activists or politics! It is about the fact the fact that puberty brings with it secondary sex characteristics like deepening of the voice, masculinisation of bone structure, facial hair etc. If we can reversibly delay these until the child is deemed old enough to give consent to hormonal & surgical treatment, isnt this common sense?

          • HI Cathryn
            Thanks for coming along here and commenting.

            I know what the drugs do. I just thought that it was an interesting development that does involve ‘politics’ as when it comes to children and consenting to any form of treatment for anything, politics are always involved to a degree. Look at all the politics around ‘choice’ and reproductive rights and young people for example.

            I can see the value of the treatment. And I know people are aware of their trans identity from a young age. But I am still unsure about the ‘delaying of puberty’ because it is not merely physical it is also emotional. Hormones affect our emotions too. And I don’t know what ‘postponing’ puberty means, to a young person, at an emotional/psychological level.

          • Schala says:

            “And I don’t know what ‘postponing’ puberty means, to a young person, at an emotional/psychological level.”

            It means less major depression. Less attempted suicide. Less suicide.

            It also would have meant less poison in my blood (testosterone feels like poison to me and my body).

            Btw, my puberty started at 15-16. And technically never ended.

  4. I also suspect that some trans kids go through puberty and then do not choose to transition, and some may even identify themselves then as the sex/gender identity that corresponds with the sex/gender relating to their secondary sexual characteristics and sex as ascribed at birth.

    I think what I am trying to say is there is a difference between knowing you are trans and knowing that you want to transition. And puberty probably affects that.

    • Schala says:

      Knowing you are trans and knowing you want to transition NOW, as opposed to transition later (you know, decades later), or kill yourself in between the two out of sheer desperation.

      If you’re a transsexual person, not transitioning is not an option, even if it’s not “going all the way”, you can’t ignore it, or think it’s going away…unless you want to wake up at 45 and lose all your life’s things to a family that doesn’t want to understand you.

      • I understand Schala. The drugs won’t be miracles though. I think that if they are treated as a ‘solution’ to people’s suffering its a bad idea

        • Schala says:

          The problem I have with blocker is mainly how expensive they are.

          I take cyproterone acetate, an anti-androgen, and that’s 100$ for a month’s supply. But a gonadotropin agonist is well, about 10x pricier.

          I’m not certain why they (the endos) choose to go with those drugs, and if there is a way to block estrogen efficiently, at all.

          It’s not a solution to suffering. Though it’s something that’s very likely to prevent more suffering.

          If I had known trans existed in my teens, and that I could have pills to keep my high voice, and never have facial hair. I’d have lined up right there and then.

          Now I’m stuck with my fuzz (not much, but I still need to shave now and then) and my contr-alto voice. I can’t afford electrolysis.

  5. Cathryn says:

    Kids in that situation are already outside the “norm” psychologically & emotionally. Obviously, its a contentious issue and treatment like that needs to be closely monitored but I believe that the potential benefits outweigh the negative. What about the psychological and emotional effect of forcing a child to let those changes happen to them, knowing they were preventable, only to have to try and undo them surgically when they are old enough to consent as adults?

    • This is where it gets confusing for me as I don’t really believe there is a ‘norm’ especially for pubescent/pre-pubescent kids/young people.

      As you say it is ‘contentious’ and so that is why I brought it up! I don’t think we should just assume this is great. Also I very much doubt it will be quickly available to all trans kids, so some of them will still continue to be going through puberty.

      It is a tricky one. I will try and find out more about where they are at with the drug trials etc.

  6. Cathryn says:

    I can only go on my own experience and the anecdotal experience of others. Yes, the phenomenon of ‘trans kids’ is fairly recent and obviously there is no way of telling how many will continue to feel that way in adulthood just in the same way that most transpeople report that they have felt that way since childhood but there is no way of telling how many children of their generation felt the same way that they did but did not feel that way in adulthood

    • Yes it is a difficult subject to research. Thanks Cathryn, some food for thought there!

      Do you know the blog about Pink Boy? It is about a Mom bringing up a gender-non-conforming boy. But he is only about 7/8 I think. I have no clue if he will come to identify as trans or not, if he will ‘grow out of it’ or if he will continue to be just, gender queer. But he may be pissed off if he finds out his mom has been blogging about him!

      • Cathryn says:

        Can’t say I was a ‘Pink Boy’ although I vehmently resisted having short hair! Ok as a kid in the 70’s, not so ok as a teen in the 80’s! I guess it was the only way I could outwardly express that I was different. Ironically, my hair is now shorter than it ever was when I was male

      • Schala says:

        Gender non-conforming, being gay, or bisexual, or transgender, or transsexual are mainly…non-standard. They’re marginalized by the majority – but otherwise not exactly tied together.

        You can be a feminine boy…and not even transgender, let alone transsexual. And you can be a masculine boy, and be a transsexual woman. A butch lesbian trans woman even.

        As a kid I wasn’t feminine. My body language was. Not my interests. I lacked much masculine interests, but I wasn’t exactly wearing skirts, pink and doing figure skating either.

        I was wearing whatever crap my parents bought as clothes for me. Having my hair at whatever length they cut it (and not caring because I was beyond caring). And just trying to survive and be fed the crap school taught. Having fun, or friends, was optional. Being beaten up was mandatory.

        Being beaten because I thought differently (aspie thinks outside the box, no groupthink or common sense), looked differently (feminine body language), and was good academically (without trying). For sure, if I’d been seen as female from the start, maybe I’d avoided beatings. At least from boys.

        I would never have been “screened” as a potential trans kid, until I said something to the effect of being trans. And yet, I’m one of those “early transitioners” who transitioned out of a “do or die” imperative.

        Not to wear glitter, pink, or have long hair – but because I *am* female**, and denying it any further was killing me.

        **More complicated than that, but meh.

        So Pink Boy? Nothing trans, or not trans, about him. He can just like pink, or certain aesthetics, the way I do (I’m a big fan of lolita fashion, and always have been admirative of the style – party dress like looks), he can be ‘naturally feminine’, whatever that means, genderqueer, gay, or not.

        Doesn’t seem indicative of anything, save the willingness to go against the desire to please by conforming – a trailblazer potentially.

        Ignoring rules who seem senseless (if they are, and gender stereotypes certainly are), is the mark of a great mind – who can overcome desirability bias. What people think Obama fails to do now, by pandering too much to Republicans to the detriment of left ideals.

        • Schala says:

          Btw, being a trailblazer doesn’t mean being a leader, though it might work out this way. Since you might inspire others who could follow by imitation.

          • you dont know about pink boy’s gender identity beyond what his Mum writes about him.

            Don’t make judgements on other people you wouldn’t want made on yourself.

          • Schala says:

            Nobody knows, including hir mum. Mine certainly was clueless.

            Zucker claims he can “prevent trans kids”, but all he does is discourage gender non-conforming.

            All I’m saying is that gender non-conforming is not necessarily a sign of *anything* else.

            And it’s not like hormones, or even just blockers, are on the menu (would be a couple years before then).

  7. I dont know if Mr Divine is reading this but I am not publishing any more comments by you.
    They are too intrusive personally. also I think you made up those dodgy sock puppets of the NS journos.


  8. Mr Divine was banned for the sock puppets. It’s annoying and suggests I don’t care if people are honest. Which I do.

  9. Asif says:

    I like this

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