What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• Jesse Singal shares the story of a depressed girl who wanted to transition to male, only to realize later that she was a girl after all.
• How can adults support children who think that they are transgender? Can further research offer greater insights into this phenomena?
• Learn how one organization is working to make primary care trans-friendly.
Claire is a 14-year-old girl with short auburn hair and a broad smile. She lives outside Philadelphia with her mother and father, both professional scientists. Until recently, she wasn’t certain she was a girl.
Sixth grade had been difficult for her. She’d struggled to make friends and experienced both anxiety and depression.
Around this time, Claire started watching YouTube videos made by transgender young people. She was particularly fascinated by MilesChronicles, the channel of Miles McKenna, a charismatic 22-year-old. His 1 million subscribers have followed along as he came out as a trans boy, went on testosterone, got a double mastectomy, and transformed into a happy, healthy young man.
They gave a name to Claire’s discomfort. She began to wonder whether she was transgender, meaning her internal gender identity didn’t match the sex she had been assigned at birth.
She looked into ways to make her voice sound deeper and into binders to hide her breasts. But one day in August 2016, Mike asked her why she’d seemed so sad lately. She explained to him that she thought she was a boy.
This began what Heather recalls as a complicated time in her and her husband’s relationship with their daughter. They told Claire that they loved and supported her; they thanked her for telling them what she was feeling. But they stopped short of encouraging her to transition.
Eventually, though, something shifted. In a journal entry Claire wrote last November, she traced her realization that she wasn’t a boy to one key moment.
Claire believes that her feeling that she was a boy stemmed from rigid views of gender roles that she had internalized. She hadn’t seen herself in the other girls in her middle-school class, who were breaking into cliques and growing more gossipy. As she got a bit older, she found girls who shared her interests, and started to feel at home in her body.
Read the full article about children who want to transition by Jesse Singal at The Atlantic.