• If you feel like you’re disassociating, try counting your fingers or looking at your finger whorls. Remember that they are unique to you, that you are real.
• If you are having a panic attack:
1: Ground yourself to reality with something familiar like a keychain or even pictures of something on your phone. [Cats and dogs are good.] Also, do not trust everything your mind/body is telling you right now. Thoughts like, ‘i’m going to die’, ‘everyone is leaving me’, ‘everyone hates me’, are a part of the panic, try not to linger on them, because they will only make it worse.
2: Find a space that feels the safest for you, and stay there.
3: Take slow, deep breaths. After breathing in, hold it for a few seconds before breathing out.
4: Stimulate your mind with something simple, and not stressful. Tap your fingers, re-read nice messages from someone, play a game one your phone that doesn’t require any thought or is timed.
5: You are doing a really good job. You don’t have to feel embarrassed. You are not alone. You are strong.
• Have you spoken today?
• Don’t feel guilty for feeling upset, you’re allowed to.
• Did you brush your teeth?
• If someone’s misgendered you today, and you’re out, correct them if you can.
• You don’t always have to be brave. You can hide today, if that’s what you need.
• Take a deep breath.
• If you’re wearing a binder, raise your arms and take several deep breaths. Cough to clear your lungs.
• Don’t be afraid, you’re not alone.
• If you’ve been sitting a while, stand up and stretch.
“This is who they are. This isn’t a phase that they are going through at the moment,” the lead author of a study to be published in Psychological Science told BuzzFeed News.
Transgender children as young as 5 years old respond to psychological gender-association tests just as consistently as children who do not identify as trans, according to a groundbreaking study released this week by researchers at the University of Washington.
“Our results support the notion that transgender children are not confused, delayed, showing gender-atypical responding, pretending, or oppositional,” says the study being published in Psychological Science. “These results provide evidence that, early in development, transgender youths are nearly indistinguishable from cisgender children of the same gender identity.”
Gender Cognition in Transgender Children, noteworthy as the first report from the Trans Youth Project, the country’s first large-scale longitudinal study of transgender kids, concludes, “The data reported in this paper should serve as further evidence that transgender children do indeed exist and that this identity is a deeply held one.”
The lead author, a professor at UW and director of the Trans Youth Project, Kristina Olson, told BuzzFeed News, “We think this matters, because a lot of the public discussion about transgender kids say these kids are pretending, these kids are being obstinate, or these kids don’t really think they are a girl, for example. These results suggest this isn’t something they are saying … This is who they are. This isn’t a phase that they are going through at the moment.”
The research involved 32 transgender children, ages 5 to 12, who present full-time to the public as their gender identity and have the full support of their parents. The study compared those kids with control groups of siblings and other nontransgender children.
Researchers used several tools, including an Implicit Association Test, or IAT, to measure how quickly the children paired concepts that both reflect and conflict with their gender identity. Among other tests, subjects were exposed to images of princesses and the word “me,” the word “boy,” and the word “they,” then asked to categorize them quickly on a computer. Transgender children’s responses mirrored the cisgender control groups when matched by gender identity, the study found.
IATs have been widely used in psychological research to detect automatic associations, such as gauging a person’s reactions to people of a different race.
“When concepts are linked in your mind, you are faster to respond to them when they are paired together,” Olson explained. Even though “kids don’t understand why they are doing what they are doing on this computer,” and the difference in response times is a “matter of milliseconds,” Olson said the results surprised her.
“I thought there would be a difference between the degree to which a transgender girl associated herself with girls — compared to cisgender girls — simply because, for part of that transgender girl’s life, other people called her a boy,” Olson said.
“The reason I was wrong,” she continued, is that “I had this wrong interpretation that it was a switch. But for them, that is who they are and have been.”
Pointing out that transgender people experience higher rates of homelessness, suicide, and violence, Olson said research “hopefully could change a few minds, not only of parents but of people who could be allies to these kids in the world.”
Olson is attempting to recruit a total of 100 transgender children for the Trans Youth Project, ranging from 3 to 12 years old, as part of the first longitudinal study in the country.
“We are trying to track this first generation to see what their lives look like going forward, partly to help parents make decisions about what to do if they have a transgender child. Until now, the only studies that existed were based on children’s therapy to not identify that way.”
Last year, I told my mom my Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation. I hadn’t been too hesitant about it, because she is the most accepting person I know.
All I said was, ‘Mom, I’m GenderFluid and Pansexual.’
Her reaction gets me to this day.
“I don’t know what the first word means, but I’m guessing the second means you like all the sexes?”(The prefix Pans mean ‘all’.)
Essentially, she was correct, and I went on to explain it to her. And she went, ‘okay’.
So I then explained to her how when I was younger, I hadn’t always felt like a girl. But that I couldn’t say anything because of my father or the church, who all insisted that we are one way and if people thought differently than what God had planned for them, they were going to hell. So I kept my observations and feelings to myself.
I would always cry over my body. I hated it. I wanted to be a boy more than a girl. And then I got older and it began to change. I didn’t mind my body as much, but I also wanted to have a different body at times. I felt like a boy sometimes, and a girl other times. And as I grew older, I would not feel like anything, and sometimes like everything. It was harder to place. I eventually referred to it as, ‘Meh’ because I didn’t know what it was.
And then I came across ‘transgender’ and ‘non-binary’, which lead me to ‘GenderFluid’.
It explained so much. That me flattening my breasts with an ace bandage and several, tight sports bras, and dressing in a man’s three-piece suit wasn’t really a game like some people insisted it was. ‘Cause it never felt like a game. I went outside like that and I loved it when people didn’t think I was a girl. I didn’t want to be a girl when I did that. I was a boy and damn it all I even had a different name! ’Henry’.
And my mom finally understood why I did things like that all the time and why I would prefer men’s clothing to women’s. And why I wasn’t offended when people assumed I was a boy.
She accepted it. ‘Okay.’
And I was relieved!
And then she goes, ‘I’ve never felt like a girl.’
And suddenly my mom is explaining to me how she never felt like a female despite how her body was formed. How she resented her body and wished she had been born male because ‘it would make more sense’. Instead she was ‘stuck like this’. She said she preferred being male to being female.
My mom has experienced Gender Dysphoria for 40+ years and until last year, had never known there was a term for it.
Adding on to that, she then says, “I don’t like sex and I don’t feel the need for it. Is there a term for that?”
So basically, my mom is awesome. And she supports me(thank God!). And she found out some interesting things about herself that day, and I can only hope that as time passes, more parents will react like this and get involved in a positive way.
Instead of shooting down my words, she wanted information. She got involved. A she understands me a lot better now.
Parents would get on with their kids easier, if they just stopped and listened.