The Atlantic

My Parents Still Struggle to Know Me After I Transitioned Late

The relationship between parent and child will break down if some possibilities of who a child may grow up to be remain unspeakable.
Source: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of responses to Jesse Singal’s Atlantic article “When Children Say They’re Trans.”

When I was growing up, transgender women were no more than punchlines, and transgender men nearly unheard of. I was a happy enough androgynous little kid, but when I hit puberty everything changed. I became depressed, self-harmed, had poor hygiene, and wore careless, sloppy, baggy clothes. Neither my folks nor I were aware of gender dysphoria, or the ways that it can manifest, and I don’t blame anyone for not having it on their radar at the time. But as I struggled with depression, with weight and eating issues, and with difficult relationships, the

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