The only thing missing from my life was my family and friend’s blessing for the gender I clandestinely knew myself to be.
The male puberty was something I was hostage to and definitely as a person struggling with gender dysphoria, it’s not something I would’ve personally chosen to endure.
From a young age I knew the dreaded male puberty was something I’d endure without medical intervention, due to the societal standards of the day and afterwards I worried I’d be a pariah due to the fact I’d physically masculinised too much. Hence my waiting until I was 30-years-of-age, as by then I was far too old or grizzled to care about what anyone else thought.
Unfortunately there’s still that “bridge too far” attitude Peter Fitzsimons wrote so eloquently about on this subject matter.
The fact I went back to tertiary study as a mature-age student and attained my Bachelor of Journalism degree was a highlight and it’s something I’m extremely proud of.
Even though in 2017 I’d decided to study to improve my writing skills and not necessarily to fulfil a full-time journalism career, some of my lecturers told me I’d been fine, as long as I told no one about my Trans status and then I was told to stop pitching stories about Transgender topics and stories, which was my passion, so I pigeon-holed myself back into writing about sport, because apparently it was easy and not controversial.
Imagine telling someone in 2022 who has a disability or belongs to a minority race they can’t let people know about their status or talk about it, could you imagine the outcry?
Even today living our lives as our authentic selves is still being debated in the media, but could you imagine the outcry if Ku Klux members or nazis were invited to racist debates?
It wouldn’t happen and rightly so and it shouldn’t happen to us Trans folk neither.
Those who talk against us as if they know us, well, their whole campaign is simply based on assumptions and fear.
All because the way the bible’s been interpreted a millennia or two ago and because the Church still views us as living sinful lives. How is one living a sinful life if the life being lived is inherent and intrinsic to that person?
Those of us who’ve evolved now know gender is far more varied than we’d originally thought.
We also know Trans kids do matter, the same as everybody else and they should be allowed to be who they are from a young age without a skerrick of fear nor trepidation.
I can hear the naysayers baying for my blood, heaven forbid if a kid should change their mind, but I have you covered, as the medical professionals treating these kids have far more knowledge on this subject matter than you or even I have (as I transitioned in my adult years and not as a child), but from my understanding the puberty blockers can be reversed and gender affirmation surgery will not take place until at least after that child has legally become an adult after their 18th birthday.
With this comes the possibilities of living a full life without any recriminations, where your (gender])difference from others is recognised as so insignificant it doesn’t really matter.
A world where your personality is all that matters and the fact you’re a binary Transgender or non-binary person is as inconsequential as anyone else’s storied lives.
Due to fair minded people such as the Liberal politicians who crossed the floor in the Senate when Morrison proposed his Religious Discrimination Bill, it never saw the light of day and Morrison was soon after voted out of power, partly due to people seeing him as a divisive character and the harm he could further cause to people who didn’t fit his mould if he was to hold onto power.
Transgender traits are intrinsic and inherent to us and we can’t help who we are anymore than someone who’s born with blue eyes or being (the once maligned) left-handed and it would be nice if these people would start listening rather than talking over us as though they know our lives better than we do.
Some private boys schools including Cranbrook School and Newington College are now looking at becoming co-ed and some have already gone that way.
More co-ed schools will follow suit over the ensuing years and if a child wishes to transition than they can effortlessly do so at one of these co-ed schools. Of course education is key and once the stigma is taken away, those students will be embraced just like any other.
it makes me happy that people like myself and my good friend in former dual Australian modern pentathlon/duathlon representative Kirsti Miller, ie those who endured the wrong puberty before the right one was offered to us, well, there will be less and less like us in the ensuing years and kids will just be able to be and live as their authentic true selves from a young age.
Miller even had to legally divorce the mother of her three daughters during the late 1990s in order to legally change her gender on her birth certificate. Fortunately this draconian law was rescinded in New South Wales in 2018 but it came too late for Miller’s marriage to be saved.
Of course there will be the holdouts in conservatives who will use the excuse of family values being eroded, but in reality it will only strengthen family ties, as all people will be valued in society and not just those who are seen to be fitting into the narrow mantra of the party line.
I know my own family members, including my parents have realised I may look different to my pre-transitioned days, but they’ve embraced me, as they know I’m still the same person with all the same personality and character traits I possessed from all those years ago.
They’re also happy as they see a happier version of myself these days.
Even though I’ve lived a life as a Trans Woman athlete first-hand including undertaking a doctor’s non-invasive physical and a Max Vo2 test [in accordance with the 2003 IOC guidelines] and I know the second puberty we undertook vastly negates (over a period of time) the advantages of the male puberty we had the first time around.
Despite the above evidence as post-transitioned Trans athlete it’s often so hard to be heard above the noise of the naysayers and I’m hoping my experience of having to correct the wrong puberty is experienced by less and less by current Trans kids.
If they don’t have to correct the wrong puberty in adulthood than the “advantage” argument will simply dissipate and disappear over time.
For non-binary athletes like Quinn, who became our first Olympic football medalist in 2021 they’ll keep playing in their birth gender and be happy to live on the gender spectrum and presenting how they see fit on any given day without negative consequences.
In this future world, which is still a way off, but is closer now than even before due to people’s positive actions over the past weeks and months, well, people will simply be allowed to live authentically without fear of recriminations and consequences and that is a world which is definitely worth living in.