The Trans community has fought long and hard to be seen within society-but when is the right time to transition?
The transgender debate. A frequent and extremely current topic of late-there has been much discussion in light of the JK Rowling debacle; and the complex discussions that are emerging at this time.
The Beginnings of Trans As We Understand It
It is a debate that is becoming more prominent within our society. Where once the Trans community were hidden from society, or left to the confines of ‘drag’-it is now evolving within the mainstream. Strictly come Dancing on the BBC have just opened their doors to the first same sex dance partners. The Trans debate is literally opening doors for the discussion of ‘gender’ and what gender actually means.
This is new ground for Britain and most of the world-but it is something that features more regularly in other parts of the globe. I spent the majority of three years in Melbourne, Australia, which is not only a multi-cultural city, but a bohemian hub-openly celebrating the new and individual.
Trans Across the Globe
Trans people are far more prominent in Melbourne than in Great Britain-and where Melbourne is a city of 7 million people; there are whole communities embracing such change. Fitzroy is a suburb of Melbourne which openly encourages individuality and expression. People of all backgrounds, choice, belief and being are welcomed and it makes for a pretty creative area. It is not far likened to Montmartre, Paris (the inspiration for the Moulin Rouge) and the home of bohemians such as Picasso.
In Fitzroy, Melbourne: you will find All Gender toilets and be served by a Trans person at the local supermarket. This really does not sound ‘out there’ but it is for the current times. The Trans movement has only picked up pace in the last few years, and although quietly making an appearance in Bohemian suburbs like Fitzroy-it is needing to fight for a place within archaic Britain. A Britain still steeped within the old and dogmatic ways of doing things.
You could argue that Britain is forward thinking and more accepting of others-and I think this is true (we have one of the most socialist societies in the Western world), but the Trans movement and community-is a whole other vibe, that people need to digest over some time.
A Very Complex Debate
It is a debate that has the most open and curious-some of the most bohemian of us-in question. My main mantra is:
“Each to their own”
We are all different essentially, and we all come with a unique footprint upon this earth-and so who are we to judge others?
But for me, this is not about judgement when it comes to certain areas of the Trans Gender topic. I understand people-born one gender but more notably another, or who affiliate with the opposite gender of their birth to such an extreme-they want to change it. It is more than the ‘husband who enjoys wearing his wife’s clothes’ and the ‘girl who looks like a boy’ because she is a ‘tom boy’. It is about feeling:
‘born in the wrong skin’
This is quite often something that is experienced from a young age. Yet, it does not mean it is certain. Experiencing confused feelings for sexuality and gender are, I believe-intertwined. Youth is a confusing time for everyone, and feelings once felt-can drastically change in an iota of a second. Hormones are the culprits of much of our adolescent experience. It is also a time for experimentation and openness to the world-paving your way to your adult self. And this is no short journey. We do not fully develop our brains until we are age 22.
Age and Maturity Are Not Certain
You could argue-sex should not be legal until age 22, and any higher education to be put on hold until a similar age. How can we make decisions when our brains have not fully developed yet?
But I correct myself…where I was under the knowledge of the brain not developing fully until age 22-it is in fact age 25 the brain matures. And I can relate to this. According to research-the rational part of the brain cannot fully develop until age 25, but by age 25 we are expected to know who we are and what we are doing.
In reality, we cannot know who we are at age 18 or be expected to make life-changing decisions anytime before this, or for some time to come. This has cataclysmic implications for a society who have formed around the notion we are all ready to be parents by age 27.
Trans Cannot Be An Option Before 25
Trans gender people or those who are going through feelings of being in the wrong body, and wanting to change gender-are therefore not in a position to do so before age 25. This has surfaced recently in court, whereby a Trans man, who began taking hormone replacement therapy at age 16, now feels it was the wrong decision-aged in his 20’s now. He was once a female and transitioned into a male. He is taking the authorities who allowed this to happen to court.
Where there will be those who need to change and will not feel differently; I feel there are many who will realise their feelings during puberty are not the way they see things now. And wish to go back. More research is needed into what makes a person want to transition.
So you see, it is not so easy to shout out ‘each to their own’-because most of us do not know what that is until well into our late twenties and beyond. It is not right to allow any person to transgender before they reach of age-and most certainly not in their teens.