Soren writes in the Dallas Morning News.
I thought I was a trans kid.
From as early as age 11, I played with the idea of living as the opposite sex. Chronic social media usage, early exposure to pornography, insistent bullying, rapid-onset puberty and a history of abuse and neglect (among other things) made girlhood painful and traumatic.
In an attempt to escape, I sought out friends online. Many of these friends adopted fanciful identities, ranging from nonhuman to anime characters to trans. Those identities felt like extensions of our love for art and roleplay. “Boy” was nothing more than a pin I wore.
Our society expects so much from girls and women. A friend shared this beautiful metaphor with me recently, that if a man and a woman went off into nature for a month, the man would come back more manly, and the woman would come back more manly, too. When I asked her why, she put it simply: “Man is considered the default state. Womanhood is about performance.” Every “first” I experienced as a “trans boy” represented rebellion against this performance.
As a society we must do everything we can to show that “man” is not the “default state.” Pay special attention to her mention of pornography as a catalyst for taking the medicalized pathway to ‘freedom.’