A Visit To My Childhood Self

Hey, there, remember me?

You came back! I thought I would never see you again!
Look at you, sweetie, it feels so good be back!

Why were you gone so long?
Well, You were growing up! You played in bands, went to college, started a career, got married, and had children.

Was I ever a pro skater?
No, but you still skate!

Aw! I wanted to be a pro skater.
I know. Hey listen, I came back because there’s something I need to tell you.

What is it?
It’s about our secret.

We’re not supposed to talk about that.
I know we agreed to never tell anyone, but when you grow up you share your secret with the world.

WHAT? People don’t kill me?
No! It’s scary at first but you stay very much alive!

Does that mean I wear my girl clothes OVER the boy clothes now?
You don’t wear boy clothes at all now.

I actually wear my girl clothes ON THE OUTSIDE?
Yes baby. You don’t hide them under boy clothes anymore.

So I’m a real girl now?
You are a real girl.

With real boobies, not pretend?
With real breasts, not pretend.

How did they grow? Praying doesn’t work, and there’s no such thing as magic!
You found doctors who gave you medicine to help you feel better about your body parts that make you feel sad and angry.

So the medicine made me a real, actual girl?
You always have been a real, actual girl, a very special kind, known as a transgender girl.

What’s a transgender girl?
A girl who has what looks like a boy’s body, but is really a girl’s body!

So does the medicine make the body parts I hate go away?
Baby, those parts are still there, they only go away if you tell doctors to make them look more like the parts most other girls have.

But I want to have parts like real girls.
You are a real girl. You always have been. People said the wrong things to you, they didn’t know so much about transgender people back then.

Well I don’t feel like a real girl. I feel like an ugly pretend girl.
That’s called dysphoria, sweetie. You have a lot of it.

Yes. Dysphoria causes the sadness and anger you feel about your body and how it works.

But transgender girl sounds like…kind of a girl, but not really a girl.
No sweetie, you are a kind of girl, really a girl. A very special kind of girl that’s not born very often.

Am I as pretty as the other girls are?
You are pretty in a way most other girls wish they could be.

Why can’t I be pretty like most other girls?
Because you are a transgender girl. And transgender people are transgender pretty.

Transgender pretty?
Yes. You are a beautiful transgender child.

Can doctors give me girl parts that make babies inside me?
No sweetie, you will never be able to make babies inside you.

But it’s 2015! There should be warp speed spaceships and alien contact by now, what do you mean I can’t make a baby inside me?
Maybe someday, far in the future, transgender girls will be able to have babies. Your body though, does not make babies. This is something you will have to learn to accept.

But WHY CAN’T I be like other girls!? I DON’T WANT to be a transgender girl. What’s pretty if I’m not real?!
That feeling is dysphoria. It never goes away. I promise you though, one April morning in 2015, you will look in the mirror and see a beautiful transgender girl looking back at you. From that moment on you will feel the glow of happiness that comes from finally knowing you are a real girl.

You promise that happens?
Double Pinky Promise.

So..after I feel transgender pretty, do people still make fun of me?
People will always say mean things, but you won’t care, you have nice friends who are very kind to you.

What are my friends like?
They are all talented and unique people, like you. They understand who you are and accept you. You love them very much and they love you too.

You aren’t going to make me have a boyfriend, now that everyone knows I’m a girl, right?
No, you thought you liked boys for little bit, but you REALLY like girls.

That’s good. Don’t ever forget how mean the boys were to me.
I’ll never forget, love. But I have to say the boys now aren’t so bad! There’s quite a few nice ones. You should give them more of a chance.

I’ll think about it…Do I still have to be called my other name? I hate that name.
No, your name is Annika now, like you always wanted.

Yes. You told everyone your secret name.

I am so brave!
Yes, love, you are very brave girl.

So what am I gonna do now that I’m a real, pretty transgender girl on the outside?
Well, you will work to make the world a nicer place for transgender children, like you once were, so they can grow up feeling happy, safe and loved. You will show the world that trans people are real people too. That transgender girls can be musicians, skaters and artists, just like you are. That transgender girls don’t have to be like all the other girls to be happy. But the most important thing of all is to work to make the world a place where transgender people don’t have to be afraid anymore.

That sounds nice.
I think so too.

Can I go with you to do that? I’m scared staying here alone and you were gone a long time.
Yes, you will be coming along on this journey, but we’ll need to stay close to each other. It’s a big world out there and it’s easy to get lost.

Okay. I promise to stay close to you.
As do I, love, as do I.