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“We Don’t Always Share Our Stories”

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I’ve known Kim since I was in 6th grade and she was in 2nd. Her brother and I were best friends for about three years in elementary and middle school, and hoo boy that’s a different set of stories from a different time. Anyway, she shared the following on Facebook and asked for others to share it, so I asked her if I could share here.

If you know me at all, you know that I have always been my Dad’s favorite son. You’ve heard Pat [mom] talk about the fact that as a toddler, I used to talk about my balls all the time. You’d know that as a middle school kid, I would tell girls at the skating rink, my name was Chad while we couples skated… You’d also know that I’m a TOTAL Chad! LOL!

My entire life, people thought I was a boy… and for all intents and purposes, until society told me otherwise, I was. I spent every weekend having sleepovers with my best friend Owen. We’d explore in the woods, shoot hoops and spend all night playing Nintendo… which apparently constitutes boy. 🤷🏼‍♂️

In the 4th grade, my family moved. My new teacher just assumed I was a boy… although no one ever asked me. When we went to swimming class (yes, that was a thing in the 80’s) I went into the girls locker room to change. Man, did that cause a scene. Not only was I humiliated by teachers and classmates, but I got to experience an adult “checking” my gender… because I couldn’t be believed.

Take a minute to think about how EXACTLY you “check” the gender of a 9 year old. . . .

I became a United States Marine. I became a Senior Executive. I’ve worked for the Pentagon and dated some of the most beautiful women in the world.

I’ve also explored my gender… transitioning at this point in my life, would not offer me anything that I don’t already have. I’m a woman with amazing hair, who wears bow ties, has a great job and dates straight women. What more could I ask for?

However, had I known that I could have transitioned as an adolescent, my life would have had an entirely different trajectory. I would have been able to play football. I would have excelled at baseball. I undoubtedly would have become the man I was meant to be… instead of the woman I was forced to be.

My greatest hope in sharing this story, is that others will realize there are people they love and respect, who have questioned their gender and who have decided to remain their birth gender even though it doesn’t match how they feel internally. We don’t always share our stories.

If this is my story of NOT transitioning… imagine what it takes to decide you ARE transitioning.

Feel free to share.

I have two eighth graders in the Fayette County Public School system, and I can safely say that the thinking on gender politics within the student body is not at all as it was in ~1988 Oregon City. The conversations are much different, and the hostility to SB 150 is wide and deep. Much has changed and I can appreciate how a lot of folks find it scary, but the way that things have been done represents an outright regime of violent enforcement of gender norms. It seems to me that offering the opportunity for self-creation can only be a good thing, notwithstanding how disruptive it might feel to certain communities.

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