Imagine living in a body that you don't feel you belong in.
The world sees you as a "she" but inside you know that's not who you are.
You can dress more masculine and disguise your body to reflect that of a male but still people refer to you as a girl.
You've gone through your growing up years dealing with the so-called "normal" issues that others face. Learning where you fit in and accepting yourself in an often-cruel environment called the public school system is something that many kids struggle with. Even in the new reality of social media guiding our lives, ignorance still exists.
People are always going to have their ideas of right and wrong and whether it is based in religious beliefs or cultural beliefs, bigotry is alive.
As you go through this life struggling to be who you really are, you are faced with ignorant comments of "well-meaning" educators who disrespect how you feel. Your request to be called by a name that identifies you as a male is met with comments of "but you are really a girl" or "but you don't have a penis, do you?" and other inappropriate remarks.
Even though your family supports you, you still have to school every day where often you are misunderstood.
Yes students are supposed to be protected against discrimination, bullying and other actions that threaten their self-esteem. Unfortunately even trained school counselors are unaware of how to "deal" with transgender youths.
Teachers are just people and many are unable to keep quiet about their own beliefs and prejudices. It reminds me of the Christian "camps" designed to turn gay kids straight. They are so un-accepting about something they just don't understand that they instead damage the self-esteem of gay teenagers who would be fine if they were just accepted for who they are.
My teenager will soon be done with school and will be out in the world. I fear for him because of the ignorance of too many.
I want him to be who he is. I want him not to be faced with hate. I want him to feel good about who he is.
I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me as his parent. I will always stand up for him.
He or she, M is MY child always.