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Girl/Boy Interrupted 

A new treatment for transgender kids puts puberty on hold so that they won't develop into their biological sex

Wednesday, Jul 11 2007
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Page 6 of 6

They acknowledge Marty has chosen a difficult path. Already, they are careful about with whom they share the truth. They sat out the Trans March on Pride weekend, partly because of the risk of getting put on the news, and they know life will only get more complicated as Marty gets older and birthday parties and day camps turn into locker rooms and school dances.

But mostly they worry about making a mistake. There's no denying that Marty isn't one for introspection, and he can't much pontificate at length about the future. He still takes a "yuck" approach to anything romantic, and when his mothers have introduced him to transgender adults visiting the support group, they think much of the significance goes over his head. He stops batting his basketball against a wall long enough to reflect on puberty:

A period? "Sick."

Breasts? "Floppy," he says, juggling imaginary ones with his palms, adding "I don't want bras!"

Back to wall ball.

His parents say they would be shocked if he were to turn back now.

"You don't realize how serious this quest is until you follow the kid's lead," Janet says. "I'm convinced he feels like a boy inside."

"I figure if you have a Beethoven," Margaret adds, "you don't take away the piano."

So they will ensure Marty's body doesn't do any deciding for him, leaving the road open with Lupron until Marty can better navigate to points female, trans-male, or somewhere in between. It's a decision, essentially, not to decide. But of course that's still a decision.

So the Lupron has been ordered, and the family is waiting for the loaded syringe to arrive in the mail. Once it does, they'll climb into the car and drive to Children's Hospital Oakland, where Marty will steel himself and take the first shot.

For additional information:

A Washington, D.C. based parent group for gender variant youth.
www.dcchildrens.com

Gender Spectrum Education and Training provides comprehensive training for schools and organizations working with children and teens--including education about gender identity and gender expression for teachers, administrators, parents, and students. Guidance to help organizations develop inclusive policy.
www.genderspectrum.org

The NCLR youth project provides direct, free legal information to youth and their legal advocates; directly litigates cases for youth in schools and other settings; and advocates for school and mental health policies for LGBT youth of all gender identities. Site includes safe school guidelines and sample policies.
nclrights.org

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) is a leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression.
www.glad.org

The Family Acceptance Project, based at San Francisco State University, conducts research about the effects of acceptance or rejection of LGBT youth by their family.
familyproject.sfsu.edu

Transfamily
www.transfamily.org

Children As They Are
www.childrenastheyare.org

Trans Youth Resources and Advocacy
www.genderadvocates.org

Transtopia
www.youthresource.com

Trans Proud
www.transproud.com

About The Author

Lauren Smiley

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