A reader writes: “I am a 24-year-old transgender girl. I started transition about a year and a half ago, with one month in between where I had major doubts and confusion about my life.
“I have asked myself, am I doing the right thing? Am I really transgender? Maybe I am just fooling myself. Should I simply live a life male and cross dress? But the one question that sent me down a spiraling hole of regret was, and is, ‘Am I betraying my mother and father by transitioning?’
“I will likely – probably never – produce a baby, a grandchild, for them. During that frightful time of transition, I was reviewing this over and over, going through a bout of depression and into dark places. I felt like a fraud, that somehow I had an innate obligation to father a child for my parents or whichever wife I would have married.
“To a degree I still feel this way, and I don’t know if this will ever go away. I don’t know if I will ever accept not becoming the paradigm of a son. So maybe I’m looking for your viewpoint on this by writing such a question for you, because all I really have is my own perspective.”
My mother always used to say that the only thing children owe their parents is to outlive them. I’m not sure that this is true, but I do believe that children do not owe their parents grandchildren.
In Western culture, and probably others as well, there is a specific “life timeline” that society has established, and it appears that, over many decades, it has not wavered. We are supposed to grow up, get some type of schooling or training, get a job, get married, have children, raise those children, retire, then die, hopefully leaving some money and a few halfway decent possessions to our children.
This has been so ingrained into our very being by everything that we see around us that we assume this is the natural way of things and that anything else is unnatural and even deviant. Things are changing, but they haven’t changed enough to rid us of this particular expectation, and of the guilt that goes along with not falling into step.
This blueprint for life benefits society. It keeps us focused on our own personal timeline, it keeps us productive at work, it keeps a lot of people employed (many at relatively low wages), and it keeps us from rabble rousing by coming up with other possibilities for ourselves. Continue Reading »