So I wrote a letter to my parents about starting hormones. They don't want me too, because they're scared it will disrupt my puberty (which is the point -_- ) and that I should wait until I'm older to make that decision. They're going to be in control of my health insurance until I'm 26, because of my insurance policy. I'm facing horrible dysphoria though, and I'm running out of options. I decided to post this letter here first, to see what y'all think. It's incredibly long, and I don't blame anyone for not reading it. But if anyone has the time or patience to read part of it, I'd appreciate any advice. Thank you in advance, and sorry my letter is so ridiculously long. A lot of it is me venting some steam, but it's all geared towards persuading them to let me start antiandrogens. Dear Mother and Father, Today, before I stepped into the shower, I made the mistake of looking into the mirror. I noticed just how much wider my shoulders have gotten in the past year. In proportion to the rest of my body, they are much wider than any female's shoulders. They extend much farther than my hips, which have practically stopped growing in the horizontal direction, and have become broad and clunky. I was both blessed and cursed to have not experienced many moments of gender dysphoria when I was little. Blessed because I don't know if I would have been able to handle this pain as a small child, as I can barely handle it as a young adult. Cursed, because although I had my moments of discomfort in my young, androgynous body, they weren't enough for me to conclude that something was wrong; it was just enough for me to come to the conclusion that I was naturally awkward. Maybe if I knew at a younger age, you would have believed me, even though my “emotional maturity” would have been even less. At this point, I have asked four people who have substantial knowledge of psychology what that phrase means, and the answers I have received have been inconsistent. To be frank, I don't think knowing who I am on the inside is dependent on such an arbitrary concept. I've been asked who I was by the educational system for years, and then being told who I was by this very system. Emotional maturity doesn't have enough of an impact to cause something like dysphoria to maintain itself, and increase, throughout my life. My discomfort wasn't too high before middle school, just enough to make me a little awkward. But in middle school my discomfort began to increase significantly. The first instance of this was changing in the boys locker room for gym. I couldn't do it. I had to go all the way to the other side of the locker room as everyone else, pretend I was in my bedroom, and quickly changed in less than 5 seconds. I changed that quickly, just to get out of that room. I remember the happiest day I ever had in middle school. It was gym class, and I changed as quickly as I usually did. I waited outside on the gym floor, in my assigned spot, for the class to begin, but it never did. I was confused, but then I heard Mr. Denha talking to the kids in the boy's locker room. Ms. Gavoor went up to me and told me that he was investigating because the boys in the locker room were heard singing inappropriate songs. So he was questioning every boy in both gym classes in order to find out who started it and who was singing. However, they noticed how quickly I changed and left the locker room, and they sent me to play volleyball with the girls. I was so joyed, at the time I thought it was because I wasn't in trouble, but I was suspiciously overjoyed for something like that. In hindsight, I realize it was because this was the first time in my life, although it wasn't intended by the teacher for the action to be perceived that way, that I was ever severed from the boys, and assigned to be with the other girls. I was so happy. I had feelings that this was where I belonged, but I didn't know why. I was disappointed when the investigations concluded that day, because I knew it would be back to normal the next day. But ever since my puberty began in 7th grade, my feelings expanded, from mostly feeling happiness during moments of severance from the masculine gender, to much greater dysphoria. The first time my voice cracked, during school, I started crying. As these sorts of things continued, it became undeniable what my feelings and my brain were saying, I didn't want to be a man. However, at the time, I assumed this was just me not wanting to grow up, and be an adult. I perceived my discomfort towards my body as natural and something that happened to everyone, mainly due to the very same sex-ed videos that told me about puberty. These changes that were prophesied scared me, I denied it would happen. But at the same time, I was told it would, and that it was natural. So I assumed my discomfort was normal, like any other male's. That was quickly disproved. When my legs started to grow hair I felt uncomfortable about it. Once it got long, I never wore shorts again. I became ashamed of my legs, while all the guys continued to wear shorts regardless of the hair on their legs. They didn't stop speaking in school because of their cracking voice. They all seemed eager to grow facial hair and to have beards, while I dreaded it. As they got taller, so did I, and suddenly it seemed my body was three sizes too large and I struggle with what to do with my body. I started wearing jeans and a hoody everyday and I stopped doing gym, an activity I loved, due to its necessitating of a uniform that would expose this body I became increasingly ashamed of. When my adams apple started to protrude outwards, I used my hood to cover it. It would often fall onto my shoulder, and I would have to move it back up to my neck. My jawline became stronger, and my forehead wider and larger, and I didn't want people to see my face. I learned how to walk while staring at the ground. I didn't talk in school as often. These quirks started to add up, and I wasn't a popular kid at Ealy anymore, friend of the most popular kids in our grade, the “right-hand man” of the most popular kid in school, and the kid known throughout the playground as “the kid who could do a backflip off the swing”. I went back to the awkward first grade me, who didn't know where they belonged and had tons of weird things about themselves. So I got picked on for being weird. I already felt outcasted, so I appeared to be an easy target. But their tormenting was not as insufferable as the torment I felt from the changes occuring to me. And it's only gotten worse since then. Let's quickly go back to Leelah Alcorn. We talked about her a few weeks ago, but I didn't get across what I wanted to. I didn't have the note with me, or the ability to articulate by tongue the points I was trying to make. When we talked about her, I told you that the media is focusing on the wrong issue. Although she was incredibly mistreated by her parents in many ways, despite what most people and the media believes, religious conversion camps did not kill Leelah. Gender dyshporia killed her. I told you there was a part of her note that explained it. You can skim over every other part of this long letter I have typed, but please, read every single word in this part of her note: “I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.” I've had the same feelings about my situation ever since you told me I wouldn't be able to transition until I was a sophomore in college. I would be 20 at that point. At that time I could be finished with puberty, and no amount of hormones or surgery would be able to correct my body. Every day it becomes more masculine. Some things, like my thick body hair, growing testicles, and lack of breast growth are fixable. Hormones can help all these things and stop masculinity in these areas. But some things, like my shoulder, are things that are irreparable. Every day I got without transitioning, the worse my body gets. The worse I get. Why do you think my behavior has changed so much? It's because I'm reaching two brink points, that point in which I know there is no hope for me, and that I won't have a successful transition, and the other brink point where my body becomes too much for me to handle, and I'd rather be dead than live in it. I don't know which one will come first, and if it were up to me, I would wish I never had these points. I would wish I didn't feel dysphoria. But denying it's existence, or it's lethality, will not make it go away. The other night I cried myself to sleep, because you pointed out how masculine I have become physically, and reminded me that it's a good thing I don't look like [my best friend] because I'm not what a woman should look like. I've always been envious of her, and how pretty she is. And I've been jealous of [my sister] too. They're both beautiful and adored by people, they both look amazing all the time and have beautiful voices. They're everything I wish I was.. And I still have a chance to be like them. Here's a portion of an article written for the Huffington Post: “What if you found out your child had a birth defect -- one that caused permanent suffering and could quite possibly lead to death before the age of 20? What if doctors told you there was a way to reverse that defect and give your child a shot at living a full and happy life? Would you be open to it? My parents were, and I'm here today at age 45 -- happy, healthy and with a successful advertising career under my belt. Leelah Alcorn's parents were not, and she is dead at age 17.” As human beings, you have the right to an opinion, even if it's about who I am. You also have the legal right to deny me treatment being my parents. But as both human beings and my parents, you cannot deny that I am suffering. And it's getting worse every day. I remember the day I came out to you too. I did it because I was frustrated, because you told me, “don't tell me I don't know you.” And you didn't. I don't know if you know what's going on even today. You keep on criticizing me for attempting to push forward, not seeing your side of things, and not seeing how hard this is on you. Let me answer those three things in order. First of all, I'm not pushing forward to test boundaries or break rules. This isn't me wanting to rebel against you. I'm not charging, although it may seem that way from where you're standing, I'm running. I'm running away from the big stormy cloud of dysphoria that you either deny or disregard. This isn't personal, and although I get frustrated at you two, I don't want you to think I see you as enemies. You're not the enemy, dysphoria is. It's been causing me so much suffering that there have been points that I've wanted to die. We should be fighting it together. Of course I see your side of things. Of course I've listened to you. And of coursed I've tried not feeling this way. It's what I did in middle school It just kept getting worse. If I was just a boy reacting to puberty, I would have gotten used to growing and changing and the concept of being a man. I didn't, instead it just got worse. And of course I listen to your concerns. Your concerns about the repercussions of coming out, your worries, the risks of hormone therapy. You make fun of me for overthinking everything. But in the end, whatever risks you tell me about, I weigh it against my current predicament, and I determine that my dysphoria is worse, and that transitioning is the best option. I never just ignore you. You're my parents. I constantly ask for your advice about things. I value your input, and your concern here is just proof that you're just trying to keep my best interests in mind. And then there's the issue of how difficult this is for you. Of course I understand how difficult this is for you. You're being put in such a difficult position. You have a child that's constantly depressed and moody who is suffering, and you don't have many options to help that child. And you have to deal with that child telling you that the person you knew for most of their life isn't really them. I can't imagine what that must be like. Especially because you really wanted a son. And I failed to meet that expectation/hope. This may come out brashly, but I think I sympathize with what you two are going through more than you sympathize with me. When I first came out to you, you didn't handle it well. I mean, in hindsight, it would be nearly impossible for you to have handled it well. But I didn't see it from your end of things. I got mad. And I started pushing for you to accept me. After you started outing me to other people and we had an argument over that, I realized how hard this was for you. And so I stop pushing for a year. I didn't correct pronouns more than once a month, asked you to call me Sam, or your blessing to transition or be out, which I wanted so badly. The worse it got was when my dysphoira got bad in February and I got in a fight with you over HRT. And that happened once. After that I lied to you and told you I accepted my body for what it was. That's the biggest misconception about that time period, I think. I didn't stop pushing for things because I was satisfied. I stopped because I loved you, and I sympathized with you. I was in pain the entire time. I lied to myself, and denied it, but I still got depressed. I just used all my will to zip it up and throw it away. I stopped talking to people about my depression, and it boiled up until the end of last summer, when I couldn't take it anymore. I gave you the space you wanted, bur it was one of the most miserable times of my life. I wanted to die, but I kept going because I loved you, and I didn't want to cause you pain. I also kept going because of hope. You told me you needed space and time before you would accept me. So I patiently waited for the hope that one day you would see me as your daughter. I brought up “gender stuff” in August after California because I knew that if things continued the way they did, I would have died. The other day, you told me that HRT wasn't an option. I don't understand why. I have been suffering. I've been so depressed I've wanted to die. Don't tell me that the normal reaction to going through puberty is to be so disgusted with your body that you want to carve into it with a knife out of hatred. Don't tell me that's what puberty was like for you. Don't tell me that the same parents that were so quick to put me on SSRI's with dangerous side effects, without even taken the time to go through the proper blood screening beforehand to make sure that the medication won't do more harm than good, are hesitant to let me go through treatment that could stop me from feeling such hatred towards my body that I want to die. I understand why you put me on that medication, you were scared, and you wanted to help me. But I don't understand why you take the opposite side of controlling my hormones now to help me feel better, when you were all for those SSRI's. Speaking of the SSRI's, if you really believe that they weren't the things that made me so depressed last year that I wanted to die, then what else could it have been but my dysphoria? And how am I not listening to you when I agreed to take that medication. I could have faked taking it. I decided I wanted to get better. So I took encapsulated hell for 4 months, while dealing with the hell that was my body, and I almost died. And my depression is getting to be close to what it was back then. My dysphoria is only going to get worse. We need to take a leap of faith. I can practically guarantee you that at this point if I die from any complications, both physical and psychological, from taking antiandrogens, it would be a lot later in my life than when I would die if things go on as they are right now. You keep urging me to think about college, but before I found the strength and hope to live last October, I didn't even think I was going to make it that far. I don't know who told you my plans to come out (99.99% certain it was Rachel though), but the reason I was planing to come out in December was because at that time I didn't see myself making it to my birthday under these conditions. And I found the strength to go on, but I don't know if I'll have enough fuel to make it to the next airport before I fall out of the sky. I haven't told you about this pessimistic view about my life expectancy because I was scared you would make the wrong decision. But I don't have much of a choice now. This leap of faith is all I have. I see five options you could choose at this point: 1. You choose to allow things to go on the way they are now. You don't change how you interact with me, what you call me, or your stance on HRT 2. You make an attempt to treat more more like your daughter. You do your best to call me Sam, and allow me to correct you from time to time if you make a mistake. 3. You choose to take me to a mental hospital. You see if there they can make me feel less depressed. 4. You put me on anti-depressants, and hope they have the power to keep my dysphoria at bay 5. You listen to me, and allow me to go on hormone therapy. It isn't unnatural for a transgal my age to go on HRT. Mr. Jennings told me the story of a girl he had a few years ago who came out her senior year, and went on HRT. He had a picture of her. She looked beautiful. I could look beautiful too. I could be happy with who I am. The right door is already open, you just have to make the choice to walk through it. And you have to make that choice before it closes. Your my parents. I love you too so much. And I need you. I can't do this on my own. This is a hard road to travel, I know. But if we hold hands a walk through it together, I know it will be less daunting.