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by  |  31-Mar-2014 03:03

Because this change is happening so fast, and amid a flurry of mostly positive media attention, it can be hard to recognize what a radical social experiment it is.Transgenderism has replaced homosexuality as the newest civil-rights frontier, and trans activists have become vocal and organized.“That makes it much easier for ideas to spread,” he said.

At sixteen, he started getting testosterone injections every other week; just before he turned seventeen, he had a double mastectomy.

The essay question for the University of Chicago, where Skylar submitted an early-action application, invited students to describe their “archnemesis (either real or imagined).” Skylar’s answer: “Pre-formed ideas of what it meant to have two X chromosomes.” No matter what people thought they saw when they looked at him, Skylar wrote, he knew that he “was nothing along the lines of a girl.” Skylar is an F. M., or “female-to-male,” transgender person, a category that has been growing in visibility in recent years.

Middle-class parents today tend to actively help their children get settled on a path in life, and often subscribe to the notion that “early intervention” is best for all kinds of conditions.

Many therapists have begun to speak of even very young children as transgender (a category that few clinicians of past generations would have applied to them).

Skylar’s family was not the type to disapprove of an insufficiently feminine daughter. They divorced when Skylar was nine, and though the breakup was painful, Melissa and Chip remain aligned as parents, sharing a cheerful confidence about Skylar and his older sister, Dakota, now a sophomore at Pomona College. Later, the school counsellor asked Skylar to stop by for a chat.

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