Sometimes, I wonder what would have happened if I had told my parents that I was transsexual when I realized it. I guess if I had said I was really a girl at the age of seven or eight, they would have told me no, that's wrong, and I would have accepted it, not knowing any better. I knew a lot at that age, but it was mostly from reading the encyclopedia. There was no entry for transsexual in the 1972 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia!
What about when I actually knew what was "wrong" with me? It was probably around 8th grade that I spent a lot of time at the University library in between music lessons reading the books in the sexuality section. I can't begin to describe the surprise and elation in finding out there were other people like me... and the depressing realization that we were "deviants" according to more than one text. Still, there were vague descriptions of gender changing hormones and surgeries that fired my imagination. So, what if I told my parents then, at age 12, that I was a transsexual and that I wanted hormones and a vagina, and I wanted to live as a girl? Strangely enough, I don't think it would have affected my high school life all that much if I had come out. I was already something of an outsider, with very little social life outside of school, and my in-school life was almost completely based on my academic abilities, music, and the fact that I was just a generally polite and innocuous person. I'd occasionally get called names because of my race, but they were never really threatening. Maybe I'm looking back with rose-colored glasses, but I don't think most of that would be different if I were going to school as a girl. Oh, back to my parents...
Have I mentioned that my parents are semi-traditional asian immigrants? Considering their derisive reaction when I suggested that perhaps I might want to go into music as a career instead of becoming a doctor (actually ended up doing neither, haha), I don't think a declaration of transsexuality would have been taken seriously. As a good "#1 son" I certainly wasn't going to press it, and I would have just repressed it as I mostly did anyway. The only difference is that they would have probably kept a closer eye on me and I wouldn't have had those few home-alone opportunities to dress in my mother's old clothes in the attic.
So basically, it's a waste of time to consider "what if" I had tried to come out sooner. I wouldn't have. That's the way I grew up - I wasn't the strike-out-on-my-own kind of kid. I did what my parents told me. I do still wish I could have transitioned young, before so much male-ness kicked in, so maybe I would have had more easily passable features. But I know that is just fantasy - given the circumstances and the times, it just wouldn't have happened for me. I guess the only possible plus side to telling them when I was a kid is that they'll be less surprised when I finally do tell them. But that's a whole other problem for another day's blog post.