April 29, 2015
Siddharth Piravi (9) was assigned female at birth.
In February of his eighth grade year, Sid accepted that he was transgender. Transgender is an umbrella term for people who feel that the gender they associate with is different from the one that they have been assigned at birth. This feeling is independent from any medical or hormonal transition.
Growing up, he shopped in the boy’s section, cut his hair short, and it was accepted that Sid was just a tomboy. As children, we do not see gender and we do not become a victim to gender roles but as we grow up, we begin to pay attention to social norms and acceptable behaviors based upon our biological gender.
In middle school, it was not okay for Sid to be the tomboy he always had been as gender roles began to define his being. Up until age 11, gender roles didn’t matter to Sid but once society told him that they did, he was forced to wear dresses, grow out his hair, and begin to wear makeup in an attempt to fit in with the stereotype of a girl that he had never been able to identify with.
In December of his eighth grade year, Sid came out to his family and close friends as a lesbian. Belonging to a conservative group of friends at the time, Sid lost a lot of people who mattered to him. The reaction of his friends sparked a basic lack of trust in Sid, causing him to distance himself and to alter the way in which he maintains relationships.
Even after his initial coming out, Sid still felt uneasy with his identity. Throughout his eighth grade year, Sid became increasingly social and began to make more experiences for himself; however, as a girl, Sid grew depressed as he was never able to enjoy the experiences that he was having.
In the two years that Sid made an attempt to conform to society and be a girl, he tried lead a happy life but it was nearly impossible as he was at a constant war with himself. This experiment was necessary for Sid to realize that he was not a girl.
Throughout this period of his life, Sid was reminded of his childhood days in which society had accepted him as a tomboy and how it had been so easy for him to identify with the boys. It was clear that Sid did not associate with being female, but he did not know how he could act upon these emotions. At this time, Sid didn’t even know that it was possible to be transgender.
As Sid would discover in the next couple months, his depression was triggered as a result of dysphoria, a condition of feeling as one’s gender identity is not consistent with their biological sex.
In order to understand the complexities of gender and discover what action he could take in securing his gender identity, Sid began to participate in a great deal of research. Throughout his investigation, he realized that he had never been a girl and once he came to his conclusion, he could not ignore the discomfort he felt with his assigned sex.
Sid, along with 2-5% of the population was born with strong, persistent feelings of identifications with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex.
Gender is whatever you want it to be. It is whatever you self-identify as and it is unique for each individual. Everyone was assigned a sex at birth (male or female) based upon biological elements; however, whatever is outside of that assignment, whether it be consistent or inconsistent with one’s assigned sex is their gender. Society has created a large difference between men and women, forcing strict gender roles; however, gender has the ability to be flexible. Gender is nothing more than a social construct.
“Sex is your anatomy and gender is whatever lies between your ears” said Piravi.
Sid admits that he is a feminine boy as he cares a lot about his appearance and can be extremely flamboyant at times but this is just the way he is and it has no reflection on his manliness––it doesn’t make him any less of a boy.
In order to come to terms with his gender confusion, he was forced to mature quickly. The majority of the transgender community has their realization and accepts it much later in their lives, but Sid knew that in order to be happy in the best years of his life, he must begin his transformation sooner rather than later.
Throughout the following months, Sid came out to his family and close friends. When Sid was born, his parents wrapped their “daughter” in a pink blanket so it is difficult for them to accept Sid as their son; however, they have nothing against his transformation. Although his family are liberal and supporters of the LGBT+ community, they do not completely understand the complexities of gender. Being homosexual is more common than being transgender, and while more people are supporting same sex marriage, there is still a lot to be learned about the complexities of gender.
The summer coming into his freshman year, Sid went to India with his family and was not able to tell any of his extended relatives that he was transgender because of India’s strictly conservative culture. As the rape capital of the world, Indian fathers are expected to protect their daughters at a young age so when born a girl in Indian culture, there is no question that that is your identity. Sid has still not come out to his family in India.
Sid returned from India that summer and began his freshman year of high school as a boy. Throughout his first month of high school, Sid learned that some of his simplest daily routines pre-transformation, such as using restrooms and taking attendance, were some of the hardest things to do as a as a transgender student.
The first day of school was uncomfortable for Sid as his teachers called roll for “Maya” and he had to correct his teachers in front of the whole class. A lot of people were curious and confronted Sid about why he had a girls’ name. He couldn’t avoid the question. He was also posed with a dilemma when he had to use the restroom. Because he does not possess the appropriate anatomy in order to use the boys’ restroom but his gender identity makes it uncomfortable for him to use the girls’ restroom, he is forced to use the restroom in the health office as there are no gender neutral bathrooms on campus.
Not only do transgender people have to fight a battle with their friends, family, and authority, but there is also a constant battle within their own minds and bodies such as dysphoria and depression that affects every aspect of their lives.
In order to combat his dysphoria, Sid makes conscious efforts in order to shield his femininity such as making his voice deeper, wearing multiple sports bras of a size too small for him to flatten his chest, as well as walking and dressing differently. When Sid shops, he is constantly aware of what he is able to wear in order to pass as a boy. The majority of his efforts are dedicated to his own happiness; however, it is also necessary that Sid makes these changes for others in an attempt to be perceived as the gender he identifies with.
Sid has not began any medicinal or hormonal transition as he is still a minor. While his parents support Sid in all his endeavors, they are cautious in terms of his physical transformation as they want to make sure that he knows what he wants.
In the future, Sid wants to start taking blockers which will prevent female hormones from developing further and testosterone, the male hormone, in order to begin his female-to-male (FTM) physical transformation so that his biological sex will become more consistent with his perceived gender and his external and internal being are able to comfortably coexist. He wants to have top surgery and wishes to be an advocate for the transgender community.
“I want to have the body I deserve” said Piravi.
Sid wants to be treated as you would treat any other male because he is a normal boy––he just got started on the wrong track.