A 9-year-old boy stands in front of the mirror looking at his outfit for the day. His mom comes behind him smiling and comments on what a handsome young man he is becoming. He looks at his mom with sad eyes and replies “I should have been a girl.” Taken aback, his mom smiles and says “Don’t be silly, go play with your trucks.”
This is the reality people living with gender dysphoria face; feeling they are in the wrong body, and their internal feelings don’t match their outward appearance.
“We’re not crossdressers, drag queens, or transvestites,” said retired U.S. Air Force Major Laura Perry, 45th Medical Operations Squadron master social worker. “There’s nothing wrong with those people. That’s just not us. In my case, I was a female stuck in a male’s body and that’s important to understand. I’m not just deciding that I like girl’s clothes or that I like to wear makeup. The choice that [transgender people] make is whether to transition or not. We don’t choose to feel like we’re trapped in the wrong body.”