My 18-year-old son is getting ready for college and in his Twitter header he describes himself as a ‘trans gay foxgirl with she/they pronouns’.
This is a young man with Asperger’s syndrome and a profoundly gifted IQ.
This is a child accepted into a mechanical engineering major, into the honors program.
He has beautiful long hair, and wears boy’s cargo shorts and Star Wars or Dune t-shirts.
He is a heterosexual male, attracted to females, but says he is ‘very gay’ because he thinks he is an anime foxgirl.
He has never had a girlfriend, has trouble connecting deeply with others, though he has a group of equally intelligent, spectrum-ish guy friends who support him in this delusion, and call him by his preferred name and pronouns. His younger sister does the same.
We’ve watchfully waited for three years and not much has changed except for what started out as a desire for she/her pronouns and a very feminine name has toned down (or up?) to she/they and a gender-neutral preferred name which he will use at college.
In this time, we’ve seen kids in his high school start puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, attend voice lessons, and some are very close to getting surgery. A recent male graduate of this high school has had what is euphemistically referred to as top and bottom surgery.
The only thing crazier than this is that there seems to be a fair number of highly intelligent autistic boys and young men who have decided that not only are they ‘transgender’ but that they are, in fact, anime girls. Characters, cartoonish ultra-feminine bunnies or foxes à la Jessica Rabbit. I hear about them in the parent groups I’ve joined to try to understand this transgender phenomenon that is taking over many teens lives. I thought that my kid must be the only one who is this delusional—a fox, but a human girl, who likes other girls, right? But there are others, and I can’t help but wonder how many.
I lied—the one thing crazier than that is that if I tell a therapist that my son thinks he’s a trans, gay foxgirl, they’ll likely tell me to make an appointment at the gender clinic. And they will call him by his preferred name!
What will college be like for a ‘trans gay fox girl? I hope it will provide a needed dose of reality, especially since he’ll be on a male floor of the dormitory, but college campuses don’t really qualify as real world. The watchful waiting continues.