How to be a girl


Real People, Real Stories

Marlo Mack and her young transgender daughter share their story in a short cartoon. Learn more on Marlo’s blog,  or check out her “How to Be a Girl” podcast.

Well, I suppose it’s time I started blogging about all of this.

Where to begin?

Just over five years ago, I had my first (and only) child. A boy! Cool! Boys love their moms, right? He’d be a hip, feminist guy like his dad, who loved Legos and martial arts and sci-fi but could cook, too. And I’d also be able to avoid all those icky Disney Princesses.

My son was barely three years old when he informed me that I’d got it wrong. Silly me: I’d been fooled, as so many of us are, by the whole penis/vagina thing. My child set me straight:

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    It can be difficult with everyone in the family – each person trying to comprehend in their own way.

    I was out to my family as a trans child during the 1950s and 1960s. I, myself, had no comprehension other than knowing that I am a girl same as my sister two years older. We were bathed together, I saw our anatomical situation and expected my body would change to be same as hers.

    My ‘feminine protesting’ – ‘I’m a girl!’ – certainly caught my parents and other adults off guard once the cuteness as a child wore off as I made my teen years.

    I perceived the difficulty I was putting my family through, I took advantage of trying to enjoy the boy’s life that they gave to me, yet eager to present as my true female self.

    No matter how well they present, our parents will, as part of being the parent, want to plan the best future for their children. We children are the ones who do what we can to achieve their approval. Somehow, our conflict finds a way for us to meet each other.

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