By Elliott DeLine Jan. 11, 2018
I have never been quite like most people. I was aware of my difference from a very early age. It was as though I viewed the world in an entirely different way from the people around me.
Things that they took seriously seemed inconsequential to me. Things that I took seriously seemed inconsequential to them. I felt perpetually misunderstood. Adults were always telling me I was “gifted” because I knew so much about animals, was a very fast learner, and could write and draw very well for my age. And yet, at the same time, it seemed as though I couldn’t do anything right. I was always tripping over my own feet. I had trouble staying seated in school — literally. My body would slide out of the chair, and I would find myself on the floor. I couldn’t stop daydreaming and looking out the window, no matter how hard I tried.
“Little” things were big deals to me: my apple juice had to be just the right temperature, or I couldn’t drink it. My blanket had to be cool to the touch for me to use it — but not too cool, either. I couldn’t wear certain colors, such as yellow socks, because they were “itchy.” I described many scenarios in everyday life as “uncomfortable.” Shoes were uncomfortable. Going anywhere without a stuffed animal was uncomfortable. My parents were mostly amused by what they seemed to see as finickiness and bossiness. I would state my needs very clearly and not understand that they sounded bizarre to other people….
….I also had a strong sense of justice and became overwhelmed with indignation and confusion when other people behaved cruelly. I remember doing so as early as my toddler years. I didn’t understand other people at all. I didn’t relate to girls, boys, or anyone, except animals.
Many trans people describe knowing that they were trans around age three. At around age three, I told my preschool teacher that I wanted to be a seal when I grew up….