If I were a trans kid today: Here’s what potentially saved my life
Cynthia Oestreich is a trans kid who’s spent the last decade bouncing from foster home to foster home, from foster parent to foster parent. While this life has been harrowing, Oestreich says, she’s always been lucky. She’s got some pretty great friends, she’s got love and support from her family, and she’s made herself.
This kid, however, is fighting for her own life. When Oestreich first started questioning her gender identity as a high school sophomore, in 2008, she found herself in crisis on the internet.
Then, the next year, when she hit puberty, her life got more complicated.
“I was going through all of those stages at the same time, where you feel like, ‘Oh, I’m not a girl anymore. I’m not a woman anymore,’” she remembers. “I was also not a girl anymore, so it felt like I was in conflict within myself.”
A few months later, Oestreich came to the conclusion, through some internet research, that her parents, who are both psychologists, were wrong to think she was still a boy.
“I was the only trans kid in my area, it was the only trans kid in my school,” Oestreich says. “So I kind of got the feeling that this was not going to be a problem.”
A month later, Oestreich’s senior year began, and she started to make fun of what she was. She started to think of herself as a woman. She stopped sleeping with girls. She started to date guys.
In her senior year, Oestreich had three very different, very different stories to tell her best friends, and to her mom and dad.
This would be the last year in high school that her mom, who had started college two months before this, was home. The week after Oestreich told her mom, she called to tell her about her gender identity.
At first, Oestreich says, her mom was “really supportive,” as she didn’t