Do not try to force boys to be masculine. You will only break them.

Ben Key:

September 18, 2018


When I was a child, every attempt to beat masculinity into me was made. I was never given a chance to even suspect that there was an alternative.

I was constantly told the following.

  • Men do not cry.
  • Men do not show emotions.
  • Men accept whatever comes stoically, without complaint.
  • Men do not show when they are in pain.

I was an adult before I began to realize that I did not fit in with other men. I was an adult before I realized that I preferred dresses over jeans and a tee-shirt.

I was embarrassed. I did not understand why I preferred to wear a dress. I was confused. There was no one I could go to.

I was married before I even heard the term “transgendered.” I still would have married a woman, but I would have chosen a woman who likes other women, not a woman who likes men.

When I finally accepted that I am transgendered, it ruined my marriage. The first thing my wife said to me was “I did not marry a woman.” She then accused me of marrying her under false pretenses.

The thing is, she is wrong. I was in denial. I was ashamed. I had not accepted who and what I am. I had never even heard the word “transgendered.”

I blame those who tried to pound masculinity into me with a belt or, when that did not prove to be effective, a piece of two by four for ruining my marriage and my life.

I thought of this when I read the article Many Ways to Be a Girl, but One Way to Be a Boy: The New Gender Rules on

Please. Do not destroy the life of your child. Do not crush their soul. I am begging you.



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