My name is Lily Elizabeth. I have always known who I really am, even if those around me only knew a false version. I had lived the first 18 years of my life stuck in the role of someone of a different gender. However, I am not myself transgender.
I suffer from an unknowingly rare condition called lateral chimerism. To put it plainly, in my mother’s womb, the developing embryos of a pair of fraternal twins merged into one. The genetic material from one of these twins divided normally to form the upper portion of body (approximately my lungs and up from there). The other twin divided to for my lower half including intestines and reproductive organs. These fraternal twins created a significant complication in my case; One was a baby girl and the other a baby boy.
Upon delivery, I was far from healthy. My lungs did not work effectively, I couldn’t keep food down, and my reflexes were weak. Surviving the first few weeks was a battle against slim odds. After much, much testing I was diagnosed with lateral chimerism; this became one of the few cases known in the world and the only one with such a distinctive effect.
This diagnosis placed a difficult decision at the feet of my parents. What gender would they raise me as. I would grow up with the reproductive organs and abilities of a normal girl, but the physical features like face, chest, arms, and torso of a normal boy. With little thought, I forced into the life of a boy.
I was treated by all as a member of the male sex. I was forced into wearing masculine clothing. I was forbidden from playing with dolls or dresses. On several occasions when I would play dress up with the girls at daycare I would be punished by the staff and physically punished by my parents. I always felt a little different from the other boys.
By 5th grade, the doctors had begun to expect me to start developing mildly feminine features as a natural estrogen boost would have occurred with the onset of a pseudo-puberty. This couldn’t be allowed for my parents and their precious son. Under the instruction that it was important medicine, I was given pills to prevent any mild female traits from developing and only masculine ones to set in.
In 7th grade following some lengthy discussions with my boy friends, I came to realize that I was in-fact different physically and mentally from all of them. I couldn’t figure out how they got anything got in the zipper of jeans. I couldn’t understand what the extra space in the boxers I had to wear was for. I couldn’t understand the shape everyone was drawing on all the books and desks around school. I wasn’t a boy. I didn’t feel like one.
I told my parents immediately. I wanted to know why I was missing what the other boys had. I told them I wanted to be with the girls. I asked to join cheer and winter guard. I asked to join dance with my best friend. I snuck away to sleep overs at friends houses just to parade around in their moms dresses and skirts everyone slept. I was Lily.
This was unacceptable to my parents. All notion of this was squashed as it had been in pre-K. As I rediscovered myself they tried to turn me away from it again. Send me down the fake path of being stuck in the wrong life. It crushed me. Depression hit hard. Suicidal thoughts, self harm, all of it. And for fear of retaliation, I had to keep this all in to myself. Middle school is relentless and no one could find out what I really had going on down there.
I had lived that way for nearly 6 years. I would have frequent outings where I would dress up under the disguise of a halloween costume or a game of truth or dare. I never went a day without at least trying on one of the many feminine things I had stashed away in my room. One of the things that made me happy. Made me forget about the world and just live my truth.
With frequent raids of my room, constant invasion of my privacy and autonomy, and a complete lack of love and respect for the real me, my parents made life a living hell. New clothes thrown out monthly when they would find a hiding spot. Groundings for not keeping my hair short or for wearing anything pink or purple. Keeping me from high-school dances because they feared I would go in a dress (which to be fair I was going to do).
At last, I have moved away to college. For nearly two years I have lived my real life. My best friends are girls who know me as Lily. We talk about boys and periods and how powerful we are as a collective. I am no longer being held down by my past and am going to claim my future. I need the help of those close to me as well as strangers who are generous and loving. This fund will help me to get back on the medication I need to really develop into the beautiful woman I can see inside of myself.
Much love to all ,
TL;DR- Parents are awful. I want to look cute. College is expensive and I need help with setting up a fund to support my hormones through the rest of college.