The teenage years are strenuous enough as it is, but envision going through those turbulent years feeling as if you were a boy trapped inside a girl’s body.
So is the case with Steph Diaz, an 18-year-old who considers herself a “he” as opposed to a “she.” Diaz lives the life of a typical American teenager – juggling school, friends and the emotional complexities of growing up – with, of course, a unique twist.
“I feel as if I was born into the wrong gender, as if I should have been born into the male body,” Diaz said. “I’m just a normal kid, just a little gender-confused.”
Diaz, who physically is still a woman, says those feelings began at a very young age. She never truly felt like a little girl, she said, preferring to play with toy blocks rather than dolls. After realizing that she was attracted to women, she decided to change genders.
She also had a long history of trouble in school after being ridiculed repeatedly by her classmates.
According to Dr. Jeff Gardere, a clinical psychologist and the author of several male/female relationship books, people nowadays know more and more about transgenders because people like Steph are talking openly about it.
“It is something that is uncommon but something we see much more of now that people believe that they can talk about it. It’s a very tough, very confusing and very difficult childhood.”
Steph says she is not taking any male hormones at the moment and has made no plans for gender reassignment surgery.
“I think one day I will be truly, truly happy,” Diaz said. “I’m pretty happy now. Life could be different, but I’m just a teenager.”