Dreaming of Cheers
Standing Up to Life: Book 3
Part 4 of 23
Intro by Carla Ann
Tiffany’s mom stood outside the door to her daughter’s room. ‘should I wake her or not…?’ Tiffany had pushed herself too hard the past few weeks with all of her many commitments to the dance squad, band, and numerous other activities. Just last night she worried that she was going to have to open up the bathroom door to check on her. ‘She was in that shower an awfully long time… I was getting worried.’
It would be important for Tiffany to get some rest this weekend, especially if her appointment this week didn’t pan out the way she and her daughter hoped. She couldn't take that much disappointment in her current condition. True, right now no one could tell that her daughter hadn’t been born as her daughter… but that could become a problem at any time if her body started to continue down the road of her natural puberty. She was on hormone blockers for now, but she worried it might not be enough…
‘One thing for sure, we both need a break from all this worry. Shopping will help us both!’
She made her decision and began to knock on her daughter’s door to wake her up.
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The Legal Stuff: Dreaming of Cheers © 2010 By Tiffany Shar
This is a work of fiction. Names, Characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2010 By Tiffany Shar. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.
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Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy reading Dreaming of Cheers!
SATURDAY MORNING I woke up wanting to scream at the person who had turned the light on so rudely in my room…. Then I realized it was the sun… oops. ‘It must be really late!’ I just lay in bed though, enjoying the fact that last week was over — and that my teachers had all been nice enough not to give us homework this weekend. I could almost stay here in bed all day, maybe even read a book?
Knock, Knock, Knock.
“Tiffany? Are you going to get up today?” My Mom asked through the door.
Groan. “Do I have to?” I asked, annoyed that my reverie had been ended.
“Only if you want to go shopping…”
“Shopping?” I’d forgotten that she said she wanted to go shopping today. “Okay, I’m getting up!” Any thoughts of noodling in bed were instantly erased as I grabbed a pair of jeans, a top, some underwear, and ran into the bathroom. I had showered last night so it didn’t take me too long to get ready. I wanted to do my hair a little nicer… but ended up just throwing it into a pony tail with a scrunchie instead. After throwing a pair of earrings in my ears I quickly returned to my room to put on a pair of tennis shoes. I would have liked to have worn some nicer flats or something… but my Mom shopped at such a fast pace that those would have killed me!
After I’d finished tying them I ran out into the kitchen and said, “Alright, I’m ready!”
“If only she got ready that fast for anything else…” Dad teased me.
“It’s shopping, why wouldn’t I get ready fast?”
“Well, her attitude on shopping has definitely improved over Brandon’s.” Mom said.
I was getting kind of annoyed. They said shopping, not ‘pick on Tiffany day.’ I just glared at them both for a second before saying, “Well are we going?”
“Alright sweetie, let’s go,” Mom said. She and I walked to the car and began driving into town to go shopping. We left Dad at home intentionally. This was just supposed to be a mother/daughter day.
We pulled into one of the mall’s parking lots at about one. “Where to first?” She asked me.
“Umm… How about Mervyn’s?”
“Okay.” She told me as she drove to that part of the parking lot. The two of us then got out and I realized I had forgotten to grab a jacket, and it was cold outside. I was just about to complain about that when Mom opened up the trunk and said, “Here Tiff,” and handed me my cheer jacket. It was done in the same design as the shell of my uniform and had my name embroidered on it as well.
“Thanks for grabbing it… I didn’t even think about it.” I told her.
For some reason I grabbed her hand and walked with her inside holding her hand. I hadn’t done that much since I was little, but it felt good for some reason. As we made our grand entrance into the mall, the shopping began!
We began looking in the juniors section, but we found that I was still running into the problem of being too small for the clothes there. I was so frustrated when we ended up in the girls section when we couldn’t find anything in the other section. I was just way too short, by about eleven inches, for all of the bottoms. And, without any breasts, I didn’t stand a chance of any of the tops looking good on me — plus they were all way too long too.
“Here Tiffany, how about this?” Mom asked while holding up a sweater that was in an identical style as we had just seen over in the juniors section.
It was actually okay, “Okay, that doesn’t look like it’s for a five year old… I’ll try it on.”
We kept looking through the section trying to find anything else that looked like it might be wearable. I mean I could fit into anything that was a size seven… but that meant Mom had some scary things that she held up. At the point when she held up a pink sweatshirt with a big teddy bear sewn on the front of it I hit her. “Be nice!” I told her.
She just laughed at me. Unfortunately the laser bolts coming out of my eyes seemed to deflect off some sort of invisible armor she wore. We ended up leaving Mervyn’s with a couple sweaters and the one pair of pants we found that looked like I could get away with wearing. Throughout the rest of the mall I tried on outfit after outfit, but we didn’t find much. At JC Penney’s Mom forced me to make a decision on a winter coat. I ended up picking one that was purple and pink. It did make me look like I was five, but I did like the jacket at least.
Dillard’s was one of the last anchor stores, and after striking out there I decided that I was starving and we made our way back to the food court. There Mom and I got some chicken tenders and sat down to eat for a few minutes.
“I’m so tired of not growing,” I griped to Mom.
“You’ll start soon enough,” she replied.
“Not soon enough. At this rate I’m going to be in high school wearing clothes meant for a kindergartner.”
“Well… at least no one will ever think you’re old!” she told me.
I had no response for her except my tongue. She wasn’t taking this seriously at all!
“Oh chill out Tiff, we’ve been finding some things that are the same as what you could get in the juniors section. And, depending on what they decide on Wednesday, you won’t stay short for that much longer.”
That brought a small smile to my face, though not a large one. “I hope you’re right.”
“Come on, let’s keep shopping. Why don’t we go by Claire’s and see if there are any earrings you want.” I smiled at that.
In Claire’s we did end up picking up a few new pairs of earrings for me, including some that had cheerleading megaphones on them. I thought they were cute and actually bought a set for Amy too. Her birthday wasn’t going to be for a while, but I might as well start getting her some presents right?
In one store Mom led me over to the purse section. “You know Tiffany we haven’t ever bought you a purse. You don’t have to use it all of the time, but you really should have one for days like this when we’re shopping.”
“Okay,” I said with a smile.
“Which one do you like?” She asked. I picked through them for several minutes before the two of us decided on a small and simple black purse that would be big enough for me to keep a few things in, but not so gigantic that I wouldn’t want to carry it!
Several hours and another mall later we drove home. As we walked in the door my dad looked like he was going to be sick as he saw how many bags we had with us. “I really think that I shouldn’t let you two out of the house to go shopping,” he commented.
“It’s just one of the joys of having a daughter,” Mom said with a smile. Honestly I think she had as much, or more, fun shopping that day as I did. She’d wanted a daughter for so long but had never been able to have one. Now that I had become her daughter she was loving every moment of time we spent like this.
The evening passed quickly and I found myself getting ready for bed. As I looked over my selection of pajamas I couldn’t help but decide to wear the footed pajamas again… they were so comfortable. Mom gave me an amused smile when she saw me go out to the kitchen to get a glass of water. “So all day you fight with me about not buying clothes that make you look like a little kid… and you pick the pajamas that most make you look like you’re four…”
“They’re comfy though!” I told her.
She just shook her head and laughed at me as I walked back down the hall. Mom came right behind me, tucking me in and turning off the light, saying “Goodnight Tiffany.”
SUNDAY AND MONDAY passed by swiftly. I’d spent Sunday practicing some music for an honor band audition that Mrs. Remar wanted me to try out for. The music seemed close to impossible, but I worked as hard as I could on it. She was supposed to help me out with it Friday after school. Monday I had my gymnastics lesson, and during the lesson I managed to my first ever back flip! I came home very excited about it.
Tuesday after practice I went home with Amy to hang out for the evening. The two of us worked on homework for a half-hour or so and then we just sat down and played with Barbies like we’d been able to last year.
“You know Tiffany, I really enjoy cheerleading and the dance squad… But I do miss having our evenings free to play.”
“I do too,” I told her.
“Well, we only have practices till we get done with the competition in January. Then we’ll be able to have the afternoons free again,” she said.
“That is as long as we don’t go out for track.” I told her.
“Well I’m not really interested in doing it, are you?”
“Not really. I’d rather take a break for a couple months before we start dance tryouts again.”
“So you have your appointment with those other doctors tomorrow?”
“You said that if it goes well Dr. Reynolds will go ahead and prescribe hormones for you?”
“Yeah, she said that she would schedule another appointment with the other doctor we’ve been working with next week if they agree.”
“You don’t seem that excited about it Tiff, what’s wrong?”
I sighed. “I’m just scared that these other two doctors are going to tell her that she’s stupid for thinking of doing that already, and that we need to wait even longer.”
“I know you really want this, but would it be that bad to wait a little longer?”
“Yes! I’m so sick of looking like a five year old. And, as long as I’m stuck on the other medicine to just block my hormones I’m going stay like this. Plus, it’s not fair that you and all of the other girls are already starting to grow breasts! I want my own too.”
“Well not all of the girls have them,” she told me. “Nikki is just as flat as you are.”
“Okay bad example — she’s also tired of looking like she’s five. Actually I think she’s a little shorter than you at least.”
“So?” I paused. “I’m just nervous I guess.”
“Tiffany, there is no way in the world that they will think that you’re not really a girl. As soon as they find out about all of the things that you’ve done this year they’re sure to go along with Dr. Reynolds plan.”
“I don’t know, do you really think so?”
“Of course dummy! Just the fact that you’re a co-captain on the school’s dance squad is bound to land tons of points in your favor. Everything’s been going really well for you — there’s no way they’ll say otherwise.”
“I hope you’re right,” I told her.
“I am, you’ll see.”
“Tiffany!” I heard Melanie cry out from downstairs. “Your Mom’s here.”
“Well I guess I need to go,” I told her.
As she walked me downstairs, “Call me whenever you find out anything!”
“I will.” I told her.
At the door I gave her a hug. Melanie and her dad also gave me hugs before I left and said, “Good luck tomorrow Tiffany.”
When I got home my parents let me stay up a little bit later since I didn’t have to go to school the next day. We just had to be at Dr. Reynolds’ office by eleven. That meant that I was able to just kind of pace about the house for the rest of the evening. Mom and I picked out a skirt and blouse that we thought would be pretty for the meeting. I’d gotten it at Bloomingdale’s, in New York, when we’d gone out for the film festival. The thought of that trip made me smile, and I tried to focus on positive thoughts as I hung the outfit in the bathroom and went back to my room and tried reading a book.
Nothing seemed to calm me down for that entire time I waited for bed. Finally out of desperation to calm my mind I went to bed before even being asked to. I held tightly onto Emily, a stuffed tiger I’d also gotten on the trip to New York, and found myself crying. ‘Would they agree with Dr. Reynolds? What if they said that she was completely wrong and I should be Brandon forever instead? Would these doctors just glare at me and tell my parents that I was a freak?’ I knew on some level that this wasn’t likely… but I couldn’t help but be scared.
I must have cried myself to sleep though, because eventually I felt mom gently shaking me awake.
AS I WAS woken up I felt a little disoriented. There was light outside my window and it was a school day. ‘Had I missed school?’ When I remembered what was going on today I shook a little. “Tiffany are you awake yet?” I felt mom sit on the bed next to me.
“I’m getting there,” I told her as I sat up and wiped my eyes. She prodded me up to the bathroom and I asked her, “what time is it?”
“It’s about eight. I let you sleep in a bit, but I figured you would want plenty of time to make yourself look nice.” She put her arm around my shoulder and gave me a hug.
“Will you do my hair for me?” I asked her. I wasn’t sure that I could manage to do it today — I was so nervous.
“Sure sweetie. Get your shower and get dressed then I’ll do it for you.”
I smiled at her and ran in to get ready. I stayed in the shower for a long time washing my hair out. My hair had become one of my proudest achievements in the last year! It had grown to past my shoulders, and because of that it took a while to get the shampoo and conditioner out of it. As I got out of the shower I wrapped it in a small towel and started getting dressed.
I really did love this skirt and blouse set! ‘Of course I should with as much as it cost…’ I thought to myself about it. I dried off the sweat from my face and went to the kitchen where I knew Mom would be waiting. She had already grabbed a blow dryer, a curling iron, and my hair brush and directed me to a chair.
I felt goosebumps as she worked on my hair — I really loved having her do it for me. There was a connection between us when she did it, and I only wished she had been able to work on my hair like this since I’d been little. She seemed determined to make my hair look as pretty as she could — it felt like a long time before she finished. While she was working on my hair she had shoved a plate of toast and bacon into my hands that I ate while she pulled at my hair.
“Finished,” she told me about the time I finished the last of my breakfast.
“Thanks!” I said and gave her a hug.
“If you want you can put on a little makeup today,” she told me. “But not much!” she said as my eyes had widened.
I hugged her again and ran to my room to do my makeup. As I sat down at my dressing table I dug out some nice earrings and the sapphire pendant necklace my parents had given me for my birthday. I just used a real light amount of makeup, I didn’t really need much since my face was still clear… but it made me feel more grown up. I needed everything I could get with my height!
I took some time just to stare at my reflection in the mirror — I couldn’t believe that I’d once looked like a boy. No one in a million years would ever guess I wasn’t a normal girl, and that made me smile. In fact I thought I looked pretty, prettier than most real girls. If only the doctors would help me stay that way today…
I forced myself to stand up and walked back out to the kitchen. “You look very pretty,” my Mom told me as I walked back in.
“Thank you!” I told her as I twirled around letting the skirt flare up a bit.
She gave me a hug and I sat down next to her to watch a morning TV show until it was time to leave. Shortly after ten we went out to the car to go into town for the appointment. I had worn pantyhose with the skirt… but I was still shivering by the time we walked to the car. Fall had begun to really hit our area, and I was beginning to think I was going to have to stop wearing skirts and dresses until it got back to summer!
I stuck my hands inside the pockets of my new coat and shivered while Mom turned the heater on.
“Tiffany, it’s not that cold!” She told me.
“You’re not wearing a skirt…” I mumbled.
She just smiled and shook her head at me as she drove off. Thankfully ten minutes later the car was warm enough I could take my jacket off and stop shivering. With some heavy traffic we pulled up to the hospital where she had her office at a quarter till eleven. I bundled back up and walked to the elevator with Mom at my side. Just as the elevator was about to close I heard, “Hold on!”
Dad had gotten there in time for us to start the meeting! He wasn’t sure if he would be able to get away or not. I was really glad to see him and gave him a hug as he hopped into the elevator with us.
“You look very pretty today Tiffany,” he told me as he gave me a hug and a kiss on top of my head.
“Thanks Daddy!” I told him.
The elevator ride upstairs was brief and we took a seat in the waiting area until Dr. Reynolds called us in. We didn’t wait long though, because almost exactly at eleven Dr. Reynolds came out, “Hi Tiffany, Mr. and Mrs. Jacobson, would you all follow me please?”
We followed her back to her office where we found two gentlemen sitting in chairs opposite the couch that we usually sat in for meetings. “Tiffany, I’d like you to meet Dr. Clark and Dr. Freedman.”
I curtsied a little and said “Hi,” shyly. Dr. Clark was on the right and looked to be in his late fifties. He had a very rough face and I wouldn’t have expected him to have been a doctor of any sort. Maybe a police officer or something, but not a psychiatrist.
Dr. Freedman was the total opposite of that. Between his glasses and demeanor he seemed like he was way too brilliant to be anything but a doctor or a scientist. He looked to be in his late thirties, looking much younger than Dr. Clark. All-in-all he was rather handsome.
“Doctors Clark and Freedman, this is Tiffany Jacobson, her mother Mandy Jacobson, and her father Joe Jacobson.”
There was a round of ‘pleased to meet you’ passed about before we were directed to sit in the couch across from them. Dr. Clark took over at this point, “Dr. Reynolds has been in contact with us for a couple months about Tiffany. Who, by the way looks very pretty today,” I blushed a little before he continued, “She’s told us quite a bit about the case, but we would like to treat this meeting today like we’re starting from a completely clean slate. Dr. Freedman and I would like to interview your parents first Tiffany,” he said speaking directly to me at this point. “While we’re interviewing them we have a survey we would like you to complete — Dr. Reynolds will help us out by helping you fill it out.”
“From there we would like to bring your parents together with Dr. Reynolds present — so I’m afraid you’ll have to spend some time in the waiting room alone then,” he said sympathetically. I think he understood how boring those waits could be.
Dr. Freedman took over then saying, “After that we’d like to take you all out to lunch to talk some more in a more comfortable environment. When we finish up with lunch we’ll come back here and interview you, Tiffany, separately and then together.”
“I think we’ll then give you guys a break while Doctors Freedman and Reynolds and I talk about what we’ve found.” Dr. Clark concluded.
“Okay.” I said.
“Before we begin though we’d like to let you and your parents know a little bit about our backgrounds. Myself, I’ve been dealing with gender issues in patients for about twenty-four years now. My primary focus has been in researching the best methods of treatment and helping gender dysphoric patients integrate themselves best into society.” Dr. Clark told us before giving a nod to Dr. Freedman.
“I’ve spent my entire career so far working in child psychiatry. In my practice I’ve come across several dozen young ladies like yourself, and have similar interests to Dr. Clark in how to help you deal with society.”
“What the two of them are not telling you Tiffany, is that both of them are at the top level of the field. Dr. Clark has worked at John Hopkins for two decades now, and Dr. Freedman is on faculty with the University of Chicago. I was really grateful when they first accepted my correspondence earlier this year, and then agreed to meet with you today.”
“It’s our pleasure to do this, from what Dr. Reynolds has told us you are an important person for us to meet.”
I blushed a bit, “Thanks.”
“Well, shall we get started?” Dr. Freedman asked.
“Yes,” Dr. Clark answered. “Mr. Jacobson, if you would come with me? And Mrs. Jacobson if you please would accompany Dr. Freedman?” My parents both stood up to follow them out.
After they left Dr. Reynolds said, “Okay Tiffany, let’s get you started on this survey of theirs.”
She set me up with some space at her desk and I began filling out the questionnaire. When they told me what I was going to be doing, they didn’t exactly convey how long it would take me to do. It was extremely long! I had just about finished the one-hundred-and-forty-fifth question when my parents returned from their individual meetings with the two doctors. Dr. Reynolds led me outside to the waiting area and gave me a clipboard to finish writing everything on.
By the time I finally finished the two-hundredth question on the questionnaire I felt like banging my head against the wall to make the pain stop. It had asked me anything and everything it seemed. It had questions asking me to rate how I thought about things, short answer questions, and multiple choice like questions… My hand was so sore when I finished it was ridiculous. ‘I don’t think I’ve even ever had a test this long!’ I thought to myself. I turned to look for the next page but found out in surprise I was done.
I sighed in relief and began to finally have time to ponder how my parents’ meetings were going. They had been in the individual meetings for the better part of an hour before going in together with everyone. Dr. Reynolds secretary noticed I was finished with the survey and took that to the meeting they were having.
In the mean time I tried to figure out what to do until they came out. I had already read all of the good magazines next to me… and didn’t really feel like re-reading any. I kind of just sat there for the better part of twenty minutes before boredom overtook me and I began reading this month’s Seventeen magazine again. It was getting really old by now.
I ended up putting that magazine down and trying to just sit quietly not thinking about my fate being determined as I sat in the waiting room. Just when I thought I could take no more, and my stomach was growling, my parents came out with the three doctors.
“Tiffany I have to get back to work now, I’ll see you at home tonight,” Dad said to me as he came in. He gave me a big hug before giving me a kiss on the forehead and heading out the doors.
“Well Tiffany, are you ready to get a bite to eat?” Dr. Freedman asked.
“Sure.” I said nervously.
“Very good then, let’s go,” Dr. Clark said.
Dr. Reynolds led the way downstairs. My Mom and I followed her in our own car as we drove to Chili’s. For some reason they chose that as being a comfortable restaurant to talk at. Once we got there we waited for about ten minutes while they got a booth ready for us.
“So Tiffany, I understand that you are on the dance squad at your school?” Dr. Clark asked.
“Yes sir,” I told him.
“Do you enjoy it?”
“A lot!” I told him with a smile. With that he and Dr. Freedman asked an unending stream of questions about school and my friends. During the questioning the waiter came by our table and took our orders.
As we sat eating some appetizers he asked me, “So what do you do when you aren’t at school or doing the dance squad?”
“I like to hang out with my best friend, Amy, and do all sorts of things. She and I especially like playing Barbies with each other… but we also hang out and do other things too.”
Over the course of lunch neither doctor treated me as I was anything different than I appeared, a normal twelve year old girl. They never once asked me about how I became Tiffany or anything like that — they seemed content to get to know who I was now, not who I was before. By the end of lunch I decided that I liked both of these doctors — and felt like I could trust them not to judge me too harshly.
AFTER LUNCH WE returned to Dr. Reynolds’ office and I was left alone with Dr. Freedman first. “Tiffany, I think I’ve gotten to know most of the things that you’re currently up to from lunch, and how you’re doing with everyone at school. Now I’d like to ask you about how you think everything started out for you.”
“Well it’s kind of a long story, but here goes nothing…” I proceeded to tell him about everything from a couple incidents in my childhood all the way to Liza’s comment last year that really set things off. “When she asked me if I was trying to be a girl things just kind of spiraled out of control in my head.”
“Soon after that I convinced my parents to let me grow my hair out longer, and began hoping that if nothing else maybe I could slowly work my way towards being able to become the girl that I wanted to be. There were several things that happened that helped that out…” I told him about the ski trip I’d gone on with Amy and her family, how she and I had played with Barbie’s for the first time, her figuring out that I wanted to be a girl and letting me dress in her clothes, and everything else up until my first appointment with Dr. Reynolds. We talked for a solid hour before I was switched over to Dr. Clark.
Dr. Clark was a much different person in the way he asked his questions. He was just as warm in his demeanor, but he had the ability to absolutely strike you to the core with a question. “On this trip you were asked to go as Brandon instead of Tiffany — why did you risk so much by dressing as Tiffany at the end of the trip?”
“Every time I went into a bathroom I was getting glared at… I felt like I might be attacked simply for being in there, for being a girl in the boy’s restroom. My dad and Mr. Hancock saw it too.” I pleaded with him to understand on that one. He eventually nodded and gave me a smile. His questions were so much harder than Dr. Freedman’s or Dr. Reynolds that I felt like crying several times.
Any time I was about to start outright bawling though he would deflect it by giving me another topic to think about. One of the big topics that he stayed on for a long time was my feeling that I wasn’t fitting in with the rest of the girls by staying so small, and not having any breast development. He went round and round with me on anything and everything for another hour before he said, “Okay Tiffany, I would really like to go ahead and take a break of about a half-hour so that Dr. Freedman, Dr. Reynolds, and I can talk about what we’ve heard so far today. Why don’t you and your mother go downstairs and get something to drink in the cafeteria?” He suggested.
He led me out of the office and motioned my mom over and discussed the plan. He then left us alone for the first time since the ordeal had begun, I looked at my watch, five hours ago!
“So how did it go?” Mom asked me.
I shrugged, “I have no idea. One moment I’m convinced Dr. Clark is for me doing this, the next I think he thinks it’s a mistake. Dr. Freedman was nice enough though,” I told her.
We talked as we went downstairs to cafeteria. Once there I settled on a cup of hot chocolate — it sounded good. The two of us wandered around through the gift shop for a bit before heading back upstairs to Dr. Reynolds office close to five. Her secretary said, “Tiffany, Mrs. Jacobson, they’re ready for you to join them again.”
“Thanks,” my mom told her. We walked back the hallway to her office and through the open door that Dr. Reynolds closed behind us. She motioned for us to take our seats on the couch again, with Dr. Clark and Freedman in high back chairs across from us, and Dr. Reynolds in another one to our right.
“Well, I think we’ve learned just about everything we could from such a short, intense, session like this.” Dr. Clark began. “I’d like Dr. Freedman to share some of his observations first before we get to mine, and our recommendations.”
Mom and I nodded.
“Well first of all I would like to say that as Tiffany you seem to be a very well adjusted girl. From the interviews that we had with you and your parents it seems that you have a good number of friends, are involved in school, and are excelling both academically and in extra-curricular activities. In fact I believe you have a more balanced sense of self than most other young ladies your age.” Dr. Freedman said.
I blushed a bit.
“If you were brought to me without me having had any back story I would assume you were just a normal twelve year old girl. All of your mannerisms, hopes, and perspectives of looking at the world match up normally there. I believe that you have been well treated,” he said nodding towards Dr. Reynolds.
“I would concur with that assessment as well,” Dr. Clark told her. “So I would like to now talk about what I’ve seen and heard about how Tiffany became herself. I believe that Dr. Reynolds, you, and your husband made the right choice in allowing Brandon to dress as Tiffany. From everything that I’ve seen and heard to not have done so would have been very traumatic over the long term. I don’t think it would have prevented anything either — she would have eventually begun dressing as herself regardless.”
His comments made me feel good. To have two completely new strangers come in and agree with Dr. Reynolds made me feel much safer. Both of them continued telling us some of the things they’d observed over the day and continued agreeing with Dr. Reynolds treatment thus far.
“Now I’d like to talk about our recommendations. Tiffany is a tough case to make decisions on. If she was eighteen or older I’d prescribe a treatment of gender reassignment surgery without any worries. Even if she was sixteen I would have no problems recommending that she begin hormone therapy so that she could better fit in until she could have the surgery at age eighteen. With her having just turned twelve we have a quandary on what we should do.”
He continued after taking a sip of water out of a water bottle he had. “I know for a fact Dr. Reynolds has also been trying to figure out what to do for the past few months, and there is good reason for us not wanting to just rush headlong into the process of reassigning your biological gender Tiffany,” he said.
My face slackened. I’d had such high hopes a moment ago, but now he was going to tell me I was too young… I could just tell he was going to shoot down the proposal to give me hormones already.
Dr. Freedman began speaking then, “Currently the majority opinion in the field is that we should do no more than give you hormone blockers, which you’re already taking, until you’re old enough to legally make up your own mind. Most doctors feel this is the age of sixteen to eighteen.”
He paused before adding, “But, quite frankly there’s not been enough research into the area of ‘tweens’ like you.”
“So what are you guys telling me?” I asked them as calmly as I could.
“Well, we feel like you might be a unique case that maybe we could work on getting some of that research accomplished.” Dr. Clark started. “You have assimilated yourself into your school setting so successfully we feel that you would be a good candidate to start a ‘female’ puberty treatment.”
“Really?!?” I asked with a huge smile on my face.
“Settle down Tiffany,” Mom said next to me. “What exactly are you proposing?”
“Well, we would like to begin administering a full hormonal replacement therapy to Tiffany. The few problems she’s having fitting in all stem from her lack of growth. Through the therapy she’ll be able to go ahead and start growing the secondary sex characteristics that the other girls her age are growing — well minus periods of course.”
“What’s the catch though? You and Dr. Reynolds have both stated that this is not a normal treatment for someone her age.”
“Well, quite frankly we would like to study how she develops and interacts from here on out. She’s already answered a baseline survey that has revealed a lot about where she’s at now. We’d like for her to continue her sessions with Dr. Reynolds and occasionally fill out more surveys like this. Over time we’ll also drop in so that we can check on her progress as well.”
“Does this sound like something you would agree to?” Dr. Reynolds asked, stepping in for one of the first times today.
I nodded and said, “Yes!” before Mom could say anything.
“She won’t be mentioned in any publications by her real name will she?” Mom asked.
“No, that would be unethical, her privacy will be absolutely respected.” Dr. Freedman stated.
“Then I suppose let’s get this setup,” she told them. I gave her a big hug and began crying. It was really going to happen!
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