Wildcat of the Week: Deklan Parker

Junior undergoes gender transition

Junior Deklan Parker poses with his dog, Midge, on Jan. 27.

Wildcat Photo

Junior Deklan Parker poses with his dog, Midge, on Jan. 27.

Clara Sloan, Opinion Editor

When he was 4 years old, junior Deklan Parker would go to bed wishing he would wake up as a boy. Yet, every morning he would wake to find his familiar female body. The disappointment and crippling discomfort in his own body continued until just this year, when Grace (his given name) finally became Deklan.

While he still identified as a female in the fifth grade, Parker came out as gay to his friends and family. Now, nearly six years later, he had to come out a second time.

“It’s definitely weird because in fifth grade I was so young and didn’t really know what I was doing … I was kind of just like, ‘hey, mom and dad, I do this’ and they were, like, ‘Okay,’ but now that I’m trans it’s like, ‘Hey mom and dad, I’m not your little girl anymore,” Parker said.

After coming out as transgender in January, Parker began the daunting process of transitioning. He obtained a therapist in February, who then wrote him a letter of recommendation for testosterone, which he started taking on April 27.

“It will basically make me go through guy puberty,” Parker said. “My voice will change, my shape will change, my features will change … I will physically start to resemble a male.”

As far as side effects go, testosterone patients may experience typical male problems like high blood pressure and bone density problems, but as long as Parker still has a uterus, those shouldn’t be a problem.

Before the physical process officially began, Parker aimed to tackle the social aspect of the transition by using the male bathroom. He had long been doing this in public where no one knew him, but it was a different story to actually attempt it in a place full of familiar faces. Needless to say, he was often greeted with hostile stares.

“It’s definitely been the hardest part,” Parker said.

Surprisingly, the relationships in his life have actually improved since the process began.

“The people who don’t support me aren’t in my life anymore, so it’s more authentic definitely,” Parker said.

For Parker’s mother, Lisa, the hardest part of his transitioning was adjusting to the “name change and male pronouns.” That, and the fact that she hadn’t noticed the signs earlier.

“… As a mother, I went through a mourning period. It was kind of a subconscious thing,” Lisa said. “I realized I overlooked so many hints.”

According to Lisa, Deklan’s younger sister, Cami, did not skip a beat in accepting her brother’s new name and gender, and, of course, the fact that she now had a brother.

To support Deklan in his new identity, the family started making changes directly in their own home, as Deklan gave gentle reminders of his new pronouns and even name when needed.

“[Practicing the changes at home] is the building block of his success and our success to accept this huge game changer. It’s made us all educate ourselves even more, in hopes to educate others that will come his and our way,” Lisa said.

As more and more students feel comfortable enough to come out as transgender, Parker wants others to know that transitioning does not make someone a different person.

“They still have the same personality, the same morals and, if anything, they’re just happier because they’re expressing how they feel,” Parker said.