Lyrics from Smashing Pumpkin’s Zero
We all have dirty mirrors that reflect back a distorted sense of self. The dirt on this mirror comes from the families we grow up in, the cultures we are raised in and around, the spiritual or religious beliefs we come from.
If the family a child grows up in is healthy enough, and they are seen and validated for who they are, then the dirt and distortion on the mirror is minimal and the reflection is more accurate. This is true even if their literal reflection does not represent their true self, as when the assigned sex at birth does not match one’s gender identity. In this case the child and the family will be able to see and validate who they truly are.
If the family, culture or religion has a problem with gender expansive experiences and expressions, then there will be more dirt and distortion of the mirror’s reflection. That dirt comes from the negative messages embedded in these social groups about being trans, non-binary or LGB. In those cases, it is a sign of health of the individual does not identify with this distorted reflection.
But it can be really hard to tease out what an individual believes and knows to be true about themselves, aside from what their families believes, or what their religion or culture tells them about themselves. That is the time to call in the professionals.