Nicely put, from a reader:
One way that gay and lesbian teenagers cope with their sexuality, and
the way it prevents us from having a normal teenage social life, is to
throw ourselves into our schoolwork. (I use us in the past tense but
the pattern is very strong today.) By becoming experts in chemistry, or
history, or economics, or devoting ourselves to the school newspaper or
debate team or track, we can channel our energies into something
interesting and constructive while having an excuse for why we don’t
have time to date. It’s called the “best little boy in the world”
syndrome after a memoir written by Andrew Tobias, a Harvard student who
went on to become the Treasurer for the Democratic National Committee.
Coming out has become much easier for gays and lesbians at the college
level and beyond, but for transgendered people, it’s a much more
difficult process. Not only are they often unprepared for having to
deal with the mainstream straight world, but that world is MUCH less
prepared to deal with them than they are prepared to deal with
relatively safe gays and lesbians, who can pass more easily on a
day-to-day basis. Imagine how difficult it must be, as a transgendered
person who can not pass 100%, to go on job interviews with people who
may not have even met a tg before! The whole world is a minefield. So
it’s not surprising that many transgendered individuals stay on the
academic track, and the open-mindedness and acceptance they are more
likely to find in academia is an added bonus.
Me: I think there’s a lot of truth to this. I recently had the misfortune of reading a lot by and about Charles Reich — author of metaphysically idiotic The Greening of America — and I think he’s probably a very good example of this phenomenon. He was a weird, weird cat. His sexual confusion was profound. And, I think his weird arguments and ideas had a lot to do with his sexual alienation.