Full History of the term Transage and the Transage flag

And whether it is worth attempting to destigmatise and reclaim them

Adèle 🧡🤍💜
14 min readOct 21, 2022
The transage flag

Content Warning: This post and some sources listed use sensitive and potentially triggering terminology, and may refer to sources that express harmful ideologies. Terminology and ideology from sources is not endorsed by this blog.

The most popular and also most controversial term used to describe people who identify as an age that is different than their chronological age is transage. But the controversial history behind the term and the flag associated with it draws the question of whether attempting to destigmatise and reclaim the term would be worthwhile or whether it would even possible.

This post is based on extensive research but may be updated if better evidence becomes available. Nothing in this post is certain. Last updated: 27 Oct 2022.

✨ History of the term Transage ✨

The first post that described the term transage that is available through public social media or search engines — Bing, Duckduckgo, Google, Reddit and Twitter — is the original Urban Dictionary definition for transage, posted 29 May 2008 by Teagreen.

Transage

People who are a certain age, like all people. However, they are as a person a different age, in most cases older. Sometimes, though, their true age is younger. For example, Micheal Jackson.

Jenny: I heard Britney Spears was transage until she turned 21.

Bob: I used to be transage…until I turned 25

Teagreen, 29 May 2008

Using Michael Jackson as an example was unfortunate given that news of the crimes he potentially committed was not even popularised until after this definition was published. It may be referring to Michael Jackson reflecting positively on childhood and treating children with positivity, not potential crimes. The reference to Britney Spears is unclear. Overall, this definition is rather poorly worded and the examples don’t exactly describe the experience of someone who is permanently an age that is different than their chronological age. But, unless other data should surface, Teagreen is the original coiner of the term transage on the internet.

Another notable early instance of the term is the profile page of author and blogger Randolfe Wicker, an LGBT+ activist who describes himself as being interested in various types of activism, including transage activism.

I’m a transaged male (young man trapped in an old body)…

Randolfe Wicker, 20 Aug 2008–24 Dec 2009

Although Randolfe’s Blogger account was created in 2005, internet archives show that the word transage was not added until between 20 Aug 2008 and 24 Dec 2009. In 2010, Randolfe’s profile was quoted on Twitter by Chris Bartlett. Randolfe reports originally creating the term in response to news articles about transracial identities; however, it cannot be verified with evidence that Randolfe published the term before Teagreen’s definition on 29 May 2008.

I love that Randy Wicker defines himself as “transage” (I guess he is OTY — old to young). http://bit.ly/a2t87l I am YTO.

Chris Bartlett, 10 Nov 2010

Between 2008 and 2015, several public posts can be found on Twitter by people who appear to identify as transage or who are supportive of people who do. These apparently positive tweets are mixed with tweets from people criticising the term, using it in mockery and using it as a transphobic political talking point.

is transage gonna be a thing I hope so because I’m p. sure I’m 12

Your Bank Account, 24 Feb 2011

Is there such thing as trans-age b/c I think its me

Gingerbread Mermaid, 26 Sep 2013

if people are trying to make #transracial happen, can i make #transage happen then bc i’d love to be 8 years old again please???????

amy., 16 Jun 2015

The earliest attempt at seemingly genuine transage activism appears to be on 22 Jul 2015 by Twitter user Trans-Age Community (@WeAreTransAge). This account received several hateful replies, and the account went inactive after one day but not before posting multiple transage-positive messages and images.

Transage-positive advertisement posted by Trans-Age Community (@WeAreTransAge)

Surprisingly, knowing the current unfortunate associations of the term transage today, not a single transage-related tweet mentions either paedophilia or child abuse before Natasha Henry made an offensive tweet mentioning the subject on 16 Jun 2015. After then, there were a handful of tweets erroneously claiming this association.

In late 2015, news stories of a transage 6yo girl in Canada named Stefonknee began to gain traction in public media, like this report from MRCTV. Use of the term picked up after this, as did negative rumours, and the unfortunate most significant use of the term happened in 2017 when a group of transphobic trolls from the imageboard 4chan invaded different social media using terms like clovergender, transage and agefluid, claiming that they should be permitted to abuse children because they were children on the inside. However, these were not actual transage people, only trolls who were attempting to discredit the LGBT+ community. Despite the fact-checking site Snopes investigating the event within weeks and providing evidence that these trolls were not real transage people, the general public has continued to strongly associate the term transage with paedophilia and abuse up to the present time because of these trolls.

Clovergender trolls organising on 4chan days before their appearance on social media

There have also been a couple of news stories that have mentioned the subject in negative ways since then, such as this article from the Daily Wire, which reported on an individual who committed crimes against chronological/chrono children and reportedly expressed feeling like child trapped in a adult’s body, reportedly in attempt to justify their criminal action. Although the Daily Wire — a transphobic right-wing media outlet — reported this individual as being transage, there are no mentions of this individual describing themself using this term. The Chicago Tribune, which reported on the same story, did not refer to this individual as transage. Therefore, it is possible the Daily Wire may have added that word in as another of their attempts to discredit the LGBT+ community.

It is important to note that through the course of this research, not a single public post by a real transage person has been found that used the term transage to justify the abuse of children. The only thing close to this have been the clovergender trolls and transphobic sources like the Daily Wire, neither of which represent real transage people.

Other search results that can be found include multiple FAQs hosted on Carrd — which can be found on this blog’s About page — which attempt to describe what transage is and debunk some of the more common misconceptions, transage-positive Tumblr accounts and sincere questions from curious individuals who received mostly misinformed answers.

There is one nagging search result when looking for information on transage people that cannot be ignored, the same place the term may have been coined to begin with: Urban Dictionary. While there are some transage-positive definitions posted, the predominant few are very negative, describing transage people only as paedophiles and as those who abuse others. The most popular definitions were posted around the same time the 4chan trolls were active, so its possible that those posts were by people who were misinformed and fell victim to trolling, not people who actually hate people who genuinely identify as a younger age than their chrono age.

A more recent source on information related to transage identities is the Queerpedia page on Transage, which was created and last edited in late 2021. Queerpedia also made a strong effort to correct misinformation about the term by discussing transphobic trolling efforts and how they were not conducted by real transage people; Queerpedia also takes a strong stance against abuse in this explanation.

Transage is an umbrella term referring to those whose personal age identity differs from their chronological (or psychical) age.

Transage – Queerpedia, 5 Dec 2021

There is also a Simple English Wikipedia page that was just created on 19 Oct 2022. It describes the term positively and explains that many people who identify as transage have experienced childhood trauma. Given Wikipedia’s history of aggressive moderation tactics, it is possible that this page will be gone in a matter of days.

Transage people are people who identify, relate, or affiliate with an age different than their chronological age recorded at birth. It is loosely derived from the term transgender.

People who identify with a younger age may have been victims of poor parenting or child abuse and are trying to compensate for their childhoods.

Transage – Simple English Wikipedia, 19 Oct 2022

Overall, when searching for information related to the term transage or people who identify with it, a very mixed bag will be found, filled with a few unpopular posts by people who sincerely identify as transage covered up by ignorant hate stirred up by transphobic trolling efforts as well as overarching themes of anti-LGBT+ bigotry and transphobia. Because of the nature of social media algorithms rewarding controversy, the positive posts from people sharing their experiences as genuinely being younger than their chrono age are overshadowed by controversial misinformation.

It appears less common for the term transage to be used by actual paedophiles or by those attempting to justify abuse. More common is the term simply being assumed to be associated with paedophiles because of a history of trolling.

However, the term is indeed used by some paedophiles, as can be seen in archived Twitter posts from deleted paedophile activism accounts throughout 2020 and 2021, before Twitter’s rules were changed to prohibit paedophile activism, and in other places around the web. But, even in most of these paedophiles’ profiles and posts, they claim to be against abuse, only justifying their attractions themselves, not actually acting on them. Finding actual transage children who are both paedophiles and who believe that they should be permitted to abuse chrono children is almost unheard of.

Most people who have identified with the term transage over the past 17 years seem to have been people who sincerely identify with an age younger than their chrono age, but because of the stigma now attached to the term, many people who could be described by it instead choose to identify with different terms or no term at all.

✨ History of the Transage Flag ✨

The transage flag is brightly coloured, and appears joyful and youthful. Even many people who identify as younger than their chronological age who don’t personally use the flag still find it visually appealing. However, its history is much less bright than the flag itself.

The flag was originally published on Deviant Art on 10 May 2020 by a user going by antifaperix. A description was provided explaining the meaning of the flag’s symbolism.

The transage flag

for anyone whos transage or questioning. the colors represent..

orange – beings who are older than their time lived

yellow – nonlinear and otherwise non-traditional age identities

white – opposition to oppression and systems that perpetuate it, including capitalism, gatekeeping, and things like ageism and age norms

pink – beings that are younger than their time lived

purple – ageflux and agefluidity

made collectively by transage support group on twitter

antifaperix, 10 May 2020

The fact that the flag was originally given political meaning in addition to identity meaning is unique, but it is unsurprising coming from a person with the word antifa in their username. The creator of the flag designed it with the assistance from a group of other transage people on Twitter. The creator of the flag is self-described as a paraphile, but the flag was not made to represent paraphiles.

Today, the flag is used on numerous informational sites published on Carrd — which can be found on this blog’s About page — and on various other profiles on the fediverse, Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter. The flag is also used on the Queerpedia page for the term transage. Although the creator of the flag is controversial, it has been used in responsible ways since then.

✨ Accuracy of Transage✨

Arguments can be made back and forth about whether transage is the most accurate term to describe the experience of people whose age is younger than their chrono age.

The first and most prevalent criticism of the term is the potential for it to be conflated with transgender. Some have suggested that the use of the term transage even invalidates the term transgender. Others disagree on the basis that the two terms are different and describe unrelated but similar experiences.

Another criticism is that the term is inaccurate because people younger than their chrono age cannot age transition. However, this is false as many people so age transition, and there are published guides on the subject that can be found on this blog’s About page.

Some criticise the term transage because people younger than their chrono age are not able to legally transition, and there are no published medical guidelines on age transition. However, the same was once true about gender transition. It wasn’t until after acceptance of transgender people began that they began to be accepted.

The most complex criticism is that the term transage itself is a misnomer. The prefix trans- means ‘to move across’, which can be seen as the opposite of what being transage is supposed to describe, since it is describing the absence of moving with the flow of time. In other words, people who are younger than their chrono age stopped developing with time. In some ways, the prefix trans- can be seen as more similar to chrono since they both describe movement. However, the prefix trans- can also be seen in this context as describing the process of transition from feeling and being perceived as one age to feeling and being perceived as another age.

The term ever-age is arguably more clear since it describes a person’s age remaining the same while time flows on. The term ever-age may contrast more appropriately with the term chrono-age as well since the opposite of trans- is cis-, not chrono-.

✨ Other Potential Terminology ✨

Many other terms besides transage have been used to describe people younger than their chrono age, but none of these terms have gained the same popularity. However, they have also not gained the same controversy and widespread misinformation, giving them potential to be used without risking conflation with inaccurate associations. Each of these terms has positives and negatives though.

  • age dysphoric – describes the distress that comes from a mismatch between a person’s age identity and the physical, mental and social characteristics associated with their chronological age. Pros: appeals to emotion/sympathy and makes it seem that we are seeking treatment rather than harmful things. Cons: describes a mental illness, not an identity.
  • agequeer / ageweird – vaguely describes a person who identifies with an age other than their chronological age. Pros: uses understandable terminology. Cons: both queer and weird are considered insulting by many people.
  • altage a synonym of transage that was created both to escape the stigma associated with the term transage and to be more inclusive of transage people who do not age transition. Pros: more widely understood than some others on the list. Cons: used as a synonym for transage and is associated with the transage flag
  • chronosian – a synonym of transage made by anti-paedophile activists for the purpose of separating themselves from stigma. Pros: fewer negative associations than transage. Cons: awkward term that is not easily understandable, and since the term was made in protest to paedophiles, it will always be associated with them in that way.
  • ever-age / everchild / everkid / everteen1) age that remains constant and does not change with the passing of time. 2) the experience of a person’s identity being different than their chronological age. 3) a person who is an ever-age child / kid / teen. Pros: cute and magical sounding, understandable, contrasts well with chrono-age, and not associated with stigma. Cons: not as clear in its meaning as some other words, and newer and less popular at the current time.
  • mental age - a description of the psychological development and maturity of a person’s personality and behavioural characteristics. Pros: many feel that this term accurately describes the experience of people who are younger than their chrono age, easily understandable, not associated with the same stigma as transage. Cons: can be seen as minimising since many of us feel that our age is more than just our mental state, and is associated with stigma against people who are neurodivergent and developmentally delayed and has been used in demeaning ways in the past.
  • ngu – an acronym for ‘never grew up’, referencing the Reddit community on r/nevergreup. Pros: not associated with stigma, accurately describes the experience of people younger than their chrono age. Cons: an unpronounceable acronym that nobody would understand without knowing what it stood for, and using it as an identity label would result in dodgy grammar given its meaning.
  • perma-age / permachild / permakid / permateen – synonyms of ever-age and ever-child / -kid / -teen. Pros: probably the most understandable term, contrasts well with chrono-age, not associated with stigma. Cons: less cute and magical sounding than ever-age, making it less popular among children who appreciate cute and magical things.
  • perma-regression / perma age regression / perma-agere – describes the experience of age regression that is permanent, as opposed to temporary age regression. It is sometimes used as a synonym of altage, ever-age, perma-age or transage. Perma-regressors may still also regress to younger mental ages. Pros: mostly understandable as to the concept of being younger than chrono age, not associated with stigma, and associated with the agere community (which is very large and widely accepted). Cons: not entirely accurate as the phrase ‘regression’ implies that we used to be older (many of us feel that we have never been older), and is a long/clunky term with a lot of syllables.

✨ Conclusion ✨

What do you all think?

  • Can the term transage be destigmatised and reclaimed?
  • Is it a term worth reclaiming?
  • Is the transage flag able to be reclaimed or worth reclaiming?
  • Should we use another term or find a new flag?
  • Which of the terms besides transage do you like best and why?

In a world where people who are younger than their chrono age are struggling for acceptance even by their friends and family, gaining acceptance from the general public will take time. But, there is a future where people who are younger than their chrono age are able to receive the love and support that all children deserve; a future where people with age dysphoria can receive life-saving medicines at times when it is critical for them.

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Adèle 🧡🤍💜

A little girl younger than her chrono age who is trying to make the world a safer place for herself and other kids like her 💖✨