I've been planning this article for a while now and in searching the internet for statistics around transgender children I had the misfortune of encountering this from The Independent newspaper on transgender children
The newspaper claims that pandering to the whims of transgender children is wrong, as well as the high court ruling this week, when a 16 year adopted child was given the right of the courts to be separated from his adoptive parents.
I have to say that the columnist’s comments are the type of damaging comments that drive children to despair, drive children to hate their parents and go the extremes of self harming, self-mutilation and in some sad cases suicide.
As a trans-woman I offer an insight into this debate that this writer clearly doesn’t have.
For one – when a child tells you they are struggling with their gender identity? Trust me they are.
Pigeon holed from birth, ("it’s a boy or girl"), right from the get go, like it or not you're assigning an identity to that child. Based on that, society's rules tell them how to behave based on gender ideals rather than how they feel. Society tells them you have to wear this, can't wear that, rather than you can express that.
The thing that sets human beings aside from any other animal is our awareness, our consciousness and above all our creativity.
To stifle a child based on fear - stopping them know who they really are, is potentially damaging.
Research has been done into this subject and I found this article here on transgender children
The salient point I read is this, “When the researchers looked at the data according to the children’s expressed gender, they saw that the data from transgender girls showed the same pattern as the data from cisgender girls and the data from transgender boys showed the same pattern as data from cisgender boys.”
In other words, children are congruent with their gender expression throughout. A transgender child given the freedom to explore who they are, is going to be a happier child than one bullied into something they are not.
The whole thing about the treatment of children as well, is that it’s a positive. They give them puberty blockers so that the child doesn’t start turning into something that they don’t want. Imagine that if you will.
Someone can press pause on your puberty, you live in the gender you identify with – then if it’s not for you, they press it again and your body changes as it would have done.
Or they ignore you. Your parents don’t support you. Your body changes into something you hate. You have to go through the mental and psychological trauma of having to have a body you hate, because society may judge you for being different?
Am I the only one who sees the madness in that opinion?
If you want your child to trust you, to be able to come to you in times of need, you have to be prepared to listen, but also support without judgement.
It’s either that or at best risk them hating you when they’re older, or at worst? Well you can imagine.
Don’t be your child’s first bully. You owe it them to support them for all that they are.