Good Enough Mother came across something interesting today and I am really torn about this issue. It has to do with transgender children. The following clip is from a British documentary on the topic. It’s a tad long but does give great insight into this family.
I watched this clip twice and to be honest there are aspects of it that are troubling to me like when the mother goes on and on about what a beautiful girl Josie is. In another portion of the tape, a hairdresser is proclaiming another child, Kyla, to be a beautiful girl in a sort of over-the-top manner. It all feels a bit forced to me though it’s possible they did it for the camera.
How do parents know this is not just a phase? When my kids were young, they both wanted to wear nail polish because mommy did. Even Cole. I let him because I knew that it would pass which it did. But in these cases, especially when you’re talking about giving kids drugs to prevent them from going into puberty as the sex they are and then giving them hormones for the sex they wish to become, the stakes are much higher. (Research does indicate, however, that if a child is adamant about their gender between the ages of say 2 and 4 they are unlikely to change as they grow older.)
If you listen to these parents talk, there is no doubt in their minds their children were born the wrong sexes. Josie’s mom details the fits Josie threw when they tried to make her wear boys clothes. The simple fact is that these kids were miserable trying to be something they believed they were not. (Even as I watched the clip, I would have sworn they were born girls had I not known any differently).
I do have to give the parents credit. They listened to their kids, knew something was not right, sought the help of professionals and decided to do something about it, even if it meant pushing themselves outside of their own comfort zones. Could you do that? How would you as a parent feel if your son or daughter wanted a sex change at such a young age?