Thoughts on Jazz Jennings: A Transmaid’s Tale

Originally posted at Gender Apostates

If your child is suffering mentally because they cannot physically bear a child or be a mermaid, you no more encourage their delusions of gender and cope with your pain at their pain by telling them they can be what they’re not, and especially not by offering up a sacrifice of the womb of your other child than you would hold their head underwater in the bath until their tail appears. Parenting is not always about making your child happy at any cost. It is certainly never about lying to your kids, or swapping truth for make-believe and placatory promises, because you, the adult, cannot control your emotions in the face of their distress. And creating family myths that become ‘truths’ is extremely irresponsible parenting: Jazz has been convinced that they knew they were female at 16 months old. This is developmentally impossible. A child of that age has no concept of gender or even sex, never mind if there’s some sort of perceived problem. Children of that age still think they and mummy are the same, for god’s sake. Oh, and Newsflash! Small boy with a sister wants to share and copy sister’s toys, clothes and activities – not exactly a Nobel-worthy breakthrough in understanding gender play, is it?

Transing children does not offer them a way to ‘truly be who they are’, as we are constantly told. It does the exact opposite of that. Everything opposite to that. Telling a boy he must be a girl because he likes pink is no different than telling him he can’t like pink because it’s for girls. The only difference is cowardly semantics, self-delusion, and a nicer intention. The message remains the same. What transing children does is offer parents the chance to see themselves as the good guys, the best parents, to deny their ignorance, narrow-mindlessness and bigotry, however unconscious they may be. The only true transformation is for the adults. In this crass new world, where fairytale is the new reality, transing kids is just the new way in which the witch can fatten Hans for the oven and get Gretl to open his mouth for her. Transing children is just the modern version of gay conversion therapy – and at least that doesn’t have a potential final outcome of extreme and irreversible genital mutilation surgery. When gay conversion therapy is the lesser of two evils, you really need to step back and think sensibly for a minute.

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