A letter to … my little girl, who identifies as a boy

Originally published in The Guardian

So what if you become convinced that your particular body is “wrong”? Soon, from the vulnerable age of 16, you will be able to start down a road with serious drugs that will alter you for ever, drugs that will make you infertile, surgery that will cause side-effects for the rest of your life. And various “liberal” parts of society will call me an abusive parent for disagreeing with all of this.

I look at you: your perfect body. I can’t bear the idea that someone may try to convince you that you’re in the wrong one because you like dinosaurs and pirates, and hitting things with sticks.

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Schools ask three-year-olds what gender, if any, they identify with

Originally published at Brighton & Hove News

Hundreds of parents found out yesterday which primary school their children will be attending in September, and were asked to fill out a council form to accept the offer.

After the tickbox for male/female, a note explained that the national recording system only gives these two options, and asked parents to “support your child to choose they gender they most identify with or if they have another gender identity please leave this blank and discuss this with your child’s school”.

The wording of the letter is already under review after the council was made aware of concerns about the new policy.

One Brighton mother, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being attacked by transgender activists, said she objected to the question because it reinforces dangerous stereotypes of what makes someone a man or woman rather than challenging them.

The mother also argued that children of this age don’t have a sophisticated enough understanding of gender issues, and asking them to make a distinction so young could have harmful ramifications later in life.

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To Boys Who Don’t Fit In – A Guest Post by Jesse

Originally posted on Gender Apostates

I’m a bit like you. I was a boy who didn’t fit in, who grew into a young man who didn’t fit in, and wanted, and wished, to be a girl. You were the same. But maybe you don’t think about it that way any more. You’re going to tell me you were ‘assigned’ male. You were never a boy, you declare, you were just a baby, and the docs forced maleness on you! Maybe you now tell people you were always female, and the people around you, in your life or on social media (which might be most of your life anyway) agree and say, hun, you were always female, don’t let anyone tell you different!

That’s a recent thing, and you wouldn’t have said that five, ten years ago. Your friends wouldn’t have told you that either. Because times change, and trends change.

I was born a bit earlier, see, which means I had slightly different experiences and didn’t get told all that stuff. My story is going to be the same as yours in many ways, because that’s how we know what we are – we all tick the same boxes, don’t we, and compare it to a ‘trans narrative’, and realise it fits us better than the normal masculine one – but it’s also slightly different.

You don’t like what I’m saying, so let me tell you, I went through the same hoops. Wanted girl toys. Wanted to play with girl things, Barbie dolls and Strawberry Shortcake. Wanted to hang with the girls at school and do hair and nails. Took every opportunity to wear dresses. Then as I grew up, that kind of thing wasn’t cute any more and no doubt like you, I got caught doing it and made to feel ashamed.

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Conservative Men in Conservative Dresses

Originally published in Atlantic Monthly

The cross-dressers of Tri-Ess insist that cross-dressing is not about sexuality, and therefore not about sex. They are right about the first, and we can all stop assuming that any man who wears a dress is gay. But they are not right about the second, and their assertion, their defense, that cross-dressing is their creative expression of both genders is unsetting, because it is at such odds with their behavior, their natures, and their marriages. These men are as far from being gender warriors and feminists as George W. himself. As one wife said to me, “For twenty years he couldn’t help with the dishes because he was watching football. Now he can’t help because he’s doing his nails. Is that different?” For these men, the woman within is entirely the Maybelline version, not the Mother Teresa version, not the Liv Ullman version, and not even the Tracey Ullman version. There is no innate grasp of female friendship, of the female insistence on relatedness, of the female tradition of support and accommodation for one’s partner and giving precedence to the relationship overall. If there were that kind of understanding, rather than shopping for accessories and watching tapes on how to walk in heels, these guys would be unable to ask their wives to go through this cross-dressing life with them—and everyone, husbands and wives, knows it. They know that if any of the women insisted on wearing three piece suits or baseball uniforms in public, and asked their husbands to accept hairy legs, hairy underarms, and jockstraps as part of their sex life, the husbands would not be rushing off to join spousal support groups while cheerfully spending the family’s money on bespoke shirts and expensive glue-on facial hair. The marriages would be over.

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