Awakening clinician: What do we think we are talking about?

Originally posted on Youth Trans Critical Professionals

Why are so many children and young people suddenly identifying or being identified as transgender?

Why are gender and sexuality being confused? Why are we not asking questions about including and valuing everyone in a gender neutral way? Why are many professionals – including myself – suppressing our own questions in public and professional forums?

When we talk about transgender – what do we think we are talking about? 

How do we support people with indeterminate sex (different from indeterminate gender) to feel safe alongside every other individual?

How is medical intervention for children of indeterminate sex a different issue from medical intervening for children articulating gender confusion?

Can we clarify the terminology? ‘Male to Female’ and ‘Female to Male’ seems too binary and incomplete. The issue is ‘Male to Trans’ and ‘Female to Trans’ and using this terminology we begin to encompass a broader, more accurate, notion of the shared experiences and identities of men, women and Trans people.

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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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Life Transitions: My Son Wants to Wear Dresses

Originally posted at Bauhaus Wife

People think that boys and girls should behave and dress differently from one another, in very specific ways.  I think this is wrong.  I believe that all people should have the freedom to wear clothes that they feel comfortable in, and to make their hair look any way they like, whether they are a girl, or a boy.  Did you know that one hundred years ago, women were not allowed to wear pants?  Can you imagine that? In fact, when Grandma Stacey was a little girl, she was *not allowed* to wear pants to school.  So you see, ideas about what is acceptable in the way of clothing, and behaviour, and attitudes, for boys, and for girls, changes from time to time and from place to place. What I hope for though, is a world in which people are all treated equally no matter what they wear.
You are a boy, Horus.  You are a boy, a male, simply because you have a boy’s body: a penis, testicles, and other male parts.  You will never become pregnant, or give birth to a child, but you may one day decide to be a father when you’re much much older.  Wearing dresses or  your hair in pigtails, or playing with dolls, and ponies, does not make you a girl–you will always be you, no matter what you play with or what you wear.  I want you to understand that you are so lucky to have been born with a perfect body, a boy body, and I want you to know that you *are* your body, and that your body– whole, and functional, and healthy as it is– is an immense gift.  And I want you to know that I will love you no matter who you love, no matter how you dress, and no matter what you like.  I hope you continue to love yourself, and to love your body just the way it is, and that the love, softness and compassion you have for yourself will extend to all the other people in the world.

I am Ryland – the story of a male-identifying little girl who didn’t transition

Originally posted at lindsay leigh bentley

I wanted to be a boy.  Desperately wanted to be a boy.  I thought boys had more fun.  I felt like a boy in the way that our society views genders.  I liked blue and green more than pink and purple.  I remember sitting up as high as I could climb in our huge mulberry tree, bow & arrow in hand, trying to kiss my elbow (a neighbor lady had told me that if I could accomplish this, that I would turn into a boy, which was what I wanted in that moment, as a child, more than anything.)

Thankfully, my parents didn’t adhere to the archaic stereotypes that “boys like blue” and “girls like pink;”  that “boys play with dinosaurs, and girls play with dolls.”  Had they told me that liking these things made me a boy, I would have concluded that I was a boy.

They just let me be me.  They let me be a girl who wore jeans more often than skirts.  They let me play with slingshots rather than princess wands.  They didn’t conclude that I was gay, or transgender. They didn’t put me in a box that would shape my future, at the expense of my own free will.

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