Working Moms

Transgender 6 year old

Has anyone read this story:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/23/19105304-transgender-6-year-old-wins-civil-rights-case-to-use-girls-bathroom?lite

I thought it was a touching story especially because the parents are so supportive. If your 4 year old didn't feel like he/she was the gender they were born as, what would you do?? Really interesting to think about.

Thoughts?

 

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Re: Transgender 6 year old

  • I didn't read the link, but there was a special on TLC a while ago about a family with a young transgendered child.  They were fuly supportive as well and I remember being fascinated by the program.

    I would like to think I would be as supportave as possible, but I honestly don't know how I would react.

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  • I was so relieved to see the courts ruled in her favor. Little girls use the bathroom in stalls, and the other students will be none the wiser.

    I will love my child no matter how he chooses to live or who he chooses to love.

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  • I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

     

     
  • Nicb13Nicb13
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    image krysbb521:

    I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

    This is exactly what DH and I were talking about last night; the age of the child. I would be 100% supportive of my child as well BUT, how the hell would you handle this with a 4 year old? Tell them no, you are a ____ even though you feel like the opposite? How could they possibly understand at that age? It's a really tough situation that I can admit I would have no idea how to handle!

     

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  • What would I do? Love him support him
    But get him in counseling. Asap
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  • image Nicb13:
    image krysbb521:

    I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

    This is exactly what DH and I were talking about last night; the age of the child. I would be 100% supportive of my child as well BUT, how the hell would you handle this with a 4 year old? Tell them no, you are a ____ even though you feel like the opposite? How could they possibly understand at that age? It's a really tough situation that I can admit I would have no idea how to handle!

    It would be so hard! But at that age I would still correct them about who they really are. It could just be a stage, there is so much stuff on TV these days about transgender etc. Which there is nothing wrong with that but to a little child it could be confusing for them. So that's why I say if they are still telling me this at 13 or something then I would have to think it just isn't a phase or a confused child. 

     
  • image krysbb521:

    I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

    But if you ask any transgender adult, they'll tell you that they knew, deep down, from a very young age that their body didn't fit their gender. I don't think you can just discount your child's feelings and tell them that what they're feeling is wrong like that.

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  • I will always love and support my boys no matter how they live their lives.

    I will admit at first I also was a little alarmed with her age though. DS1 walks around and pretends he is a cat, dog, mommy, etc at any given time. So a part of me was quick to judge these parents.

    But then I sat back and thought, obviously my gut tells me DS1 is acting only when he pretends to be a cat. No one knows her better then her parents. I am sure their guts told them to believe their little girl when she told them she was identifying as a girl.

    I think her parents are doing a great job.
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  • image wife07mom09:
    What would I do? Love him support him
    But get him in counseling. Asap


    I hope you mean you would bring him to counseling for support and to help him develop coping mechanisms to help deflect negative comments from bigots. I am sure you don't mean you would bring him to counseling in order to "fix" him.

    However, due to your past history, I am guessing its the latter. Please clarify and prove me wrong.
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  • image mben1119:
    image krysbb521:

    I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

    But if you ask any transgender adult, they'll tell you that they knew, deep down, from a very young age that their body didn't fit their gender. I don't think you can just discount your child's feelings and tell them that what they're feeling is wrong like that.

    Maybe that's true for some transgender people and maybe this is wrong in some people's eyes but I wouldn't allow my 4 year old to call themselves the opposite sex. To me that is just too young to understand what they are even talking about. We would though talk about it in ways a child could understand and so they would feel we care and that we love them no matter what. I wouldn't make my child dress in pink and bows if they didn't want so they could explore maybe the boyish side of things but calling themselves a boy (thinking of my daughter) no that just wouldn't happen. 

     
  • Nicb13Nicb13
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    image financialdiva:
    I will always love and support my boys no matter how they live their lives. I will admit at first I also was a little alarmed with her age though. DS1 walks around and pretends he is a cat, dog, mommy, etc at any given time. So a part of me was quick to judge these parents. But then I sat back and thought, obviously my gut tells me DS1 is acting only when he pretends to be a cat. No one knows her better then her parents. I am sure their guts told them to believe their little girl when she told them she was identifying as a girl. I think her parents are doing a great job.

    And I would assume that she told them repeatedly and it wasn't like one morning she said "you know what mom and dad, I don't feel like a boy so I want to be a girl" and they said "OK honey!".

    I also read that this child had severe depression and anxiety over how she was being treated and over the fact that she wasn't allowed to use the girls bathroom. That right there tells me, and her parents I'm sure, that she is serious about these feelings.

     

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  • image krysbb521:
    image mben1119:
    image krysbb521:

    I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

    But if you ask any transgender adult, they'll tell you that they knew, deep down, from a very young age that their body didn't fit their gender. I don't think you can just discount your child's feelings and tell them that what they're feeling is wrong like that.

    Maybe that's true for some transgender people and maybe this is wrong in some people's eyes but I wouldn't allow my 4 year old to call themselves the opposite sex. To me that is just too young to understand what they are even talking about. We would though talk about it in ways a child could understand and so they would feel we care and that we love them no matter what. I wouldn't make my child dress in pink and bows if they didn't want so they could explore maybe the boyish side of things but calling themselves a boy (thinking of my daughter) no that just wouldn't happen. 

    Wow. I just can't even fathom not being as supportive of my child as possible, no matter the situation.

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  • image krysbb521:

    I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

     

    Exactly this.

    ETA: I want to add (since I didn't read through all the postings before agreeing with this) it isn't that I judge the parents or think they are doing this wrong. I believe that people do, from a very young age, realize that something may be wrong with the gender that they are born with. This is the route the parents of the little girl decided to go and I won't judge them for it. However, I don't believe I would handle it the same way with a child of that age. Having heard this story, I would probably monitor my child's feelings on the subject over time to ensure that it wasn't a phase, and I'm sure in their minds they did that. I'm not in their home so I can't possibly judge whether it was right or wrong. I think it's their (parent and child's) decision to make.

    I also do not think it was the school's decision to make and I don't think the school making the child use the teacher's restrooms was at all appropriate. And that was what that court case was about.



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  • image Mustardseed2007:
    image krysbb521:

    I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

    Exactly this.

    But where's your age cutoff? Is 7 too young, but 8 okay? Or do they have to wait until they go through puberty?

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  • Nicb13Nicb13
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    image mben1119:
    image Mustardseed2007:
    image krysbb521:

    I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

    Exactly this.

    But where's your age cutoff? Is 7 too young, but 8 okay? Or do they have to wait until they go through puberty?

    This is my thinking. What age do you take them seriously? I'm sure it would totally depend on the situation but still...

     

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  • image mben1119:
    image krysbb521:
    image mben1119:
    image krysbb521:

    I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

    But if you ask any transgender adult, they'll tell you that they knew, deep down, from a very young age that their body didn't fit their gender. I don't think you can just discount your child's feelings and tell them that what they're feeling is wrong like that.

    Maybe that's true for some transgender people and maybe this is wrong in some people's eyes but I wouldn't allow my 4 year old to call themselves the opposite sex. To me that is just too young to understand what they are even talking about. We would though talk about it in ways a child could understand and so they would feel we care and that we love them no matter what. I wouldn't make my child dress in pink and bows if they didn't want so they could explore maybe the boyish side of things but calling themselves a boy (thinking of my daughter) no that just wouldn't happen. 

    Wow. I just can't even fathom not being as supportive of my child as possible, no matter the situation.

    I don't think she is not being supportive and to be honest my initial gut reaction was the same. I think she is saying four is too young to allow a child to identify as the opposite gender. I read a local article online that said he started leaning towards female at 18 months which seems crazy to me. My daughter must have been at least two before she knew she was a girl or there was a difference. She plays with boys toys as much as girls and the article kept citing favoring one type over the other. With that being said, if the parents noticed it that early I think they know their child well enough to make a decision and they also had the child diagnosed with I think it is called gender identy disorder but I may have the name wrong so this child has been evaluated etc...  If my child went though this I would seek professional helpfor the family and child along with seeking out a transgender support group because I would want to understand along with hopefully finding a good role model for my child. Not having gone through this I can't say at what age I would allow my child to identify as the opposite sex I guess I would take the experts advice. At age three I can't see my daughter seriously saying she is a boy it is not like she runs around saying she is a girl.  

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  • image snicksnack:
    image mben1119:
    image krysbb521:
    image mben1119:
    image krysbb521:

    I will always support my child 100%. With that being said though I feel that this particular child is so young to fully understand the concepts of their actions. If my 4-6 year old was telling me they were the opposite sex I would tell them no they are a girl or boy etc. If the behaviors continued as they got older when they understood the world around them/themselves better then I would be more understanding and accepting of what they were telling me. 

    But if you ask any transgender adult, they'll tell you that they knew, deep down, from a very young age that their body didn't fit their gender. I don't think you can just discount your child's feelings and tell them that what they're feeling is wrong like that.

    Maybe that's true for some transgender people and maybe this is wrong in some people's eyes but I wouldn't allow my 4 year old to call themselves the opposite sex. To me that is just too young to understand what they are even talking about. We would though talk about it in ways a child could understand and so they would feel we care and that we love them no matter what. I wouldn't make my child dress in pink and bows if they didn't want so they could explore maybe the boyish side of things but calling themselves a boy (thinking of my daughter) no that just wouldn't happen. 

    Wow. I just can't even fathom not being as supportive of my child as possible, no matter the situation.

    I don't think she is not being supportive and to be honest my initial gut reaction was the same. I think she is saying four is too young to allow a child to identify as the opposite gender. I read a local article online that said he started leaning towards female at 18 months which seems crazy to me. My daughter must have been at least two before she knew she was a girl or there was a difference. She plays with boys toys as much as girls and the article kept citing favoring one type over the other. With that being said, if the parents noticed it that early I think they know their child well enough to make a decision and they also had the child diagnosed with I think it is called gender identy disorder but I may have the name wrong so this child has been evaluated etc...  If my child went though this I would seek professional helpfor the family and child along with seeking out a transgender support group because I would want to understand along with hopefully finding a good role model for my child. Not having gone through this I can't say at what age I would allow my child to identify as the opposite sex I guess I would take the experts advice. At age three I can't see my daughter seriously saying she is a boy it is not like she runs around saying she is a girl.  

    I agree with this 100%

     
  • The arguments you are presenting are indicative of the much larger issue though-why do we have this great need to split boys and girls, to label their genders, to issue gender appropriate clothing and toys, and sternly correct any child that may sway toward the center or the other side of the gender spectrum?
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  • I would support him...I just know we'd probably end up losing contact with a whole generation of family probably in the process. :/ To be honest, I'd probably be a little upset, and concerned for him...but at the end of the day, I love the person he is...whoever that is, and whatever identity he has.
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  • Nicb13Nicb13
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    The decision is as much on the parents as the kid. Once you commit to living your life as a different gender, you kind of have to stick with that IMO. What happens if this child wants to go back to being a boy at some point after convincing the world he is a girl? Who knows if that will happen but this decision is so huge and he seems too young to fully understand what all it entails. I have never felt that I was anything other than female so I guess I'll never fully understand.

     

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  • image mben1119:
    The arguments you are presenting are indicative of the much larger issue though-why do we have this great need to split boys and girls, to label their genders, to issue gender appropriate clothing and toys, and sternly correct any child that may sway toward the center or the other side of the gender spectrum?

    I like this.  It shouldn't be that hard to just be gender neutral at 6 years old.  

  • image alli2672:

    image mben1119:
    The arguments you are presenting are indicative of the much larger issue though-why do we have this great need to split boys and girls, to label their genders, to issue gender appropriate clothing and toys, and sternly correct any child that may sway toward the center or the other side of the gender spectrum?

    I like this.  It shouldn't be that hard to just be gender neutral at 6 years old.  

    Right? I grew up wearing both jeans and tshirts, dresses, playing with Tonka trucks, and kitchens and dolls. Expose kids to everything, and let them choose their own path.

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  • Nicb13Nicb13
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    image mben1119:
    image alli2672:

    image mben1119:
    The arguments you are presenting are indicative of the much larger issue though-why do we have this great need to split boys and girls, to label their genders, to issue gender appropriate clothing and toys, and sternly correct any child that may sway toward the center or the other side of the gender spectrum?

    I like this.  It shouldn't be that hard to just be gender neutral at 6 years old.  

    Right? I grew up wearing both jeans and tshirts, dresses, playing with Tonka trucks, and kitchens and dolls. Expose kids to everything, and let them choose their own path.

    I totally agree with this as well.

     

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  • From the various interviews I've seen the really big issues come around the age of puberty as that is the time these children will need to have hormone therapies to stop themselves from maturing into full grown males or females.  You're talking about a 10 year-old making decisions that will sterilize them and will not be reversible.  I just shudder to think how hard that must be as a parent to try and figure out the right path.  It wouldn't even be that I wouldn't be supportive, I'll love my children no matter what, but making those kind of decisions would be gut wrenching. 

    I also saw an interview that Barbara Walters did with a little boy who felt he was a little girl when he was younger, like 4, and then she went back years later, like around age 10 and it was interesting to see this girl have moments of doubt where she wasn't really sure she still wanted to be a girl but almost that since she'd spent the last six years living as a girl and fighting to be a girl that she wasn't sure she could just go back to being a boy.....like she was worried she'd let her mom down or something.  

    I just can't even imagine.

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  • I would be supportive and try to help any way I can. I would not be ashamed or anything. As long as they are a good kid I will not hinder that, with that said you are not changing any part of your body until you are 18 and can do it yourself. You need to make sure it is what you want and after puberty.


  • image Nicb13:
    The decision is as much on the parents as the kid. Once you commit to living your life as a different gender, you kind of have to stick with that IMO. What happens if this child wants to go back to being a boy at some point after convincing the world he is a girl? Who knows if that will happen but this decision is so huge and he seems too young to fully understand what all it entails. I have never felt that I was anything other than female so I guess I'll never fully understand.

    This is what I think too. And because I think that, I can't say 2-4 is too young for these children to feel something is wrong with how the world is viewing/labeling/categorizing them.

    Certainly this is something that a parent would not make a decision lightly on or based off a single statement of their child. However, we all know our children best and if their statements and behaviors  made over a period of time told me they were transgender I would fully support them in living their life as their "true" gender regardless of age. I just don't see 2-4 year olds demanding they are the opposite gender and holding stead fastly to that belief as a phase. Kids pretend play for sure, but when asked directly they will say they are pretending, or it's a game.

  • image alli2672:

    image mben1119:
    The arguments you are presenting are indicative of the much larger issue though-why do we have this great need to split boys and girls, to label their genders, to issue gender appropriate clothing and toys, and sternly correct any child that may sway toward the center or the other side of the gender spectrum?

    I like this.  It shouldn't be that hard to just be gender neutral at 6 years old.  

    Seriously, not difficult to be gender neutral? This isn't about toys and clothes....this is about gender identity and how a child feels and sees themselves fitting into their world. Kids are observing their world from day one and learning about gender and what it looks likes and means to be male, and what it looks like and means to be female from day one based on what they see, hear, and how they are personally interacted with.  

  • image DiveFrog:
    image alli2672:

    image mben1119:
    The arguments you are presenting are indicative of the much larger issue though-why do we have this great need to split boys and girls, to label their genders, to issue gender appropriate clothing and toys, and sternly correct any child that may sway toward the center or the other side of the gender spectrum?

    I like this.  It shouldn't be that hard to just be gender neutral at 6 years old.  

    Seriously, not difficult to be gender neutral? This isn't about toys and clothes....this is about gender identity and how a child feels and sees themselves fitting into their world. Kids are observing their world from day one and learning about gender and what it looks likes and means to be male, and what it looks like and means to be female from day one based on what they see, hear, and how they are personally interacted with.  

    I agree, I actually think it's virtually impossible to be gender neutral at age 6.  Girls are called girls in school, boys are called boys.  Boys look different than girls, their hair is cut shorter (usually), girls wear dresses, etc.  Girls use a different bathroom, I could go on and on.  I realize that many of these differences are constructed by society but we LIVE in a society.  I love the idea of exposing kids to all kinds of different things and giving them options, but I really don't think a child can be gender neutral for too long.   

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  • My gut reaction is that these parents are trying to get fame or come across as martyrs at the expense of their young, completely typical child. When I was 6, I felt pretty strongly that my name should be "Flamingo". I am not saying the parents should be discounting the child's feelings or discouraging a creative mind, but I would definitely have taken a "wait and see" approach to this instead of making a big stink about it when the kid is 6 years old. I honestly think that even if my kid was 16 and insisted they felt like a different gender, I would say "Of course I love you and support you, but let's not do anything permanent and see if you feel the same way in a few years".

    I distinctly remember having feelings of "Am I maybe a lesbian?" and "Sometimes I would love to feel what it's like to have a penis instead of a vagina" as a teenager. I feel like that's certainly normal. It could be very possible that this child is just going through normal development stuff and can't verbalize it well (being only 6). 

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  • image lightheaded1der:

    My gut reaction is that these parents are trying to get fame or come across as martyrs at the expense of their young, completely typical child. When I was 6, I felt pretty strongly that my name should be "Flamingo". I am not saying the parents should be discounting the child's feelings or discouraging a creative mind, but I would definitely have taken a "wait and see" approach to this instead of making a big stink about it when the kid is 6 years old. I honestly think that even if my kid was 16 and insisted they felt like a different gender, I would say "Of course I love you and support you, but let's not do anything permanent and see if you feel the same way in a few years".

    I distinctly remember having feelings of "Am I maybe a lesbian?" and "Sometimes I would love to feel what it's like to have a penis instead of a vagina" as a teenager. I feel like that's certainly normal. It could be very possible that this child is just going through normal development stuff and can't verbalize it well (being only 6). 

    This is how I feel, as unpopular as it might be.  My daughters play with trucks, cars and trains, my sons play with a pink dollhouse, kitchen and dress up, but in the end my boys have a penis, and my girls have a vagina, and until they are old enough to decided that they want to change that, that is what they will be.

    I mean at 6 years old, besides wanting their daughter to use the boys room, what is the difference between their daughter and what most people call a "tom boy"?  Most sports are co-ed at this age,  what is the goal here?


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