What Alarmist Articles About Transgender Children Get Wrong

I thought this article might be useful to some out there who are hit with questions and statements about their parenting choices because I don’t think raising a transgender child is listed under 30 Fun Things To Do With Kids and I feel exasperated when faced with statements like you should just accept your child as he is and you must have secretely wanted a girl because you let your son dress up as one and now you’re saying he is one…

Excerpt from the article…

In describing her own childhood gender dysphoria, Soh praises her parents’ approach to her dysphoria. She explains:

I myself was a gender-dysphoric child who preferred trucks and Meccano sets to Easy-Bake Ovens. I detested being female and all of its trappings. Yet when I was growing up in the 1980s, the concept of helping children transition to another sex was completely unheard of. My parents allowed me to wear boys’ clothing and shave my head, to live as a girl who otherwise looked and behaved like a boy. I outgrew my dysphoria by my late teens. Looking back, I am grateful for my parents’ support, which helped me work things out.

Soh implies that if only parents weren’t so rigid about gender norms, so stuck on the idea that only boys can do boy things and only girls can do girl things, then their children wouldn’t feel the need to socially transition. We see the appeal of this argument, and we admit that at least one of us had this view as recently as a few years ago. In the intervening years, we have recruited and studied more than 150 families across the United States and Canada who have supported their children in social transitions. These families are participants in our study, the TransYouth Project, a longitudinal study that aims to track the gender development and mental health of these children, as well as children who would better be described as “gender nonconforming” (children like Soh), through adolescence and young adulthood. After three years of traveling around the country to meet with these families in their homes, in support groups, at camps, and at conferences, our beliefs have changed. Most parents of children who ultimately socially transitioned describe spending months or years doing exactly what Soh praises her parents for doing—explaining to their children that they can play with whatever toys they want and wear whatever clothing they want without having to become the other gender. Unlike the young Deborah Soh, these children were decidedly not satisfied with this solution.

Click here to read the full article by By Kristina Olson and Lily Durwood


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