Raising transgendered boys

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by HyperHulk, May 12, 2008.

  1. HyperHulk

    HyperHulk New Member

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    I just came across this interesting story about two young boys who both were obsessed with playing with "girl's" toys and wanting to be girls. Their parents sought two different counselors, one family was encouraged to let their son identify as a girl, the other family was encouraged to remove anything girl-related from their son's life. Heartbreaking parental decisions.

    You can read or listen to the story here: Two Families Grapple with Sons' Gender Preferences : NPR

    If your son or daughter was obsessed with being identified as the opposite gender, how would you handle it? Let them do what they want with it or force them to be the "correct" gender?
     
  2. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    Given how much the definitions of masculine and feminine change depending on the location and era (especially the latter), I say let them go with it. Who knows, we could be holding back the next step in modern cultural development otherwise. Failing that, it could very well just be a phase. If it's not, so what. He's still your son. Atleast he's not hurting anyone.
     
  3. HyperHulk

    HyperHulk New Member

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    Not sure if you got a chance to read the story, it's a bit long, but the parents who let their son go for it, let him start kindergarten as a "girl" with a new name. Apparently all the kids are dealing well with it and the parents now refer to their son as their daughter.
     
  4. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    No, I haven't read the story. I was just answering those last couple of questions.
     
  5. ManlyBanisters

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    Thanks for posting that, Hulk - it was very interesting.

    It's a bit of a difficult one, isn't it. Part of me agrees with the corrective therapist (Zucker) that to allow the transgender behaviour is to actually encourage something that might not be permanent. On the other hand Ehrensaft's encouraging approach seems far kinder in some ways. I was going to say laissez-faire - but it is more than laissez-faire, it is allowing and actively supporting a very young child living as the opposite sex.

    Of course sexism comes into play here. Anti-male sexism. It is so much easier to deal with an issue like this when the child is a girl. The 'tom-boy' is a cultural norm and is totally accepted. A girl spending her entire childhood in boys' clothing and playing with boys' toys is not really seen as a problem. For most girls who do that it is just a phase, for some it isn't. But they and their families are, for the most part, allowed to go through it without any handwringing and therapy needed. For a reasonable chunk of my childhood (7 to 9 I think) I wanted to be Steve McQueen when I grew up (I would have settled for Clint Eastwood too, but really I wanted to be Steve) - my mum responded by buying me a sweater that I thought looked like his 'Great Escape' get up. Hell I even used to put a pair of socks in my pants to give myself a bulge - I was as happy as a pig in shit. But it was a phase, and it passed. Well actually it didn't - I don't do the sock thing anymore but I'd still like to be Steve McQueen but you can't have everything, hey?

    It's the boys who want to wear dresses and ribbons in their hair that our society finds unacceptable. Why did the second kid in the article have to be called she and feminise his name - why couldn't the parents be OK with him being a boy AND wearing a dress? Because he would have been picked on, because society teaches up that men who want to be feminine are unwell or perverted. Women who want to be masculine are fine! Who wouldn't want to be masculine? And how could a woman get a sexual thrill from being masculine. But a man - he gets a sexual thrill from being feminine, an unhealthy sexual thrill! Bollox! There's no bloody difference between me wanting to be Steve McQueen and Ed Wood wearing a cashmere jumper - just that the latter is seen as perverted and the former is not.

    So to answer your questions - if I had a boy who wanted to be feminine to any extent I would, I hope, indulge it but not to the point where I allowed him to BE a girl. That's a choice for adulthood. If I had a girl who wanted to be masculine I would allow that in exactly the same way as I was allowed to express that as a kid.
     
  6. whatireallywant

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    Sadly, not in all cases are girls who are tomboys seen as acceptable. I am living testimony to this. I was messed up for life by other kids, and often adults as well, not allowing me to be myself. Even my mom (last night in fact!) said that I should've accepted playing with the girls (who where I grew up just sat around not wanting to get their dresses dirty, and did NOTHING!) instead of wanting to play with the boys (who were doing all the FUN stuff!) I am bitter about this to this day.

    Granted, things have changed since I was growing up, and where I grew up was particularly rigid on gender roles, but those biases are still there (and where I grew up is still rigid! They may have loosened up a little, but I doubt that they've loosened up much).

    I am very much for kids being who they really are! If a girl has "masculine" interests, let her! If a boy has "feminine" interests, let him! And NO BULLYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now, I grew up kind of different, I guess. Most of my interests are still traditionally masculine, but I am straight, and I am interested in fashion and beauty (that's about the extent of my traditionally female interests right there! Nothing else!)
     
  7. THEDUDEofDestiny

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    the problem with these parents is they took their toddlers to therapy. jesus christ, leave the kids be for godsake. if it is a phase they'll grow out of it, if not, then you are just making matters worse
     
  8. dannyfun1981

    dannyfun1981 New Member

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    Can I just say stapleshut hit the nail on the head, at the end of the day its still your child! If they decide to be transgender or Bisexual or anything, they are still your child and unconditional love is paramount. they're not hurting no-one so whats it got to do with anyone else?
     
  9. THEDUDEofDestiny

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    i think we all agree, danny. i'm just saying i wouldnt force my child into therapy for playing with barbies or label him sexually until he has reached maturity.
     
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