While this is an encouraging piece in the daily sea of “My child is transgender!!” media portrayals, a couple of things jump out:
8-year-old CJ Duran plays with dolls, wears skirts, and adores the color pink. While CJ loves playing with girly toys and wearing heeled sandals…he identifies himself as gender non-conformist, meaning that he still prefers masculine pronouns and is not transgender, but simply prefers the societally-defined “feminine” things in life.
It’s great that at least one 8 year old who plays with the wrong toys isn’t being called trans, but notice the wording–it’s all about how he, age 8, identifies himself. Did he really say he is gender non-conformist, not transgender? If so, where did he even get this language? And, just wondering: given that he is smack-dab in the middle of the childhood period when make-believe play and fantasy are prominent, would it also have been newsworthy if he “identified himself” as a puppy, a ballet dancer, or a turtle?
When CJ first decided that he preferred “girly stuff” over “boy stuff”, his mother, Lori, went online to do some research. When she realized that there were very few resources for parents who were learning to raise gender-nonconforming children, she was inspired to start her own blog, Raising my Rainbow.
Kudos to Lori for bucking the trend, because what is unspoken (but glaringly obvious) here is that there are PLENTY of resources for parents raising transgender kids. And in looking at her Twitter feed and blog, she herself appears to accept the notion that lots of kids are, in fact, transgender, and not just gender nonconforming. Still, she celebrates her son who enjoys colorful wigs, jewelry, and skirts.
I keep asking myself how we got here; that after the gains of feminism in the mid-late 20th century, parents and kids even have to use a term like “gender nonconforming” just to justify a little person being themselves.
The question is begged: What is the “differential diagnosis” between a gender nonconforming child vs. a transgender child? Answer, I guess, is in the first paragraph: whatever the (in this case, 8-year-old) child says s/he is–s/he is. This is a perfect example of the logical fallacy in the transgender trend sweeping the world: despite years of research showing that 75-95% of gender dysphoric kids grow out of it, if this 8-year-old had said, “I’m transgender,” this would have been a very different article…and Lori would be writing a very different blog.
Shout out to two great subReddits where I find many of these links. This article is a rare jewel in the daily onslaught of “transition is the answer” news stories being published around the world (which these two curators collect).
Reblogged this on Stop Trans Chauvinism.
First thing, we have to stop allowing the trans activists to frame how we will talk about this issue. We need to stop using their terminology.
What they call “gender”, “gender expression”, “gender identity”, I call personality.and personal style. The World Health Organization defines “gender” as what society defines as “masculine” and “feminine”. Taking that one step further, what societies label as masculine or feminine are really just personality traits and personal style, not innately linked to our sex. I tell people I have a sex and I have a personality, not a “gender identity”. What they call “gender non-conforming”, I call “non-stereotyped personality”, or just “personality”.
And, you’re absolutely right about what one “identifies” with. We no more need to “identify” with our sex than we need to “identify” with being human. Both are biological facts that we should all simply take for granted Nor should our sex be considered the most important thing about who we are. It’s just part of who we are, just like our race or nationality. Being human should be the core of who we are, the one thing that unites us all.
And, yes, there are all sorts of resources from trans activists aimed at the parents of non-stereotypical children, all urging them to put their kids on the trans train. There are also resources from conservative religious fundamentalists that urge parents to clamp down harder on making kids conform to stereotypical gender roles. Neither type of sources allow kids to just be themselves with their own individual personalities.
There are also books for both kids and parents promoting the idea of trans kids. There is very, very little written for a mainstream audience in recent years promoting the gender-critical, “Free to Be You and Me” perspective. I’ve been making this same point on other gender-critical blogs, which is why I was so glad to find your blog. There’s Jazz Jennings’ book — where are the books that say, “It’s OK to be a tomboy”, “It’s OK to be a sensitive boy”?
But, as you said, this is a step in the right direction, at least.
(link to WHO page about sex and gender: http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/ )
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