I am a concerned mom of a three and a five-year-old and I am writing in this in an effort to find other people, maybe other moms, who have the same concerns I do but, like I have been, are afraid to say anything. That is unless you count blogging anonymously…then I’m brave as hell, because I am just a wee-bit obsessed with this subject in the same way I’m obsessed with crop circles.
As I’ve written before, my concern started when my oldest was almost three and I came across a blog of a woman who was raising her son as a girl from the time he was about my daughter’s age.
Brunette but thought she was blonde (At 5.5, still does).
Insisted she would grow up to be a daddy (still does).
Determined she could choose to be a bird and fly (still is).
Thought Elmo was actually calling on the phone via the Elmo app (Still does).
Believes in Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy (Still does).
All of the above interpreted by me through a head-tilting, squinty-eyed, half flat-out guessing game of toddler charades.
These are the thoughts running through my head as I’m reading a blog of a woman raising her boy, the same age as my daughter, as a girl.
Is my child a dumb ass?
No way could my three-year-old have communicated a desire in an articulate or informed enough manner that she could have ever convinced me that I must raise her as the male gender she felt she was actually born. NEVER.
The blogger went on to say that from the time her only child was two, he demanded to wear nothing but pink and fluffy tutus which made me again question my own child’s development because she wouldn’t be able to tell me that she wanted to wear something that wasn’t in her closet and she definitely couldn’t dress herself.
My immediate thought was how could this woman publicly admit that she was doing this? Where was CPS?
The reality I found was that she was applauded for being so public.
In fact, I would later find out that she had written a book and had appeared on various TV and radio shows.
Then, it hit me.
Her kid couldn’t decide for “herself” that he was a boy if he wanted to.
His future as a female had already been determined for him.
I hope, for his sake, that he was some sort of child genius orator at the age of three allowing them to interpret his life-long desires accurately. Otherwise, his parents (and by-proxy the therapists and those not speaking out) have taken one of the very basic rights we all have, the right to life which, in my opinion (thank you mom and dad for letting me decide) includes the sex we were born.
This mom blogger wasn’t alone.
There were many more like her and raising kids transgender as young as three seems almost the norm. There are even more trans-tot bloggers today, just a couple of years later.
If you don’t have kids or aren’t familiar with the development of kids let me explain something: this is fucked up (sorry, but no other way to put it).
Think about this. Many parents who adopt a child agonize over when and how to tell their children that they are adopted and the questions that will follow as their child grows through the levels of comprehension.
Parents who are raising their three, four and five-year-old children as transgender will someday, when they’re old enough to fully comprehend (ironically), have to have an in-depth conversation with their children explaining why it is that they decided to raise the child as the sex opposite of what he/she was born.
If I put myself in that child’s place, I cannot picture myself not being pissed or at the least utterly confused. Even if I thought I might actually “identify” more with the sex they chose for me, my adult mind would always question, especially after I had my own kids and learned how utterly imaginative and mostly inaudible kids are.
Kids, if you’re not familiar, have the memory of a smooshed ant. My 5-year-old had a best friend all last summer. I was crushed when eight months later I asked about her best friend and she said, “who?” Even after I pressed her, she didn’t remember this friend that she, just months before, adored.
Again, little dumb ass?
She primarily remembers what I keep alive for her through stories and pictures. The older I get the more I think we as adults are no different memory-wise.
What infuriates me the most is how we are all forced to agree with this new choosing your kid’s sex after their born lifestyle lest be called horrid names.
My mom gut is telling me this is not right. It feels like child abuse.
For someone like me who tries to be understanding and tries to research whether or not my instincts are wrong, I first turn to the American Association of Pediatrics. A trustworthy source, right?
Here’s screen shot of the list of articles I find when I search “transgender kids” on the AAP website:
As a comparison, I also enter, “spanking” and find this:
So, spanking can cause mental illness; but someone else deciding your gender for you before you were old enough to do so yourself…A-ok! One seems a lot more extreme than the other to me.
Because the American Association of Pediatrics goes against what my instinct tells me and what I know first-hand, I found myself searching for the actual definition of child abuse:
What is the definition of child abuse?
Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse.
Now, let’s apply this definition to two scenarios that illustrate my AAP website search:
In today’s world, if my 5-year-old daughter ran across the street without my supervision and I hurried across the street yelling at her in a manner that would get her attention so that she would not do it again and maybe even swatted her on the behind to make my point stronger, a passer-by could call the police and claim child abuse. I know this because I’ve had it happen to three different friends.
On the other hand, if I took the same 5-year-old child, dressed her as a boy and sent her into a public men’s bathroom by herself (because I can’t/don’t want to go in) to use the bathroom next to a row full of men using the urinals, the cops couldn’t do a thing. Not without a discrimination lawsuit. And, if you called the cops on me, you risk being on the news and demonized as an unloving, homophobic bigot. Even better, I can exploit my special child by writing a blog, a book and becoming a spokesperson for the community then be heralded as a brave and heroic example for other moms. I can even go further and give her puberty blocking drugs around the age of nine. Demand that she shower with a locker room full of sex-crazed naked boys while in junior high and high school. All of this under the guise that she told me she was a boy at the age of three. Even though science tells us that our brains are not fully formed until 25.
Re-read the definition of child abuse above. The second scenario fits much better into the definition and yet those who dare even question the actions of these parents are demonized and called horrible names. It’s also hard not to question the validity of the American Association of Pediatrics. Especially if you’re a mom. Then you have to wonder who do we trust?
This post was prompted by a post by a gay guy friend who, in response to Trump’s action on the bathroom bills in schools said, “Fuck you, Trump.”
The man who posted this doesn’t have kids.
He has no idea.
We Moms know.
We need to get past the intimidation of these bullies and speak out.
We need to stand up for these kids so that they can focus on childhood until they’re old enough to decide for themselves the gender and life that they want to live.
We need to stand up for the Moms who are being misled by the therapists, politicians and media with ulterior motives telling them it is OK to define their child’s gender for them before they can speak and way before their brains are fully formed
But, most of all we need to stand up against people bullying through their name-calling and intimidation tactics in an effort to shut down reasonable and rationale conversation.
Our instincts are right.
And, we must protect our children.