Welcome to the world where the naive are educated by the ignorant. The recent media attention of the child removed from their parents by a judge has sparked a series of events and media articles that attacks a transgender charity that supports trans children and their parents. Many of those parents are desperate and confused about how they are feeling.
You don’t choose to be trans – no more than you choose the colour of your eyes. The difference is you can’t see trans – it’s inside you and you feel different from the people around you who seem OK and happy with their gender identity, you copy them, their moods and their gender so you fit in.
A CBBC (BBC children’s television for 6 – 12 year olds) on trans issues in children slammed for putting ideas into people heads – encouraging them to transition. How stupid are people? This is about choices – saying you can have options, but only if it’s right for you. It’s not going to encourage anyone to transition any more than it’s going to encourage someone who doesn’t like coffee to have an espresso.
In this world were the headlines sell, wilful blindness by journalist is king – today it is trans issues because most people are so ignorant they can get away with it. You can be adult and trans, but where do you think these adults come from? Because it is children, it is “abuse”. When child abuse is not letting your child present as the gender they feel they are – wilfully. Child abuse is being too scared to tell your parents about your feeling around your own gender.
Saying “I love you whoever you are” to a trans child is bravest thing a parent can do and the furthest thing from child abuse imaginable.
The real abuse of children is going on the headlines and content of the media, cascading down to concerned parents – who don’t want to confront an issue that can be life or death (of their own child). If parents of trans children were not already worried enough about having a trans child, they will now. These headlines fuel hatred and ignorance in parents and their children.
I was bullied at school for being gay. I didn’t even know or understand what that word meant until I was 15, and it didn’t relate to how I was feeling about my own gender. The fact was I was trans. But because I had no access information to being able to put my feeling into context – I had no frame of reference. I grow up as a frustrated boy, testosterone kicked in, puberty changed me. My life was set to be a man. I coped well, but things could have been different – I could have been much happier, much sooner.
What people don’t understand is early intervention with trans children changes lives for the better. If the end outcome is happier children and adults – and kids aren’t stupid, giving the choices and accepting them for those choices is not abuse, it’s love. Love is not about picking their ‘best’ schools, giving endless lifts to football at the weekend, or having friends for sleepovers. This is about life long happiness, instead of life long confusion, misery and in many cases death.
We have a lack of trans role models for public consumption and as much as with have some good ones – we also have some poor ones that optimize and continue the stereotypes of trans in peoples’ heads. And we are sadly lacking a Jazz Jennings (featured image) in the UK – who is a perfect example of who trans children are – just that children, just happy, happy children.
But this is also good news. This ignorance will start a bigger debate. A fight for knowledge, some sparks of understanding for when I child says they wish they were a boy (or a girl) – and I hope, out of all of this many more happier children and future adults.