Change Your World-NOT your Body

Friday, December 10, 2010

Todays Poll Question: Children and Transition

If the parents are willing, should children be allowed to transition?

Use this space if you would like to elaborate on your answer.

Have a Happy Friday one and all!

dirt
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20 comments:

  1. Dirt,

    I think kids should be free to be themselves. Parents should try to find role models who defy genders. Until they approach puberty, kids shouldn't have to worry about gender; they certainly shouldn't be forced to conform to gender roles. Once they approach puberty, I do think they should have the right to transition, although I'm not sure of the relative risks of puberty blockers vs. hormones.

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  2. For the same reason that I oppose circumcision on children, it's THEIR body and a decision of that permanence and magnitude should ONLY be made by the owner of the body as a fully adult person (which is age 25 at the earliest, when the adult brain finishes development) I adamantly oppose transition for children.

    If you transition a child you are damning them to a life as a sterile, infantilised, mutilated, drugged and diseased abnormal person. Because the consequences are SO severe I think I oppose it more than circumcision.

    As a Mother of five I have some idea of what children experience as they are growing, and they ALL go through periods where they could be diagnosed as having gender dysphoria. I also have a dear friend whose oldest and adopted son has exhibited signs of pretty extreme gender dysphoria. She wouldn't allow him to be circumcised and she won't allow him to be transitioned. She homeschools him so he won't be teased, allows him to express his desires to dress and play in girlish ways and supports him in understanding that yes, he IS a boy and YES, he can wear make-up and earrings and pretty scarves and princess costumes even if he's a boy and he is perfect and wonderful just as he is. He is growing out of calling himself a girl and becoming more comfortable with himself. He will grow up to have an intact, functioning, healthy body that he can use however he pleases and dress however he pleases.

    Transition would have taken all that from him. If ALL children with extreme dysphoria were raised with such compassion and support, I think most people with dysphoria wouldn't even WANT to transition in the first place.

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  3. (oh , that's absurd to say a child is emotionally and intellectually developed enough to make an irreversable decision like that!)

    maybe we're of a certain type, we who are opposed to this general idea
    i am pretty adamantly against all types of elective plastic surgery, of anti-depressants and whatnot, basically against all dependence on external factors to provide what is needed just to be perceived as what is perceived as one's real self
    when one's real self is always there just there being it

    self-sufficiency i suppose
    and it's hard for me (for us?) to imagine this way is not the proper way since it seems so clean and right.

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  4. Man, this is a tough one. As an FTM, I don't even know how to vote on this poll. I guess I think two things:

    (1) allowing kids to transition would allow them the benefit of experiencing puberty in the gender they believe they are, and so they'd probably have a better overall result than those of us who don't start until much later. I imagine an FTM who starts T at puberty would look as manly as could be expected. So that's the beneficial side.

    (2) that's a HUGE decision for a young person to make. Certainly there should be an age limit to transitioning, and I'm tempted to conclude that 18 is a good (if arbitrary) cut off point below which one cannot transition, even with parental consent.

    Yeah, I'm really torn about this one. I guess I'd like to see more studies done on the effects of early transitioning, including the life experiences of early transitioners, before I could answer this question.

    Can you add an "I don't know" option to the poll?

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  5. Anon-ftM@4:53pm

    I tried to add an "I dont know" but it wouldnt let me. Sorry.

    dirt

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  6. About transitioning children: dear god no! Childhood is the most gender-free age of all, why must we let children transition even before puberty, and even before evident physical differences between the sexes appear?
    However, if I could have taken some hormone blockers momentarily to delay my early puberty, I'd have done it in a heartbeat. Our habitat is becoming more and more estrogenated year by year, and that's not good (though counteracting it with drugs is not good either...)

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  7. There's a minor "gender celebrity"- a mother of a boy who "wants to be a girl"- who trots her child around the talk show circuit and to the "transgender children" conventions as an example of a trans kid. I was watching a documentary of her and her son talking at the kitchen table as she painted his nails. She told him he would have to get shots. He said "I hate shots". She told him he would have to have surgery he said "I don't want surgery". He said "Is it wrong to be a girl with a penis?" "Yes. It just doesn't fit. It's like a birth defect"she replied.
    This poor kid, probably gay, being told by his pro-trans mother that he must get injections and surgery that he does not want and that his penis is wrong and "like a birth defect". And she is one of the most prominent spokespeople for the pro-trans child lobby.
    Anyone who checked the box affirming that gender roles should be medically enforced among children before the age of consent should really examine their hatred of gender non-conforming girls and boys and intersex children as well. You are advocating child abuse. This pro-abuse trans philosophy is the reason I take the time to speak out against medical gender "treatment" and all of us in this culture have a responsibility to question these practices.

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  8. let kids be kids, for pete's sake!

    they don't need to medically, physically, surgically, etc... transition. at all. i thought i was a lot of things when i was a kid, and some were true but most weren't.

    let them wear whatever clothes they like, let them be who they want to be for that moment, day week, whatever... but for fuck's sake don't put them through irreversible procedures until they are old enough to understand the harsh reality of those procedures and be clinically diagnosed with gender identity disorder that is severe enough to warrant a physical transition.

    i know plenty of trans people who are from an older generation, who only had 'natural' resources for transitioning. it was tough, but they made it work.

    let kids be kids, but leave the forced gender roles and medical procedures out of it.

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  9. I agree with Anom at December 10, 2010 4:53 PM.

    Dirt, that sucks that you couldn't put an I don't know answer down. I really don't know about this one. It's hard to really say.

    I do know that it is a huge decision to make to transition...especially when you decide you might want to go on HRT whether you are a trans male or a trans female. It would be a good thing for a child to go through puberty in the gender that they want to be.

    It's not something to do on a whim or because you have a friend who is transitioning, or even because you think it's cool. It's not cool to be trans. All the hate, discrimination, ridicule, death rate, and so on is not a fun or cool thing to go through. It took me from the time I was a young teen in the 80's up until I was 37 years old to go on testosterone. I did a whole lot of research for a very long time before making my decision. For me it was the right thing to do but I would NEVER tell or suggest any young person to go on T.

    Parents should learn all they can about the transitioning process and everything it involves before letting their child transition.

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  10. Dirt,

    I'd like to ask something of everyone else here who has struggled with gender/sex/body dysphoria:

    If you could say something, show something, or share something with your 10-year-old self, to either help your younger self accept her body as it is, to to help your younger self decide whether to transition, what would it be?

    I'm not sure right now, I'm still thinking about it. I could get a copy of one of Dworkin's books, and comment in the margins about how that has related to my experiences, or how misogyny has made it hard to accept myself as a woman, or where she makes some really important point, or where she makes a mistake.

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  11. it's been said before but way more than half of the people lurking this blog are FTMs. it's really sad.

    hey ladies! we see you out there! the only person you are fooling is YOURSELF.

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  12. Anonymous 10:27 PM

    Comments like yours really don't help anything...If anything you going to push away a lurker who is close to finding the stregnth to talk and maybe try to discuss that just maybe Dirt is onto something and maybe they won't take that step towards transitioning. Lurkers out there - if you consider yourself ftm but haven't done the physical piece and it's not related to lack of insurance, lack of funds or lack of whatever but simply because you have doubts...speak up on those doubts. Doubts are there for a reason.

    Sorry I went off topic.

    As for children transitioning - no way. This is in the exact same category as chidlren getting cochlear implants. Parents get them to make their child hearing - they are still DEAF. Children who transition - they are still biologically female/male. I absolutely love what Cassaundra's friend did. That male will go on with life loving himself for who he is. Yeah, maybe he missed out on some social stuff growing up but you can catch up socially later in life. Changing your body back - impossible.

    Greystreak

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  13. For those who werent sure, I added a new poll for today giving you a "not sure" option.

    thanks for participating

    dirt

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  14. Cassaundra, your friend sounds like a great parent. I wish more people had as much sense.

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  15. The greatest enemy to the trans condition is common sense.

    dirt

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  16. @ Anon 6:15 -

    OMG. Speaking as a transman, I am completely horrified by that story - telling a young boy that his penis is "wrong" and a "birth defect" is absolutely emotional child abuse. "I don't want shots... I don't want surgery..." My skin is crawling and I want to puke. Poor, poor young guy.

    It's the same kind of stuff my parents used on me to get me to be more like a "girl," like ridiculing my attempts to hide my chest, making fun of the way I walked, and even physical violence when I revealed that I liked motorcycles or tried to dress in a particularly butch manner or had butch friends, etc., etc., etc. AUGH!!! When will parents just learn to let their kids be who they are? I know a very few lucky people whose parents did that, and they are the coolest, most sane people I know.

    Anon, do you have a name or a link to a site so I can look into that story more?

    Oh and Dirt, thanks for changing the poll options. :)

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  17. Thanks for the compliment to my friend, earlier poster. She IS a terrific parent! Her son gets plenty of socialising though, believe me! Homeschooled kids normally get as much or more than public schooled kids. He has three little sisters, visits my brood of 4 (my 1st child is grown and launched) another friend with four kids and does lots of extra-curriculars. The difference is his Mom is always there to guard his self-esteem and self-expression. When playing with my boy, he gets to see a boy who is very boyish, but has waist-length hair, and sees that my five year old girl loves dresses but tends to wear them with rubber boots so she can romp and play in the woods in my backyard. Everywhere he goes he sees people that love their bodies and are happy being themselves because their sex doesn't trap them into narrow gender roles. It's our attempt to make the world we want, and though it's a small world, we are proud of raising our children in this way. My eldest daughter, who is gay, never even had to come out because there was never a concern when she got a girlfriend in high school. Acceptance is what kids need and thrive on, not "treatment". My heart aches for that poor little boy whose Mother is forcing to transition. There is a kid who needs rescuing!

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  18. @anon December 10, 2010 8:17 PM


    totally agree with this post

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  19. This really depends on who you define as a "child".

    As a barely-sixteen year old full-time college-attending FTM, I would really appreciate the resources to transition on my own, without confirmation necessary from my (abusive) mother. I am absolutely certain. I am sound of mind. I know the consequences completely.

    ...so why shouldn't I be allowed? The "a child doesn't know their wishes yet" argument is disgustingly ageist. I know my mind and wishes better than most adults can fathom. So...why not?

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  20. Miss 16,

    I doubt you even know what informs your notions of male and female, let alone your feelings around transition. Your brain, particularly your frontal lobes arent even close to being fully developed yet.

    And I can tell you when as a 16 who believed she knew the full repercussions of say driving down a 35 mph street at 70+ mph (many times) with one or two cousins on the hood of her car, were you to have asked me about that 10 years later I would have told you I was fucking NUTS, not only to risk the multiple traffic violations I would have incurred BUT to have risked LITERALLY the lives of my cousins who could easily have been killed!

    So dont throw the "ageist" bullshit at me, its maturity with age and there is nothing "old" about it. Without that growth our world would parish.

    dirt

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