silkspectre94: peachacid: nestle:
here is the thing; I don’t think an opinion based on misinformation is valid. I think it is very sad that Nestle doesn’t see that her botched-circumcision example as proof that what is physically on the outside (physical sex) does not necessarily match gender. “You have no penis, therefore you cannot be a boy” is a very damaging message. “You have no penis, but you get to tell us who you are as a person” is much better. That person can be super girly girl and that is okay. That person can be hyper masculine and that’s okay. That person can be neither or both at once. That is okay. Trust me, kids know from a very young age what they gravitate towards. The trick (I think) as a parent or adult who interacts with kids is to not stifle that by being uncomfortable when a “boy” wants to dress in a tutu and then run around playing basketball.
Please don’t spin this as an intellectual argument that does not affect anyone. It affects me; my partner is trans. Transgender is a huge umbrella term that covers a heck of a lot of variation. When I see “opinions” that boil down to completely dismissing the existence of people like the one I love, it feels incredibly frustrating and dehumanizing towards our experience. Honestly, it is a gift and a privilege to not have others question or disbelieve your inner self because your insides and your outsides perfectly line up. That’s called being “cisgender.” When it doesn’t happen it doesn’t mean that person is bad, wrong or implausible.
Nestle, I don’t believe that your opinion makes you a bad person, but I DO believe you are misinformed about the complicated topic of gender vs. sex. People who have both male and female genitalia are “intersex.” Many varieties of being intersex are not easily apparent. If you have both a penis and a uterus, how can you tell with a visual inspection? Male testes descend well after birth – so what if they don’t because they happened to develop as ovaries? The inner labia are the same tissue structure as a scrotum – so if the labia fuse in utero they completely mask the vagina. All these would be times where the physical sex appears one way (male) but is actually either both or more female. The best way to deal with that (studies have shown) is to let the child lean one way or the other naturally, and be upfront with how they are special.
Besides that, a person can understand (from a very young age) that there is a male and a female gender… And that everyone else has a decided opinion on what gender they are that isn’t what they know they are. Kids in rigid households learn very early on to hide their gender exploration or gender variance… And it makes it VERY difficult for them to open up about their big, traumatic secrets later in life. Also… The longer they hide secrets from their families and friends, the harder it is for those family members and friends to accept it.
How would you feel if your father retired, then told you and your family that now he doesnt have to face discrimination in the workplace anymore he will be exploring his female side, and dressing as a woman? What if that were your husband? How would it be different if you knew right from the get-go that your dad sometimes was another mom and your new ‘boyfriend’ was very happy to take you out shopping because ‘he’ could browse alongside you?
one more thing I want to point out that I don’t believe the public at large is totally aware of: there is a big difference between transgender (being between genders) and being transsexual. Transsexual people are the ones who know their body is WRONG and they need to take steps (hormone therapy all the way out to gender reassignment surgery and facial reconstruction) to deal with making things match. Not all transgendered people need to make the outsides match the insides. For some that do need to make the two match, sometimes clothing is enough.
regardless of how you raise your kid, they are going to be them, I think the big trick is lovin them for exactly who they are and letting them know it is okay to be them.