What You Probably Don’t Understand About Transgender Kids and Their Parents
Imagine you are a parent and your kid has come out to you as transgender. Now imagine you live in Texas. The governor has just instructed the Department of Family and Protective Services to consider any gender-affirming medical treatment child abuse. You are now living in a nightmare scenario where no matter what you do your child is at extreme risk.
If you aren’t the parent of a transgender child your reaction to the news out of Texas and similar anti-transgender actions in other conservative states probably falls into one of three categories:
- Good. It’s about time.
- Absolute horror. This is madness.
- Shrug. What will those silly conservatives think of next? Oh well, it will probably get knocked down in the courts. Not my problem.
You almost certainly come to this question with opinions and assumptions about transgender kids, their parents, current medical advice, and risks. You are probably wrong. Your ignorance is getting kids killed. Please keep reading.
Myth #1: I know a boy who thought he was a girl but his parents shut down that nonsense fast and now he is a perfectly happy young man with a wife and a baby on the way.
Some kids talk about being or wanting to be the opposite gender but grow up to be cisgender, i.e. identifying as the gender assigned to them at birth on the basis of their genitals. Go to the talking points page of any anti-trans group and they will throw out statistics suggesting most trans kids change their minds after puberty.
The problem with these studies is they don’t differentiate between types of kids who explore gender. Listen to the difference between these statements from a little girl:
- “I wish I was a boy.”
- “I want to be a boy.”
- “I am a boy.”
Many children have fleeting experiences of wondering what it would be like to be the opposite gender. Wise parents don’t make a big deal of it and…