Transgender @ Four

I think it is fair to say that most of you who have hung in here with my blog are probably liked minded folk who get a couple of change.org sign petitions request in your email box like me. Most of them I sign even though I’m not big on petitions but I’ve seen that they sometimes work so I don’t mind offering my support through my signature. Every once in a while there is one or two that I have to give the side-eye and just delete. I got one of those a few weeks ago. Take a look.

Shahidah –

Our daughter, Coy, is a beautiful, happy, friendly, 6-year-old girl. But her school is treating her differently from the other kids — just because she happens to be transgender.

We have five kids, and Coy is one of three triplets. When she was little, we used to dress her like her brother, but that made her really unhappy. She would be excited to go to the playground, but when we laid out boys’ clothes for her, she would get sad and ask if she could stay home.

When Coy was 4, she told us something was wrong with her body. She asked us when she could go the doctor to become a girl. We took her to a psychologist, who said that Coy is transgender and we should support her and let her be who she is. As soon as we let Coy grow her hair out and wear girls’ clothes, it was like someone turned on a light. She was happy all the time.

Coy’s school, Eagleside Elementary, was initially supportive, too — until this past December, when they abruptly told us Coy couldn’t use the girls’ bathroom anymore. Now we need your support.

We started a petition on Change.org to ask the school to stop discriminating against our daughter. Will you click here to sign it?

When Coy started at Eagleside last September, her teachers and classmates accepted her for who she was. They referred to her using female pronouns, and she used the girls’ bathroom for months with no problems. Then, all of a sudden, the principal told us Coy would have to use the boys’ room, the staff bathroom for adults, or the bathroom for sick children in the nurse’s office. Our daughter is not a boy, she’s not an adult, and she’s not sick. 

Our state, Colorado, is one of 16 states where it’s illegal for public schools to discriminate against kids like Coy. Eagleside had an opportunity to teach kids to celebrate each other’s differences, but instead they set our daughter up for harassment and bullying. Coy doesn’t understand why she can’t be treated the same as all the other little girls.

We are grateful to have the support of LGBT advocates, thanks to the work of Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) and GLAAD. We also know that lots of other schools have done the right thing for LGBT students (such as allowing Gay-Straight Alliances) after being petitioned to do so on Change.org. We hope that if enough people sign our petition, Eagleside Elementary will comply with the law and treat our daughter with equality and respect.

Click here to sign our petition demanding that Eagleside Elementary allow our daughter, Coy, to use the girls’ bathroom.

Thank you,

Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis
Fountain, Colorado

Change Org Pic

 

Now, I have a real problem with signing this one but I have not deleted it. Her parents say that when she was four she expressed unhappiness over her body, and a psychologist determined she was transgender. I’ve been pretty speechless about this since I got this email on March 6 but I have thought about it pretty much everyday. Can a four-year old child really be transgender? I think of my daughter at four who wanted to be a  boy like her brothers and was often caught outside with no shirt on with her Osh Kosh B’Gosh overalls. She displayed strong tomboyish ways all the way up to the sixth grade. I went with it. Same with my son’s. I didn’t freak out when my boys carried my purse or slipped into a pair of my shoes and I don’t understand parents who do. I did not encourage my daughter to act or dress like a boy a four nor did I encourage my boys to act or dress like girls just because they liked a pair of pumps in my closet. I know not all  children grow ‘out’ of their desire to be the other sex but should a parent go this far and should other children and parents be subjected to it at a six-year-old level? I just find this story very disturbing, not because of the little ‘girl’ but the parents who clearly made this decision for her. I feel bad for the parents who  feel like they are bad people because they don’t want to confuse their own children with this new transgender issue.

The parents say their son was very unhappy until they started dressing him as a girl. I would never want my children to be miserable so I understand the parents but only up to a point. I think they went to far. What if at nine the girls decides she wants to be a boy after all? This is not a childish whim, I know, but how much indulgence should a parent give?

This is more of a what do you think post because I have no answers and my only opinion is that I do believe that something as drastic as changing the child’s gender identity should be put on hold for a few years.

It’s one of those things IMO that falls into the category just because something can be done does not mean it should.

What say you?

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Transgender @ Four

  1. Very interesting article. I read a similar story on Huff Post about an 8 year old transgender who became a girl when she was 5 I think. But it’s a very touchy subject and requires a lot of thinking and deciding when you’re the parent. One thing that I had to learn is that transgender technically means that you’re not gay, but physically… well, yeah. So I don’t know. I don’t have kids, but I can understand your opinion a little more than those parents. Glad you got past that challenge! Nice blog. Kudos and be blessed! xx

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts Charlidholbrook. I think most little children want to be the other gender especially when they are around that four – six yo mark. I really question the motives of the psychologist who pegged him at transgender at such a young age.

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  2. Interesting enough this goes back to whether you believe gender can be learned (nurtured) versus whether its innate (nature). I can equally give many stories where children freak out going through puberty because they develop the “wrong genitalia.” Thus, if we are born knowing our roles age should not matter.

    I do find it unusual that a psych would diagnose a child this young, however I know therapy would take at least a year or so before giving a diagnoses and she seems to be in treatment for two years….

    But I do want to explain that there is a difference between a child acting “tomboyish” and one with true gender identity problems. Every child goes through some stage or another, but GID is a serious life-affecting issue which can be recognized in a child that young. And since none of us here know the scope of Coy’s issues: I can only say this is not a decision that’s made lightly, I mean what parent wants their child to have a harder life? Especially to do the every day things that we take for granted such as using a public restroom (A place for violence for many Transgendered folks –just google the Burger King assault in MD). We (society) are so ingrained in gender roles, that anything that does fit our binary system is pegged wrong.

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