Let’s continue the conversation on labeling, shall we?
Before we start, let me be very clear that I am a proponent of transgender rights! But this non-sense of transgendered children and toddlers needs to stop. That is not to say that these kids shouldn’t be able to express themselves but labeling them transgendered seems preposterous.
For simplicity, I am going to call myself a cis-gendered, bisexual female.
As a child, I was a tom-boy. Like ate dirt, played rough-and-tumble, climbed trees, got muddy, all my friends were boys and I hated dolls and anything pink. In fact, I thought that dolls should be dismembered and anything pink should be set on fire. I vividly recall having some epic temper tantrums about having to wear dresses to Christmas or Easter dinners.
That’s what I was, a girl that was a tom-boy. But a girl.
If I was that child today, I am not sure I would identify as a girl. At the time, I always felt like “one of the boys.” I wanted to be a boy, so I didn’t feel other than them.
Today, I am still a bit of a tom-boy; I don’t wear makeup often, I still like sports, I still hate pink. The difference now, I love wearing dresses, I love jewelry. I love being feminine, sometimes.
But undoubtedly, I am female. My self-identity evolved over my teenage years and into my twenties, and I am sure it is still evolving.
This is where my concern lies. I believe that children should be able to express themselves however they want, but labeling them transgendered seems so permanent, I worry that “transgendered” will become so ingrained into their self-identity that they won’t be able to shake it if their feelings change.
If my son wants to start wearing dresses, I wouldn’t bat an eye. Actually, at one point he went through a phase where he always wanted pink nail polish. Hell, if he wanted to (at this point, informally) change his name to something ‘girly’, I’ll call him whatever he wants.
I will always support him. It would start as him being a boy who liked girl things; then maybe a boy who felt like a girl; before finally, evolving into being transgendered.
I guess my point is, I think we should be supportive of kids (really, of everyone), but not be so quick to jump on labels. Humans grow, self-identity evolves and we need to let people decide for themselves. Stop shoving people into these neatly labelled boxes, at the very least, lets leave the lid off so people are free to choose a different box.