Once we made this decision, we received resounding praise and affirmation from most of our peers. One of my friends, who’d also socially transitioned her young child, assured me that this was a healthy, neutral way to allow children to “explore” their gender identity before puberty, when decisions would have to be made about puberty blockers and hormones.
We sought out support groups for parents of transgender children, so that we could find out if we’d done the “right thing.” It hadn’t escaped my notice that our son hadn’t exhibited any signs of actual gender dysphoria. Was he actually transgender?
At these support groups, we were told, again, what good parents we were. We were also told that kids on the autism spectrum (which our son likely is) are gender savants who simply know they are transgender earlier than other kids.
At one of the support groups we attended, we were also told that transgender identity takes a few years to develop in children. The gender therapist running things told us that during this period, it’s important to protect the child’s transgender self-conception—which meant eliminating all contact with family or friends who didn’t support the idea that our son was a girl. I believed her. ...
After about a year of social transition for our older son, our younger son, who was by now only three years old, began to say he was a girl, too. This came as a complete shock to us. None of the things that made our older son “different” applied to our younger son. He was more of a stereotypical boy, and didn’t show the same affinity for the feminine side of things that his older brother did.
The urge for “sameness” is a primal attachment drive in many family members. We felt that our younger son’s assertion of being a girl likely reflected his desire to be like his older sibling, in order to feel connected to him.
His claim to be a girl became more insistent when both brothers went to school part-time, because their program included pronoun sharing. Why could the older sibling be a “she” when the younger sibling couldn’t? Our younger son became more insistent, and we became more distressed.
We made an appointment to see the gender therapist whom we’d met at the support group. We truly believed that she would be able to help us sort out who, if anyone, was actually transgender.
To our shock, the therapist immediately began referring to our younger son as “she,” stating that whatever pronouns a young child wants to use are the pronouns that must be used.
She patronizingly assured us that it might take us more time to adjust, since parents have a hard time with this sort of thing. She added that it was transphobic to believe there was anything wrong with our younger son wanting to be like his older transgender sibling.
Friday, October 20, 2023
Therapists turn Lesbian Sons into Trannies
What happens when lesbians try to rear a couple of boys, in today queer-mad society? This Quillette essay tells a story: