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‘Princess boy’, 5, inspires book about tolerance

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  1. So really interesting stories today. Well done PinkNews.

    The mother has a valid point. We do need to wake up and just accept that sometimes people are different.

    Can I just ask someone trans how old they were when they knew they were the wrong gender?

    As a gay man I knew when I was about five that I was attracted more to boys than girls but that never developed until I was about twelve. I can only assume it’s similar for trans people.

    But it’s easy to make generalisations and assumptions I guess. Just because this boy likes to wear what can be deemed as girls clothing doesn’t mean anything. As long as he is happy – who cares.

  2. This research paper might be of help Danny.

    childhood experiences of transgender adults
    by Natasha Kennedy and Mark Hellen

    http://www.gjss.org/images/stories/volumes/7/2/3.%20Kennedy%20and%20Hellen.pdf

  3. Jock S. Trap 5 Jan 2011, 10:44am

    So often we hear of how a child will be bullied because of the way he/she behaves or what they wear but truth is most young children don’t give a stuff. It’s not built into them to discriminate. That sadly comes from the parents and their own fears and insecurities and of course that is what the children are taught.

  4. Christine Beckett 5 Jan 2011, 10:54am

    Danny asked – “Can I just ask someone trans how old they were when they knew they were the wrong gender?”

    @Danny. in my case, perhaps three to four years old… I was certainly borrowing my sisters clothes at that age, and was aware that I had unwanted baggage in the lower regions.

    It does not necessarily mean all kids who want to do this are trans, though. It might just be a phase.

    Even so, the main point is that the bullying is wrong, and the parents are often the worst culprits.

    hugs
    chrissie

  5. Thank you to both Chriss and Helen. I shall have a read of the link Helen.

  6. Chrissie even..I can’t type today.

  7. i have ordered the book – great recommendation.

    would be nice to see such other articles

    having lived in europe and travelled asia one sees a whole range of differentness. degree of socially acceptable tactility and eye-balling and relaxed attitudes to making clothes sex-neutral or gender-opted even if just with kids.

    getting people out of boxes is a real aid to stopping bullying – compassing acceptence of differentness

    do pink doc martins go with pin stripe ?
    of course replied my tv bf :-) but take off the bib

    have a nice day!

  8. @ Danny. Actually I didn’t know I was trans, not properly, until I was in my early 20s. So it doesn’t work for everyone – there were hints but I didn’t *know*. Thank god I didn’t – I was bullied bad enough at school as it was.

    This mother is commendable – if the whole world were like her imagine how much more relaxed people could be.

  9. @Danny I knew when I was very little (I remember something around three or four) that people got something wrong about what I would now call my gender.
    Note: I was pretty sure that people around me got it wrong, not be being “the wrong gender” ;-)
    Until I was told that it is a sin and wrong and would drag all my family down with me to hell if I went on “trying to be” something their god doesn’t want me to be. It never went away but it took almost four decades to get over the conditioning that not being what they want me to be will send me to hell.
    So I would so love to hug every single mother who stands by her kids and lets them find out what it means to be themselves.
    And thanks to PN for publishing such a positive story!

  10. There’s nothing in this story about the boy being “the wrong gender” – he’s a boy with certain tastes in clothes. It would be appalling if ideology persuaded him that he was a girl and so had to undergo “corrective surgery” simply because of his taste in clothes.

  11. @Joe, I completely agree. No child should be pressured into identifying as something that they are not no matter which end of the spectrum it is. This boy is happy dressing in girls clothing but as far as we can gather IS a boy. I hope that he continues to live a life being himself, it is so encouraging that his parents are supportive

  12. bullyıng ıs always a cowards way out: the bully has serious psychological deficiencies and compensates. the no bullying, zero tolerance rule benefits bullies and all of us even more than it benefits suicides. for every suicide god knows how many don’t. it destroys the security fundamental to learning. and it just sucks. it is not necessary. it dehumanizes everyone.

  13. how can anyone be the wrong gender. it’s as absurd as saying you were born from the wrong parents or were born with the wrong color eyes or born on the wrong day of the week. what you are is what you are. miscategorization is not the child’s fault. we are all born of bits of this and that and how we put ourselves together is up to us but the parts we were given is just the start. i once spent a whole day trans and learned i wasn’t. couldn’t wouldn’t. i learned a lot about myself and the world too. not wrong not right. learning loving growing changing. that’s life.

  14. “how can anyone be the wrong gender. it’s as absurd as saying you were born from the wrong parents or were born with the wrong color eyes or born on the wrong day of the week. what you are is what you are.”

    For 15 years doctors have had research available to them that suggests transsexuality is not a lifestyle choice and shows a biological cause for gender dysphoria.

    Just some of the research available.

    * Zhou, J.N., Hofman, M.A., Gooren, L.J. and Swaab, D.F.. A Sex Difference in the Human Brain and its Relation to Transsexuality. NATURE, 378: 68-70 (1995)

    * Kruijver, Frank P. M., Zhou, J., Pool, Chris W., Hofman, Michel A., Gooren, Louis J. G and Swaab, Dick F. Male-To-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers In A Limbic Nucleus. J CLIN ENDOCRINOL METAB, 85: 2034-2041 (2000)

    * Garcia-Falgueras, Alicia and Swaab, Dick F. A Sex Difference In The Hypothalamic Uncinate Nucleus: Relationship To Gender Identity. BRAIN, (Nov 2, 2008)

    I am astounded on a LGBT site trans people we still need to defend our very existence.

    I exist, this is who I am and who I will always be deal with it!

  15. de Villiers 5 Jan 2011, 7:34pm

    My reasoning may be incorrect – I’m not a medical doctor or learned in psychology and psychiatry but I would have thought that the existence of hermaphrodites would demonstrate that gender is not necessarily linked to physical form.

  16. radical53 6 Jan 2011, 2:35am

    Beautiful story. Kids know how they want to be and who they are and we must encourage and nurture their gifts and talents. He is very comfortable in his own skin, which is so endearing at this young age. Children like this must be cared and loved and it will come back threefold or more and society will benefit from it too.

  17. An Cat Dubh 6 Jan 2011, 9:28am

    …Isn’t this pretty old? I saw a book called ‘Princess Boy’ about two months ago on Amazon. Some replier linked to it on the Boo as Daphne story comment section.

  18. @isafakir

    IGNORANCE!! You can’t “be trans” for the day, you either are or aren’t 24/7! The ‘factory bits’ explanation you used refers to sex NOT gender.

    Please read the articles Helen has referred you to. Luckily ignorance can be cured :)

  19. Danny:
    > So really interesting stories today. Well done PinkNews.

    PN seems to be catching up on some old stories. Interesting, yes, but this little combination of three seems to conflate very different issues on children and gender-related presentation and identity.

    Children just liking wearing different clothes, even just as fancy dress, being mixed up with potentially being gay (or rather whether their parents would mind if they were), and also with a quite possibly trans child.

    In the essential context that trans children persistently face denial of their identity and pressure to be seen as gay, or even “confused”, even when they are absolutely clear and very much in danger of permanent harm from refusal of medical assistance, this is most unfortunate.

    That Shiloh Pitt-Jolie is, in a single, short, final paragraph, quite gratuitously labeled by PinkNews as a “daughter”, and several widely reported aspects of an apparent male identity are omitted, makes that worse.

    Pitt and Jolie know a lot about transsexuality and seem to be dealing with their child admirably, from what we can see.

    > Can I just ask someone trans how old they were when they knew
    > they were the wrong gender?

    Not “wrong gender”, wrong sex. I figured out at about 33 months that being big, hairy, smelly, gruff, and leading a man’s life, as I could see men’s lives, was a totally repulsive prospect, but that being like any of the women I could see would be fine, for me. So, from that point I just identified with women. I asked my mother, as soon after that as I figured an opportunity, to find out if doctors could make it that I grew up as a woman. You need to be very sure to risk asking that.

    > As a gay man I knew when I was about five that I was attracted
    > more to boys than girls but that never developed until I was
    > about twelve. I can only assume it’s similar for trans people.

    I’ve puzzled how gay men realised their orientation. It doesn’t seem much written about.

    For my part, I was mostly scared of boys, and men. With boys that didn’t scare me, their parents didn’t want me to be their friend. Men, such as teachers, obviously avoided me. As with most young girls, most male interests and behaviour seemed to me really stupid. At about 14 I realised, because I had minor crushes on admirable women and girls, that I was probably heading to be lesbian. The first time I was kissed, by such a girl, I learned that I’m femme. Later, when my hormones got sorted, it turned out I’m bisexual.

    Gender identity is a whole set of other layers beneath sexual orientation that colour everything differently.

    > But it’s easy to make generalisations and assumptions I guess.
    > Just because this boy likes to wear what can be deemed as girls
    > clothing doesn’t mean anything. As long as he is happy – who
    > cares.

    Indeed, there are good livings to be made in fashion and on the stage, but parents worry, it makes others feel insecure, and if a child is transsexual it matters a lot that they have access to good information and support in time to enable a decent life. But transsexuality isn’t liking to wear particular clothing.

  20. Helen:
    > For 15 years doctors have had research available to them that
    > suggests transsexuality is not a lifestyle choice and shows a
    > biological cause for gender dysphoria.

    No, the works you cite do not show the cause; that false assertion undermines credibility. Instead they show that transsexuality is a physical condition in which significant adult brain areas match those typical of brains of people born the sex with which the transsexual person identifies, the cause of which awaited certain discovery.

    Their importance was as full evidence that transsexuality cannot be “cured” by talking therapies, whether religious, psychological, or psychoanalytic.

    Today, several other pieces of the puzzle are fitted into place. We now know that female-to-male transsexuality has at least one genetic connection. We know many dozen possible genomic causes for male-to-female transsexuality, of which it might be that people could have different combinations. We know there is no clear genetic correlation with the crude “GID” diagnosis. We know those who are transsexual in the male-to-female direction in childhood are very likely to all have a genetic insensitivity of the estrogen receptor alpha, but that, while it might explain our earlier presentation it cannot be the sole cause. And we know, due to advances in scanning, that there are many more brain areas that, whilst not crudely different in size between the sexes, are wired or function differently in males and females, and, again, transsexuality, or a history of it, coincides, in adults (children not having been included in any of such studies), with having a pattern matching the gender of identity.

  21. Helen:
    > This research paper might be of help Danny.
    >
    > childhood experiences of transgender adults by Natasha Kennedy
    > and Mark Hellen

    Thank you for that link. Now I understand why Natacha Kennedy refused to supply me with a copy of it herself; she has inappropriately projected her own (classical transgender, very late transitioned, and now in her 50s) life experience upon all “transgender children”, regardless of when or where they went through, or are currently experiencing childhood. She paints a situation apparently based on ignorance, unaware of vastly varying intensity of dysphoria, unaware of the history of transsexuality in childhood, of the different situations and outcomes in other cultures, and placing much emphasis on clothing whilst ignoring the transsexual need for an appropriate body. Now I understand why I have to repeatedly correct her assertions, and why she opposes the essential granting of timely medical assistance, advocating denial until 16.

    Whilst I would agree that the situation, in many cultures, in childhood, of other people with issues of gender identity or gender presentation requires considerable improvement, it is despicable to try to do that at the expense of transsexual children.

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