NBC News profiles transgender children and their families



I know that I should not be surprised, but I still am, when I look at some of the startlingly cruel responses to this story in the conservative media.


I’m not saying I’m right about my skepticism of this, but I thought I was Wolverine when I was that age. This kind of strikes me as the same thing. If we lived in a world where trans folk were likely to be accepted when they grew up, this wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) matter, but we don’t.

Goddamnit I watched this and now I has the feels.

It makes me deeply happy that this is at least a conversation that can happen. And it makes me happy that parents like this exist.

And it makes me deeply sad that people can give others such hell for nothing more than being.


Honestly I think of it the other way around; it seems to me that the rest of us are at least as screwed up as a transgendered child.

But normality is overrated anyway!


This is good!

But I am…skeptical…of sticking labels on the gender identity of a 2 year old. Gender identity can be a fluid, changeable thing over the lifetime of any individual, and my understanding is that this is not quite the same thing as trans, but can overlap with it (a male toddler can say “I’m a girl” and be trans, or not). I’m concerned that this conflates the two. A lot of kids are just trying on identities of various sorts for size at that young age.

Still, if the problem we have with this is TOO MUCH ACCEPTANCE, that’s probably a good thing. :wink: I just hope that when/if some of these kids decide that they’re not some other gender anymore that the parents don’t INSIST on them being trans.

[quote=“namenotreserved, post:3, topic:55976”]
'm not saying I’m right about my skepticism of this, but I thought I was Wolverine when I was that age. This kind of strikes me as the same thing. [/quote]

Say what now? Did you miss the part about transgendered identity being “consistent, insistent and persistent”? Like, for years, and in every situation? Cuz I’m just not believing you were like that with your Wolverine fantasy, at least not for very long.

If we lived in a world where trans folk were likely to be accepted when they grew up, this wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) matter, but we don’t.

Er, yeah, so what are you suggesting then? That parents of such kids quash transgendered identities because the rest of the world has a problem with it? If so, I sure hope you never have one.


Some of my closest and dearest friends are transgendered adults. I love them and accept them for who they are. Be the change you want to see in the world.


That’s exactly my point, though. How can we say anything is consistent for a four year old, and how much effect does parental encouragement have on that?

[quote=“milliefink, post:7, topic:55976”]
Er, yeah, so what are you suggesting then? That parents of such kids quash transgendered identities because the rest of the world has a problem with it? If so, I sure hope you never have one.[/quote]

I’m more concerned with inducing a change in identity than quashing one. If they’re still insistent at 10 or 12 without encouragement, then it’s probably time to think more about it, but I suspect many wouldn’t.

Why are you skeptical about something you clearly don’t understand and have obviously done ZERO research on? How can you be skeptical about something you have no knowledge about?


You what?


Well, depending on the behavior and what one likes, it can be just a phase for some, and for others it is who they are. When I was young I carried around a purse like my mom a lot. I always liked the color purple, and still do to this day. I also liked other “girly” colors - though to be fair the 90s was full of bright colors. I got some shit for a teal book bag in high school. Oh well.

I think the point is that people who are trans (or gay, etc) are like that at a very young age. It isn’t just some made up thing or something done for attention, but who they are. In the past we would beat and shame them into “normalcy”. But I think things are shifting where we are less afraid to let kids be who they are. Maybe some of them might like to dress up girly/boyish at a young age, but later out grow it or move on. Others maybe end up being transgendered. But either way I think the point is it is ok to let them be themselves.


It’s never a matter of taking a kid’s word for it the moment it happens, then sending them off for hormone therapy and surgery. They have plenty of time to live the way that they feel most comfortable, well beyond whatever behavioral whims a child might have. It’s a lot more tragic if parents insist on ignoring what’s in front of them because their feelings are more important than their own child’s.

It’s a shame that Bruce Jenner grew up in a time where he had to wait as long as he did. He would have been much happier earlier in his life if he could have been himself a lot sooner: and might have been lucky enough never to have met a Kardashian.


You really don’t know shit about this topic, do you? If you’re so “concerned” about it, why not do some looking into it? And then, yay, you can stop making such an ass of yourself.


[edit: not sure that has the tone I intended, so…]
I agree. Who better than the person in question understands how they self identify?

And wouldn’t a child have the most unfettered sense of self? How cruel it is to squelch that.

1 Like

Not all trans people are “like that at a very young age.” Many are. Maybe even most. But not all. I was not. At that age, I seemed like a pretty typical boy. I can remember feeling like I didn’t really fit in with most of the boys my age, but then I didn’t really fit in with anyone. I was shy, smart, and more than a little nerdy. I also had a physical disability and was in a wheelchair for several years. Basically, I was all kinds of confused. I didn’t really figure out I was trans until well into my 20s. Trans people are a very diverse group. Also, it’s not about what clothes these kids like, or what colors they like, or what kinds of toys they like to play with. Those are all culturally imposed gender traits, not inherent ones. What makes these children trans is not what they like, but how they see themselves. It’s about their identity, not their behavior.


I don’t even look anymore, I have a hard enough time knowing that their hate exists without having it in my face.

A bit off topic, but I am having PTSD flashbacks from this story about someone who killed themselves in the city where I grew up. Too many similarities with what happened to me, except I got out alive. I saw the story when there was only one (hateful) comment, I don’t want to know what has happened on the comments since.


(I don’t want to talk about this anymore, please don’t derail the original thread)

I find it disturbing enough that some people here like @namenotreserved think that the correct action is to deny trans children their identity and leave the haters alone.


Actually, gender identity is NOT fluid. I am assuming yours wasn’t. I keep reading about kids that identify as the opposite sex during childhood, and then reidentify as their natal sex later on. I’ve never seen any stats on this. I would be surprised that there would be many-- there are many gender markers even as a kid, and children are very clear about what gender they identify with even when they may enjoy activities or clothing of the opposite gender.
There is a world of difference between a girl wanting to wear pants and play with trucks and a kid saying “I don’t like being , call me .”
If I had had any of that growing up-- I was so clearly boy-identified and wanted so badly for that to be normal for just one second…
Kids know from very early on what it means to be a boy or a girl. And they want to belong to that camp and be like the rest of the boys/ girls. My daughter refused to wear pants or certain colors because “thats what boys wear”. She knew she was a girl and figured out that there were rules. As she’s gotten older she’s figured out that the rules are more like guidelines and it’s ok for her to be a girl and do what she wants. But there is no doubt in her mind that she is a girl, and it would be painful to her to be treated or addressed as the wrong sex. Just as it is for these children.
If a child wants to wear the clothing and be addressed as opposite to their natal gender, there is no harm and there is a great deal of harm in trying to force them into something that they are not. We do not live in a gender-blind world, and if these children identify themselves, we should listen.

I would say that their behavior tends to label them, as a child’s ability understand gender vs. gender roles is pretty concrete. To a 5 yo, a boy is someone who wears pants and plays with guns (for example). As you get older, you understand that being male or female isn’t about the clothes you wear or your interests and behavior.
This, of course, does not cover everyone YMMV. There are as many trans narratives as there are trans people. The “knowing forever” narrative is not necessary for every trans person.

I’d say that gender identity in kids is very definite. The differences between males and females they figure out very early and they are very concrete about them.