Parents Support Transgendered Child

May 24, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More

An eight-year-old child in Omaha, Nebraska, the middle of three boys, has told his parents throughout his life that he is a she.  Since he learned to talk, he has said, daily, that he is really a girl.  His parents have come to believe him, and are letting him begin the next school term in a new school, as a girl, with a new name.

Ben-turned-Katie will not be allowed back in his Catholic elementary school. According to the priest in the parish, since the Catholic Church believes a person is born one gender and cannot change, his appearance at school would lead to too many questions and cause discomfort for the other children.

It might, of course.   Certainly it would raise all kinds of questions, yes.  Hard questions, the kind that parents aren’t sure how to answer.  My guess is, though, that if the school called in an expert on the subject and held an assembly in which the child’s situation is explained in brief and concrete terms and the other children were allowed to ask any questions they had, parents were allowed to attend, etc., the issue could be handled and put to rest.  Children that age are amazingly accepting, and what a wonderful life lesson it could be.  That is how it would be handled in our school – or similarly, somehow – one of the many reasons we are there.

In watching the video, I was struck by the dedication of these parents to their child.   I am so relieved, on Katie’s behalf, that she has this kind of support.  In conservative Nebraska, this can’t be easy.   I wish them well, and thank them for being the kind of parents every kid deserves to have.   Unconditional love at its finest.


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Category: American Culture, Bigotry, Community, Culture, Education, Health, Human animals, ignorance, Inspirational, Psychology Cognition, Religion, Sex

About the Author ()

I am a writer and communication professional in St. Louis, Missouri, a crafter of jewelry, a disorganized optimist and most importantly, the adoptive mom of two China-born daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Stacy says:

    You're right, Mindy–this is an example of unconditional love (a truly rare gift).

    But I wonder…in a truly sexually healthy society, would it matter whether we called a person by a name that correlated with the gametes their bodies produced, or one that corresponded with the gender subculture–or whatever you call it–that most intrigued them? What if a kid could say, "I'm a boy–and I love princesses and American Girl dolls!"?

    I've always wondered about this. I totally support transexuals, but it seems to me they shouldn't have to undergo painful surgery just because they "feel like" they belong to the opposite sex–shouldn't they be able to accept their bodies AND their personalities?

  2. Mindy Carney says:

    An interesting thought, Stacy – and if we are truly to support INDIVIDUALS as themselves, yes, that should be possible. It shouldn't matter if "he" wants to wear dresses and play with dolls and paint his nails and nurture his friendships in every "girly" way there is.

    The problem, of course, is that if we accept that, pigeon-holing and stereotyping become that much more difficult. It's back to the "why do girls wear pink?" question, and we just seem to need to be able to categorize gender by sex. Too bad.

    But I do think, that by present society's standards, these parents are brave, are doing the right thing, and deserve all the support they can get.

  3. Stacy says:

    Couldn't agree more.

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