LGBTQ Comment Series, part 3: Gender identity
In recent and recurring news, there have been parents choosing to raise their child without a specified gender, and with that have come many people who oppose it.
The two children in question are five year old Sasha from Cambridgeshire , and baby Storm of Toronto, who in the case of the former is being raised ‘gender rich’.
The outcry made about these two children borders between ignorance and intolerance. To raise a child with a preconceived acceptance of what they can and cannot do and can and cannot wear is particularly short-sighted.
We live in a society where, to see someone born male in a dress, makes them a cross-dresser or transvestite and the same in the case of a woman in a waistcoat.
To only travel back a few decades, the sight of a woman in trousers would have been deemed unladylike.
In May last year, a 12-year old boy from the Cambridge area wore a skirt to school in protest of boys not being allowed to wear shorts in summer: this was greeted with approval by the public who thought it only fair and admired his outspokenness.
Yet only a few months later a child wears a skirt by choice, and because people don’t know their gender, there is uproar.
The primary arguments people have made range between forcing a life and habits onto a child, and the psychological damage it may cause to a child.
To combat the first argument, it’s slightly erroneous, since until a child at least reaches their teens, all decisions, from faith to what they eat, to what they do in the day, are decided by their parents anyway. So if gender or lack thereof is forced, so is everything else.
To look at any perceived psychological damage, people need only look at how many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are bullied or murdered every day to understand the acceptance that comes with raising a child without gender prejudice.
The question shouldn’t be ‘what if neither child turns out to be trans?’ but ‘will they or their parents mind if they are?’
To have an understanding of who you are, and know your family will be accepting of it, is a blessing. If either or both children grow up to realise they are the gender they were born, then no harm is done.
They will take on whichever sex is correct for them, and grow up loving and accepting others for what is on the inside and not what may or may not be between their legs; something that should be a personal and private matter and not a public matter anyway.
The clothes we all wear are the same fabric, the toys children play with come from the same companies. The life skills any parent teaches their child are for the greater good of the child.
Without a fixed gender, these children can gain acceptance and independence and grow as individuals with self-identity being less of a burden in their lives.
Coming out to your parents can often be a difficult experience, for fear of whether you will be accepted. In the same vein, accepting a child as lesbian, gay or trans can also be difficult for many parents, either for their own acceptance or fear of society’s view.
To raise a child without such pre-existing gender roles takes away these fears and worries for both parent and child.
This way of raising a child does not instil a fear of rejection in a child if they are to come out as part of the LGBTQ community.