CNN's "Gender Identity: A Change in Childhood"

Yesterday, CNN did a story on the Gender Spectrum Family Conference, a "unique gathering dedicated solely to the needs of transgender and gender nonconforming children and teens, their families and loved ones, and the community of professionals and allies who surround them."

The great thing about the video (embedded below), is that the adults—parents and CNN reporters alike—allow the kids to speak for themselves. As one kid, Tammy's, mom had to say, "If you give your child the opportunity to be who they are, they know very well who they are."

by Kelsey Wallace
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3 Comments Have Been Posted

I just wanted to thank you

I just wanted to thank you for re posting this. It really captures the humanity of trans-gender children and highlights some of the emotional suffering that can occur. These children deserve to be whatever gender they choose.

New Discoveries

Amazing story

This video is so thought provoking. I'm particularly fascinated by Tammy's family structure. Here is a transgendered little girl with a physical and developmental disability and she has same sex parents. What an interesting situation! As an early childhood educator, I am intensely interested in all issues concerning children's health and psychology. There is a fine line when defining if a child is in fact transgendered. I often see young girls who say they wish they were boys, but under further questioning, you'll find it is not really gender identity that they struggle with but rather the dichotomy of what boys are allowed to do and girls are allowed to do.

Having worked at an extremely religious Jewish school, I saw this more than once in my female students. For instance, in morning prayers there is a prayer said only by the boys. While I'm not sure the girls know enough Hebrew to translate it, the prayer in fact is expressing gratitude to God for not having made them women. After they recited the prayer, the girls sung a song about their modesty. This song bothered me immensely because while I support modesty of dress, I felt they pushed it for the wrong reasons. I think modesty can be used as a tool for self-respect and to help girls not identify themselves as objects for boys attention. But instead of focusing on that, the song had them say that they covered their elbows and knees so that their parents would be proud of them. My female students didn't like that the boys got to have a prayer to god but they didn't. They also disliked how boys were "allowed" to do more things than them

While I agree that if a child is transgendered it is important to support them and make steps to help them, it's a thorny subject because how do you know if a girl is "just a tomboy" or a boy trapped in a girls body?

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