We Think He Might Be a Boy

Tiny Tornado after a recent trip to the barbershop.
Tiny Tornado after a recent trip to the barbershop.

I am at the dining room table, and my five-year-old is in the bathroom. After a bit, I realize that the water has been running for much longer than it takes for him to wash his hands. I hear cupboard doors opening and closing; I hear the rattle of things being taken down from shelves; he’s probably had to put a stool on top of a chair to reach.

“What are you doing in there?” I call.

There is a long pause. He’s definitely up to something.

Finally, he answers: “I am doing,” he says, “what I want to do.”

Let me introduce you to our son. We call him the Tiny Tornado.

He is not yet two and we still think he’s a girl. One day, he refuses every t-shirt in his drawer that has pink anywhere on it, or cap sleeves, or flowers. He puts on jeans and a plain white t-shirt. Later in the day, I’m cleaning out his older brother’s closet, bagging things for Goodwill, and he pounces on a worn-out Spiderman t-shirt that is much too big for him. He wears it all summer. I get it off him every five days or so to wash it, and he puts it back on as soon as it comes out of the dryer. I put his older brother’s outgrown clothes in the basement, and, with a pang, take most of the hand-me-downs from the twin girls down the street to Goodwill instead.

He is two. His brothers are three and six years older than him. We still think he’s a girl. We are at our homeschool group’s Christmas party and my friend Ann says to me, “I find it amusing that the Tiny Tornado is the most boyish of your children.”

He is not quite three. He gets tired of waiting for me to toilet train him, so one day he takes off his diaper and pees in the toilet, and that’s that. He always knows exactly what he wants, but I hesitate when he tells me he wants his hair cut short. I’ve been told so many times that white moms simply can’t cut a black girl’s hair. But he is determined, so, a few days before his third birthday, my partner David gets out the clippers and gives him a mohawk. He runs around with an enormous grin, showing it off. I look at pictures of him with his braids. I think of what hard work it was oiling and combing and parting his hair, how satisfying it was. How beautiful he looked.

He is three. Sometimes he says he’s a boy. We’re not sure. I am looking at a catalog, pining over a red skirt in his size and wishing I had someone to buy it for. He looks over my shoulder. “Ewww,” he says. I turn the page, and there’s a picture of a boy wearing an oxford shirt, khakis, a v-neck sweater vest, a blazer. “Ooohhh,” he sighs, gazing at it yearningly. He learns, from somewhere, about suits with ties, and I buy him one. He is dazzlingly happy, shiningly handsome.

At the end of the year, his preschool puts on a concert. The girls are brilliant in tulle and glitter and sequined barrettes. He is wearing a polo shirt and cargo shorts. I point to where the girls are showing off their dresses to each other, twirling their skirts. I would have loved those dresses at three. I would have loved to buy them for my daughter. I say, “Do you think you would ever want a dress like that?”

“No,” he says. “And I don’t want you to ask me that ever again.”

So I don’t.

He is four. We think he might be a boy. We think probably he is a boy. He holds out the chest of his t-shirt and says to David, “I don’t want to get puffy, like Mama.”

David says, “You mean like breasts?”

“Yeah,” says the Tiny Tornado. He pulls up his t-shirt to show his chest. “I want to be like this, with nipples, but not puffy.”

He’s almost five, and the whole family goes to a conference for trans people, their allies and families, and people in the helping professions. The first morning, at childcare, a volunteer is helping him make his name tag and asks, “Do you want me to write that you like to be called he, like a boy, or she, like a girl?”

Nobody has ever asked him that before, but he answers without hesitation, and the volunteer writes “He” on the Tiny Tornado’s name tag.

The next night, we’re getting ready to go to the family pool party, to join a big happy splashing crowd of trans kids and adults and their families. As we’re changing, I tell him, “I think your blue shorts look enough like a swimsuit that you could wear them to the pool instead of your tankini.” He skips bare-chested down the hallway and spins through the hotel lobby, whirling in little celebratory dances.

He’s five, and he’s a boy.

The week before he starts school, he changes his name to one that sounds more male. The principal and his teachers know his gender status, but to everyone else he’s just one of two hundred little boys showing off to each other on the playground. He worries about his body betraying him, turning him into a woman against his will, and we tell him that doctors can help him with that, if it’s still what he wants when the time comes.

He freezes when his music teacher divides the class into boys and girls, not sure he’s allowed to go with the boys until she reassures him. He asks me to take down a picture of him as a one-year-old. “I have a ribbon in my hair,” he says with distaste. He excels in his swimming lessons, loves his basketball class, learns to skateboard and roller skate. He wants to sign up for t-ball, soccer, karate, hockey, and—now that he knows he won’t be forced to wear tights—a dance class. He trains his dog to jump over jumps and run along balance beams. He can sound out three-letter words and count past twenty. He loves to go to the black barbershop and get a really sharp cut; he admires himself in the rearview mirror all the way home and says with satisfaction, “Lookin’ good. Lookin’ handsome.”

He’s so independent that some mornings he has already packed his snack and lunch for school before I wake up. “Five more minutes, Mom,” he tells me, “and then you really have to get up or we’ll be late.” He tries to pee standing up, and manages surprisingly well, but usually decides to sit down. “He splatters more when he stands up,” I tell his principal. “Well, that certainly sets him apart from the rest of the boys,” she jokes.

I find a doctor’s office that has “male/female/other” on its patient history forms, where he is not their first transgender patient even if he is their first transgender child. I save the information that a new children’s gender clinic has opened in Chicago, just four hours away from us. My father tells me, “I don’t want to have anything to do with you as long as you keep treating her like a boy,” and we are careful about what we tell the Tiny Tornado, because we do not want him ever to think that it’s his fault.

We count our blessings that his school is so supportive, and try not to worry about other schools, and other years. I’m 47 and I’ve never had a career, never made more than $21,000 a year, but I go back to school in speech language pathology. I do this for many reasons, including my excruciatingly banal mid-life crisis. But I do it, too, because puberty blockers can cost over a thousand dollars a month and insurance will almost never pay for them, and whatever choice he makes at 12, at 15, at 18, we need for it not to be about money.

When I was pregnant with our first child, Friends who knew our intimate connections to trans people asked if we were going to try to raise a Baby X, not assign a gender, and avoid pronouns. David would say, “No, we’re just going to go with the apparent biological sex. We figure if we’re wrong, the baby will let us know soon enough.” But we didn’t think that would really happen.

The Tiny Tornado will have a lot to figure out as he gets older: whether to go through puberty as a boy or a girl; how out to be about his trans status; when and how to disclose to potential romantic partners; whether and when to take hormones or pursue surgery. He knows as much of that as it’s appropriate for a five-year-old to know. Which is to say, he doesn’t know much. He trusts us, though, when we say that he is the person who best knows whether he is a boy. He trusts us when we say we can help him with this, that he can grow up to be a man if he wants to, that he can grow up to be any kind of man he wants to be. That he can grow up to be a good man. That we think he will grow up to be the very best kind of man.

Author’s Note: It is customary in my experience to use a person’s chosen pronoun even when referring to their life before gender transition. In addition, I have chosen to respect the Tiny Tornado’s preference not to be referred to with female pronouns.


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Updates

How Do You Know He Won’t Change His Mind?

Author Su Penn writes: “I put up a blog post today reporting on a session I attended at the TransHealth conference this June. It was a presentation by Dr. Johanna Olson, who has worked extensively with trans youth, and, as the Tiny Tornado’s mom, I went in with a million questions. I found it very informative. If you have questions about things like ‘what if he changes his mind’ or ‘how you can tell if a kid is transgendered or just likes pink or to play sports,’ you might find it helpful.”

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280 thoughts on “We Think He Might Be a Boy

  1. Some female friends (born biologically female, and still are) and I were talking about this, and a number of us did these same things. I did these same things. Asked if I liked pink when I was 4, I answered, no because, “Pink’s a girl’s color.” I did everything this parent is describing her child doing. I even SAID wanted to be a boy. And I am in no way, shape or form trans. Never was. What I was was a little girl growing up in a world where even as a toddler there are messages that being a girl is a bad thing, even when the messages don’t come from your home. I saw it everywhere, and I can remember it now. Until feminism reached me at a young age and I realized that being a girl was not only okay, it was awesome.

    I know that the trans people I care about would have given anything to have parents accept things like these have, of course. But I hope these are as willing to accept if this child turns out to be just another little girl who is going through what so many other non-trans kids have, and the fact that sometimes kids just do this and it in no way means they’re trans. If my parents had thought ‘oh she must be a boy’ it would have been the wrong path to go down for me.

    I know this isn’t the popular view, but it’s realistic. This happens, too.

  2. I guess…I guess I just don’t understand why a girl can’t love sports and have a short haircut and not like dresses and think ties are cool. It’s the thing that I don’t understand about being transgender–how is it not just enforcing stereotypical gender roles? You don’t like pink so you might be a boy? It just doesn’t sit right with me to think of gender so rigidly in accordance with societal gender roles. And I feel very guilty about this–because I like to think of myself as accepting and not merely tolerant of everyone. And to be sure, I love people for what’s inside–and regardless of whether or not I “get it” I know that being transgender is such an epic struggle for people that nobody would choose to live their life as a different gender if it weren’t of the utmost importance to them….but I don’t get it. I don’t get why men and women can’t just be any kind of man or woman that they want to be without rejecting their biological gender all together. I don’t get why your kid can’t be the butchest of the butch ladies out there. And truth be told…I guess I kind of find the flat out rejection of womanhood to be insulting to women and…I guess slightly self loathing (and the rejection of manhood to be insulting to men and a little self loathing in men). I know that whether a person is self loathing is nothing I can judge or determine. But I hope that someone is telling the kid that girls are not repulsive things. I hope someone is telling the kid, whatever their gender ends up being, that it’s okay to embrace the feminine parts of himself–even if he ultimately identifies as male. And I also hope that this comment is taken in the spirit it’s meant–which is coming from a place of ignorance, and hoping to come to enlightenment. I think a lot of people who could be powerful allies for the trans community just don’t understand. And we want to. But sometimes it feels like to ask questions is an intolerant attack. And I assure you this isn’t–I want everyone to be as happy and healthy as possible, and that’s MY bottom line. I could care less what gender you do it as. But I don’t have kids–and I might one day. And they might be transgender–and I would like to understand.

  3. If Friends are interested, I put up a blog post today reporting on a session I attended at the TransHealth conference this June. It was a presentation by Dr. Johanna Olson, who has worked extensively with trans youth, and, as the Tiny Tornado’s mom, I went in with a million questions. I found it very informative. If you have questions about things like “what if he changes his mind” or how you can tell if a kid is transgendered or just likes pink or to play sports, you might find it helpful. Practitioners really wrestle with these questions as well. I included the link here in the “website” spot. I hope it’s helpful for people seeking additional information.

  4. I wish every parent reads this and realizes that they can be just as supportive as you two. I think you’re wonderful, and this article is wonderful.

    Tiny Tornado is the cutest, most handsome little boy and he’s going to be a wonderful young man thanks to his caring, loving parents.

    Thank you, from a very happy transman in the UK.

  5. Oh my gosh! Would this happen to be the Goodwill in Burlington? I’m transgender and recently volunteered there, and I’m 99% sure I saw your son! It’s really great to hear that even in my own city there are parents raising trans kids without bigotry 🙂

  6. Thank you, thank you so much for being such awesome parents. One day the way you are behaving will become the norm and children who would normally have been forced into a life of horrible self-loathing will be free to be happy little people. I wish my parents had been like you, I wish I’d been more like your son and been able to stand up and tell my parents how I felt about them forcing me into being a boy, they still cannot accept who I am.

    I have two girls of my own who are both cisgendered and I’m so happy they have a body that is congruent with their own gender identity, that they wont have this struggle to add to ever other they will face in life. But if that were not the case I’d be doing exactly what you are doing now. Keep being awesome, God Bless.

  7. I was reading this article with interest and compassion until I read the part about spending $’000’s of dollars on “puberty blockers” and operations (presumably to remove breasts?). To do something like this even if the child is requesting it has horrendous implications and consequences. As the lady from San Diego tells us, she was in the same position when she was younger but grew out of it and is a 100% happy woman. As SW said “If my parents had thought ‘oh she must be a boy’ it would have been the wrong path to go down for me.”

    It may be ‘politically correct’ to explore your children’s gender tendencies, but to supply body-altering drugs or cut out functioning body parts at 12 or 15 years old is extremely drastic and could have grotesque consequences. It could be seen as abusive by many, despite the ‘wishes of the child’.

    I would err on the side of caution, which we as Quakers most generally do. Let the child decide when an adult, not at a tender age when there could be lifelong regret as a result.

  8. Su, you are a wonderful mother. On behalf of your Tiny Tornado, thank you, on behalf of my trans friends, thank you, and I, as an LGBTQ woman, thank you. All parents should be as open to their child’s identity as you. Whether trans, cis, artistic, or scientific, children need the love and acceptance of their parents that you obviously exhibit.

  9. Overwhelmed and overflowing with gratitude for these enlightened parents. As the western version of our species, we evolve slowly, yet, there are those among us who still believe the “arc of the universe bends towards justice” and ultimately, Love wins out! The power of love is revolutionary, as demonstrated by these folk who love their child enough to allow them to self-define. Unlike when I was a child in the 50’s when I would hide the Sears’s Catalog in my bedroom and lay awake at night with a flashlight focused on the pages with men’s clothing. I KNEW what kind of Gentleman I was going to be. I was in secret training and only God and I knew about it. Opportunities to lay my coat down over a puddle for a “lady” rarely materialized, however, I did get the joyful role of opening doors with a slight bow at the waist, I’m certain, rarely noticed, as well. I used to smoke cigarettes because it looked masculine to me, even when women did it, and I studied how men held their cigarettes and lit theirs and other’s, as well as, the best benefit of all: a deeper, gravely voice. IN SPITE of my parents who raised me to be a “lady”, I am who I am because somebody loved me enough to accept me and my own self definition. I am forever grateful for my Beloved wife, Kathleen.

  10. This article is being shared around Brown’s queer people of color community – and I, the Quaker, am not the one who started that! Everyone is tearing up over it. You’re doing something right.

  11. We have a Tiny Tornado of eight. This is so much like our son. Since moving to living as the boy he is, he has bloomed. He was always a confident and happy child, but he is unstoppable now.

    The other boys know his body is different, but they also know he’s one of them.

    Thank you for writing this.

  12. And the people up there are correct, Richard. Puberty blockers are reversible, and merely allow a child to hold off IRREVERSIBLE physical changes for a period of time, until they feel confident in their medical decisions.

  13. i am an 18 year old transman, that means that my body is female but i’m working on making it male. And i wish i had known this about myself when i was so young. i’m So happy that T.t has someone who loves him and wants the very best for him.

  14. This was a very important article for me to read and I thank you for it because it is precise and the poignancy comes through that precision. I hear no woe from you and that struck me as important because of how seamlessly you speak of your child. I don’t have much to say but I felt compelled to say that little piece. Thank you and God bless you all. x

  15. Your son is so lucky to have you! With your support, I have no doubt that he will grow up to be a happy, healthy, and fulfilled young man.

  16. Wow.
    Like a wave this brought back memories of being so little and watching my aunts and my mom and thinking, “I can’t wait to grow up and be pretty like them.”
    How they smelled. How they looked. How they interacted with each other.
    How I’d practice in second grade to sit like my teacher, but so careful so no one would see me doing it, her beautiful thighs spreading across her chair as she read us stories… how great it would be when I grew up and had beautiful thighs like hers.
    How uncomfortable I was in _so many_ situations, taking my assigned place with the boys.
    Wishing I could play on the bars and spin around and around like the girls (and who I now know were the _other girls_ – my training in the second grade such that I certainly knew not to claim my true gender – the rules were made to be very clear for me).
    And so many of the perceived “difficulties” with my situation, and our Tiny Tornado’s, absolutely don’t have to be.
    All that shame I carried for so many years for knowing I was incomplete (and maybe even damaged and unfixable) goods… and so completely unnecessary.
    It’s interesting to me how people get so freaked out about gender transition – and in our world today it is frightening and daunting, but quite simple.
    I have a very dear friend (a straight guy who grew up in Texas) who struggled with understanding me, and actually kind of likes me, if you catch my drift 🙂 ) – and in the end he’s concluded, “It’s simple. You are a girl.”
    Simple indeed.

  17. This month I become 81. My life has been enriched by people who fit no “normal” categories. All behavioir IS normal. Not all behavior is average. Children know at a very early age what they prefer. I rejoice that the “tiny tornado” has received parenting and and an environment where inner awareness dictates outward appearence and preferences. Thank you for a sensitive and beautiful report.

  18. Why aren’t there more parents like this? As a gay woman, I was lucky that my parents accepted me when I came out at the beginning of my 30’s, but there are so many that just don’t accept anything unless it’s considered ‘normal’. I have friends whose parents disowned them, friends who were kicked out of home, and friends whose parents are trying to ‘fix’ them. Even my own parents, while accepting, don’t exactly ‘support’ me. They just accept it as another of my quirks, to be humoured but not encouraged (evidenced by comments such as “won’t this affect you getting a boyfriend if you decide to be straight again?”)

    It’s so good to see a mother who accepts her child exactly as they are. That’s parenting as it should be!

  19. sex, gender, sexual identity, gender expression, affectional preferences, genre stereo types, – human beings are in credibly complex and it isn’t a blue/pink world any more no matter how much we may wish for simplicity. And often it is the kids and younger ones leading the way. When I teach my gender outlaws class (been teaching it 1996 and it is constantly evolving) I talk about the gender kaleidoscope. That is, each of this categories within us turn and sparkle or predominate or fade as turned by time and circumstance… The first best and most we can do as parents is prepeared to follow, to lead from behind and to love our children simply because they breathe. (and check out the brave parents who learned too late that love them just because they breathe is the first and only rule for parents. many thanks for courage and compassion. And to those who don’t get it, thank you for your honestly and gentleness is expressing your doubts, because this is how we learn – when we can speak what we truly fear or worry about in ways that can be heard. And listeners can respond with the stories and support for mutual learning – thank you all,

  20. What a wonderful parent you are. What a gift your son is to you, and you to him. I cannot imagine what it feels like to believe that the body you were given is not the one you should have, and how many things you would have to cope with. Lucky for your son, he doesn’t also have to cope with his parents trying to change who he knows he is. I’d say he’s got a better shot at growing up to be a healthy, well adjusted man than a lot of little boys out there.

  21. Su, thank you. I love my mom dearly, but I wish she and my dad (and the rest of my family) had raised me the way you’re raising TT.

    Richard, you are wrong. You are an oppressor. Daphne, you are just as wrong for backing him. Gender is fluid, gender is not black-and-white. It is abuse to put someone through something that will inevitably lead to psychological problems. Many trans youth and adults commit suicide each year because they were forced to go through puberty as their assigned sex. The number is even higher for inersex people. TT’s parents are doing right by their child. They are giving him the opportunity to EXPLORE before he can make his own informed decision. They are letting him take the lead, and they have made clear the simple fact that he is his own person, whatever the outcome is, and that they love and support him.

    So many trans* people (such as myself) wish our parents were like Su and her partner, especially amongst the trans* folk who are racial/ethnic minorities.

    Heck, we wish everyone all over the world was this awesome. Loving, accepting, supportive. Not hateful or murderous. The LGBTQA* community is frequently being attacked, fired from jobs, beaten, and murdered. Those who do not identify as cis are attacked more often. Transwomen especially. The numbers are horrifying. And to say we need to be quiet is yet another form of attack on us. You have privilege. We do not.

    Lastly, Su, beware of a German college girl named Sophie Miriam Herold. Search the tags on Tumblr.com for information about her. She targets and outs gays and transpeople without their permission. Some of her victims have committed suicide, and one person is believed to have been murdered because of her actions and bullying. Keep TT safe from her and others like her.

  22. So glad your child, and children for that matter, have such accepting parents. No where in this article did I see that they are pushing boy or girl isms on their child. Instead, they are letting their child make choices and supporting those choices. Every parent should be able to do this, even if not in a gender way.
    I feel bad that the grandparents are so blinded by traditional society that they can’t accept who their grandchild is or even who their own child and partner is. Gender roles have been modified as has science. Sex and gender are two different things and they don’t always match. I hope this child continues to find their own way in life and continues to be the confident child that is portrayed in this article.

  23. One thing I want to add, especially for non-Friends who are making their way to this article, is that this family is embedded in a number of communities, including a Quaker one. There is a community-based spiritual discipline among Quakers, to “test the Way forward,” if there’s a point of confusion that a Friend wants to clarify for herself or himself, and always “with Divine assistance.”

    The Quaker LGBTQ community in the States to which her family is connected include trans* adults, genderqueer persons, and cisgender persons, including allies. That particular Quaker community provides a rare form of care, guidance, accountability, support, and nurture for the entire family. We labor with one another in love.

    Indeed, it models and lives the value of radical inclusion. My experience tells me that as we learn to validate our own and each other’s ability and drive to be authentic, to be who God calls us to be, the whole world benefits–not just the Tiny Tornados in God’s kin(g)dom.

  24. To the cis people who believe the parents are somehow indulging a whim:

    When did you know you were male/female? What does it feel like? Can you explain it?

    This reminds me so very much of the old saws from heterosexuals to gay and lesbian people: “How do you know? Why can’t you just stop being homosexual?”

  25. he is transgender you should see a therapist and a doctor about starting her on female hormones and puberty blockers

  26. The nice thing about puberty delaying treatments is that they are just that, and not irreversible. I don’t see this author as in any way pushing transgender on her child, though a couple of commenters seem worried that she is. As with sexual orientation, parents can’t “make” their children transgendered, regardless of what the bigots think. And parents can’t “make” their children cis, either, though the majority try very hard. It all comes out in the end. It’s sad that TT’s grandfather doesn’t get that. Let’s hope he comes around eventually.

  27. Thank you for this article and being brave enough to share it. As a butch women of a certain age and with now grown children I don’t know that I wouldn’t have had the understanding and been nearly as supportive as you are due to being ignorant about transgender people and the fact that it is not about fitting some gender norms but about the child being as true to themselves as I am about being a female masculine woman. It breaks my heart to still read parents trying to remain ignorant or trying to deny their kid’s right to be who they are because of their own fears and ignorance especially when it is women who have been criticized for their own gender presentation. How is this any different than a parent telling a child that they may stop being gay in the future? We are not in the future, we are in the present with our children and our communities and we must be there for them in the here and now.

    As parents we don’t have to understand everything to be accepting and supportive our children, our community and our friends. Can we not ask “how can I be of service” rather than “why is this happening”?

  28. It’s sad that the unconditional love and understanding that you give your child is something that I feel compelled to stand up and applaud for– I wish it were commonplace enough that I wouldn’t feel like you should get a metal.

    Though you tell your story so eloquently, I’m sure it must have been harder than it sounds here. You’re very gracious to not go in depth to the times when this might have been confusing or stressful to you. I can imagine times when it was exhausting trying to decide what was best for him. But for what it’s worth, I think you’re on the right track, and luckily, you and your partner seem to know that too.

    My little sister has always eschewed ‘girly’ things, always chosen boys toys over girl’s toys. She just cut her hair short and I think she looks the best she ever has. She’s wondered if she might be transgender, but I can tell that she’s not nearly so certain as your son. In accepting my sister as a person rather than a gender, I’ve gotten to know her as a person much better than I did when we were growing up. I’ll sure you’ll have a similarly profound closeness to your child as he grows up too.

    I’m sure there will be a lot of difficulties that Tiny Tornado faces, but it’s clear that love, at least, will always come easy, as it should. Best of luck to your family! Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  29. Small things can make things much more fifficult. In our language the pronoun for he and she is the same, hän. The gender does not matter in many situations, so why bring it out.

  30. This is a wonderful article and all, and a heartwarming story but I can’t help but get stuck on “black barbershop” and an earlier, similar comment. It may well be a legitimate distinction in SOME respect but really, why the hell does it matter? For all the high points here, there’s a little habit we need to learn to break. Forgive me but it gets damned bothersome. Best wishes

  31. It was a Christmas party (we all staying for the weekend at grandma)and all the children were taking turns to shower and get ready. My niece Richelle-(Richard then) and I were the last one to go. I had on the bed my polka dot dress, my panties, my pink ribbon, and my cute shoes. She had her t-shirt, cargo pants, and manly shoes. She shower first and when into the room as I when into the bathroom. 20 minutes later when I enter the room she was dress with my clothes and putting grandma’s make up on. So choking for a 7 year old girl to see her 5 year old niece that it was suppose to be a boy using her stuff. I told on her and my ignorant grandma and family humiliated her and punished her from trying to be her. I redeem my self supporting, loving, accepting her as we grew older. I was there throughout her transformation and grow and now she is a gorgeous woman. Thanks for this amazing eye opening article. It remind us that gender is just a man made bias. <3

  32. I enjoyed reading about your son, the Tiny Tornado. It sounds like you are very understanding and supportive parents. I wish you and your family the best.

  33. I dig the understand though I have a hard time buying all of this story. The best part is that (once again) drugs to the rescue! I don’t want to live on this planet, sometimes.

  34. Great job parents, respond to the child as the child presents each day! I have a tomboy, she is 6, it is very clear that her gender presentation varies; she is not a trans child, it is just her preference as it happens.
    your child presents consistently male, great, respond from that baseline. The way this reads i fully trust you’re responding to the child’s wants and needs.
    Don’t worry about rants telling you what you’re doing wrong. Keep trucking with what your child shows you you’re doing right!

  35. Beautiful article, I’m so glad you shared this with all of us. What I don’t get, however, has more to do with the comments. Why are there so many comments insisting that gender is not (or can not be) dynamic?

  36. I deeply appreciate this article, and the author’s tenderness with herself and her son.

    I don’t appreciate a lot of these comments, though. And I am startled to see how many people presume to understand and therefore judge someone else’s experiences based on their own memory of themselves at three, four, or five years old.

    Wishing you and your family all the best of luck.

  37. I feel a lot of commenters who are criticizing the mother for trying to push a decision on her child are not reading the article thoroughly.

    Much of this article contains the internal thoughts of the mother as Tiny Tornado develops through early childhood. You can’t fault her for having feelings about TT’s development, and being gutsy enough to express them. She is upfront about her initial “pangs” about giving away the girls clothes because TT doesn’t want to wear them. However, she and her partner are very supportive in TT’s choices in clothes, hobbies, haircuts, gender identity, etc.

    Never once did she say she was going to make TT take puberty blockers or hormones. I respect the mother for preparing ahead of time for a potential decision TT might make “at 12, at 15, at 18”, but although she may suspect her child may be transgendered, throughout the article she indicates the choice is TT’s to make.

    She states that for TT’s age now, she only gives enough information that is appropriate for a child that young to know, and will continue to let TT take the reigns when it comes to identifying what gender path to follow in the future.

    So please stop criticizing the parents who seem to be unconditionally loving and supportive of their children, and let’s just wish the best for the family and TT in the future, no matter what gender TT decides to continue life as.

  38. I just want to add that puberty blockers are not quite as simple as many of you are stating. Delaying puberty and then letting it start later may have a significant effect on the development of that person versus how they would have developed if puberty started when their body said it should. (shorter height for men, less muscular development, and other changes) Parents and children should choose to take puberty blockers with their eyes wide open and realize that there could be unintended consequences. however, I do agree that they are a very good option for children who are questioning their gender or are certain they are a different gender than what they were born as. it is much easier to address the consequences of delayed puberty vs “reversing” what has already occurred. and excluding all the cultural constructs of gender and how people self identify, biology of gender is far from linear and dichotomous. people can “look” male, female or a mix of both and be genetically male, female, and other combos of X, Y and so on! It is extraordinarily difficult for people who do not identify with the dominant beliefs of a society, big things or small. and on a side note, dialogue is how we come to understanding and shutting down people who are reaching out to understand is not useful. In some respects, I am a member of an oppressed group and in others, part of the dominant group. You can’t “see” me to know which groups I belong to but if you said I should just shut up because I am expressing a dominant group viewpoint, that is not useful to getting me to understanding the alternative viewpoints. I think it is fine for people to express joy about TT’s parent being open to him possibly being transgender but I also do not think it is bad for people to want to protect this child. I think that is all that the people posting questions about this are concerned about…I would rather have people as questions and say things that get people thinking about the best ways to protect children than no one caring at all or being willfully hurtful towards children. being as honest as we can be about the statistics on suicide rates with transgendered children AND about the pros and cons of puberty blockers and about the benefits and potential risks (far far outweighed by the benefits) about raising a child in a gender neutral way is the best way forward.

  39. I am gender neutral. Somedays my actions manifest as more masculine, and some days as more feminine. However I don’t think of myself as either. I am biologically female. I have a body with large breasts and curves in all the right places. When I choose clothing it is not based on it being male or female. More often than not I will wear what is comfortable, and choose based on color. I am just as likely to run around in my boyfriends t-shirts and shorts, as I am to wear a cute summer dress. I don’t get upset when people use a female pronoun with me. I also don’t get upset when people say I am “one of the guys” or more like a guy than a girl. It comes with the territory. I don’t insist that people use a gender neutral pronoun with me and this sometimes has caused my trans friends to be irritated with me. I just choose not to care about labels. I wear what I want when I want. I answer to anything as long as it is not derogatory and I simply am me. And as far as sexual orientation, I enjoy both genders, no genders, and I don’t know genders. I knew I was not a girl or a boy when I was very young. I went from a bowl haircut and looking very much like a boy to being forced to grow out my hair and pierce my ears and shave my legs by family members. It was not fun. I just wanted to be comfortable. These parents are doing for this child what my Papaw did for me. He just let me be me and as I changed accepted each new change as it came. For a GN child that is almost daily if not by the minute.

  40. It is very touchingly written…

    I would like to wish Tiny Tornado of happy and interesting life! I am sure that only HE has the right to solve as he will live this life – as the boy/man or as the girl/woman.
    Greetings to you, Tiny Tornado, and all your family!

    P.S. : I regret for my bad English 🙁

  41. Hello, Friends. I have skimmed the comment thread here and am glad to see people advocating for the Tiny Tornado and encouraging folks to read what I wrote and not what they think they saw. I’d like to share something else I wrote, for people who are interested. It addresses the question of “what if he decides he’s a girl?” and also outlines what I think of as “good faith questions,” which I am always glad to answer. Here’s a snippet from an old blog post on the subject (clicking on my name on this comment will take you to the full blog post):

    I won’t be keeping a close eye on this comment thread, but if you have a good-faith question for me, feel free to ask it as a comment at my blog.

    My snippet on good-faith questions:

    I always say, “I will answer any good-faith questions about this,” whenever any of these kinds of topics come up. “I don’t think you’re thought about the implications of this down the line,” is not a good-faith question. “Kids as young as four don’t even understand gender, so I’m concerned that you’re making a mistake letting the Tiny Tornado choose” is also not a good-faith question. Nor is, “Don’t you think he’s just emulating his big brothers?” No, I don’t. Clearly you do. But you probably wouldn’t think that if you lived in our house.

    So, what does a good-faith question look like?

    Well, it’s not a statement, for one thing. “I’m concerned that…” is almost never actually a good-faith question. It’s usually actually a lecture or commentary. If your “question” doesn’t end with a question mark, it’s not a good-faith question.

    A good-faith question should actually ask for information. “Don’t you think…” for instance, is also almost never a good-faith question. It’s an expression of opinion disguised as a question. It’s putting words in my mouth. It’s telling me what I should think. It’s asking for my agreement with your opinion.

    How do you know if you’re asking a good-faith question?

    Well, one way to think about it is to go back to high school journalism class and the classics: Who, What, Where, Why, When, and How. If you can re-phrase what you want to say so that it begins with one of these words, it’s harder to turn it into a statement of your own opinion (not impossible, I’m sure. But harder). Think about how different these sound from the examples I gave above:

    “How did you decide to use male pronouns for the Tiny Tornado?”

    “Where have you gotten information to help you make these decisions?”

    “How do you think you’ll handle it if he decides, somewhere down the road, that he is a girl?”

    “How are you feeling about all this?”

    “What kind of support system do you have as you’re dealing with this?

    You can fix a “don’t you think” bad-faith question by dropping two letters and an apostrophe: “Do you think he’s just emulating his big brothers?” is a good-faith question, because it implies the possiblity that I’ll say, “No, I don’t think that, and here’s why.”

    A good-faith question should reflect the questioner’s desire to know more. That’s why I loved Peggy’s, “I’d like to hear more if you’re comfortable talking about it.” I’m going to be remembering her as a model when I’m dealing with my own curiosity. Her comment could also be rephrased as, “What has this past year been like for you and the Tiny Tornado?”

    See how that works?

  42. What a beautiful article about your beautiful child. It breaks my heart that there are parents out there who would not embrace a transgender child for precisely who they are.

    Thank you most of all for the author’s note at the end of the article. I have an adult child who came out to us as agender at 18. I’ve struggled with the “do I use pronouns when discussing the time prior to coming out” question.

  43. Tough love talk coming. Some of you will think it un-p.c. It is not, it is simply real talk. I have to say I am stunned and saddened by this article. It comes off to me like a case of good intentions going horribly horribly wrong. There is clearly a confusion happening here (on the parents part) between the perception of traditional gender roles and actual transgende status. I am an educated and trained critical and cultural thinker — yet I see this confusion happening all the time among educated and progressive people. It is a willful defiance of “common sense” or biological indicators. I know “common sense” is a contested term, as it should be. But my Lord, this child seems to be a gifted girl child who has extreme sensitivities to the negative messages about girls in our society and is, in her own 5 year old way, resisting these messages. Or maybe she just likes boy clothes. The parents are making a normal developmental stage into a full on identity drama by allowing her/encouraging her to be confused about whether or not she is a girl. It’s the parent’s ideology being misused to misperceive the normal stages of child development and then egotistically patting themselves on the back for their so-called progressive stance.
    What upsets me even more, as an African American man, is that this is a mixed race family who, like so many white liberals, seem to be in complete denial about the work they must do to understand what raising a Black child in our world means. In short, It means the silly but destructive meanings we attach to race must be ACTIVELY countered race differences must be attended to and racial differences must placed in a healthy context. They cannot be ignored in some ridiculous “I don’t see color” manner. The parents may not see color, but the rest of the world does and they have to be proactive about reaching out to supportive people and communities who who will aid them in their journey of raising a healthy child in an adopted multi-racial family. But like so many white liberals raising Black children, they inadvertently take the ostrich head in sand approach on race and focus on other things. In this case, the parents are paying so much attention to gender that they barely mention the first thing people see in this world when deciding how to regard or treat you– race and ethnicity. So we have this developmental horror show clothed in good intentions of white parents who are raising a Black girl to think that she’s possibly a Black boy in (probably) a majority white environment in a world that is, shall we say, somewhat hostile to Black boys and men. In a world where hunting African American boys and men down (see Trayvon) has just been legally re-inforced by the Zimmerman trial. Wow. What are these parents really doing?! They’re “allowing” a 5 year old Af Am girl to choose to be an Af Am boy? Their lens is warped…

  44. Lovely read! If only there were more parents like this in the world 🙂 I’m sure this child will grow up happy, with such support from his family.

  45. I didn’t read this whole thing, but it seems like you accept your child. That is great. I just want to share a few things:

    The actual problem with gender labeling is this-

    spider man doesn’t just have to be a ‘boy’ shirt
    all girls aren’t dress wearers or long hair people
    suits and ties, polos and khaki pants aren’t just ‘boy’ clothes
    plenty of adult females out their hate their boobs

    My point is, we try to stereotype gender too much. Why can’t a girl like spider man, a buzz cut, and hate ballet tutus? If you’re child had been the first child, do you believe they would have still turned out this way? It may be the way you seem to have type casted your other children.

    Nothing a child chooses to do/ wear/ change about their appearance is wrong. If your child grows up and wants to change their sex, that is absolutely fine. I just want to say that sex and gender are NOT the same thing. I’m not criticizing, just offering another point of view. Something for everyone to think about. Thanks for writing and sharing this story.

  46. My oldest son and I had had a number of conversations about sexual and gender orientation due to have trans, gay and bisexual members of the extended family. One day when he was 5, he came to me and informed me that “Just so you know, I am a boy and I like girls, okay?”. I told him that was okay and that I loved him. He smiled and ran off to play. If he can know, why is it so strange that another child would be certain of who they were.

  47. My trans son is the same age, and even looks like TT! Very well written, thanks for your bravery. You are the trailblazers for the rest of us. Our Tiny Tornado told us he was a boy at 2, and now 7, has never waivered about his gender identity. It’s only an “issue” to people who don’t understand it.
    God bless your family!
    p.s. my Tiny tornado read and re-read this with a smile on his face. He had some extra time as we are waiting right now for 7 other little trans boys coming for a play date right now!
    Lot’s of love from Australia!

  48. Su, as a trans* man who was raised in a Quaker family, your article brought happy tears to my eyes. Some of the comments have brought less happy tears to my eyes, with their cissexist framing of the world, and the assumptions about what is “best” for your child. I’m so happy that TT will have a chance to grow up supported and loved by his parents, whoever he chooses to be. I also hope (as a trans* guy who really rejected femininity prior to coming out/for a while when people were constantly misgendering me), that when he gets a little older, and is still even more certain of your unwavering support and his appropriate gendering by those around him, that he is able to let go of some of the animosity towards femininity and feminine things (Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano, about “the scapegoating of femininity” has been really powerful for me to read). Admittedly this is also based on the fact that these days *I* really love allowing myself to be more feminine, now that I don’t have to constantly protect my gender from public assault.

    Anyway, thank you for this amazing article. Thank you for clearly valuing your child. Just thanks.

    And to everyone who says “…I’m just saying,” all us trans* folks have heard it before. You are offering nothing new to the situation. Likewise, framing your *privileged* experience as one that is being “demonized” is a form of silencing and erasure. When people respond with anger to you, it is because our lives are CONSTANTLY being “audited” so that cis folks like you can “prove” things. Anger in the face of oppression is normal. We have a right to our anger, as all people (and especially all marginalized people) have a right to it. Stop trying to make us smaller than we are, to deny us the right to human emotions and the expertise of our own lives. In this instance, on this subject, WE. KNOW. MORE. THAN. YOU. Get that through your heads.

  49. Thank you Su for sharing the beautiful story, authenticity and TT’s joy and experiences of expressing himself. Many blessings to all of you.

  50. Oh boy, yuppies get it wrong again. I get what these parents are TRYING to do, and it is noble, sort of.

    How often does this child get to see pictures of girls playing hockey and wearing oxford shirts and ties? Is it possible that TT is so terrified of growing breasts because they do not see examples of people with breasts being the kind of person they want to be? The parents seem to be assuming that because the child likes things normally considered ‘boy’ things that they must be a ‘boy’ because god forbid they just be a girl that doesn’t feel like acting the way our culture says that girls should act.

    Why is this child only offered TWO pronoun options? If you are too ignorant of anything beyond two gender options, then you are still stuck in forcing gender oppression on your child and probably shouldn’t be bragging about your parenting on a public forum.

    It is possible that this child does have transgender body disphoria, a condition that can be treated with pharmaceuticals as mentioned. Wouldn’t a good parent want to be 200% sure that it is not just the societal problem of gender dichotomies first?

  51. He is very lucky to have such great parents! I wish that my parents would have been so understanding back then.. it caused me A LOT of years and experience, but I’m happy to say that we are close now. They see how much happier I am now and it’s all good.

  52. I have a couple of questions I hope you don’t mind my asking.

    1. Do you worry about reaction from peers if, a few years down the road, TT decides that he is not/is no longer a boy? (I say “no longer” because I know people who identified as one gender at one point in their lives, then another – they don’t consider it as being unaware of their “true” gender, or trans but stifling it, etc; they consider/ed themselves male or female at one point in time, and then a different gender at another. I don’t mean it in an “oh, if he changes his mind and was never a boy” way…I’m not sure how to express it well. Argh, I hope what I’m trying to say is coming across! Though I do know people who thought they might be another gender and ultimately decided that they never were trans, just questioning, so that is some peoples’ experience and I’m not trying to invalidate THAT either. It seems condescending to call it a “phase” but I don’t really know if there’s a word for it.) (Also feel like I should add I’m not trying to imply any sort of tone here; y’all sound like great parents who are letting your kid be himself. I just wonder if you’ve thought about how you would handle it should the situation arise, or if it’s even something you think about at all.)

    2. Are there any good books at a child’s reading level about the subject? I know there are a lot of books about gay acceptance aimed at young children, involving everything from people to penguins, but are there any specifically involving trans characters? (This one really goes out to everyone here.) I’ve never seen any but honestly I don’t know that I’d know where to look, either.

  53. He is so lucky to have you as a parent. When I was a little girl, I wanted desperately to be a boy. I fought with my very feminine Mom – she forced me to put on dresses that itched like crazy and made it hard to run. She scolded me when I wanted to play on a dirt hill. She’d buy me Barbie dolls and my brother army soldiers – yet I played with the soldiers just as much if not more than the dolls. My father allowed me to get a short hair cut in first grade – I was bullied by the students because I looked like a boy even though I was a girl – the teacher did nothing about the abuse.

    When I hit third grade, I started to grow boobs and I couldn’t stop crying. It was devastating. It was only when I was twelve-years-old that I decided that I needed to learn how to be more like a girl to fit in. I grew my hair long. I learned to apply makeup. I learned to love my body.

    I’m 21-years-old now and even though I look like a girl, I still think like a boy most of the time. I think equality, and yet gender identification keeps being shoved in my face. I’d like to be ordained – but I’m told women aren’t allowed. I want to be an equal to my husband – but he’s the leader and he needs me to be a supporter. When I become too sensitive and cry or lose my cool, my pride hurts (I have BPD, so unfortunately this happens more frequently then I’d like to admit). I still secretly feel like a boy at heart and I have extreme difficulty making friends with typical girls. I hate having D cup breasts.

    I hope Tiny Tornado has smoother sailing than I have with acceptance about what my gender is and the way our culture reacts to it (whether we want to be identified that way or not). So far, it sounds like he has the best parents in the whole world and a nice community at school that appreciates him for him.

  54. May I just say something after reading some of these comments?

    There are people here saying that being trans is just enforcing gender roles and gender stereotypes, but as a queer, trans man myself I still enjoy stereotypically effeminate things. I identify as male because I know myself to be just that, mentally. I present myself physically as male to the best of my ability, but I refuse to change my interests and such to seem more manly. I say, forget gender roles.

    I still openly enjoy bright, pretty colors and activities such as sewing, dancing, singing, and things of the like. However, in doing these things I pass as a male much less than I would prefer. (I would prefer to pass 100% of the time.) So, that being said, a lot of trans people will conform themselves to these stereotypes so that they too are perceived as their identifying gender even if it means depriving themselves of some other joy or forcing themselves to do something they don’t enjoy do they seem either “more girly” or “more manly.” It saves them a lot of dysphoria. They would rather pass than dare do something they enjoy that could out them. And I don’t blame them.

    So, to the cis people that are commenting on this who don’t understand, it’s because you have not experienced it for yourself. These parents are going about raising TT beautifully in a safe and accepting environment. He’s free to be who he is inside.

    In the end, he’s not your kid so you really don’t have much of a say anyway. Screw your gender roles and have a nice day!

  55. I truly appreciated this article. I wish I had known 43 years ago what these wise parents know and write so eloquently about.

    You see, my only child was born to us as our son, but came out to us in his 20’s as possibly trans. In her early 40’s she made the decision to live her life life full-time as a woman. She had done everything she could to try to live and conform to a boy’s and man’s world, but was often depressed and even suicidal because her body and identity as a male just did not fit who she knew herself to be – who she had known herself to be since the age of 3 when in nursery school she first became aware of differences between boys and girls.

    At about age 3, she told me a “dream” she had about existence before being born – all the “about to be babies” were told to line up in the boy line or the girl line, according to whom they knew themselves to be. But she was busy playing and was late getting to the girl line. By then all the girl bodies had been given out so she was given a boy body.

    So we named and treated her according to her body characteristics, and she had dolls as well as trucks with which to play. She did not discuss this as a child, just endured and was so depressed at age 7 that at age 8 she told me she had thought the year before about ending her life – it just was not worth living. But since she was still with us at age 8 and seemed to have friends and sports and be doing well in school, I didn’t worry. And even if I had recognized the childhood depression, who then recognized trans issues in children.

    So when she came out in her 20s we said “we love you and always will, whatever pattern you choose to follow; but please, since depression tends to run in the family, get counseling to determine the root of your depression before you do anything irreversible.” It was nearly 20 years later before she found a counselor who understood and with whom she could work. Then she chose transitioning and the name I would have given her if she had been born with a girl’s body.

    She is now so much happier and more open. If only…I am so glad for TT that his family is knowledgeable in ways we were not 40 some years ago.

    We loved our son and we love our daughter – our daughter carries our son’s memories and has been/is/and always will be our beloved offspring. But not all trans children are so lucky. Many are rejected by family and friends and the suicide rate among trans and gender queer individuals is tragically high.

    Please accept people for who they say they are backed up by how they act. The person knows better than anyone else who they are intrinsically. And if we truly accept and support them, perhaps we can reduce the high suicide rate while helping these precious people also become who they are meant to be, just as we as conscientious and loving parents try to help our cis children become who they are meant to be – and all will be happier, loving, productive members of society.

  56. I hope that if I ever have to help my child work through issues with her gender that I can be as amazing a parent as you and your partner have been to the Tiny Tornado.

  57. What disturbed me about this article was that the author has such strong gender stereotypes. Girls have to like pink, and ruffles, and sequins, and flowers, and ribbons? The author pines over the loss of Tiny Tornado’s long, beautiful hair, and wishes her child would wear cute skirts and dresses. Quite obviously, she is disappointed that she didn’t get a girly girl. (And Tiny Tornado can, no doubt, perceive that.) This is a tragedy in itself.

    Why do we, as a society, have such a propensity to insist that little girls adopt this type of superficial and artificial femininity? I’m sure there are children (male and female) whose own tastes lean toward pink and flowers, but I’m also sure there are kids who learn who either learn these preferences from their parents or who have their own preferences stomped out if they don’t happen to prefer the “appropriate” style for their gender.

    Although Tiny Tornado’s refusal to be slotted into this stereotype is not the only evidence that he may be transgender, it does seem to form a large proportion of what the parents consider evidence in this case. If the author of this article feels, in any way, that TT is transgender because of his refusal to fit into her perception of what a girl *should* be like, that misperception may be transmitted to TT in some subtle way. Then, when it comes time for TT to make a decision about his gender, he may feel that his only two options are stereotypical boy or stereotypical girl, rather than whatever awesome kind of boy or girl he actually is.

  58. Why does recognizing a third gender matter?
    Gender is fundamental to personal and social identity. It also plays a basic function in guiding people into social roles. In binary gender systems third gender people are left without a culturally sanctioned gender home. This unnecessarily and adversely impacts their personal identities and social functioning. Society itself suffers from its failure to recognize, appreciate, and properly appropriate a third gender. Recognizing a third gender benefits both society and individual third gender persons.

  59. I sort’ve enjoyed this article, until i reached the part where the parents insisted on not mentioning nonbinary gender identities to their kids. Really?! Are you SERIOUS?! When I was growing up, I knew all along that i wasn’t a boy, and i wasn’t a girl, but i didn’t know there was anything else and it hurt SO MUCH.

    Also I swear, stop using terms such as “biological gender” unless you are referring to yourself. It is an outdated, harmful set of terms that alienate and erase the existences of trans* and intersex people. My vagina is not a “female organ”, just as my liver is not a “female organ”. Why do we have to gender other people’s genitalia? It’s so gross.

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  61. Very sad that when your friend commented that your child was “boyish” that you didn’t say “How silly that you associate boys with any particular behavior! Haven’t you heard that gender roles are old fashioned? Girls can do anything!”

    There is nothing in TT’s story that suggests anything about TT’s innate “gender identity” — only that TT has a strong preference for the behaviors that are applauded in boys and decried in girls. If you — the adult — believe that certain behaviors are inherently “boyish,” it is completely logical for TT to believe that too. It makes me want to cry that presumably educated adults, upon hearing that a child doesn’t want to wear a dress, would conclude that the child must surely be a boy because real girls love dresses. Good god, no magic “gender identity” is necessary to explain why someone who doesn’t fit the mold would resent being pushed into societally mandated gendered behaviors,

    For those who might say I surely don’t understand — I raised a gender-nonconforming boy who is now a healthy gay man. He used to twirl around in dresses and wear nail polish and insist that he would never, never grow a beard. My way of supporting him was not to drag him to the endocrinologist but to let him know he could do anything and dress any way. I bought him a doll not because he was a girl deep inside, but because why on earth should a boy not have a doll? He is EXACTLY of the demographic that is now being treated with hormone therapy. Every bit of research on the matter has concluded that most gender-nonconforming children do not grow up to be transgender adults.

    And if you’re going to tell me that “gender identity” isn’t the same as “gender expression” I defy you to tell me a story about a transgender child that doesn’t heavily rely on gender stereotypes as being indicative of the child’s “true gender.”

  62. Just ignore it. As you can read from the numerous posts, this “mark” is a TERF. You can tell by the language – “trans cult” etc. Very stereotyped.

    Nazis gotta hate Jews, Kluckers gotta hate Blacks. Just substitute a few tokens in the sentences they write, and they’re all the same shrill, fanatic voices pretending they’re relevant. Not Trolls doing it for shits and giggles, this is their Religion.

  63. I (am woman) was raised only amoung boys and as I child I was really like a boy. I hated pink – not because I was no girl, just because I prefered blue. I played soccer, climbed trees, never wore skirts – nothing had to do with my feeling of any kind of gender. It is a different to “behave” like a boy and feel like a boy! I never felt like a boy, so I am still a girl because this has always been inside me. But if a child feels “the other way” it is ok no matter of the behaviour. Boys can play with toys are have a play kitchen – that doesn’t make them girls unless they feel it.

    I truly believe that it doesn’t change anything if you let your girl play soccer and your boy play with toys – they will become what they are inside! They might not be sure, undecided and most likely scared but you can never force them into one direction. It is not that they change their gender – it is that they live the gender god already has given them in the inside!

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