As ever the people who need to read this won’t, but Mermaids has attempted to address the myth that parents are rushing their kids to the gender clinic* at the first sign of their boy with a Barbie:
Are kids being identified as trans because of the toys they play with or the clothes they like to wear? The answer, of course is, ‘no’.
Part of the problem is that anti-trans activists are constantly looking for a “gotcha”. So parents who may well be struggling with accepting their child’s identity are accused of “transing” their kids because they happened to mention clothes or toys.
If a parent were to say, ‘I first noticed my child was different to my daughters because he was playing with trucks rather than dolls’ it’s easy to see how that could be misconstrued as: ‘I think my child is trans because they played with trucks not dolls’.
The piece gives space for parents of trans kids to talk about this in more detail.
I think this is a key point:
It is important to remember that most parents of trans young people are simply not trained in the often aggressive attack and counter-attack of recreational debate, whether it’s on television, online or at the school gates. Most are simply mums, dads and carers going about their daily lives, doing their jobs, worrying about bills and trying to get the kids to brush their teeth at bedtime. They don’t get a kick out of debating trans identities. They’re simply listening to and supporting a child who’s surprised them with news they never expected to hear and, rather than forcing them to pretend to be someone else, they’ve resolved to show them love, understanding and support.
* In some alternative universe where gender clinics don’t have three-year waiting lists for teens.