Thursday, April 26, 2012

Transgendered Children - An Outsider's View

Recently one of the conservative nincompoops I follow on Twitter posted this article.  The "too long, did not read" version is this: a British couple is raising their child in a gender-neutral environment.  What that means is that they haven't disclosed the child's gender to friends and family and have encouraged the child to dress in whatever manner s/he chooses, whether that means jeans and a t-shirt or pink frilly dresses.

I have a bone to pick with a few things in the article, mainly that the couple does not allow overtly male clothing (i.e. things with skull designs), but allows overtly female clothing.  To me that is a direct contradiction of their goal to not push the child in one direction or another.  So the article isn't all flowers and butterflies and puppies, but I agree with what the parents are trying to do, that is deconstruct some of the barriers society has erected surrounding gender.

I don't see any problem with allowing a child to wear whatever colors or whatever clothes they want.  My own experiences with both my own gender fluidity and Adam's transgenderism (as well as other articles I've read) have shown that gender is inherent, not learned.  Some would point out the unrelenting atmospheres of playgrounds and schools, but I would say that the onus is on society to move away from the gender binary, not on trans or gender-queer individuals to be something they're not, or to adhere themselves to a construct that doesn't make sense.

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