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Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


What is sexual orientation?

Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and want to have relationships with. Sexual orientations include gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, and asexual.


Sexual orientation is different from gender and gender identity.

Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and who you feel drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually. It’s different than gender identity. Gender identity isn’t about who you’re attracted to, but about who you ARE — male, female, genderqueer, etc.

This means that being transgender (feeling like your assigned sex is very different from the gender you identify with) isn’t the same thing as being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Sexual orientation is about who you want to be with. Gender identity is about who you are.

--Planned Parenthood


https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/sexual-orientation-gender/sexual-orientation

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6/4/2018, 6:10 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


Moved from Supreme Court thread.


 bigbarry2u
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So in my best, just asking, voice:

I volunteer with my church during the summer, helping as a counselor in a church camp. This camp is attended only by students that are in the church. Recently, one of the girls, soon to be a 9th grader, announced that she now identifies as a boy.

She attended the camp two years ago, staying in the 7th grade girls cabin. All of the cabins are assigned by school grade and gender.

She did not attend last year, and I have no idea if she plans to attend this year. I suspect she would like to.

(Just an aside, the girl's mom is an atheist, and she "home schools" her daughter, but as far as I know actually does nothing. The girl can hardly read, and her mother is proud that she is "outside of the system", and "learns what she wants to learn when she wants to learn". In reality, she sits at home all day and plays video games or surfs the internet. The daughter only attends our church because one of our members has a daughter her age, and feels sorry for her because she doesn't have school friends, and offers to pick her up, to bring her, and take her home when finished. She likes coming to church, and has always been loved and accepted there, perhaps even more so after her announcement. That said, it would not surprise me at all to find out her gender identification issue is a cry for attention more than her genuine feelings. But who am I to say? The mother is defensive, hot-headed, and an activist. Question her on anything (academics, doctors, etc) and she goes on a rant, and won't let her daughter associate with any of her church friends for months at a time. And I am sure the mother would LOVE to force the issue at camp. She won't be able to pay the camp registration fee for the daughter because she is broke. I paid it last time myself.)

Anyway, my question to you all is for your opinion on this: If the girl goes to camp, should she sleep in the 9th grade girls' cabin, or with the 9th grade boys?

If you say, "stay with the girls", what would you say to her Mom who will probably see that as offensive? And what would you say to the parents of the 9th grade girls who might be uncomfortable having a "boy" in their cabin?

If you say, "stay with the boys", what would you say to the parents of the 9th grade boys who would definitely be uncomfortable with this girl in their cabin?

For bonus points, you note that I still call her a "girl". It does not come up in normal conversation, but I notice it here as I write it. I feel funny using "him/he/his" when I have know this person as a girl for years. Is that wrong of me?

She is a good kid. Kind and respectful. But I don't think she could pass a 3rd grade test in any subject. Her mom isolates her at the drop of a hat for any behavior issues, or for comments from anyone that knows her.

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6/4/2018, 6:21 pm

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6/4/2018, 6:13 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


Moved from Supreme Court thread


Miz Robbie
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What a sad story, Barry. That mother is doing her child no favors by neglecting her education and socialization.

You say you help as a counselor, but I'm guessing you're not a professional therapeutic counselor as your regular day job. (If I'm wrong about that, please tell me.)

So, the first place I go in my head is, what's the worst thing that could happen with respect to:
1. The child
2. The mother
3. The parents of the girls at camp
4. The parents of the boys at camp
5. The general church community
6. The ACLU and/or other intervenors

1. If the child really does now identify as a boy, refusing to place... (hmmmm... I see the pronoun problem) him in the boys' cabin would be disrespectful and demeaning, not to mention a source of gender confusion. The child may refuse to come to camp any longer if s/he can't be accommodated. Would that be a bad thing?

2. The mother is spoiling for a fight and, if her child is not placed according to his wishes, mother will call KTRK (ABC affiliate), KHOU (CBS affiliate), KPRC (NBC affiliate), but probably not KRIV (FOX affiliate). Or, hell, maybe KRIV, too. Anyway, for good measure, the mother will call the ACLU and Pride Houston. Everyone will arrive with cameras and microphones. Your church will look either hopelessly backward if the child is not accommodated according to sexual identification, or outrageously craven and politically correct if the church does make the accommodation.

3. As you noted, the parents of the girls at camp may very well have strongly negative feelings about having a boy in the girls' cabin. They may make a lot of noise about it.

4. And, as you noted, the parents of the boys at camp may very well have strongly negative feelings about having a girl in the boys' cabin. They may make a lot of noise about it.

5. The general church community will probably be split into pro-accommodation and anti-accommodation camps.

6. The ACLU and other intervenors might sue on behalf of the child to insist on the child's accommodation preference.

I see they've jammed you down to the end of the school year and probably close to the start of the summer camp season.

She didn't attend last year. Perhaps she won't want to attend this year. If the mother can't afford it, does she expect you to pay it any year her child feels like attending?

My reaction is that your church camp set-up is not now in a position to make the accommodation requested, and there isn't time before camping is upon you to work out something that is satisfactory to all involved. But the church probably does need to put together some kind of ad hoc committee to address it because it's likely to come up again with some other child. And the committee ought to invite a bunch of community stakeholders, including Pride Houston.

Near as I can tell, you're screwed this year no matter what you do.

Helpful, wasn't it. emoticon

PS -- Maybe Lis will weigh in. I haven't been part of the school system for the past 15 years and didn't face that question. Lis has been active for many, many years and still is. Maybe she has some experience to share.

---
Robbie

6/4/2018, 6:55 pm

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6/4/2018, 6:16 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


Thanks for the thoughtful reply. No, I am not a professional counselor. I use the term here in the generic form. More of a volunteer chaperone in this case.

One of my other chaperone friends says we should assign cabins based on "penises" and "non-penises". Does not matter if you are a boy or a girl. :P

Anyway, this is not just about letting a person born a girl use the boy's restroom because she feels like a boy. This affects (and puts at risk) other students because it is an overnight accommodation. There is a reason we put boys together and girls together.

And I have no idea if she is gay. She could very well consider herself a gay boy. She seems kind of sweet on one of the boys in the group, but I am too old and not cool enough to be certain.


---
I thought growing old would take longer.
6/4/2018, 6:17 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


I really do think you need to put some kind of committee together to come up with the camp's position on whether, and how, to accommodate transgender questions. This won't be the last time this comes up, I'll betcha.

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6/4/2018, 6:22 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


In the meantime, what would your decision be? I am really interested in what the members of this board would decide. Let's say this board is that committee. What do you think should happen?

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6/4/2018, 8:53 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


I think I'd tell the mother there are too many issues that can't be resolved in time (cite the two you had noted in your first post, for example) and thank her for bringing the question to the camp's attention.

Note that this is a very good question and express hope it can be addressed properly by camp time next year.

But for this year, you're terribly sorry but her child cannot be accommodated properly.

Bring on the TV cameras.

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6/4/2018, 9:24 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


You're right, Robbie. For sure, this won't be the last time this comes up.

I agree that you should convene a committee. You might see if this kind of situation has been addressed higher up in your church organization (I don't know if you have a national organization or some kind of hierarchy). It might be worth consulting the church's attorney to gain insights, too.

In the school district, we have transgender students. We've dealt with the bathroom and locker room issues by having the students use the bathroom in the nurse's office downstairs for restroom and PE changing needs, and using the faculty bathroom for their identified genders upstairs.

We had an issue with color guard uniforms not fitting properly because they were designed for one gender rather than another. We solved it by getting a larger size and then having it altered. I'm not sure what will happen when it comes to athletics, but we're bound by the state athletic association, and I have no doubt they're already dealing with it.

Where THIS situation differs is that it involves kids staying overnight.

I DEFINITELY disagree with your friend's "penises/non-penises" delineation. Some boys have suffered catastrophic injuries from botched circumcisions and other accidents, yet still identify as boys.

I would caution you against using the phrase "because she feels like a boy," Barry. In her mind, she IS a boy. No "feels like" involved. And I've read some research that shows definite brain differences between those who agree with their gender assignment and those who do not.

I understand why we generally keep boys with boys, and girls with girls -- to prevent perceived risk of "hanky panky." But you've identified the problem -- putting gay young people together won't stop hanky panky when you have divided them by gender.

My thought is this: This boy (and I ALWAYS accept the child's self-identification) has probably been bullied and humiliated ENDLESSLY already. In my experience, the LAST thing this child would want is MORE harassment as a result of approaching another boy for a sexual encounter. I sincerely believe you will not have an issue with this child acting inappropriately toward other boys, were he housed with them. But I can see the girls being extremely uncomfortable with him being in THEIR tent, given his new gender identity. If you were to err, I would err in the direction of appropriately acknowledging the child's gender identity.

One more question.... Do the camp counselors sleep in the same tents as the children, or separately? If a counselor is in a tent with the children, that should provide the supervision necessary to limit any "hanky panky." If counselors are housed separately from the children, I would suggest offering the option of staying in a tent with the other male counselors.

As for your specific questions....

If the girl goes to camp, should she sleep in the 9th grade girls' cabin, or with the 9th grade boys?

My opinion is that he should be housed with the other boys.

If you say, "stay with the girls", what would you say to her Mom who will probably see that as offensive?

I wouldn't choose requiring him to stay with the girls, but I think your best answer for the Mom is the truth: your camp doesn't have policies or facilities in place for transgender children at this time. But you seriously need to be working on them.

And what would you say to the parents of the 9th grade girls who might be uncomfortable having a "boy" in their cabin?

I really have a tough time answering this one, Barry. They're right. There's a boy in their room. As a parent of a girl, I would be uncomfortable with that.

If you say, "stay with the boys", what would you say to the parents of the 9th grade boys who would definitely be uncomfortable with this girl in their cabin?

As the parent of two boys (both of whom were in 9th grade only a few years ago), it wouldn't have bothered me at all that a transgender boy was in their cabin. For parents of boys who are uncomfortable, all I could suggest is to remind them there will be strict supervision of the cabins.

For bonus points, you note that I still call her a "girl". It does not come up in normal conversation, but I notice it here as I write it. I feel funny using "him/he/his" when I have know this person as a girl for years. Is that wrong of me?

Yeah, it is, Barry. Even if you don't mean anything negative by it (and I'm not reading that you do), it's a matter of respect. Think about how people tease boys. "Are you gonna cry like a little girl?" "You throw like a girl!" Insults left and right, as if being a girl is negative. Think about how more effeminate men are automatically assumed to be either gay or weak. Or how more muscular women are assumed to be gay or "butch" or "not a real woman." There's enough ugly stuff going on in the world. Addressing a person by the gender he is, in his brain if not in his body, is a basic form of respect.

And one last thought. This young man sounds as though he really has a rough home life and needs friends. What a beautiful learning opportunity this could be for him and for all of the children about the love of God and the love of all people for each other. The teenage years are absolutely brutal, and this child is going to need friends and a support system, as we all do. Without school friends, it sounds like the church community might be vitally important. The more ways you can think of to EMBRACE this child in the community, the better. Keep in mind that the other children will follow YOUR lead. If YOU and the other counselors call him "him," they are more likely to, too.

---
Lis

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6/4/2018, 9:30 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


Thanks for your thoughtful reply.



---
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6/4/2018, 9:36 pm Link to this post PM bigbarry2u
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


You're welcome.

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Lis

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6/4/2018, 9:38 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


I'm glad you weighed in, Lis. I knew you'd have good ideas and suggestions.

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6/4/2018, 10:47 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


Thanks, Robbie. There has been a bunch of case law regarding schools, but I don't think anyone wants to hear all about that. It really wouldn't apply to church camp. And again, the fact that the kids are staying overnight is really the issue -- and far different from the issues the schools face.

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Lis

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6/5/2018, 1:27 am Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Yeah, the overnight part really does distinguish it from school concerns. I did like your recommendation about a counselor sleeping in the boys' cabin.

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6/5/2018, 1:33 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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I really do think that is the only way to entirely prevent issues. But the biggest problem is finding enough adult volunteers to make that happen. (And then you have some adults who are concerned about adults sleeping in the same room as the children.)

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Lis

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6/5/2018, 1:53 am Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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And, in this case, one has to wonder whether the child identifies as male or if the mother has suggested to the child that it would be cool to identify as male.

One has to take the child at his word, but a little bit of wondering wouldn't hurt.

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6/5/2018, 2:01 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


quote:

JustLis wrote:

In the school district, we have transgender students. We've dealt with the bathroom and locker room issues by having the students use the bathroom in the nurse's office downstairs for restroom and PE changing needs, and using the faculty bathroom for their identified genders upstairs.



The courts don't agree with you on the washroom issue. Gavin Grimm won the right to use the boys' washroom at his school:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/22/us/gavin-grimm-transgender-bathrooms.html

Nicole Maines was awarded $75,000 because her school didn't allow her to use the girl's washroom (that case ended up going thru several levels of appeals and had to have cost the school board well over a quarter of a million dollars - my guess is north of half a mill)

http://time.com/3615599/transgender-student-restroom-lawsuit-maine/

And six year old Coy Mathis won her case and SHE is allowed to use the girls' washroom at her school

https://nypost.com/2013/06/24/transgender-6-year-old-wins-civil-rights-case-to-use-girls-bathroom-at-school/

And it goes beyond individual cases such as this. For example, Massachusetts law makes it clear that students must be allowed access to the facilities that correspond to their gender identity as opposed to their biological sex. While this is from Boston it's consistent with Massachusetts law.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9mGu0dNZp6bSGlIODdtUHVyS2s/view

As for the "privacy issue" I can't say it better than DW Trantham (an inspiring young lady)

“I mean, what do you think am I going to do? Trans people are worried about their bathroom privacy more than anyone. We are the ones at risk of being raped or sexually assaulted. It’s happened to me before. I’m not hurting anyone. I am just simply using and expressing my rights as a human being using the girl’s restroom.”

Image


As for unisex bathrooms or forcing her to use the nurses' or staff washrooms, that's discriminatory. After all SHE has a gender:

“It’s not okay,” DW says. “A unisex bathroom is just segregation. It’s completely away from the other girls. It’s challenging my personhood and it’s challenging my rights as an American, and I have every right to use the girls’ bathroom… I just don’t feel right about a unisex or genderless bathroom. I have a gender, I am a girl, you know? It’s important to me as a girl to be able to use the girl’s bathroom. Otherwise I’m being segregated.”

For the record, the students (and teachers_ were behind her:

Even though DW had the backing of the school on the issue, she still left the situation feeling shaken. That is, until she arrived at school the next morning. “I walked into my school and it was nine o’clock and I was greeted by hundreds of students,” she remembers. “They all had their hands out to me, ready to give me a hug. They were all wearing stickers, that said, “I Am DW.” They were handing out sheets to sign that they don’t mind that a transgender girl was sharing a bathroom with them… All these people, people that I didn’t even know, people were coming up to me saying, you’re beautiful, stay strong, all throughout the day. There were even lots of teachers that were wearing the “I Am DW” stickers.:

These students, many whom she had thought weren’t her friends and didn’t accept her were now standing firmly in solidarity with her. Students and staff from across the school were letting her know that they weren’t just accepting her, they were fighting alongside her. “It was so amazing,” she recalls. “This isn’t even doing it justice. This was so amazing. I just felt endless support of love and thankful for the hugs and I felt sorry for the uneducated parents that took their children out of school because of it.”


https://www.autostraddle.com/dw-trantham-courageous-trans-teen-stands-up-for-her-bathroom-rights-and-finds-community-support-282854/
6/5/2018, 5:36 am Link to this post PM shiftless2
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


quote:

shiftless2 wrote:

The courts don't agree with you on the washroom issue. Gavin Grimm won the right to use the boys' washroom at his school



I hadn't seen the outcome of Gavin's case two weeks ago. Great!

But each of the cases you cited was from a state court or a single federal jurisdiction, so it's not nationwide yet. Obama had put a policy in place, I think through the Department of Education, but a federal judge blocked it and then Trump reversed it. So there is no federal, nation-wide guidance that I can see.

I'm hoping that we'll see a Supreme Court ruling that sets the precedent nation-wide. Because if we're going to wait for bright red states like Indiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to pass legislation directing the schools in their states, it's going to be a VERY long wait.

Allowing students to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify is only rational. Let's talk specifics.

If a genetic girl identifies as a boy, he is not going to be using the urinals. He'll be in a stall, where no one can see anything anyway.

If a genetic boy identifies as a girl, she is going to be using the stall because there ARE no urinals in the girls' bathroom. And no one can see anything.

So...where's the problem?

Again, these kids are bullied unmercifully already. The problems won't be with them; the problems will be with other kids who are going to have to learn respect.

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6/5/2018, 12:38 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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The US Supreme Court refused to hear the Gavin Grimm case.

Trump's reversal of Obama's policies in this area is driven by Pence and Tony Perkins (of the Family Research Council), the same two individuals who are responsible for (and I'm sure wrote) Trump's transgender military ban.

Last edited by shiftless2, 6/5/2018, 3:10 pm
6/5/2018, 3:04 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


There are three families in my church (as far as I know -- there might be more) who have transgender offspring. Two of them are now adults, and one is going to be a junior in high school in the fall. All of them are female-to-male trans. One of the adult transmen is married to a lovely woman who knew him throughout his transition from female to male. My church is a "Mainline Protestant" congregation, specifically, Episcopalian. These young people have been wholeheartedly supported by our congregation.

I agree with much of what Lis has said in response to Barry's questions. I do have a few comments to add, however.

I don't like the "accommodation" of having transgender people use the nurse's bathroom or some other "private" bathroom. That draws even MORE attention to the transgender person, in my opinion. If that is how the schools in Lis' school district have responded, I think they should change that accommodation, and the courts seem to be leaning in that direction.

As Lis herself notes in another response: "Allowing students to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify is only rational. Let's talk specifics.

If a genetic girl identifies as a boy, he is not going to be using the urinals. He'll be in a stall, where no one can see anything anyway.

If a genetic boy identifies as a girl, she is going to be using the stall because there ARE no urinals in the girls' bathroom. And no one can see anything.

So...where's the problem?

Again, these kids are bullied unmercifully already. The problems won't be with them; the problems will be with other kids who are going to have to learn respect.
"

I believe that same logic should apply to the sleeping accommodations in the case of Barry's camp or other organizations' camps. The Boy Scouts, for example, have developed some guidelines that might be helpful for Barry and his church:

Boy Scout Considerations for Transgender Members
6/6/2018, 4:13 pm Link to this post PM MsSusieQueue
 
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Re: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


quote:

Miz Robbie wrote:

And, in this case, one has to wonder whether the child identifies as male or if the mother has suggested to the child that it would be cool to identify as male.

One has to take the child at his word, but a little bit of wondering wouldn't hurt.



Robbie, every parent I know who has a transgender child "wonders" all the time. It cannot be an easy path for them to walk this journey with their child. I have never met a parent who thought it "would be cool" to have a trans child.

I have met SEVERAL parents who refused to accept their transgender offspring, many times for "religious" reasons. Those are the parents I simply cannot understand. Aren't their children "God's children," too?
6/6/2018, 4:19 pm Link to this post PM MsSusieQueue
 


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