Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.
pelmut
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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

Post by pelmut »

Stu wrote:... telling him he is a girl and dressing him as such is an act of cruelty.
It works both ways: if she really is transgender, telling her she is a boy is also an act of cruelty -- which a lot of people don't seem to recognise until it is pointed out to them.
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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

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pelmut wrote:It works both ways: if she really is transgender, telling her she is a boy is also an act of cruelty -- which a lot of people don't seem to recognise until it is pointed out to them.
He is a boy. That is just a biological reality; that fact should be made clear to him and it is not cruel to do that. If he is unhappy being a boy because he is convinced that he is in the "wrong body", then he can and should be helped to deal with the issue and cut some slack in terms of gender norms in terms of how he is treated. But he will continue to be a boy unless and until he has undergone full gender reassignment.

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

Post by Jim »

Stu wrote:But he will continue to be a boy unless and until he has undergone full gender reassignment.
People have different definitions of "boy". Some will say it's in the brain, some in the chosen social role, some in the hormones, some in the external genitalia, and some in the chromosomes. So under some definitions a person can change, and under others they can't.

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

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Jim wrote:People have different definitions of "boy". Some will say it's in the brain, some in the chosen social role, some in the hormones, some in the external genitalia, and some in the chromosomes. So under some definitions a person can change, and under others they can't.
I don't think there is any suggestion that this child has a genetic or other physiological feature which puts into question his biological sex, Jim. As such, unless we discover otherwise, we can make a working assumption that his is a physically normal male child and that makes him objectively a "boy" - i.e. a young, male human being. Whatever social role we adopt doesn't change the objective reality.

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

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Stu wrote:
pelmut wrote:It works both ways: if she really is transgender, telling her she is a boy is also an act of cruelty -- which a lot of people don't seem to recognise until it is pointed out to them.
He is a boy. That is just a biological reality; that fact should be made clear to him and it is not cruel to do that.
It is one of the most hurtful things you can do to a transgender child.  You can explain that genitalia are used as an indicator of someone's sex, but they do not determine how that child wants to fit in with society.  If a transgender child feels she is a girl, she is a girl and should be treated as one -- the fact that she has 'boy bits' is an unfortunate biological anomaly which can be ignored for most of the time and treated sensitively on the few occasions when it matters.
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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

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pelmut wrote:It is one of the most hurtful things you can do to a transgender child. You can explain that genitalia are used as an indicator of someone's sex, but they do not determine how that child wants to fit in with society. If a transgender child feels she is a girl, she is a girl and should be treated as one -- the fact that she has 'boy bits' is an unfortunate biological anomaly which can be ignored for most of the time and treated sensitively on the few occasions when it matters.
No, feelings do not trump facts and children should be taught that from the start. So a child is not a girl just because he wants to be a girl at that time; I want to be 20 again, but just because I want it doesn't mean I can be 20. Rather than entertaining a delusion, a child should be told the truth even if they find it hurtful, but then they can be offered support, ways to deal with that hurt, and ways to attenuate it. That might include allowing them some scope to dress as the sex they would prefer to be, adopt a name they prefer and so on, and to explain to them that, if their feelings persist, in time and as they become adults they may be able to receive help to change their bodies to become more like the sex they believe they should be.

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

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pelmut wrote:
Stu wrote:
pelmut wrote:It works both ways: if she really is transgender, telling her she is a boy is also an act of cruelty -- which a lot of people don't seem to recognise until it is pointed out to them.
He is a boy. That is just a biological reality; that fact should be made clear to him and it is not cruel to do that.
It is one of the most hurtful things you can do to a transgender child. You can explain that genitalia are used as an indicator of someone's sex, but they do not determine how that child wants to fit in with society. If a transgender child feels she is a girl, she is a girl and should be treated as one -- the fact that she has 'boy bits' is an unfortunate biological anomaly which can be ignored for most of the time and treated sensitively on the few occasions when it matters.
You think saying that a person's body, the foundation of that person's very experience of existence, is "unfortunate" but can be "ignored most of the time" isn't cruel?

That's seriously messed up.
Daryl...

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

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Stu wrote:
pelmut wrote:It is one of the most hurtful things you can do to a transgender child. You can explain that genitalia are used as an indicator of someone's sex, but they do not determine how that child wants to fit in with society. If a transgender child feels she is a girl, she is a girl and should be treated as one -- the fact that she has 'boy bits' is an unfortunate biological anomaly which can be ignored for most of the time and treated sensitively on the few occasions when it matters.
No, feelings do not trump facts and children should be taught that from the start. So a child is not a girl just because he wants to be a girl at that time; I want to be 20 again, but just because I want it doesn't mean I can be 20. Rather than entertaining a delusion, a child should be told the truth even if they find it hurtful, but then they can be offered support, ways to deal with that hurt, and ways to attenuate it. That might include allowing them some scope to dress as the sex they would prefer to be, adopt a name they prefer and so on, and to explain to them that, if their feelings persist, in time and as they become adults they may be able to receive help to change their bodies to become more like the sex they believe they should be.
Well, I'm going to quibble with "dress as the sex they would prefer to be". Sex is not something we "dress as". It's biology. I would have said "dress as they prefer, without regard to sexed expectations". (I did say I was quibbling!)
Daryl...

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

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Daryl wrote:
pelmut wrote:-- the fact that she has 'boy bits' is an unfortunate biological anomaly which can be ignored for most of the time and treated sensitively on the few occasions when it matters.
You think saying that a person's body, the foundation of that person's very experience of existence, is "unfortunate" but can be "ignored most of the time" isn't cruel?
A transgender childs 'experience of existence' is not determined by its genitals unless adults keep insisting that it is something it knows it is not.  If they persist in doing that, it's 'experience of existence' turns to misery.  Most of the time, a child's genitals are not evident to others, so they can -- and should -- be ignored.
That's seriously messed up.
Society is seriously messed up if it has more interest in a child's genitals than in its happiness.
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

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pelmut wrote:A transgender childs 'experience of existence' is not determined by its genitals unless adults keep insisting that it is something it knows it is not.  If they persist in doing that, it's 'experience of existence' turns to misery.  Most of the time, a child's genitals are not evident to others, so they can -- and should -- be ignored.
A child's genitals are indeed not visible and can, for most purposes, be considered irrelevant. A child is a child and people will treat him or her for the most part as they present. In the vast majority of normal, daily interactions, their sex is not an issue. Both sexes eat, drink, sleep, play, read, watch TV, talk and so on and their parents largely treat them the same way. But a child should know whether he is a boy - or she is a girl - and that knowledge should be based on their biology and not their self-perception or preference. They should not be told an untruth to protect their feelings.
pelmut wrote:Society is seriously messed up if it has more interest in a child's genitals than in its happiness.
It's not a matter of having "interest in their genitals", but rather teaching them that reality and truth are sacrosanct and, if these cause hurt, then they learn how to deal with that hurt.

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

Post by pelmut »

Stu wrote: a child should know whether he is a boy - or she is a girl - and that knowledge should be based on their biology and not their self-perception or preference.
Whether they have male or female genitals is based on biology and the child should be told that by the parents -- but knowing whether they are a boy or girl (or neither, or both) involves much more than their genitals and that is something the parents can only discover by listening to the child.  Gender is not based on biological sex and the terms 'boy' and 'girl' involve sex, gender and society.
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

Post by oldsalt1 »

There is a lot going on in this post it is an interesting read .I hope it continues.

Its funny people only bring up the possibility of a source being bias when their commentaries are contra to that persons opinions

In this particular case I think it is important to ask the mother when is the first time the child was dressed as a girl and whose idea was it.

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

Post by Stu »

pelmut wrote:
Stu wrote: a child should know whether he is a boy - or she is a girl - and that knowledge should be based on their biology and not their self-perception or preference.
Whether they have male or female genitals is based on biology and the child should be told that by the parents -- but knowing whether they are a boy or girl (or neither, or both) involves much more than their genitals and that is something the parents can only discover by listening to the child.  Gender is not based on biological sex and the terms 'boy' and 'girl' involve sex, gender and society.
Being a boy entails being biologically male and being a girl means being biologically female. The terms "boy" and "girl" are objectively determined bound and you don't become one of these merely because your mind tells you that you are. We have no business redefining these to fit our ideological outlook.

Gender, in terms of masculinity and femininity, align to some extent with biological sex in the vast majority of cases and these terms relate to adults rather than children. Some aspects of masculinity and femininity are wholly dependent on physiology while others are cultural, but predisposition, self-perception etc are of minimal relevance. So we can have males who are more, or less, masculine than others and some who have traits more common in females and may thus be regarded as effeminate (pejorative term) or feminine (a neutral term). When it comes to children, a boy can exhibit girl-like preferences and behaviours and even want to be a girl - but he is still objectively a boy unless and until undergoes some form of physical transition that divests him of male anatomical characteristics.

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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

Post by pelmut »

Stu wrote:... he is still objectively a boy unless and until undergoes some form of physical transition that divests him of male anatomical characteristics.
How would anyone know?  If she says she is a girl and has a girl's name and behaves like a girl and is registered by her school as a girl and wears girls' clothes, what gives anyone the right to enquire about her genitals?
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Re: Custody battle in Texas over 7-year-old transgender

Post by Stu »

pelmut wrote:
Stu wrote:... he is still objectively a boy unless and until undergoes some form of physical transition that divests him of male anatomical characteristics.
How would anyone know?  If she says she is a girl and has a girl's name and behaves like a girl and is registered by her school as a girl and wears girls' clothes, what gives anyone the right to enquire about her genitals?
That is perfectly true and, for most practical purposes, it wouldn't be an issue when it comes to clothing, hair, name etc. However, we are crossing a line when we are registering a male child as a girl; he's not a girl and he should be clear about that and I wouldn't be entirely happy about encouraging him to deceive his school staff and other children in the school about that. It would have to be judged on a case-by-case basis. Going to such a length would have to be justified by the severity of his gender identity disorder and would only be warranted if it were clear, after extensive evaluation by independent specialists, that he wouldn't be able to function at school or perform properly if he attended as a boy. I would also have concerns about him using girls' facilities that involved undressing, so he would need to be kept separate for that.

In our society, we need to make space and for, and encourage toleration of, girlish boys and boyish girls as simply variants within the normal range. This should be the default assumption where there is gender ambivalence before going down the route of social gender reassignment that involves deceiving the child or those with whom he/she comes into contact as to the child's true sex.

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