It seems that there are more transgender kids than ever before. I’ve been thinking about that a lot and wondering about it. I have a Facebook group for parents of LGBTQ kids and it seems more and more parents who request to join have a transgender or gender variant kid.
When I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s (I know I’m old!) I never even heard of a transgender person, let alone a transgender child. If anyone didn’t dress or act according to the cultural norms of their birth gender, we just assumed them to be gay.
As I think about that, I realize that what we have, at least in the U.S., is a large group of parents who are more aware, more open-minded and realize more that they need to accept their kids as they are. I wonder if young kids who say “I’m a boy, not a girl” or “I’m a girl, not a boy” existed back then but their parents told them they were wrong. They told them “You have a penis, that means you are a boy.” Or “You have a vagina, that means you are a girl.” They didn’t know any better and there were no resources back then.
Today, there are gender clinics across the country. There are medical professionals and therapists who specialize in gender identity. I suspect the kids of my generation who were told they were the gender they were based on their genitals are now transitioning. I wonder how many of them died from drug abuse, alcohol abuse, suicide because they weren’t able to live their true identity.
Maybe there are more transgender children today than ever before but I somehow suspect it’s just that we, as a culture, are more open and accepting. We, as parents, see our kids in ways our parents weren’t able to. We see the child who knows their gender despite what genitals they have. We see the joy in our child’s eyes and in their heart when they are finally able to express their true gender. We are making it safe for our kids to come out.
I’ve met too many young trans kids to believe this is just a trend or the thing to do. They are totally confident in their gender, their gender expression and their sexuality. They are not confused. They know who they are. And we, the adults, can watch and marvel at the amazing human beings they are.