Word Worth®
                        ©World Magazine of Ideas and the Arts™ — Spring 2017 Volume XVII,  Issue 2

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Editorials

Life Decisions at the Age of Two

I’ve read accounts of people who have gone through gender transition who had felt so displaced in their born gender that they considered suicide.

Being that dysphoric about one’s own physical existence has to be a pain that many of us, fortunately, cannot imagine. Reading accounts of those who have felt that pain must surely sway the most hard-hearted of their adversaries to sympathy.

At this point, however, the situation is getting a bit loopy. Parents of two-year old children have decided that their child is of a different gender than they were born with because they like to wear frilly clothes and fingernail polish. Responsible parents of little girls don’t let them wear fingernail polish. Surely, with two-year old children, sensible parents can try to steer them toward less drastic outlets: fancy clothes for boys, sporty clothes for girls.

In one account a father of a seven-year old who was born a boy, but was really a girl from the age of two, reported that his “daughter” had a stressful time using public restrooms because the child didn’t want to go to a boys’ restroom. The boy’s mother asked him what he wanted his name to be, and he replied that he  still wanted it to be Daniel: “That’s my name, Mom.” That alone reveals that he hasn't a clue about what is in store for him.

Clearly the child (and his parents) have no clue about the difficult road ahead for him. What happens if he goes through a mountain of chemical and surgical procedures and then finds as a young adult that he didn’t really want to be a girl?

When I was a child, there was a girl in our town who was a total, total tom-boy. She dressed like a boy, played with the boys, wore high-top sneakers that only boys wore, was the second girl—after her sister briefly—to be a “paper boy.”

When I was walking to high school one day, she came and walked beside me and said, “The trouble with being a tom-boy is that at some point, you want to be a girl, but the boys won’t let you.”

What happens when the toddler has been encouraged to make life decisions and learns that it was a passing fancy?

Caitlyn Jenner, the father of six children and four stepchildren, appears to believe that being a woman is nothing but prancing about in designer clothes. She has never had to deal with any of the issues that real women face: the fear of becoming pregnant and the father deserting, the awkwardness of teenage menstruation, denigration because she’s “only a girl”, molestation, the difficulty of childbirth, the fear of death in childbirth….  This is what being a real woman is, and without that background, without overcoming all that, no designer clothes, hormone shots, and surgery will make any man truly a woman.

If an adult, young or old, feels they have to change their gender, and has really thought it through, no one has the right to criticize or condemn. But if a toddler boy wants to be a girl, or the reverse, pushing them into that is borrowing a globe of trouble.

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