When Coy was 4, she told us something was wrong with her body. She asked us when she could go the doctor to become a girl. We took her to a psychologist, who said that Coy is transgender and we should support her and let her be who she is. As soon as we let Coy grow her hair out and wear girls' clothes, it was like someone turned on a light. She was happy all the time.
Honestly, and I know I'll get slammed for saying this, but that was the wrong answer from the psychologist. What should have been said was "This is a common occurrence among young children, and it could indicate transgender tendencies, but it's way too young to be sure, so try to gently remind him that he is a boy and isn't going to change into a girl, and let's see if this is just a phase that will pass. Let him interact with other kids and see social gender roles within that setting as well. If he's still insisting that he's a girl in say 4 or 5 years then we'll look at other options". The point being that there's no way a psychiatrist could make a diagnosis like that at such a young age, and being wrong about this can do vastly more harm to the child in the long run by encouraging him to be a her than the other way around.
By following the psychiatrists suggestion, they basically reinforced a gender identity in their son which may very well have disappeared in short order otherwise. Kids go through phases like this all the time. If parents decide the kid is transgender and then start dressing him as a girl and referring to him as a girl, it may make him happy in the short term, but that potentially transitory phase will become normal and "stick" with the child and may possibly make him miserable for the rest of his life. I think that was a terrible decision by the parents, and if the psychiatrist actually told them that (which I suspect may be exaggeration on their part), he or she should possibly have their license revoked and banned from the profession.
When Coy started at Eagleside last September, her teachers and classmates accepted her for who she was. They referred to her using female pronouns, and she used the girls' bathroom for months with no problems.
The $10,000 question is whether the other kids knew Coy was a boy in the first place. Would not be the first time someone left out some key facts in a story to garner support.
Then, all of a sudden, the principal told us Coy would have to use the boys' room, the staff bathroom for adults, or the bathroom for sick children in the nurse's office. Our daughter is not a boy, she's not an adult, and she's not sick.
There's the problem. Their son
is a boy. The school doesn't decide what legally makes someone a boy or a girl. They do, however, have to comply with the rules regarding bathrooms for boys and girls.
Our state, Colorado, is one of 16 states where it's illegal for public schools to discriminate against kids like Coy.
Again. The school isn't discriminating against Coy. It's not discrimination to apply the same rules to everyone.
Eagleside had an opportunity to teach kids to celebrate each other's differences, but instead they set our daughter up for harassment and bullying. Coy doesn't understand why she can't be treated the same as all the other little girls.
Whatever harassment and bullying this child will undergo will almost certainly not be caused or prevented based on a schools decision regarding which bathrooms to use. Unless, as I suspect, the parents were trying to keep their sons biological sex a secret from the other kids in school and trying to pass him off as a girl, and expecting the school to go along with the ruse. Then it makes sense. Um.... But I think that's a really poor way to go about doing things and absolutely calls into question their claim to want to teach kids to celebrate each other's differences. Again, I'm speculating here, but reading between the lines, it seems like this is a more likely explanation for what happened.
Also, if Coy doesn't understand why he can't be treated the same as the other little girls, perhaps that's the first clue that he can't possibly know whether he's really transgender or not. It suggest to me that they demand more understanding in other children then they've imparted in their own. A simple "boys have a penis, girls have a vagina" at some point would at least give their child some starting point to understand that he's not really the same as the "other little girls".
Dunno, but it seems like there's some information missing here. I'd like to hope that parents would not so quickly and easily decide their 3-4 year old is transgender and then embrace it like that. But I can't see how there could be any other explanation. That's just way too young to make that kind of determination. At that age, kids have not had enough opportunities to engage with other kids and adopt much of any kind of social identities at all, much less something as radical as that. I honestly believe that they created this problem by their response to the whole thing. Edited, Mar 19th 2013 6:34pm by gbaji