Oh…okay…I admit that when I first heard that Bruce Jenner was transitioning into a woman I thought it had to be one of two things going on; either he was doing it to drum up drama for the reality show or trying to become famous again on his own by any means necessary. I will also admit that these speculations were not based on anything else than my skepticism of reality TV and “fake celebrities” like the Kardashians.
It wasn’t because I doubted transgender issues, I just don’t trust celebrities. That’s about where my thinking stopped though. I didn’t discuss it with anyone and I didn’t feel that I needed to pass judgement on Bruce Jenner.
But then The Today Show did a segment on children who are having gender identity issues. A family was featured who had three female children born to them, however, one of the daughters, from the age of two on, insisted that she was a boy. I watched this segment wondering what I would do as a parent because at that point you have to wonder about phases or really, taking the word of a two year-old…because they will tell you some crazy shit and you probably shouldn’t believe that the cat wants to live in the dryer.
So, this family is going along trying to tell this child that she was born a girl and she IS a girl for two and a half years…until the mother is in a car accident that could have claimed her life. This mother reflected on her life and was heartbroken to think that she would have spent her last days on earth with this child giving them the message that she didn’t love them for who they were. In that moment, her life changed…and so did mine.
I knew that all I wanted for my children was to be happy, healthy and to be good people. I knew I would accept them for who they are. It wasn’t hard for me to know that a gay or lesbian child of mine would be as loved and supported. But when it comes to issues of sexuality, those tend to develop over time and a “child” is slightly older and able to better communicate and explain and it probably couldn’t be construed as a “phase”.
It’s a thin line and I started thinking of that line…too much. I started thinking about parenting practices I tend not to thinking highly of…like child pageants, for example. Then I drew the parallel. There are parents out there who MAKE their children into something they are not, which is basically sexy adults. They heap pressure and rejection onto these kids and parade them in front of people dressed up like jail bait. Any practice where you tell a child who they have to be or who they are, or worse yet, if you tell a child what to believe, you are doing something far worse than allowing a child to identify as different gender than they were physically assigned.
Here it is…fuck that thin line. Think about that child or person in your life as an individual and respect their mind. If your belief system tells you not to love and help people, then you need to seriously think about where you are placing your faith.*
If Joey comes home tomorrow asking to be called Carley and wanting much cuter clothes, I want to roll with it. If it’s a phase, it will work itself out and I will do everything to protect him until it does. If it’s real, at least my child will know that his parents love him for who he is in his heart and brain and that he can go to them with anything. He will know that the arms of his parent aren’t only open as long as he thinks and acts as they would want.
Most of all…I want my kids to learn how to walk the fucking walk! I don’t want to talk about being a good person and think that acting like one will win me a spot in a cushy afterlife*. I want to be a good person and I want my kids to see what a great impact they can have on the world because of the kindness and acceptance they have been shown.
I guess you could call it a very “Humanist” attitude. While I do not identify with any faith or religion per se…I suppose when it comes to how I live my life, I do fall into that Humanist category…though be it a secular one.
I do realize that this is a decidedly unfunny and, perhaps, confrontational blog post. I honestly do not have anyone in mind when as I write. This post is not a veiled message to any one person or group. It’s just a message I want out there. It’s just a reflection of myself as a person and mother. I am writing this post because that moment where a mom’s greatest regret in life was not listening and accepting her child hit me like a ton of bricks.
*mentions of belief systems, faith or the afterlife are meant to be generalized and geared toward closed-minded factions or individuals, but at NOT religious people in general. Again, no one person or group in mind…just douches who don’t respect other humans.