Having an Open Attitude to Kids’ Gender Identity
Two private elementary schools in Oakland, California, have adapted to a phenomenon known as gender variance?when kids identify as the opposite sex. Some grow out of it, some don’t, but the schools’ open attitude is meant to bolster self-esteem and avoid the kind of scars that can follow children into adulthood.
Of course not everyone is thrilled at the idea, one conservative group saying, “God made us male and female, and God makes no mistakes. To teach a child at an early age self-hatred, and that’s what this gender variance is, is very sad.”
But a Bay Area psychiatrist who leads a support group for gender variance argues: “It’s really important that the public be aware this is not something parents can turn their kids into. The data is very clear on this.”
San Francisco Chronicle:
WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
Park Day’s staff members are among a growing number of educators and parents who are acknowledging gender variance in very young children. Aurora School, another private elementary school in Oakland, also is seeing children who are “gender fluid” and hired a clinical psychologist to conduct staff training.
Children with gender variant behaviors feel intensely that they want to look and act like the other sex. They prefer toys and activities typical of the opposite gender. Signs usually start appearing between the ages of 2 and 4.
For some children, it’s a passing phase. Some grow up to be heterosexual, some gay. Some children insist they are the opposite sex although they might have a hard time explaining it. One nurse therapist said a boy once told her, “I think I swallowed a girl.”
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.