Transsexual children

David Reimer was born a boy, raised a girl, and tried to reclaim his manhood as a teen.

David Reimer was born a boy, raised a girl, and tried to reclaim his manhood as a teen.

When David Reimer was circumcised, his penis was so badly damaged that when he was 21 months old his parents agreed that his testicles should be removed, and he should be raised as a girl. He never accepted that, was nicknamed “cavewoman” at school, and aged 14 assumed a male gender role. In 2004, he shot himself in the head.

Contrast Pasupatidasi and her daughter Ziona. Ziona knows she is a girl, and loathes her penis and testicles, such that the thought of their removal puts her on cloud 9. It is likely that she will transition completely, and the earlier the transition, the more likely she is to pass: consider Caroline Cossey, Jenna Talackova and the model, Lea. I do not get objectified by the patriarchal culture for my looks. No, acceptance should not depend on passing. Unfortunately, it does, to a great extent. Here, the mother tells something of what her daughter had to do to convince her.

Sometimes gay people, in childhood, wonder if they are “really” of the other sex. There is a huge difference between gender identity- “I am a girl”- and questioning- “Am I¬†a girl?”¬†There are huge barriers for a child in stating gender identity different to that indicated by gonads. There is great difficulty for the parents accepting their child’s statement, and great hostility from outside¬†when they do. So Transactive, supporting these parents and children, performs an essential role.

It is possible that a parent is sick and twisted enough to so bully and manipulate a boy with testicles that the child might even imagine he chooses to express himself as a girl because he is trans. But unlikely, even if he is gay. That child with testicles is a girl if she gets the puberty blocking treatment. It is just too difficult to get it otherwise.

This does not prevent Bug Brennan from publishing a lurid attack on Transactive, accusing them of forcing gay children into transgender role from fundamentalist Christian motives to deny the existence of gay people, as in Iran. To her credit, Bug publishes Jenn Burleton’s response. To her discredit, she does not take note of it.

Another comment suggests that the parents are trying to make themselves out as brave, when they are manipulating the child. The feminine box girls are forced into, Disney Princess style, gets narrower and narrower. A child should just be allowed to be a tomboy. Well, yes, but not if the (child with a uterus) is actually a boy- such children need far more support, not benign neglect.

So, it is all a horrible, extreme right Christian conspiracy. Tell that to Lefty Begone. For Lefty, science is clear, testicles means boy, uterus means girl, so the child who disagrees is a fantasist and his parents are creating a Democrat voter.

And yet, despite this near-universal condemnation of the parents as monsters who are torturing and maiming their children, and the children as fantasists or passive victims, despite all the hate, the children and parents working with Transactive carry on, many progressing to extremely successful transition. If that is not proof of the existence of gender identity separate from physical indications of gender, then nothing is.

2 thoughts on “Transsexual children

  1. The story of the transgendered is not told often enough. In the book that I am working on, the main character has a best friend that is ftm transitioning and I hope that my portrayal of that character will help show transgenders in a more compassionate light (as opposed to the way mainstream society has traditionally viewed them). My desire is for the world to see that gender is not physical, it is of the soul – the essence of the person. As an openly butch lesbian, I’ve discussed with trans friends, on many occasions, that I am only a few steps to the right of them. I identify as far more masculine of center. I do not, however, experience dysphoria, otherwise known as gender identity disorder, that transgenders often suffer with. I came to terms with my physical being. I never forget how closely associated with transgenders that I am though. I consider us all human, first and foremost. We all have feelings and we are all just trying to carve out a little place in this world where we can find some peace and comfort.

    ~Jesse ~


    • The view you have to take of us- or of gay people- in order to oppress us, is: these are weirdo perverts doing something disgusting, and they should stop. Now, why would we do that? Because it is the expression of who we are. So that we can function in the world. So we can receive and express and share Love. And- if the oppressors can accept us, they will be enabled to accept themselves.

      My expression is not a choice. This is an expression of my essence. The more portrayals we have, the better. “Torchwood” was great in that the main character was Bi, entirely happy with that, he kissed men on the mouth on screen, he wept for his male lover, and it was about keeping the world safe from aliens. Show the transgendered friend going through hell if you like- but, please, show him transcending it. Because we do.

      I am so glad you’re here. I am femme. I like butch women.


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