|Courtesy of the Christian family | via npr.org|
Transitioning is a touchy subject that many of us don't know enough about, don't understand, and don't feel comfortable reacting to - especially in the South. Myself included. I think this article is a fantastic example of a good starting point, particularly for young parents. Seriously, what's the worst that can happen if you embrace your child's strong internal convictions regarding their gender? Sure, it could be a phase - and that's fine, too. Let them have their phases. Let them be themselves. Let them live and learn and experience life without judgement and hatred for as long as you possibly can.
Our individual identities - in terms of gender, of race, and in every other way - are perpetually evolving as we age. That's life. I can't imagine a better response to a sad, three-year-old child than to encourage them, ask them loving questions, and to accept them for whoever they are and whoever/however they want to exist in this crazy world. If they trust you and you are able to maintain respect for their gender identity from a young age, they will be more likely to confide in you in the future as things become more difficult, and maybe - just maybe, we'll be able to witness a decrease in the alarmingly high rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicide that are so common among the transgender peoples of our past and current generations. I'm no expert, and I am not fishing for a Facebook debate by any means; I just hope this post might encourage at least one future parent out there to consider shifting to a more productive perspective on this issue. There's no perfect approach. There's no easy answer. But we can try our damnedest to be more understanding, for the sake of our nation's youth.