A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Van
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:15 pm UTC
Location: 39.74, -105.12ish

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Van » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:33 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Actually, the World Profissional Association for Transgender Health's Standards of Care (WPATH-SOC) suggest that very few gender-questioning children identify as transgender in the long run.¹

iirc, the standards are largely based off Zucker's (it's considered polite to spit after his name is mentioned) studies into it, in which he largely determined that most (>80%) trans-identifying children 'change their minds' as they age. But, and it's a big but, he also dismissively mentions that it's almost entirely children that are asked if they think they should have been born the other gender that end up 'retracting' their opinions (e.g. a tomboy who likes cars, baseball, and climbing trees, if asked "would you like to be a boy?" will most likely grow up to self-identify as a girl, perhaps just not a 'classically feminine' girl), whereas children that approach their parents/counselors and say "I need to be a girl/boy" are very likely actually transgendered.

In true Zucker form, he then lumps them together and states that children usually regret their decision later in life, completely dismissing the findings that don't agree with his point of view.

damn it, Hated, I'm kinda tempted to just reply with "No." due to exactly how wrong your post is, but I suppose we can work through it instead.
Hated wrote:I dont feel good about supporting a dramatic change to this kids netherregions until he's a legal adult.

Despite The Sun's excellent reporting, they've managed to be quite misleading; "He is preparing for sex-swap surgery." is more than just insulting, it's also incorrect, she is preparing for something that is still several years off.

The WPATH Standards of Care (SoC[1], which are the "golden standard", and more or less all doctors in first world countries adhere to them) suggest that Any surgical intervention should not be carried out prior to adulthood [...] The threshold of 18 should be seen as an eligibility criterion, and thus in most cases (excluding some instances where surgery is performed early to avert the possibility of self harm) anyone getting surgery will be a 'legal adult'.

You're also making a really, really common blunder here in putting too much weight on something that, statistically, well over 99.9% of the planet is never going to see, touch, or in any way interact with. If you want to self-identify as male simply because you were born with a specific appendage (and I'm assuming you're male here because of your post and tone; it's kind of a guy thing to fixate on the penis), that's fine, but you have absolutely no reason or right to force your opinion on her.

Hated wrote:No matter how pro-getting-to-choose-what-gender/societal-role you might be, can't anyone see the problem with parents letting a 12 year old child making this decision?

In a word? No.
  1. The two most common ages at which people begin to recognize their gender dysphoria are 4-6, and the start of their (and their friends) puberty.
  2. Assuming the parents know their child at all, they should be able to discern the difference between "I want to be a firefighter!" and something with actual importance behind it. Yes, children are prone to say "I want X", they're not prone to say "I want X" and then enter a lifelong depressed slump if they're unable to get it. This is really no different from a parent recognizing that their child enjoys playing the piano and has talent, and spending thousands of dollars on a piano and lessons for someone who is obviously not a legal adult, yet for some reason parents making a similar choice to listen to their child are somehow in the wrong.
  3. Even if you really, truly believe that she shouldn't be capable of making any decisions until an arbitrary date, the SoC suggests that Adolescents may be eligible for puberty-delaying hormones as soon as pubertal changes have begun. In other words, she's not making a permanent decision yet, just delaying her natal puberty. If she continues to feel as she does, she'll be eligible to begin masculinizing or feminizing hormone therapy as early as age 16, and even after all that waiting, she still has a 3-6 month window before irreversible changes begin to occur.

Hated wrote:How many of you made permanant life altering decisions when you were twelve and continue to this day proud as Scappy that you made them?

Just to make sure I've driven this point home: it's not permanent (yet) and by the time it is, she'll be able to legally make decisions on her own. Without that, your point pretty much crumbles. Okay, sure, I'm sure it'd be a bit of egg on her face to say "whoops, I was just confused!"; the flipside is her taking another very, very common approach to transsexuality and waiting a few years and then killing herself. Given the relative rates of each (low, high) and the fact that the latter tends to have a more negative end result (notably, being dead), I think it's a pretty worthwhile risk.
Oregonaut wrote:You are a fucking idiot. (Insult.)
You say that you disapprove of sex before marriage, but you are fucking that idiot. (Ad hominem.)
You say that you disapprove of sex outside of marriage, but you are fucking your mom. (Ad mominem.)

User avatar
Hated
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:30 am UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Hated » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:03 am UTC

Malice wrote:
Hated wrote:How many of you made permanant life altering decisions when you were twelve and continue to this day proud as Scappy that you made them?
Pre-post Edit: asked a trans friend of mine, who says, and I paraphrase, "I've heard of cases where people regret changing as adults, but never one where they changed as children." For what that's worth.


OP's article said "German Kim Petras - born Tim - became the world's youngest transsexual at 16 earlier this year."

There is logic in the thought "The younger you change your mind the less likely you are to change it back." But it doesn't hold 100% true enough to guarrentee this student should change now.

I'll be honest, i'm coming from a view point that people who feel 'trapped in a cis-gendered body' are probably out of touch with reality. My sympathy level is low for this kinda thing. (and as much as many might dislike that fact, its the majority opinion out there.)

I'm not all about getting in these peoples business and forcing them to do things my way. I'm just suggesting that perhaps something as big as a sex change shouldn't be happening at this age. Luckily i've never had a 12 year old cross my path that brought this situation up. So I'm no expert here. Nor do I feel like my opinions are even going to slightly alter the facts of the case. *shrug*

@Van. Good points. Let me suggest that the suicide rate of those who feel cisgendered is a great way to point out that mental stability is lacking here all around. Your not going to convince me that we'd have less suicides if little boys and girls could swap out their orifices like legos...

User avatar
Van
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:15 pm UTC
Location: 39.74, -105.12ish

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Van » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:54 am UTC

Hated wrote:I'll be honest, i'm coming from a view point that people who feel 'trapped in a cis-gendered body' are probably out of touch with reality. My sympathy level is low for this kinda thing. (and as much as many might dislike that fact, its the majority opinion out there.)

Yeah. Popular opinion being anti-trans is a. tending towards false, b. largely based in fear ("but if there's someone with a penis in the women's restroom, we'll all get raped!" as if the swinging door would somehow stop a rapist normally)/hatred (/disgust, largely caused by men going "Yer gonna chop off yer willie?!"; see: the radical notion that women are people), c. not a valid excuse for perpetuating another -ism.

Hated wrote:@Van. Good points. Let me suggest that the suicide rate of those who feel cisgendered is a great way to point out that mental stability is lacking here all around. Your not going to convince me that we'd have less suicides if little boys and girls could swap out their orifices like legos...

The suicide rate of those who feel cisgendered is... unrelated? But, clearly, because normal people commit suicide, we shouldn't attempt to treat any of those crazies.
Oregonaut wrote:You are a fucking idiot. (Insult.)
You say that you disapprove of sex before marriage, but you are fucking that idiot. (Ad hominem.)
You say that you disapprove of sex outside of marriage, but you are fucking your mom. (Ad mominem.)

User avatar
Ginger
Posts: 1029
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:00 am UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Ginger » Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:25 am UTC

Hated wrote:I'll be honest, i'm coming from a view point that people who feel 'trapped in a cis-gendered body' are probably out of touch with reality. My sympathy level is low for this kinda thing. (and as much as many might dislike that fact, its the majority opinion out there.)

I'd like to posit that this attitude and not any sort of mental instability other than the mental instability created by being reviled by the majority of society is a major contributing factor to the suicide rates of transsexual people. You can only hear that you're a loser so many times before you start to believe it after all. Being considered freakish isn't good for anybody's mental health.
Amy Lee wrote:Just what we all need... more lies about a world that never was and never will be.


Azula to Long Feng wrote:Don't flatter yourself, you were never even a player.

Osha
Posts: 727
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:24 am UTC
Location: Boise, Idaho, USA

Re: A girl aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Osha » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:09 pm UTC

(Edit: Oh look, there was a whole page 2 I missed >.<)
Hated wrote:I'm going voice a 'no' here.

No matter how pro-getting-to-choose-what-gender/societal-role you might be, can't anyone see the problem with parents letting a 12 year old child making this decision?

I dont feel good about supporting a dramatic change to this kids netherregions until he's a legal adult.

How many of you made permanant life altering decisions when you were twelve and continue to this day proud as Scappy that you made them?


You know what, I *didn't* transition at the age of 12 because I'd internalized all sorts of transphobic nonsense like this. My decision was permanent and life altering and I have had to work very hard to become even somewhat happy with my body.
Last edited by Osha on Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:04 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:30 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:So, basically common, biologically influenced stereotypes? :) I can see that from the outside, but what I don't get is what it is from the inside, that would make a person identify with a specific gender separate from either outside perspectives or sex, if that exists. I mean, I could understand if someone wanted to be a different sex, or if someone didn't want to be placed in a specific role based on what other people expected of a gender. But if, for example, there were no expectations at all from anyone about what people of specific sexes do or act like, would gender cease to have any meaning? And if so, then how can it be something you internally identify with, something that you consider yourself to be, if it's just an external construct?
Yes, gender would cease to have meaning if we had no gender expectations (though those expectations might return through biological reinforcement - things like women being child-bearers and men having a higher tendency for aggression tends to shape our perception of men and women, and in time, we would likely come to reassert the gender binary).

As for how you can internally identify with an external construct - why do people internally identify with any cultural construct? I've heard of people having confusing biological underpinnings (situations where doctors got to pick which set of genitals to 'reinforce', and 'chose wrong'), but I wouldn't assume that it's just a matter of biology gone south - I mean, why does someone want to be a parent even when they can't produce offspring? Why does this become so crucial to their identity and happiness? And what are we doing to them when we tell them that no, they aren't allowed to take up that role, just because they were born with the 'wrong biology' (sterile, etc)?1

But here's something else for you to think about: Why does it matter? If someone feels strongly enough about this to put themselves under the knife for the sake of us not treating them like the 'wrong gender', I sure as fuck am not going to tell them they shouldn't. Rather, I'd like to aim for a society where people don't feel the need to go through what I imagine is a fairly painful surgical process just so I'll stop telling them what clothes they should wear and what they should do with their bodies2

I realize you might have just been asking these questions out of a desire to explore the phenomenon and have a discussion, so I'm not pouring derision on you here - I just think it's good to remember that, as much as we can play with the reasons why, it doesn't change the fact that people want to do this and they suffer when we don't let them.

1One thing - the parent metaphor is a little dangerous, because there are certain prerequisites we ask that you meet before you take up the role (be responsible, be capable of raising children). There are no such prerequisites for gender roles (though I am sure those who take them up still struggle with a self-conscious desire to be a 'good man' or 'good woman', despite such distinctions being wholly arbitrary and useless).

2That might be unfair. Some might not get the surgery merely to avoid cultural expectations. I honestly don't know. But there's a point where we internalize cultural expectations and they become our wants, our expectations, so this might be irrelevant anyway.
Hated wrote:I'll be honest, i'm coming from a view point that people who feel 'trapped in a cis-gendered body' are probably out of touch with reality. My sympathy level is low for this kinda thing. (and as much as many might dislike that fact, its the majority opinion out there.)
I'll be honest with you, too. I used to think the same thing. I've always been opposed to what I saw as unnecessary, frivolous surgery, and the notion of allowing people to engage in invasive bodily alterations over a matter of 'misaligned identity' deeply bothered me, as I saw it fueling a mental construct where we refused to be content with the bodies our biology gave us. Far better to come to terms with what we have, I thought, then to violently rearrange it in hopes of arriving at some satisfactory conclusion. My assumption was that the surgery would never stop and by providing it, we were fueling a psychological abberation.

What changed was that I met a few transsexuals. That, and I came to better understand the pressures society puts on us to fit into certain specific molds (and how we need to fit into those molds, and how wanting to fit into them is neither unhealthy nor crazy). It was difficult for me to grasp this, because I've rarely had any cultural expectation flung my way that ran counter to my wants. But once I understood that there were people who experience these pressures - pressures that demand of them things they have no interest in giving, every fucking day - I realized that surgery was often not some crazy-headed choice, but something that was honestly in their own best interest. And it's a choice they're fully capable of making without my paternal interference.

How would you feel if everyone expected you to be a guy? Wear 'guy' clothes, act in a 'guy' way, eat 'guy' foods, say 'guy' jokes, make 'guy' friends. But, actually, all your wants were aligned against this expectation - in fact, all your wants were aligned with the expectations we have of a woman. You want to wear 'lady' clothes, act in a 'lady' way, eat 'lady' foods, say 'lady' jokes, make 'lady' friends. After some time of this, you would very much want your outward experience to reflect the expectations you want to be placed on you, wouldn't you? Rather than suffer constant derision for failing to satisfy the expectations your body creates for you?

On top of this, I also realized that body modification is very healthy when everyone is consenting and the person understands the risks.

Soralin
Posts: 1347
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:06 am UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Soralin » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:23 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:But here's something else for you to think about: Why does it matter? If someone feels strongly enough about this to put themselves under the knife for the sake of us not treating them like the 'wrong gender', I sure as fuck am not going to tell them they shouldn't. Rather, I'd like to aim for a society where people don't feel the need to go through what I imagine is a fairly painful surgical process just so I'll stop telling them what clothes they should wear and what they should do with their bodies2

I realize you might have just been asking these questions out of a desire to explore the phenomenon and have a discussion, so I'm not pouring derision on you here - I just think it's good to remember that, as much as we can play with the reasons why, it doesn't change the fact that people want to do this and they suffer when we don't let them.

Oh certainly, I'm not against someone changing their sex for any reason at all. Just that in an ideal world, that would be an independent decision from what they want to wear, or how they want to act. And gender just seems to be a reinforcement of the idea that certain sexes should act in certain ways, rather than simply that everyone has a different personality, and likes to do different things.

How would you feel if everyone expected you to be a guy? Wear 'guy' clothes, act in a 'guy' way, eat 'guy' foods, say 'guy' jokes, make 'guy' friends.

Heck, I'm a guy and I find that annoying, expecting anyone to follow a stereotype is annoying at best.

But, actually, all your wants were aligned against this expectation - in fact, all your wants were aligned with the expectations we have of a woman. You want to wear 'lady' clothes, act in a 'lady' way, eat 'lady' foods, say 'lady' jokes, make 'lady' friends. After some time of this, you would very much want your outward experience to reflect the expectations you want to be placed on you, wouldn't you? Rather than suffer constant derision for failing to satisfy the expectations your body creates for you?

Well, the point being, your body doesn't create these expectations for you, society creates these expectations based on your body. The better (but certainly more difficult) course of action would be to modify society. Although in the meantime, if they want to modify their body, I don't see why that would be any of my concern, and of course there would still be instances where people would want to do that independent of society's expectations.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:47 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:Well, the point being, your body doesn't create these expectations for you, society creates these expectations based on your body. The better (but certainly more difficult) course of action would be to modify society. Although in the meantime, if they want to modify their body, I don't see why that would be any of my concern, and of course there would still be instances where people would want to do that independent of society's expectations.
Right. And that's the thing; we can say that it would be better if we deconstructed gender and social roles entirely rather than have these situations where people get assigned the 'wrong role'. And I agree, it would be nice. A society without gender roles is one where terms like 'trans-sexuality' and 'transgendered' would likely disappear; they'd be unnecessary (how can you get assigned the wrong role when there are no roles to be assigned?). But we don't exist in that world, and we have to make due with what we've got. There's no reason we can't pursue the end-game of no gender roles while simultaneously acknowledging that gender roles exist, and people want to fill them, and it's bad to restrict anyone from doing so.
Soralin wrote:Heck, I'm a guy and I find that annoying, expecting anyone to follow a stereotype is annoying at best.
I'm sure you can think of at least a handful of stereotypes for a 'guy' that you not only subscribe to, but actually enjoy. We all participate in fulfilling and reinforcing gender roles to some degree. It's inevitable.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:19 pm UTC

Hated wrote:Your not going to convince me

Why not make this you're signature?
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
Van
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:15 pm UTC
Location: 39.74, -105.12ish

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Van » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:48 pm UTC

Harsh. What are you, some kind of a grammar Nazi?!
Oregonaut wrote:You are a fucking idiot. (Insult.)
You say that you disapprove of sex before marriage, but you are fucking that idiot. (Ad hominem.)
You say that you disapprove of sex outside of marriage, but you are fucking your mom. (Ad mominem.)

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:52 pm UTC

Oh, come on. Did you really need to Godwin this, you filthy [redacted]?

Also, obligatory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8fbrUjjivw
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
Hated
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:30 am UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Hated » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:09 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Hated wrote:Your not going to convince me

Why not make this you're signature?
Delivered [grammar and all :)]

@Hippo. I appreciate your points. I dont know a single trans. You right that it could change my mind drastically.

MrGee
Posts: 998
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:33 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby MrGee » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:11 am UTC

Gender is not a binary or a continuum. Its a word that vaguely sums up a huge range of ambiguous and contradictory behaviors to save us all some time. Saying your gender is "male" or "female", period, is like someone asking you what your personality is like and you just say, "oh, I'm nice". To force someone to pick a gender at all is to pigeonhole them.

User avatar
Xeio
Friends, Faidites, Countrymen
Posts: 5101
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:12 am UTC
Location: C:\Users\Xeio\
Contact:

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Xeio » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:08 am UTC

MrGee wrote:Gender is not a binary or a continuum. Its a word that vaguely sums up a huge range of ambiguous and contradictory behaviors to save us all some time. Saying your gender is "male" or "female", period, is like someone asking you what your personality is like and you just say, "oh, I'm nice". To force someone to pick a gender at all is to pigeonhole them.
Perhaps, but I can pretty adequately describe my "gender" as heterosexual male (though, I guess that would be sexuality and sex, respectively, if you wanted more granularity, in which case I wouldn't even define a gender for myself since it doesn't make sense to me). IMO, personality is entirely separate from gender. Which is kinda why transgender doesn't make sense to me, at least as far as I think less along gender (sex is probably more apt here, but sex lines sounds like a fetish or something) lines. I guess it matters more because many people think along those stereotypical lines, and aren't generally accepted if they don't fit (or, worse if they fit the other gender's stereotypes more than their own) the pre-existing stereotypes. Of course, I do kind of wonder if we didn't have these stereotypes if there would actually be people who still want to be trans, or if it possibly would even occur more often... but then, that's wild speculation anyway. This is likely one aspect of human behavior I'll never understand. :?

User avatar
rat4000
r/ratsgonewild
Posts: 451
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:51 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby rat4000 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:03 pm UTC

Xeio, I don't think sexual orientation has anything to do with gender.

As for the definition of gender... I see it as "I'm male if I deeply feel that I should follow the male stereotype in one way or the other." where "male stereotype" includes having a penis (hence surgery and hormone therapy for transsexual). I, personally, am male because I feel like having a penis is right and proper for me, and because numerous male stereotypes apply to me.

As for the kid, I'm pretty happy that she already knows what gender she is, though it's a shame that she is not the sex associated with that gender. I also think the school handled that pretty well. There was nothing more they could do than tell all the kids about it, so... that's what they did. Had they not, I imagine that the kids would have arrived to some conclusions of their own rather different to the ones that would have benefitted the girl.

Also, those parents complaining meant, I believe "Stupid teachers tell my kid all about transsexuality. I, I, I should be the one to tell my kid about transsexuality! They can't handle it!" or something. Which is understandable and, assuming the parents believe the teachers are not very good teachers, justified.

The Sun handled it in a mediocre way. There were some "he"s in there, but that was usually when they were using the past tense, and the girl did, after all, think of herself as a boy in the past, or at least made no explicit statement to the contrary (wearing bikini is more "I wanna be weird" then "I'm a girl" when there's no context). I don't think the article's terrible, even though I wouldn't call it wonderful.

AndyG314
Posts: 99
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:16 pm UTC
Location: Waltham MA
Contact:

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby AndyG314 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:07 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:I can't tell who handled that worse, the school or the newspaper. I'll throw in a bonus epic fail to the kids at the school assembly who cried because someone else was having a gender change.


I would say that at 12 years old, crying is a pretty natural reaction to things that they don't understand. This sort of thing is difficult for children to understand. It's important to remember that children arn't adults, they lack experience and development to handle things in a mature fashion and expecting them to react to things with maturity is silly.

I think it's easy to fault and criticize but can you picture yourself in the position of the school administrators? It is an impossible task that they have been given. How would you handle it? You would have sent out an announcement ahead of time? How far ahead of time did the school know? Was the school able to send out an announcement ahead of time, or are there privacy laws that prevent it? Perhaps they felt that it would just give a heads up to conservative elements who would demand that the child not be allowed to attend the school, or that the child be treated as a boy (whatever that means). How would you ensure the mental and physical safety of the child in question? I doubt that a platoon of marines could keep the other children from bullying the poor girl.
If it's dead, you killed it.

User avatar
Hazel
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:35 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Hazel » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:03 pm UTC

I'm not sure that the school simply threatening all her schoolmates with repercussions if they don't treat her as a girl was a good idea. It'll probably lead to resentment, and those inclined to bully her already will simply take it out of sight of the staff.

User avatar
Jessica
Jessica, you're a ...
Posts: 8337
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:57 pm UTC
Location: Soviet Canuckistan

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Jessica » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

Hated: You've had two trans people tell you that you're wrong. And now you have a third. You now know at least 3 trans people. Hi.

I'm not sure if posting anymore in this thread will really help anything. I mean, generally trans people are encouraged (if not required) to be very gendered in their presentation to be considered trans. Then people write studies that say that trans people are the height of stereotypes. But whatever.

If she wants to wear dresses, that's fine. If she approached her family about this, there's something serious about it. 12 year olds, while young, do understand at least some social norms, and would know that telling your parents that you feel like a girl is really not average. comparing it to "I want to be a firefighter" is a false comparison, as it's socially expected to say what job you want to be when you grow up, but it's rare for people to want to change their gender.

Whatever.
doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
Belial wrote:My goal is to be the best brain infection any of you have ever had.

Soralin
Posts: 1347
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:06 am UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Soralin » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

I'm sure you can think of at least a handful of stereotypes for a 'guy' that you not only subscribe to, but actually enjoy. We all participate in fulfilling and reinforcing gender roles to some degree. It's inevitable.

Not really, besides the physical difference, and the consequences thereof, and the results of people's reactions to me, I don't really see much difference between them. If I were to change sexes or genders or such, it wouldn't change how I think or what I want. It might change my external actions, in order to avoid a response from others, or that I could do things that would have resulted in a response from others, but it wouldn't change anything internally. Although I could understand someone changing to a sex or gender or whatever that requires a lesser modification of their actions to fit in in society.

rat4000 wrote:As for the definition of gender... I see it as "I'm male if I deeply feel that I should follow the male stereotype in one way or the other."

So, I'm not male because I don't think I should follow a stereotype? Or that I don't think people should feel they should follow a stereotype?

User avatar
Hazel
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:35 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Hazel » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:21 am UTC

Soralin wrote:It might change my external actions, in order to avoid a response from others, or that I could do things that would have resulted in a response from others, but it wouldn't change anything internally. Although I could understand someone changing to a sex or gender or whatever that requires a lesser modification of their actions to fit in in society.


I think the point is, in fact, being able to act externally like the stereotype of your choice without drawing negative response. And yes, it would be nice if there weren't any gender-stereotyped actions, but that's not the world we live in. Most of the things we do are categorised as something $GROUP does.

So, I'm not male because I don't think I should follow a stereotype? Or that I don't think people should feel they should follow a stereotype?


You don't have to consciously decide to follow a stereotype to be following one. I'm sure there's plenty of things you enjoy doing that are incidentally mapped to the male gender. Should I be feeling guilty for reinforcing stereotypes even if that's not what I set out to do?

User avatar
rat4000
r/ratsgonewild
Posts: 451
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:51 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby rat4000 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:42 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:
rat4000 wrote:As for the definition of gender... I see it as "I'm male if I deeply feel that I should follow the male stereotype in one way or the other."

So, I'm not male because I don't think I should follow a stereotype? Or that I don't think people should feel they should follow a stereotype?
Quoting without context is not cool. I mean, look at the rest of the sentence :
I wrote:where "male stereotype" includes having a penis (hence surgery and hormone therapy for transsexual).
Do you feel like you should have a vagina?

Of course, that definition of gender might be wrong, but it's worked for me so far.

Soralin
Posts: 1347
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:06 am UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Soralin » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:04 pm UTC

Hazel wrote:You don't have to consciously decide to follow a stereotype to be following one. I'm sure there's plenty of things you enjoy doing that are incidentally mapped to the male gender. Should I be feeling guilty for reinforcing stereotypes even if that's not what I set out to do?

Isn't a lot of that a self-reinforcing stereotype though? People expect people to act in x way, and react against them negatively if they do not -> people act in x way, so as to not get negatively reacted against -> People see other people acting in x way, confirming how they think people should act -> people expect people to act in x way, and react against them negatively if they do not.

And even if I don't follow the stereotype, I'm sure many of my actions or wants coincide with it, and many do not, and people can read that as reinforcing the stereotype through nothing more than confirmation bias.

rat4000 wrote:
Soralin wrote:
rat4000 wrote:As for the definition of gender... I see it as "I'm male if I deeply feel that I should follow the male stereotype in one way or the other."

So, I'm not male because I don't think I should follow a stereotype? Or that I don't think people should feel they should follow a stereotype?
Quoting without context is not cool. I mean, look at the rest of the sentence :
I wrote:where "male stereotype" includes having a penis (hence surgery and hormone therapy for transsexual).
Do you feel like you should have a vagina?

Of course, that definition of gender might be wrong, but it's worked for me so far.

No, I don't feel like I should have a vagina, I don't feel like I shouldn't. I don't feel like I should have a penis, I don't feel like I shouldn't. I don't feel like I should have anything. It isn't a matter of should, I have what I have, and if I wanted to change it, then I would change it because I wanted to, not because I thought I should.

User avatar
Hazel
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:35 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Hazel » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:26 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:Isn't a lot of that a self-reinforcing stereotype though? People expect people to act in x way, and react against them negatively if they do not -> people act in x way, so as to not get negatively reacted against -> People see other people acting in x way, confirming how they think people should act -> people expect people to act in x way, and react against them negatively if they do not.


Right, yeah, but a great many people act in x way because they actually enjoy it. As you said, it's just that their actual wants coincide with the stereotype of their wants. Stereotypes have to come from somewhere, you don't just decide that $GROUP likes doing $THING without any evidence.

The other side of it, of course, is that not necessarily everybody in $GROUP likes $THING, and you don't have to be a member of $GROUP to do $THING, either. That's the side that a lot of people have problems with.

User avatar
EnderSword
Posts: 1060
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby EnderSword » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:59 pm UTC

That's the innate contradiction in transexuality vs. sexism I think,

The mere existance of transexuality, saying you feel like a girl or boy because you feel the way a boy or girl does or something implicitly states that gender roles actually exist on a real level and arn't just social conventions, while the anti-sexism side would tend to want to deny that.
It's hard to really pay lip service to both without compromising on one.

It is sexist to say 'Well he's like a girl because he uses a Barbie blanket' But at the same time, that's part of 'him' deciding s/he's 'her' to begin with. Like Jessica mentioned, when people do this, they end up playing directly into the stereotype of whatever gender they're being.

It sounds like the school massacred how to handle this situation...I think the correct respnse was to do nothing at all...But going after the paper for saying he or whatever, It's really not their responsibility to know what gendered pronouns they should be using unless they're specifically told by the person. Can't really just have other trans people making up rules that apply to everyone, you'll end up with one of those 'Little people' situations.
WWSD?*
*what would Sheldon do?

User avatar
Jessica
Jessica, you're a ...
Posts: 8337
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:57 pm UTC
Location: Soviet Canuckistan

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Jessica » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:36 pm UTC

One's gender expression (if they're feminine/masculine), one's biological sex (body parts), and one's mental sex (how one feels, whether male or female) are separate things. Each one is variable (there's a range between each end), each one has a double bell curve distribution (leading to an "in general" two variable system), and each one is independent (meaning, that how one is born can be any of the above values). If you add in sexual orientation into the mix, you get a 4 variable scale to describe most people.

So, most people fall on the ends. Male sexed, male identifying, masculine hetero men and female sexed, female identifying, feminine hetero women being most common.

But, you can have male sexed, female identifying people, who are generally called trans women. These trans women can range from masculine expressing to feminine expressing, just like all women, and can range from hetero to homosexual as well.

This model also accounts for that fucker zucker's findings that male kids who are asked if they want to be a girl when they grow up often aren't trans when they grow up. how? Watch.

Children, when they are born, are identified by their biological parts. They are assigned a gender at birth (male/female)*. as children age, and before they reach puberty, the major difference between boys and girls (and the most important identifier) is gender expression. Thus feminine kids often identify as girls and masculine kids identify as boys. If your internal gender matches your expression (whether your biological sex comes into it) you're likely to identify as that gender. this is where there are differences. some kids have different internal genders from their external sex, and yet their expression isn't necessarily different as well. So, they act like nothing is wrong. Some kids who's expression is different but aren't really sure about their internal gender might say "I want to be a girl" when asked, but probably won't think much of it later.

As puberty comes on, the defining characteristic shifts again, from expression to secondary sex characteristics. This is where problems can occur again, when your internal sex and external sex don't match.

There is a difference again, between how one actually acts and how one expresses one's gender. You can put on a show for people whether you feel natural doing it or not. That is simple. Lots of people do it all the time (and not just trans people).

Make sense?
doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
Belial wrote:My goal is to be the best brain infection any of you have ever had.

User avatar
EnderSword
Posts: 1060
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby EnderSword » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

Trying to follow that,
Would you say then than many people who would have switched genders just decide to fake it? Or is it more that they say 'Well, this is how I act and apparently I am a boy, so boys can apparently act like this'?

That to me is the kind of conflicting part...what exactly makes someone 'feel like' a girl or boy? is it mostly identifying that they're closer to the external stereotype for the other side, or something else, like actually feel like their body is physically wrong?
WWSD?*
*what would Sheldon do?

User avatar
TaintedDeity
Posts: 4003
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:22 pm UTC
Location: England;

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby TaintedDeity » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

EnderSword wrote:Trying to follow that,
Would you say then than many people who would have switched genders just decide to fake it? Or is it more that they say 'Well, this is how I act and apparently I am a boy, so boys can apparently act like this'?

That to me is the kind of conflicting part...what exactly makes someone 'feel like' a girl or boy? is it mostly identifying that they're closer to the external stereotype for the other side, or something else, like actually feel like their body is physically wrong?
These may interest you
Last edited by TaintedDeity on Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Ⓞⓞ◯

User avatar
rat4000
r/ratsgonewild
Posts: 451
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:51 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby rat4000 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:23 pm UTC

Written after I'd read Jessica's post: yeah, just read Jessica's post. She's not only better at explaining, but also clearly more knowledgeable.

Written before I read what Jessica had written:
Spoiler:
Soralin wrote:No, I don't feel like I should have a vagina, I don't feel like I shouldn't. I don't feel like I should have a penis, I don't feel like I shouldn't. I don't feel like I should have anything. It isn't a matter of should, I have what I have, and if I wanted to change it, then I would change it because I wanted to, not because I thought I should.
If you don't want to change, you feel that what you have is right. Means you "should" have it. That's mhat I mean, though it can certainly be phrased better.

OK, unless you feel you should have nothing or totally do not care what you have, in which case I'd say you're either nongendered or asexual (asexual here meaning "I don't care about sex.", nongendered meaning "I do not belong to either gender.").


And, Endersword, the school not doing anything would have been way worse than what they did. I'm imagining the first situation would've lead to massive bullying by pretty much everyone, or at least massive alienation (because, from that time in my development, I remember that a very big part of bullying was "you're such a girl" type expressions, which means that figuring out how to bully a transgirl may prove baffling). The second one will not stop bullying: that much is clear. You can't stop bullying. But maybe at least the smarter kids will realise that she's not somehow weird or something. Or maybe there were kids who just needed someone to tell them all about sex and gender and stuff because they were scared. This is kind of a vain hope, I realize that - I mean, adults have problems with that stuff - but having that hope is better than having the nothing that we would've had if the school hadn't done anything.

TaintedDeath, that URL tag is broken.

User avatar
EnderSword
Posts: 1060
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby EnderSword » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:46 pm UTC

If it was bullying though, they could just deal with it however they'd deal with current bullying. You're right, you're not going to be ableto stop it...and calling an assembly to explain in vain what the hell happened isn't going to help curb that.
They focused on it as the gender issue, meaning they're now dealing with more complex things and political views etc... any attempt to deal with the subject with kids, in that setting is going to piss off or upset someone, on either side of it.
WWSD?*
*what would Sheldon do?

User avatar
Jessica
Jessica, you're a ...
Posts: 8337
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:57 pm UTC
Location: Soviet Canuckistan

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Jessica » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:47 pm UTC

a) It's useful to delineate between (biological) sex (the physical) and gender (which is often used as the mental, or the expression etc, which is why I separate further). one doesn't change their gender, they change their sex.

b) switching genders, as you state it, makes it sound like it's a choice. It isn't. It's intrinsic.

c) I know that I found out after years of soul searching trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Trying to figure out why I felt comfortable wearing womens clothes, why I wish I had breasts, or thought about changing how I looked, trying to understand why I was depressed about so much. Other people have other experiences of how they figure out they're trans.

It's not universal, but there is something. It's not like "I'm a woman trapped in a man's body". For the longest time I didn't have the words for what I felt. Then I started to get some words, and tried them, and they didn't quite work, but were sort of correct. As I learned more, and felt more, the feelings felt better.

Personally: I'm male bodied. I'm female. I'm sometimes masculine, sometimes feminine.

I didn't play with dolls as a kid, but I did play house. I never danced, and played sports, but I still played dress up. Why I feel the need to tell you this, I don't know. All i know is that I'm a woman.

This girl is 12. They may not be old enough to vote, but they are on the cusp of puberty, and I'm sure has started to realize there are problems. Things which aren't right. I'm glad she figured out before I did, as she probably will pass very very well.

Either way, it's not a matter of faking. I don't fake being a girl. And the kids who "change their minds" often end up identifying as homosexual instead. Also, the children who change their minds are often in the 5 year old range, not the 12-13 year old range. Just for later info...
doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
Belial wrote:My goal is to be the best brain infection any of you have ever had.

User avatar
Van
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:15 pm UTC
Location: 39.74, -105.12ish

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Van » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:26 pm UTC

EnderSword wrote:But going after the paper for saying he or whatever, It's really not their responsibility to know what gendered pronouns they should be using unless they're specifically told by the person. Can't really just have other trans people making up rules that apply to everyone, you'll end up with one of those 'Little people' situations.

AP Stylebook wrote:Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics (by hormone therapy, body modification, or surgery) of the opposite sex and present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.

There's a standard in place. Beyond the AP, there's also common use: the extreme majority of transsexuals would ask that you use proper pronouns for how they 'present'. I'd call common sense (if someone in a dress walks up to you and says "Hi, I'm Jane" and you later refer to them as 'he', you're doing little more than calling them a liar) on it as well, but you know what they say about common sense.
Oregonaut wrote:You are a fucking idiot. (Insult.)
You say that you disapprove of sex before marriage, but you are fucking that idiot. (Ad hominem.)
You say that you disapprove of sex outside of marriage, but you are fucking your mom. (Ad mominem.)

User avatar
Freakish
Posts: 909
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:47 am UTC
Location: Northern Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Freakish » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:51 pm UTC

What is it to be a "girl" or "boy"?
Freakish Inc. We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby BlackSails » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:10 pm UTC

Question: (And if this is offensive, I apologize profusely)

How is "I am a man/woman trapped in a female/male body" any different than "I must count every thread in my carpet"

We cure* OCD by removing the anxiety that comes with not performing the compulsive behavior, not by removing all of the person's carpets/whatever. Why do we treat gender identity disorder with surgery instead of psychology?

*: Not cure, but alleviate

User avatar
Van
Posts: 418
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:15 pm UTC
Location: 39.74, -105.12ish

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Van » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:38 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:How is "I am a man/woman trapped in a female/male body" any different than "I must count every thread in my carpet"

Counting every thread in a carpet is not normal behavior. Getting up, dressing, going to work, etc is normal behavior. Isn't that what the end goal of any 'treating' any 'condition'? Be it mental or physical, the end goal of the doctor could probably best be stated as "to return the patient to living a normal life"; the problem only creeps in when people start adding unnecessary modifiers on the end like ".. for a (biological) male" or whatnot.
Oregonaut wrote:You are a fucking idiot. (Insult.)
You say that you disapprove of sex before marriage, but you are fucking that idiot. (Ad hominem.)
You say that you disapprove of sex outside of marriage, but you are fucking your mom. (Ad mominem.)

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:40 pm UTC

Because a) changing somebody's gender isn't, to my knowledge, possible for modern psychology and b) changing somebody's gender would be an absolutely fucking terrible thing to do.

The difference, I guess, is that gender identity is a pretty core part of your... identity. OCD isn't.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

MrGee
Posts: 998
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:33 pm UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby MrGee » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:46 pm UTC

That's easy. No one enjoys OCD. It does not make anyone feel complete or normal to count threads in the carpet. Gender/sex mismatch does make people happy and whole once corrected. Usually.

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby BlackSails » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

MrGee wrote:That's easy. No one enjoys OCD. It does not make anyone feel complete or normal to count threads in the carpet. Gender/sex mismatch does make people happy and whole once corrected. Usually.


You are comparing curing a disorder to a disorder. OCD and GID both cause stress and anxiety, and their cure brings relief.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Because a) changing somebody's gender isn't, to my knowledge, possible for modern psychology and b) changing somebody's gender would be an absolutely fucking terrible thing to do.

The difference, I guess, is that gender identity is a pretty core part of your... identity. OCD isn't.


Fair enough. But substitute OCD with say, a Schizotypal personality disorder.

Van wrote:Counting every thread in a carpet is not normal behavior. Getting up, dressing, going to work, etc is normal behavior. Isn't that what the end goal of any 'treating' any 'condition'? Be it mental or physical, the end goal of the doctor could probably best be stated as "to return the patient to living a normal life"; the problem only creeps in when people start adding unnecessary modifiers on the end like ".. for a (biological) male" or whatnot.


I dont get your point. Lets say we have two therapies. One is the current hormone therapy + surgery. The other is some sort of psychological therapy that helps the person be happy in his/her current boddy. Would the hormones + surgery still be justified?

User avatar
Dibley
Posts: 1346
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:00 pm UTC
Location: Napa Valley, California
Contact:

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Dibley » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:02 am UTC

If the person still wants to undergo a long and unpleasant process rather than a comparatively easy therapy, then yes, of course.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:03 am UTC

BlackSails wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Because a) changing somebody's gender isn't, to my knowledge, possible for modern psychology and b) changing somebody's gender would be an absolutely fucking terrible thing to do.

The difference, I guess, is that gender identity is a pretty core part of your... identity. OCD isn't.


Fair enough. But substitute OCD with say, a Schizotypal personality disorder.

It was my understanding that psychotic disorders are nearly impossible to treat by psychotherapy.

Dibley wrote:If the person still wants to undergo a long and unpleasant process rather than a comparatively easy therapy, then yes, of course.

Assuming, of course, that changing your internal gender would ever be a particularly pleasant process.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby BlackSails » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:05 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:It was my understanding that psychotic disorders are nearly impossible to treat by psychotherapy.


Yes, personality disorders are difficult to treat, but as far as I am aware, there is some limited success by treating them with cognitive-behavioral therapy


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests