Everybody needs to read this. No, don’t tell me it’s too long. Just go.
Okay, short version: Just because a girl likes “boy things” does not mean that she is “transgender”. And here are a few of the best parts:
I wanted to be a boy. Desperately wanted to be a boy. I thought boys had more fun. I felt like a boy in the way that our society views genders. I liked blue and green more than pink and purple. I remember sitting up as high as I could climb in our huge mulberry tree, bow & arrow in hand, trying to kiss my elbow (a neighbor lady had told me that if I could accomplish this, that I would turn into a boy, which was what I wanted in that moment, as a child, more than anything.)
Thankfully, my parents didn’t adhere to the archaic stereotypes that “boys like blue” and “girls like pink;” that “boys play with dinosaurs, and girls play with dolls.” Had they told me that liking these things made me a boy, I would have concluded that I was a boy.
They just let me be me. They let me be a girl who wore jeans more often than skirts. They let me play with slingshots rather than princess wands. They didn’t conclude that I was gay, or transgender. They didn’t put me in a box that would shape my future, at the expense of my own free will.
[* * *]
In this day and age, I probably could have been labled as transgender. They would cut my hair off short (because, all boys have short hair, right?) I would be given “boy” clothes to wear, blue walls in my room rather than pink, and be told to pretend to have a penis, at least until I could have one surgically added. Had this happened, I can not even imagine how traumatic puberty would have been for me.
I still love some stereotypical “male” things. [* * *]
But I also love being a woman. I love to feel beautiful, especially when I have an event with my husband. I love putting on an apron and creating elaborate meals for friends and family. I love nursing my babies. I looooove going to the spa.
[* * *]
These things don’t make us gay or transgender, they make us unique human beings.
I have been hearing since the 1970’s that traditional notions about what is masculine and what is feminine are outdated, that women and girls can like trucks and football and hunting and all those traditionally guy things and still be all woman. Doesn’t anyone else see what is happening? Now being “progressive” involves defining kids by those same old-fashioned notions of masculine and feminine. Trucks and football and dirt are “boy things” so if a girl likes these things she must be transgender. This is the same nonsense feminists have been fighting against for decades, just in a shiny new wrapper.
I like football, (sort of) I drive a pickup because that’s what I prefer; I like action movies, hate romantic comedies; and I think bugs are kind of fascinating and I can’t help feeling a little bit of contempt for women who are afraid of them. But I also love wearing dresses; pink is my favorite color; I like sparkly, shiny, girly things, and I am so glad I was born female.
I’m not saying anything against actual transgender people, just that parents should not rush to decide that their child is transgender based on the toys and activities the child likes or on temporary childish wishes to be something they are not. Each child is a unique individual with a unique set of interests that can include all “boy things”, all “girl things” or a combination of both. If they turn out to be transgender, fine. Continue to love and support them but don’t rush to define them when they are barely out of diapers.