I watch a TV show called Drop Dead Diva. It’s an American law themed show, quite different to any other law themed show. It’s based around the after life and soul connections (it’s actually got a lovely underlying message about accepting and loving people for who they are on the inside and not just what they look like on the outside). But I digress. The point of mentioning it was because in an episode I was watching yesterday, there was a young boy who was born into a girls body and was fighting to use the boys toilets at his private school in Los Angeles.
While I’m aware that this is just a fictional show, gender dysphoria is something I’ve read about before. It’s a condition where there is a mismatch between the gender that the person identifies with and the gender they were born with. Children as young as two years old start telling their parents that they are the opposite sex. It’s not simply a case of a girl being a tom boy or a boy liking dolls and pink frilly skirts but the child actually completely and wholeheartedly internally identifying with the opposite sex.
When I first read about it, I thought it was just children with a confused sense of self and a phase they would grow out of but it seems that gender dysphoria is a recognised condition and it is believed that at least 1 in 4000 children in the UK have this condition. The jury’s still out when it comes to knowing what the causes are. Some speculate that it’s due to hormones while the child is still a foetus and other’s believe it’s a biological mix up of chromosomes. Whatever the reasons, while it’s difficult for the child going through these feelings of confusion, it’s also difficult for many parents. And the only way around it is to accept it.
That sounds easier than it is. I have to be perfectly honest, I’d struggle to get my head around it. A boy liking typically “girls toys” or wanting to dress up as a girl is one thing. A boy insisting that he is in fact a girl, is another. Transgender is a totally different topic. That is viewed as a male or female who prefers to dress like the opposite sex and is a choice they make. Gender Dysphoria is viewed as choice-less.
What’s your opinion on gender dysphoria in children?