On this week's Parenting With Playdate Planet show, I spoke with Rachel Pepper and Dr. Kellen Bennett about transgender kids. There's been an increasing openess about the phenomenom of children being born a gender that doesn't match with their own sense of self. Despite what some people might say, this is not something that families choose for their kids. In fact, even though society has become more open-minded, being transgender is an extremely difficult life.
I remember when my son was little and in pre-school. His close friends in his class happened to be girls and not infrequently I would arrive to pick him up and would find him happily adorned in a pink dress. I always found it harmless, and actually he looked quite cute in that dress, but I noticed with surprise that my husband's reaction was a bit different. He never said anything to my son about it, but I could tell that it troubled him a bit. When I asked him about it, he told me that during his training to become a child psychiatrist, the kids with gender identification issues were some of his most tormented patients. He knew that our son wasn't transgender, but just the thought of that possibility raised the spectre of the pain he had observed.
I hope that we continue to educate ourselves so that transgender kids can focus on their own journey and making the right choices for themselves without the additional burden of a judgmental and dangerous world.