The age as to when you can alter your gender is getting younger and younger. Is that a blessing or dangerous?
People, more and more are feeling like they’re born in the wrong body. From a young age, you can now start hormone drugs to begin the extensive road to transitioning. But how can you know for sure what gender you want to be? And what signs will now be classified as an identity crisis?
At school, teachers always write reports on the children that are in their care. A teachers report card can be essential as to certain signs they’ve noticed about your child. If they spot signs of what they think could be a learning disability, or even a child displaying signs that they feel like they’re not in the correct body. Could this be helpful, or detrimental?
When I was 5-6 in class, whenever they used to say, “Boys on one side of the class, girls on the other,” I felt completely lost. Like I didn’t know the answer, to what should be the most simple question.
Everyone else around me would know exactly which group to go in, but I was very perplexed. I did not physically or mentally know where or how to be classified. So in the end, I had to ask the teacher which group to go in as I didn’t know which group I fit into. A girl or a boy.
Now, obviously I imagine the teacher would’ve viewed that as quite strange. But I also don’t believe she would’ve thought I was going through a gender identity crisis, as such terms weren’t readily reported or talked about back then. Gender identification wasn’t really a well known thing in the early-mid 2000’s like it is now.
That worked in my favour. As even though I was a tomboy in certain instances like I loved playing with bob the builder (if you know who that is, you’re a cool kid), I was also very girly.
So how much can you read into what a child says? Or what signs they display?
Young people wanting to go through a transition are happier than ever that in some areas of the world they can begin the transitioning process relatively early, much younger than the age of 16. But also on the other hand, some adults above age, who have transitioned, are furious at the health system for allowing them to transition without enough therapy (in their eyes) as they regret altering their sex. You get quite intrusive therapy before altering your gender but some are even suing the health services. As once you transition, it’s very hard to impossible to go back to the body and gender you once had.
So when is the right age?
I think in my own personal opinion it should be around 18 years old. You’re not allowed to have breast augmentations and such surgeries until you reach the age of consent, which varies in the country you’re in. If you can’t even have a breast augmentation until you’re a certain age, why should such a life altering process of transitioning sex, be different?
On the other hand, some children contemplate suicide as they’re so unhappy that they can’t live their life in the body they believe they should’ve been born with. But the grey area is, how will you know for sure as a parent, the child won’t grow up to regret it?
It’s a very difficult call. But in my case, I’m grateful that my bewilderment wasn’t looked into further. As I know wholeheartedly, I wouldn’t have wanted to be a boy. Plus, I think the terminology ‘gender identity crisis’ would’ve made me even more confused, as I never felt like I wanted to be a different gender. And I’m also thankful that my confusions towards what gender I’m classified as wasn’t handled as a gender identity crisis.
But the worrying thing, is that I think if I attended school right now as a 5-6 year old, showing these same ‘signs’, I may have been put in that category. A category that wasn’t fit for my case. I think I was just simply confused and didn’t know! I know reading this you must be thinking, how very strange that I didn’t know! Trust me I think the same thing! But I can’t say what was going through my puzzled mind!
I think labels have their pros and cons. The issue with labelling especially in this sense, is that it can hinder the child’s natural progression into whichever gender they feel like they are, and can risk confusing the child even more, so much so they could even read too much into maybe I’m not in the wrong body, when they don’t truly know what that means yet. A child’s mind is very malleable – it’s always compared to as sponge as it can soak up more information than an adult in many ways. So planting that seed with a label, could be beneficial, but could also be very detrimental in the child’s life going forward.
What do you think? Do you think the age of transitioning being lowered in some countries is a step forwards or backwards? If you had a child like me who displayed that sign, how much would you have read into it? In 2020, how do you think this confusion would’ve been handled compared to 2005? When do you think is the right age to even think about such a huge life changing change like transitioning? Do you think labels should be used in children? Comment below!