Are They Too Young?
There are definitely benefits to “letting” transgender children socially transition at a young age. For one, kids just don’t care. It’s true! You want to go by a different name and wear a dress? Ok - let’s go get a snack now. That’s usually pretty close to what I hear from young kids who have not been told otherwise. Preschoolers and elementary age children are typically pretty understanding when their friend tells them they are really a different gender. A lot of people think that we don’t need to talk to kids about this - but we do talk to them about diversity in other realms, right? Why would this be different? A child having support and knowledge about who they are from a young age is so incredibly empowering for them. They can connect with other transgender children so they don’t later feel isolated, and like they are the only ones in the world who feel this way. We have phenomenal resources here in Colorado in the way of support groups and medical/mental health professionals to make transitions easier. There are also very specific laws for schools about basic rights of LGBTQ+ youth. YouthSeen is an organization in our community that can help connect families to some of these resources.
Connecting with other families, knowledgeable professionals and reputable groups can make accessing this information much easier, as well as building a support network for parents who are supporting their child. No child should feel alone in their journey, but no parent should either.
*As published in OutFront magazine, July 18, 2018