Why We Fear What We Don't Understand
The blog post about a little boy who wanted to dress as "Elsa" from "Frozen" for Halloween caught my eye. Whenever I come across posts like this I rush to get to the comments section to see what the world has to say.
As the mom of a transgender teen, I expect the haters. We always seem to fear what we don't understand. Fear brings out some ugly reactions.
I've known my child was "different" since he could speak. As soon as he was able to choose what he wore the lacy pink outfits were put away in favor of more masculine choices.
I allowed my child freedom to wear what he wanted while he was growing up and even going so far as to allow him to wear various costumes depending upon his mood that day. Sure he got stares sometimes when he was dressed as a Dalmation puppy, but I applauded his strong sense of not caring what others thought.
Unlike other little "girls" my child had a stuffed vampire toy that he brought for naptime in preschool. Yes, my child was unique.
The school years were tough with my child battling anxiety and depression that we were powerless to overcome. My child endured years of therapy, rounds of different psychiatric medication and it didn't "solve" a thing. All the time the "professionals" missed what was really the issue. My child was born into the wrong body.
It wasn't until late in his junior year in high school that the realization happened.
Although for years we could see something wasn't quite right, we didn't know what we do now.
The baby girl I named Emily was really struggling all along to "fit" in and there was a very good reason why. Imagine waking up tomorrow as the opposite gender you currently are and trying to fit in when it just doesn't "feel" right.
This story about the little boy who wants to dress up as a female character brings to light society's need to classify gender. Why can't we just let kids explore without having to label? Allowing a child to dress up for Halloween in a costume that society classifies as gender-specific will not turn him gay or transgender or anything else.
One can not imagine what it feels like to be the parent of a child who does not fit in to society's idea of "normal" until they are actually living it.
As my child is trying to find his place in the world, life is so much harder than one can even imagine. Transitioning is not simple.
I read about young children whose gender identity is recognized and I envy those families. Although we knew something was off, being transgender was something that wasn't being talked about like it is today. The world is changing and that is a good thing.