Within the last few years, there has been an incline of people feeling more comfortable to come out as transgender. Many cis (non-trans) people are curious and slightly confused of the ,”whys” and “hows” of being a transgender person and the transition they go through. Many [trans people] begin to have what is called, gender dysphoria. It is where they feel that their assigned sex and gender do not match their gender identity. Most tend to feel distressed with their assigned gender. Usually, many teens experience gender confusion and make the transition later in their life, if necessary. However, young children are now starting to question their identities as well.
According to Mayo Clinic, children between 18 and 24 months old develop the ability to recognize and label stereotypical gender groups. Such as girls being feminine and males being masculine. By age three, they start to categorize their own gender. At the ages of five and six, most children become obstinate about gender preferences and stereotypes. However, this has led numerous children starting to doubt whether they are actually a boy or girl, causing concerns with their parents.
Lauren Chen, better known as Roaming Millennial on Youtube is a Canadian blogger who produces right-wing content. In her video, “Turning Kids Trans?”, she addresses the issues and prominent concerns of the rise of transgenderism amongst young children. Chen states, “…I am not in any way saying that every trans person is just “acting out” or going with a trend or simply trying to get attention. That’s not what I believe at all. I think that for a very small portion of the population a psychological condition really does make them feel like they were born in the wrong body, like instead of having a woman’s body, they should have a man’s body or vice versa. I’m not saying they’re making it up and I’m definitely not trying to invalidate their experiences.”, then carries on with saying, “However, I don’t think that we can deny that young people are impressionable and there’s a lot of positive cultural attention being given towards trans issues right now that extends beyond just saying “hey, let’s all respect people who are different from us”.
Many of Chen’s fellow subscribers decided to jump on this issue, respectively. A comment from “Big Gay” states, “As a trans person that has actually been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and goes to a liberal art school, I’ve seen this happen. I’ve actually “triggered” at least three people to question their gender and one of them was even able to start transitioning before me even though they weren’t diagnosed with gd. It’s pretty infuriating that a mental illness that has debilitating symptoms is considered trendy and fun. Speaking from experience, it’s absolutely not and we need to stop immediately accepting these children just because they think they are trans.” Another comment from user, “Brianna Lee” says, “How do those people not realize that little kids don’t have the mental capacity to make that choice and forcing them to change their gender that young is mental abuse, therefore evil and immoral? What is wrong with those people?! Some girls like to climb trees, play sports, and play with cars, that doesn’t make them less of a girl. Just like how some boys might like to play with dolls and may not be athletic or into cars. They do realize that assuming their kid is a trans just because they don’t fit the gender stereotype is sexist right?! There are tomboys and some more feminine guys, doesn’t mean they aren’t the gender they were born with or are apart of the LGBT+ community. It’s a dangerous way of thinking and brainwashing their kids”.
An abundant amount of commenters reasonably argued that young children are still figuring themselves out and constantly behave and act outside of their stereotypical gender norms because it is all just part of being a kid. Many even claiming that kids are not cognitively developed enough to grasp who they are, along with the ramifications of transitioning.
Though there are still two sides to the argument, as quite a number of parents firmly believe that if their kids feel as if they don’t identify with their assigned gender, then they should have the right to transition. Such as transwoman, Jazz Jennings. Though Jennings did not transition to female until her late teens, she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at age five and one of the youngest people to ever be documented publicly as transgender. At age six, her and her family appeared on television to discuss growing up transgender. Jennings now as her own show on TLC called, “I am Jazz”, which features the obstacles she goes through as a transwoman and her transition. Ever since, she has become an idol for young trans people all around.
There are still deep concerns with allowing children to transition, such as them being put on life-altering hormones, and later on in life wanting to re-transition back to their assigned gender, and how they may feel once they reach the appropriate age for puberty. Many worry about this being an open gate for child exploitation and how it would affect their daily lives. That is to say, are young kids actually experiencing gender dysphoria or is it all part of a childish phase?