The sex of a child is identified when they are born, their gender is not!
Hi there, You may have seen stories in the media lately about little girls who want to be boys and little boys who feel they are girls. I know many of you have probably thought some of the facts sounded ubsurd and you thought that something must be wrong with the parents. Well we are here to tell you ...NOTHING IS WRONG WITH THE PARENTS... these children may in fact be transgender. I can tell you this because I am the parent of a transgender 6 year old little girl(my child was born physically male, but identifies as female). Ok get over the shock of that statement and just continue to read:) I had all the same thoughts you are having right now, as did my husband(yes her father is in the picture, as many people are quick to assume he is not). My child,
Warner, was born in May 2007. At that time, and for the first few years of Warners life, I had assumed I had given birrth to twin boys. I was soooo wrong. From day one, Warner has preferred all things that are stereotypically female. Around two years of age she made the statement "mommy god made a mistake I am really a little girl". I researched as much as I could and tried to find support etc. You know what I found. NOTHING!!. My family Dr. said it was probably just a phase and at that time we accepted that. We agreed it was way to early to be sure. I tried to find other families. I could not find a single one. Support groups didn't exist either. This was not ten years ago this was months ago!!
Finally, when Warner was around 4, we returned to our Dr. and this time we were referred to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. We have been receiving support from them since then. However that support is limited to that of what a medical Dr. can offer.
Over the summer of 2013, something changed in Warner. Up until that point she was allowed to wear dresses in our home, but not when she left the house as we were afraid for her saftey. I will be honest, we were afraid of many things(beingjudged, people laughing, saying we were bad parents, someone hurting Warner, the reprecussions for our other children, etc). We had hid the "feminine side" of Warner as much as we could from everyone and had not discussed it with family or friends, etc. When preparing for back to school(Grade 1), I was taking my 4 children for hair cuts and Warner started to cry. She said "mommy I would rather die then have to look like a boy any more". I cried for days, but I no longer had any doubts about what I needed to do. That was it. I was NOT GOING TO HIDE MY CHILD ANYMORE!! What was I teaching her if I made her pretend to be someone she is not just because society says that is who she is supposed to be??? Imagine for a moment waking up tomorrow and everyone suddenly telling you that your are not the gender you feel that you are. Imagine how horrible that must feel? Most families in our situation relocate and start their children in a new school system as their true gender as its less traumatic. However, as a family we decided that by hiding we are only giving into the pressure. By coming forward and telling others about our Warner we hope that the journey for other children gets easier. So we "came out" to family and friends in August 2013. We lost some friends. We had some family lauigh and ask if we had gone bonkers, but all in all, the people who knew us knew we would never have gone this far if we didn't think it was absolutely the right thing to do for our child. So we contacted the school and made arrangements to start Warner in Grade 1 in our rural catholic school as a little girl(she previously had attended dressed only as a male is jk and sk).
That first day of school, was the scariest day of my life. Due to safety concerns we could not put Warner on the school bus (since there was insufficient monitoring). News of this little boy dressed as a girl spread within minutes and by 9:00 am, my Warner turned into a "circus show". My heart was broken, but guess what? Warner didn't waiver one bit. She refused to hide regardless of the laughter, the looks, etc. I take my strength from her:) You need to ask yourself after all this child has been through if this was a fad, or a simple preference, wouldn't she have let it go by now? When people are physically hurting her as a result of who she is??? If she had a choice or if we as parents had a choice don't you think we would change this? We are not willy nilly parents. We set boundaries and limits. We aren't hippies, nor were we imerssed in a culture where our child could have learnt this behaviour from others. My husband and I were both quite close minded before this. It took us years to except what Warner truly is, a beautiful little girl, who wants to be a mommy and a princess when she grows up:)
We understand this is very difficult to comprehend. I ask you to simply consider that these are children and look at them with love and not hate. The suicide rate for children like my Warner is 10x that of the average child!!
Warner has been attacked physically, mentally and sexually as a result of refusing to hide. She is only 6 years old and has suffered more than many adults have! People have committed suicide for far less things:(
A support group has started in Ottawa, the first session was March 4, 2014(Please contact Family Services Ottawa for more information) and I can tell you it was a packed house and it was nice to finally see that we, as a family, are not alone, but you know what else I saw? I saw alot of sadness. I saw alot of lost families who were desperate for help and desperate to feel normal. ALL and I mean ALL of their children were either in hiding or CURRENTLY being bullied. Not a single one was successfully being their true selves without condemnation in this beautiful city of ours!!! It broke my heart:(
Supports for families like mine are coming, but very slowly. In the meantime, we need to help these children so that they no longer feel alone and help these families regain a sense of normalcy. Even if it is just for a weekend.
Our plan is to secure a group site in August 2014 and invite families in the National Capital Region with Gender Creative, Gender Non-Conforming and Transgender Children on a camping retreat. We have several educators who we plan to have host various wokshops on how to handle bullies. As well as some other useful workshops, depending on the funding we get. All donours can write to me and I will provide them with an agenda once complete. For safety reasons, I cannot disclose the location of the retreat:)