Parents of Transgender Girl Are Better Than Most of Us

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At just 3.5 and almost 5 years old, my two children know their genders very well. Both are happy to be what they were born to be (a boy and a girl) and, in many ways, each is a stereotype of his or her gender (my daughter loves princesses, purple, and sparkles while my son loves fire trucks and being "strong"). As a parent, it's hard to imagine what I might feel if my child didn't feel those things, if he or she told me they were in the wrong skin and wanted to be the opposite gender.

This is exactly what happened to the Maines family of Maine. After having twin "boys," Wyatt and Jonas, it soon became clear that Wyatt wasn't a boy. He liked pink and sparkles, yes. But it was more than that, too. He asked his mom at age 4: “When do I get to be a girl?’’ He said that he hated his penis and asked when he could get rid of it. In first grade, he was the boy with the pink backpack and a Kim Possible lunchbox.

Now, at age 14, Wyatt is Nicole, a functioning and happy teenage girl.

The story of how Wyatt became Nicole is featured in the Boston Globe and is more than a story of one transgender teenager and her transition to being who she truly is inside. It's a story of parental love and of accepting a child for who they really are, not merely who you may want them to be.

Nicole's father struggled the most. He couldn't let go of his "son" and call her Nicole. As an Air Force veteran and "former Republican," he struggled. "But once you get past that, I realize I never had a son," he told the Globe.

The parents brought their children to Children's Hospital in Boston where a revolutionary clinic is helping transgender children transition. For many, this might seem like a travesty, but anyone who has ever known anyone who is transgendered knows they are born that way and many know early. Unfortunately, because of prejudice and bullying and close-minded parents (and close-minded people in general), it often takes years for kids to be honest with themselves and everyone else.

It's tragic. The Maines are brave to tell their story, but in doing so, they are helping so many others. The world has no use for bigots and, as a parent, I feel that more than ever. I happen to have children who are very happy in their skin, but if that weren't true, I would do everything in my power to change that. That is my job as a mother. And if any ignorant fool stood in my way, I would roll right over them.

This is an example of true parental love and the support and help they gave Nicole helped save her from bullying and maybe even deep depression. If only every transgender child had such love and support.

We don't pick our children in our own image and any parent who expects that will be sorely disappointed. We love them for who they are no matter what. The Maines family should be an inspiration for all of us.

Would you let your son wear pink and talk openly about such feelings?

 

Image via dbking/Flickr

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CPN322 CPN322

What strong, amazing parents!!!

KenneMaw KenneMaw

Bravo to these parents for being accepting and not afraid.  I am sure they had their moments of doubts and struggle, but they did what is best for their child.  If only others could be as accepting.


I would like to say I am a Republican/conservative and I accept people as they are.   LIberals/Democrats are not the only ones that are pro-diversity.  

aneela aneela

amazing story

nonmember avatar Janelle

I disagree completely. He was too young to have that decision made. My daughter preferred boys clothes, toys, and wanted to be a boy for the first several years of her life...Then she grew out of it. Now she is all girl. She played with toy cars and loved wearing jerseys and camo,and chose football over dance or cheerleading. Then she began to find herself choosing sparkles and pink and preferred dance and ballet shoes over fire trucks and sports. Had we immediately assumed she identified as male we could have done damage to her. I was fairly certain for the longest that she didn't identify as a girl. I just can't get behind a decision as monumental as this to be made so early in the child's life.

CPN322 CPN322

^^ 14 doesn't seem too early to me. I'd totally agree with you if they did this when he first made the comment at 4(I too was just like your daughter, but still cant put makeup on to save my life), but I think by the teen years you MUST take these thoughts seriously so as not to have your child become depressed and suicidal.

Aurastar Aurastar

Seriously Janelle? Have you ever met a trans person?

nonmember avatar reader

@Janelle,
You seem to have no idea what transgender actually means. Transgender has nothing to do with what type of clothing or activities someone enjoys. It is about being the wrong gender. Many people feel like they are in the wrong body, and it has been medically and scientifically proven that people have the 'brain' of the opposite gender. The human brain is a very complex thing, and different brain waves and brain patterns are asociated with specific gender differences. If a male has those patterns then they have a female 'brain'. If a female has those brain patterns then they have a male 'brain'. It's all well and good that your daughter likes ballet, but that has nothing to do with this topic. She was a tom boy not a transgender you seem to think was 'cured'.

nonmember avatar Regina Morris

I think these parents are great for helping their son claim his true/preferred gender. My own son loves make up and mommys high heels, but he also loves being a boy. A mamma's boy maybe, but still a boy. I would have no issue with him being transgender (though his granddad would).

nonmember avatar Bre

I am all for this...later in life. Everyone can say 'Nu-Uh' all they want but 14 is too young to make a life altering decision like this. I was 14 5 years ago, and I remember clearly changing my mind constantly and being very inconsistent. I would accept my son no matter what, that is not the issue. I wouldn't let my daughter get her breasts enlarged because she felt it was something she had to do. At least wait until your body is done developing before something like this.

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