Most of us can't imagine what it's like to be born into a gender that just doesn't feel right. Being transgender must be one of the toughest things a person could face. So I've always felt strongly that adults who experience this should have the right to choose which gender they want to live as. But should the same right be afforded to a young child? A 6-year-old Argentinian boy has been granted a new birth certificate saying he is female. And I just wonder if that is too young to make such a huge decision.
The boy, born Manuel, has been dressing as a little girl since age 4 and prefers to be called Lulu. This is the first time a minor has been able to reassign their sex under the country's gender-identity law. Previously, only adults have changed their names and sexes without needing a judge or doctor approval. And now that a child has done so, it sets a groundbreaking precedent.
This entire issue is frightening to me, to be honest. I hate the thought of a little boy or girl feeling that they were born into the wrong body. For a period of time, they must feel so anguished, so alone, so misunderstood. It's heartbreaking. So I am relieved that more and more communities are understanding of transgender issues and allowing them to be who they truly are. So I am very much supportive of a young person being able to choose how to dress and act if they don't want to conform to gender roles.
However, being able to legally reassign your gender is a big decision for a small child to make. At that age, a day with them can easily be an emotional roller coaster. They can’t even control their tantrums. So how can we let them legally change their gender when they have so much emotional maturing yet to do. I would even understand letting a pre-teen or teen make that decision, but 6 seems just too young.
At what age do you think a child is mature enough to make this decision? Why?
Image via jonny goldstein/Flickr