I wonder if the anti-gay forces are getting all hopped up about transgender children, as if to say, “See — the gay influence is getting to these kids even at such a young age!”
The reality is, news stories about transgender children only seem to be an issue today not because all of a sudden, there is this novelty of individuals coming out as kids. Adult gay or transgender individuals would have come out as kids in years past had they felt it possible. Many of the people that I know who are gay or lesbian knew deep in their hearts their orientation even in childhood.
It’s just that — up to now — societal pressures hindered coming out that early. Only in adulthood have these individuals found enough support and personal courage to dare be themselves. But they explain, it isn’t anything new. They’ve known this about themselves since they were kids.
In their childhood, however, fear of how parents would react hindered being themselves. I know of a dad who was so terrified of his young son being gay that he would invite all of the neighborhood kids to play baseball in the family’s back yard. All of this “boy” activity would be going on in the back yard, with the dad hoping it would rub off on his son. The young boy never wanted to play baseball, though. We’d all be playing, and he’d be off on his own jumping rope.
Today, however, so many parents are more aware of the importance of the integrity of a child’s personality — the importance of a child feeling whole rather than feeling split between who one really is vs. family or peer pressure to be “normal.”
“Normal,” we have learned, is being one’s self, not pretending to be somebody else. The most important aspect of being “normal” is not that a person fits into society — but that a person fits into one’s own silhouette in one’s psyche. A person feels complete, whole — rather than divided. A person feeling split is not healthy emotionally, which can result in neglecting one’s self physically. A common reason for denying one’s self food which can result in anorexia is a girl’s hidden agenda not to bloom like a woman. “Woman” equals hetero. That’s not who she feels herself to be.
Coming out is happening earlier not because there is some kind of corruption reaching down now to the youngest ages (which is what we’ll be hearing from fundamentalists). Coming out is happening earlier because that has been the reality for those who are gay or transgender all along. It’s just that now some have the support of parents and a sizable percentage of society earlier in their lives than ever.