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Boy of 12 returns to new school year as a girl

(69 Posts)
5inthebed Fri 18-Sep-09 10:44:51

Here. Sorry about the source.

I think 12 is a young age for any child to understand this, so can understand the parents anger at how the school dealt with it. The poor child is already getting bullied.

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 18-Sep-09 12:11:31

Bloody hell. That is madness. When we lived in Thailand, we were very used to seeing Khatoey, these are (usually) men who have been born the wrong sex. they are able to buy female hormones over the counter to stave off beards and encourage breast growth. Khatoey generally know from the age of about 8 that they should be girls and the parents support - in the main, that decision, however, this is culturally accepted. Southern England is somewhat different to Issan.
i feel really sorry for the individual, but horrified that the parents aren't waiting her wait till she is 16/18 to begin the process although I do understand the physiological reasons.

ShowOfHands Fri 18-Sep-09 12:16:00

What the heck does the fact that she lives on a council estate have to do with it?

What a difficult situation. She sounds like a very brave girl.

PeedOffWithNits Fri 18-Sep-09 14:18:04

I honestly believe that the child only stands a chance if the family move away to a new area where the "boy" was not known (regardless of whether they live in a council estate, irrelevant)

he/she is going to be the butt of jokes and ignorant comments for ever. It is hard enough being a teen and fitting in, but this is something else altogether

and the needs/emotions of the rest of the childs peers/friends have not been taken into account by the school -very badly handled IMO (though admitedly, not many schools will have experience of such matters)

ChopsTheDuck Fri 18-Sep-09 14:26:13

12 seems very young to make that kind of decision. At that kind of age, children aren't considered mature enough to be sexually active. So how on earth can they be considered mature enough to make such a major decision about their own gender?

I agree, if that was the course of action they were going to take, a new school would have been a better idea.

BethNoire Fri 18-Sep-09 14:26:30

That's one brave family!.

I'd have ben inclined to move schools but there aren't always options, and swapping council homes isn't as easy (I know but ykwim) as selling an owned home and buying elsewhere.

I wish them luck

Fluffypoms Fri 18-Sep-09 14:29:16

second what chops said

BonsoirAnna Fri 18-Sep-09 14:32:59

"i feel really sorry for the individual, but horrified that the parents aren't waiting her wait till she is 16/18 to begin the process although I do understand the physiological reasons."

Surely it is the child's decision, and the chlid's decision alone, to know what sex she feels she is. How on earth would it do any good to wait until she is 16/18? It would just be a form of torture.

PeedOffWithNits Fri 18-Sep-09 14:34:59

chops, I am sure the doctors and psychiatrists have ticked all the boxes and this is not just a case of parents who wanted one gender and got the wrong one, or of a child brought up with a lot of opposite gender siblings, so showing some female traits.

this is a serious medical issue and, if drs confirm it, could have deep psychological impact on the child (attempted suicide, self harming etc)

the parents were mad to put the child into a school where "he" was known, and it makes you wonder at their motives, after all, I am sure they will make a fortune selling the story, no?

BethNoire Fri 18-Sep-09 14:35:46

Do we know from anywhere else if the child has been diagnosed with a gender related disorder? Not necessarily the case, but not mentioned either way in that one.

AMumInScotland Fri 18-Sep-09 14:36:37

I can't really tell from that article whether the school knew about this before she turned up as a girl, or whether they were expected to deal with it without warning themselves.

It's all very well for other parents to say they should have been warned, but what if the school didn't know?

I also think the parents were very naive to think that she wouldn't be recognised when other children there had been at the same primary - they would spot it immediately, specially when he/she had already been known in primary for being "girly".

There were lots of ways this could have been handled better by all concerned from the sounds of it - it's difficult enough for adults to deal sensitively with a colleague going through gender reassignment - to expect sensitivity from 12 to 18 year olds is a bit much to hope for.

ChopsTheDuck Fri 18-Sep-09 14:40:17

But how can you tick all the boxes regarding gender for a child that isn't yet sexually mature?

I agree, to keep him living as a boy probably would be cruel, but to start surgery imho feels wrong. There have been cases of adults who have had sex change surgery and then regreted it.

AMumInScotland Fri 18-Sep-09 14:54:19

AFAIK she can't start to have hormonal treatment or surgery until after puberty, so the concept that she is "preparing to undergo hormone treatment and surgery" isn't really very meaningful. But there is usually a requirement to live as the new gender for a time before treatment starts, so she has decided to start that immediately.

Zoya Fri 18-Sep-09 14:56:06

Read the article again Chops - surgery is by no means imminent. Hormone treatment comes first, and it will almost certainly be years before surgery takes place.

Why not wait till the age of 16/18? Because many people who come to feel at a very early age that there is a mismatch between their 'real' gender identity and the body they were born with desperately want to avoid going through puberty in the 'wrong' body.

ChopsTheDuck Fri 18-Sep-09 15:09:31

it was the 'could become the youngest sex-swap patient' that worried me, the current youngest is 16, so that strongly implies it would be before 16.

ChopsTheDuck Fri 18-Sep-09 15:10:15

could be before 16 even. typo.

AMumInScotland Fri 18-Sep-09 15:32:34

I get the feeling that the stuff about the "youngest sex swap" etc is more about the story than the reality tbh. We don't even know from the story whether the family have spoken to specialists about any of this, or are just working on the child's determination to be a girl and going along with that, and assuming that dcotors will do the hormonal treatment and operation when they get round to asking. They may find out the limits and practicalities at that point. I don't see any UK doctors leaping in to treat a younger child, they don't normally want to push the boundaries in areas where public opinion would not be in their favour.

5inthebed Fri 18-Sep-09 16:50:40

I actually thought the article was about a local child before I realised it was down south, and not up north where I am. There is a local boy, who wants to be a girl, he is about 11, and has the most beautiful hair, right down to his bum. His mother supports him in this, and good on her as well.

I agree that the family should seriously consider moving and changing schools.

Thandeka Fri 18-Sep-09 20:52:58

Awww I feel for this kid and hope the school start to deal with it better. I am a teacher in a school where we have had a couple of trans kids but for various reasons are now educated elsewhere. I just wish education was better set up for these situations, in fact heck send her to my school and she will be fine.

SolidGoldBrass Fri 18-Sep-09 20:54:57

Does anyone know much about transgender issues in children? (I was going to namechange for this but, well, sod it, I would probably out myself anyway).
I am a little bit anxious about the possibility of it in DS. He has said more than once that when he grows up he wants to be a girl, and the other day he was going on and on about whether or not I wanted a little girl before I had him, and would I have loved him if he was a girl.
ON the other hand, he is obsessed with (in no particular order) trains, cars, drums and his willy. I neither want to ignore the possiblity of him having a gender disorder (this is my adored child, I will not let my PFB suffer anguish unnecessarily) nor do I want to hand him over to an army of therapists who may blight his childhood and indeed get the diagnosis wrong anyway.

AMumInScotland Fri 18-Sep-09 21:31:22

Tht article in the Sun had a link to an organisation - something like "Mermaids" which seemed to be a support group for this issue, though I've no idea whether they are actually any help! If your DS is still pretty young, then it probably doesn't signify anything - very small children don't automatically know that boys grow up to be men and girls grow up to be women, it's something they learn. So, they don't see any reason they couldn't become a girl, and consider the possibility as sensible as being an engine driver when they grow up.

I think all you can do is be positive about whatever he likes at the time, and assure him you love him just as he is. If he really feels that way, I think it will get stronger and clearer as time goes on, and if not will fade out.

LeninGrad Fri 18-Sep-09 22:57:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SolidGoldBrass Fri 18-Sep-09 23:51:03

He's 5. I am just torn between thinking it's a normal developmental thing (ie realising the difference and exploring it) and an indicatior of an issue. He's a bit fascinated by pregancy (one of my friends that he knows had a baby a while ago, another one is PG and I have been telling him that X 'has a baby in her tummy' so he wants a baby in his tummy...)
But I keep telling myself that he does seem to be very comfortable in his own skin and fond of his willy (oh my is he fond of his willy at the moment) so it's not a serious dysphoria or anything...

Georgimama Sat 19-Sep-09 00:00:04

Is he maybe just playing about with opposites and contradictions, SGB? DS is only 2.5 but he is constantly at the mo saying he is "scared" of things that are totally benign, and is also very interested in bodies and bits and the differences between him and me (DH an I are never shy about being nude in front of him - don't want him to have hang ups). I had a MC recently and before it I had made the stupid, over excited mistake of telling him I had a baby in my tummy. Now he is very interested in the whole concept of babies in tummies (or not).

Georgimama Sat 19-Sep-09 00:02:01

As for when he grows up, well, DS has told me he wants to be a tractor when he grows up. I don't think they know what they are talking about.

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