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Gender-Variant 5yr Old DS - Roman Catholic School

(30 Posts)
HerNibs1980 Sat 20-Jul-13 15:07:29


For the past year now I have noticed my middle DS prefers dressing up in his younger DD dresses, playing with her dolls, does not enjoy rough and tumble games with his older DS, and generally acts like I have another DD.

I mentioned it to friends who scoffed at me before spending time with him, where they have now said they've never witnessed it so clearly in one so young. Out of interest I googled it and found a leaflet about Gender variance, which described my DS perfectly. It said he may grow out of it or it may stay with him for life. Which doesnt bother me in the slightest as I am so open minded and love him to death for being him regardless of his gender behaviour.

My only concern is my children attend a Roman Catholic school, (we are not religious at all, but it was the only school in the area that had spaces in the years I needed when we moved to the area. The school is lovely, but I am worried that they will have an issue with him if his gender variant behaviour continues. Does anyone else have any experience with this or know any more about it please?

Thank you in advance. xx

ReallyTired Sat 20-Jul-13 21:35:23

Dressing up and playing with dolls does not make a five year old boy a transexual or a transvesite. There is no rule that say that all boys must enjoy rough and tumble games and can't play with dolls. It sounds to me as if you son is curious about sisters clothes and stuff rather than having any desire to be a girl.

I doult that a RC school or any other school would have issue. There is nothing in the bible that says that little boys cannot play with dolls or they have to like rough and tumble.

Loshad Sat 20-Jul-13 21:43:49

FGS, stop labelling your little boy. Lots and lots of small boys like gentle play and dressing up in girls clothes. Which whacky website did you find that was prepared to give a 5 yo a gender variant diagnosis hmm

BabyILoveYou Sat 20-Jul-13 21:47:42

There are hundreds of little boys in Catholic schools who enjoy playing with dolls and hundreds of little girls who enjoy playing with cars. It's perfectly normal. Stop labelling him and creating problems where there aren't any.

AMumInScotland Sun 21-Jul-13 20:33:04

Your son sounds as though he is within the normal range of behaviour for his age. I suspect that this "Gender Variance" is a label put onto a perfectly ordinary phenomenon in order to make it into some kind of "syndrome".

Many boys like to play with dolls, dress up in interesting clothes, and are gentle rather than rough. This is not some sort of 'odd' thing that a school will have any problem dealing with. It is well within norms for children, and there is absolutely no reason for you to think that any school (RC or otherwise) will somehow struggle to deal with your child as if he was in some way unusual. Frankly, he isn't.

HerNibs1980 Mon 22-Jul-13 09:49:16

I'm not entirely sure why all the messages on here have such a level of animosity and in some cases out right hostility and belittling. In no way have I said my child is'unusual'. As he is not unusual in the slightest and nowhere in my original post did I give any mention to feeling negatively about how my son behaves. The "whacky" website I got it from was a government and nhs information site about the subject. I came on here to ask for some support and guidance. Thank you SO much for being so supportive and understanding!!

HerNibs1980 Mon 22-Jul-13 09:52:38

Oh and nowhere did I say my som was transgender or transexual...although neither of those would bother me either. I certainly wont be coming to the religious section of this site again for support. The other 2 topic sections I've posted this in have been lovely and understanding. This is the only section where people have been downright rude. Go figure? !

AMumInScotland Mon 22-Jul-13 12:45:24

If you agree that he is not 'unusual' then why do you think a school will have any issue with him?

HerNibs1980 Mon 22-Jul-13 13:20:39

Because I dont find homosexuality unusual either but the catholic church has a problem with that!!

HerNibs1980 Mon 22-Jul-13 13:23:13

At the end of the day the rude way in which my post was replied to was.completely unnecessary and as I pointed out its only the thread in this section that haz reaponded to it in such a negative way!!! Unnecessary! !

RappyNash Mon 22-Jul-13 14:04:20

I hear you OP and think you sound like a very supportive mum.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 22-Jul-13 14:15:55

We're not all bigots you know hmm. Nor or we all straight with heteronormative families. fwiw my ds1 would rather stick pins in his eyes than engage in rough and tumble and he has never had any problems in his RC school because of it. Nor have any of them had problems for having a butch looking bi Mum. Maybe you could extend your openmindedness to the RC laity who, for example, support marriage equality to a marginally greater degree than the general public. If you have any problems with the school then maybe Quest, Freetobe, believe out loud or one of the many other LGBTQ Christian/Catholic agencies could advocate for you. It is unlikely that the school has not dealt with LGBTQ issues before so you could just ask them directly what their policy on inclusion is.

HerNibs1980 Mon 22-Jul-13 14:34:47

Ithinkofhappywhenithinkofyou. Honestly thank you so much for your response. It was this I was looking for. Someone to put my mind at ease, as as I have already said I am mot religious at all, so came here to ask religious people who know great deal more then me where the land would lie. So thank you as you have put my mind at ease. smile x x

curryeater Mon 22-Jul-13 15:07:22

HerNibs, I get what you mean completely. some children do behave "differently" wrt to gender and it is noticeable. I think people who deny this think they are being all inclusive and "anything goes". While I totally agree that anything goes, there are marked differences between anythings at a very early age, and you know this if you have seen it. and not all environments are good for all children.

I would say that you just need to check out the culture of your particular school. Someone very close to me who was a very effeminate little boy (and is now a gay man) went to an RC primary school with a lovely atmosphere where he felt quite at home - it was mixed and he was friends with both boys and girls - and to a Christian Brothers boys' secondary school where his life was systematically made miserable with no attempt made by prefects or teachers to curb how he was targeted for being different. I suspect his parents of choosing this school deliberately having in mind their low tolerance of stylistic "queerness" to "sort him out" and I kind of hate them for it.

Please don't take any of this to heart, I understand the spirit in which your question was meant and I get where you are are coming from.

HerNibs1980 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:34:56

Yes this was exactly what I meant. As with my DS it is markedly obvious to the point of people pointing it out, (not in a negative way). I love him for it and it makes no odds either way to me as I love him to pieces and no gender behaviour is going to change that in any way. I just want to make sure he isnt made to feel ashamed by people of authority in his life such as teachers, as he may have enough to contend with with other children. His school seems supportive but I haven't pointed this out to them yet. But they are hot on children conforming as everyone got a letter at the end of term saying children that do not have the correct hair cut will not be allowed back to school in september, so am worried if they are as strict about things like that whether they would try to make him conform to how they believe a boy should behave you know? I dont know I may be worrying for nothing, just would want to nip it in the bud before anyone got the chance to make hik feel he couldnt be himself. xxx

ReallyTired Mon 22-Jul-13 23:03:41

I think its pretty bigotted of the OP to think that roman catholics would have an issue with a little boy having girly tastes. In my limited experience of catholics they tend to be welcoming of anyone. The new pope washed the feet of a Bosian muslim prisoner.

There are good catholic schools and sadly a history of horrendous catholic schools. In particular Christian Brothers boys schools did commit serious child abuse 40 yeas ago. However life has moved on and there are plenty of non catholics who behave appaulingly.

HerNibs1980 are you looking at a state school? I suppose the important thing is that boys and girls have equal access to all clubs. Ie. can a boy join the gymnastics club or girls join the football club.

I didn't think that state schools could force boys to have a hair cut but are allowed to rule out ridicolous styles like tramlines. DD's state community primary school bans wild haircuts and insists that long hair is tied back

HerNibs1980 Tue 23-Jul-13 08:33:58

ReallyTired I dont think there's anything bigotted about not knowing and asking for advise tbh!

HerNibs1980 Tue 23-Jul-13 08:36:03

I really dont understand why there is such a lot of name calling on this thread.....I really dont!

curlew Tue 23-Jul-13 08:39:21

Because the Catholic Church has a long history of tolerance and openness in matters of gender, sex and sexuality.........hmm

curryeater Tue 23-Jul-13 08:59:04

ha ha curlew, exactly.

Hernibs, this is a very confusing and emotionally overwrought topic from both sides. Christians quite rightly feel that the gospel of universal love and redemption that Jesus brought is the basis of the language of human rights and tolerance that we have in the Western world (it is perfectly possible to be loving and accepting without being Christian, of course, but the centrality of this strand of our cultural discourse comes straight out of the gospel). So they feel offended by an implication that Christian places are not accepting places.

On the other hand the reality is that Catholic culture in this country (are you in England?) comes heavily mediated through Irish culture - which is totally fucked up about sex - in ways I could write whole essays about. It is hard to do the chicken / egg analysis on who influences whom here, between the Church and between old school rural / agricultural Ireland but, oh my goodness, there is a lot to say. (this is my culture btw so I am not talking about a "Them".) for various reasons RC communities are not necessarily the best place to be in any way "queer" although on the other hand, many of the nuns I have spent time with are the kindest and most loving people I have ever met in my life.

also, there is a strand of misguided liberalism which is all "la la la la I can't hear you" about any sort of apparent not-quite-average gender behaviour in small children. I think this is partly because we do not expect small children to be interested in sex, but this has nothing to do with sexual activity. I also think it is because they want to believe that every child is unique - true- but some are more unique than others! - and you know it when you see it. Not everyone has seen it, close up, so they just think it is made up.

I believe that there are some innate qualities to gender / sexual identity which can manifest themselves very young and it is part of the child's god-given make-up - which is exactly WHY persecuting these people for who they are is wrong - and why it is silly to pretend it does not exist.

I think the trad RC camp that I am from things you can "knock it out of them" - hence how my relation was treated - gutting.

HerNibs1980 Tue 23-Jul-13 10:20:08

Curlew...for a place so full of "tolerance" I havent received much tolerance or openness to my question though have I? So kind of a contradiction there. I have not come on here accusing catholics of anything at all. I came here to ask a for support and guidance, reassurance and to have my mind put at ease by the people that actually know how the land would lie. And look at the responses I got. Is there any wonder people who dont know alot about religion assume you are intolerant and judgemental?

Curryeater...yes I am in England which is why I had the concern due to issues I have seen in regards to roman catholic church and sexuality. All I wanted was some reassurance, and in all honesty I dont feel my post was offensive, just questioning.

TeamEdward Tue 23-Jul-13 10:22:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HerNibs1980 Tue 23-Jul-13 10:34:03

Lol...TeamEdward....when you put it like that. :D x x

curryeater Tue 23-Jul-13 10:42:58

Hernibs I think curlew was being sarcastic. The RC church has an appalling, huam-rights-abusive position on matters of sexuality. Which is why she made the sceptical face (right, curlew?)

HerNibs1980 Tue 23-Jul-13 12:01:40

Oh I see....sorry curlew am a bit defensive atm due to the responses I've been receiving. xxx

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