So, in addition to my June Blogging post which I'll have up later tonight, I want to write a post about a potentially controversial topic. And because it's controversial, I'm going to put this disclaimer:
Anyone making rude, hurtful, or discriminatory comments will be deleted. If you don't like what I have to say, you don't have to read.
I follow Renegade Mothering, and I have for a long long time. She's one of my favorite bloggers because she is open and honest at how hard being a mother can be. Also, her kids are adorable. Today on Facebook, she posted that she wrote an article on AllParenting.com about a transgendered child by the name of Coy who was born with male anatomy, and is a triplet of two sisters. "However, according to her parents, Coy has identified with the female gender from infancy, preferring dresses and "girl" toys and asking people to call her a girl. By kindergarten, her parents allowed her to fully embrace her female identity and asked the school to treat her exactly like any other girl."
"At first, the school did just that, even allowing her to use the girls' bathroom. But a few months into her first grade year, the school decided Coy needed to use a bathroom in the school nurse's office, but not the girls', for fear that students and their parents would find the arrangement inappropriate or disturbing." You can read more about how the school handled the situation as well as Janelle's take on the situation in the rest of the article.
I don't really want to talk today about if/how a child knows that s/he is in the wrong body. I want to talk about how you as a parent would handle a situation like this.
One of my biggest fears as a potential parent that I didn't talk about last night is my fear that my child will be "different" in some way, whether that be a disability (mental or physical,) a change in sexuality, being gay/bi, etc. Let me be clear: I would love my child no less if they were "different" in any way shape or form. I am, however, scared of having to be my child's rock, role model and biggest supporter when the world can be so cruel.
So, my question I pose to you, women who are already mothers, are mothers to be, or are hoping to become mothers one day: If your child differed from the "norm," what would you say to them? What would you say if their school didn't accommodate them? What if someone on the street came up and said something to your child?
I'm scared of a situation like that happening. I absolutely hate confrontation, so I'm nervous that I would clam up and not be able to defend my child in a way they needed. Perhaps my shyness would disappear once someone confronted my child, but it's still a situation that worries me. I am in awe of the parents that stand up for their children in such public ways.
I would like to try and have a discussion about this. If you have any thoughts, please leave them in the comments.