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Amazing Grace: The Gift of a Transgender Child


#1

Amazing Grace: The Gift of a Transgender Child

Kay Davis

When I saw the number of Sam’s therapist pop up on my phone, I was invaded by a familiar sense of dread. “What’s happened this time,” I thought.

I took a deep breath while my ringtone (Gangnam Style, a popular song then) persisted. When I finally answered, the therapist cut straight to the point: “Kay,” he said, “you don’t have a gay son, you have a heterosexual daughter.”


#2

Gender, like life is not binary. Few people are all evil or all good, most of us try to live day to day doing the best we believe we can do.

The path anyone who is outside the "normal" variation is always fraught with troubles both external and internal. It is doubly so for gender variant people. With the exception of a few tribal societies, failure to conform to expected roles and modes has been a danger sign. It marks the individual as outside the group. This is especially true of individuals who go from presenting as male to female. The males of the society see her as an immediate threat, something to be repelled and driven off. It is as though they instinctively believe that it could happen to them. What most males do not understand is that gender is a spectrum, and each of us has some degree of the opposite gender in our personality matrix.
Tell "Grace" to be strong, that the purpose of life is to live it, every day doing the best you can.


#3

The mystical perspective is a bit different. And anyone who wants to understand this should try to get a copy of the out-of-print book, "The Wheel of Rebirth." Its original author wrote it before the end of the 19th century.

Essentially, what is inviolate is the human SOUL and that soul travels from body to body and life to life to take on all of the possibilities that flesh is heir to.

Usually, if a soul is very accustomed to one gender, it must also take time to experience the other. And this is where resistance can show up.

The beauty of this particular book is that at the end of each chapter--with each chapter chronicling the basic history of a particular lifetime experienced by the same soul--the "over-soul" explains where the individual gained spiritual ground and also those instances where it was lost. (Edgar Cayce's thousands of readings preserved at the A.R.E--Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach, Va. also reinforces many of the same fundamental points.)

I don't know if the awareness of the soul's life to life continuum might have those individuals who veer to the gender that doesn't match their biology recognize WHY that disparity exists: that it's time for them to experience the OTHER gender. But knowledge is power. And rather than feel like fishes out of water, the understanding that the EXPERIENCE of "the other" gender is important at this point in the soul's unfolding might be sufficient to have the individual relax into a greater exploration.

I do recognize that at this transition period into the Age of Aquarius, this 2200 year phase coming under the aegis of Uranus, the weirdest, most anti-conventional planet, that it could be that the new bi and tri-sexual orientations are part of unplugging humanity from gender, itself.

I can't speak to that point as I've read nothing from any spiritual source that I respect that speaks to it.

However, for those who think they only get ONE lifetime and feel that their body doesn't match their emotional yearnings, the understanding of reincarnation and its life to life continuum could prove useful, if not enlightening.

In any case, kudos to such cool parents who love their child as s/he is rather than seek to force them into a square peg.


#4

I have a really hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that a 2-year-old knows that she is a girl, even though she was born with a penis. But I fully accept that it happens. And the fact that it happens at such an early age means that there is absolutely nothing the transgender person can do about it. The rest of us just have to get on board.

But I do take issue with the idea of a soul, especially one that migrates and takes its gender identity with it.


#5

Right-wingers and many religious folks cannot see or acknowledge the gray areas which are neither black or white, and in this case, male or female. Science trumps the Bible, and presents a cognitive conflict to those who those use "God created them male and female" as a proof text.

Environmental substances may be affecting masculine development en utero such that there are more transgender babies being born now than in the past. So many commonly-used chemicals have estrogenic properties which could retard the testosterone needed for male identity in early fetal development.

I wish for the public's understanding for "Grace" and those like her or him in the future.


#6

Thank you, Kay Davis, for this wonderfully enlightening account of your and your daughter's experiences! I hope to live long enough to read/hear her own account someday.

Yes, there are many here, there, and everywhere who deny this or that now obvious truth about who we and they are and are not. I have long enjoyed being both extroverted and introverted, and, before I realized I had notable strengths in both capacities. Long before discovering that was my gift, I long puzzled over certain reactions and patterns of reactions to some things I spontaneously said, or things I did. Although we now know that extroversion and introversion are not in any knowable form gender specific, long-held gender stereotypes and those embracing such stereotypes, especially about themselves, are easily or feel challenged, threatened, and even irritated by my joyful expressions, especially in social settings that welcome humor, such as teasing or toying with the gender edges of those silly stereotypes with my own behavior/speech.

I have even consciously and simultaneously/alternately done this teasing to the same person, both male and female, who thought they found me romantically attractive. I fell upon this by accident. The accident was such that I fumbled an awkward rejection of proffered romance one evening, and she burst out laughing at my awkwardness. I realised in the instant that fumbling can also be entertaining to some. This can be particularly entertaining in bars. As a man who has never doubted my gender/identity, I find it both sad and humorous that two other men will fight over my company; it doesn't seem to matter whether they are gay or hetero - it doesn't even matter if one is gay the other straight. Straight men believe I somehow possess some magical talent for attracting women. Around gay men I admit I do not understand why they sometimes find it difficult to accept that I have no romantic interest in them, though I routinely find many gay men particularly sensitive, intelligent, and spiritually healthy.

That scenario where two men find themselves competing and that competition growing in intensity can easily become volatile, with hostilities rapidly exploding, so I have learned that the first sign of rising voices is the exit moment. A little space sometimes settles my part of whatever is going on. And exiting any later exit is almost always much more challenging. No unfinished social moment is worth getting caught up in the clashing neuroses of others.

I pray for and wish you and your family all the very best in life. You are indeed blessed. Encourage your daughter to enjoy who she is, however she finds herself inclined to do so. Of course, life's precautions are always helpful, if only after we prove to ourselves they were healthy counsel all along. We all should be so blessed with a transgender family member, and may be, if we only find the space to welcome such blessings.


#8

I am very disappointed that CommonDreams is running a piece that is patently supporting child abuse. There is enough research on this to show that children experiment with gender and that what this mother has done is to lose sight of parenting in favour of popular narratives that frame her as progressive. Sadly, transgender "identity" is a political discourse today more than a personal pathology as is more infrequently the case. I am in favour of people having their medical and psychological conditions supported in the most healthy manner possible, but I do draw a line at this recruitment of "child soldiers" in this the gender wars. Many medical professionals of the left have stepped out to make various statements on these practices which inculcate children from their innocence, taking them out of childhood, and place them within a larger framework of social malleability, influence and political manoeuvring such that these young lives become tokens for a larger trend. While I sympathise with a parent who is gullible to anyone who calls her on the telephone to "inform her" about the "truth" of her child, it is nothing short of abusive to do anything but inform the child the truth of the matter: you are a boy, you are loved, society should not be telling you that boys cannot do this or that, psychologists should not be telling you that you are a boy. And then you fire the psychologist and move on toward the light. This is pure darkness and is creating an eugenics of an entire generation of young children, most of whom are gay, telling them that their bodies are wrong, instead of instilling them with the knowledge and strength to live their lives in this world as individuals who love their bodies, to embrace reality, and who can tell when poppycock is presented to them as truth.


#10

The science behind the phenomenon of 'trapped in the wrong body' narrative is still out. The fact that 50% of those affected are gay could mean various things. Perhaps that hormones may have effected the brain causing both same sex attraction and a different gender identity. However it could also be the that the child's natural tendency towards more typically female toys leads them to think they must be the opposite sex. If all children were encouraged to play with all toys would this occur?

In Thailand all effeminate boys are encouraged to see themselves as ladyboys from a young age. This leads to many gay men transitioning to live as a women, though not all have a sex change or take hormones. The sheer number of ladyboys is testament to the power of social pressure and expectation. Without that conditioning most of these people would be gay men.

I think it is healthier to tell children the truth- that they can not change their sex in reality, it is merely an illusion. It seems more likely that it is the brain in error not the body. I think it better for children to learn to accept their bodies as they are however they choose to live. The introduction of hormones and surgery in children is very dangerous as most gender non conforming children do not go on to transition, even those who are 13.

Puberty blockers are not well researched and the long term side effects are not known. Nor are we sure they are completely reversible. Trans people so often have co morbid mental health problems and a high risk of suicide both pre and post transition as well as a life time of hormones therapy that it is not the best option if it can be avoided.

I accept that in some cases transitioning is the best thing for people but they must be vanishingly small. The huge rise in children being transed is very worrying a d in 20 years time I think lawsuits will start rolling in. Effectively sterilising children is not progressive. Better to encourage children to live in their own healthy bodies and dress and present themselves however they please.


#11

Being a male or a female is a material fact. You cannot identify your way into or out of it. Women have not been oppressed for millennia because of how they identify. Shelo asani isha isn't a man thanking G-d that he doesn't "identify" as a woman. Millions of women aren't denied access to abortion and reproductive rights because of how they "identify."

It is truly sad that an idea as noxious and conservative as gender identity has found such uncritical acceptance among the left. People should be able to wear what they like and call themselves what they like, but the idea that this has anything to do with the gender of their soul, or worse, the idea that "womanly" preferences makes a male essentially a woman, is both profoundly mistaken and anti-feminist.


#12

The soul takes its experiences along with it. If an individual lived many lifetimes in a female body, it will continue to identify with that gender's experience. The argument--from the mystical standpoint--remains that of allowing for the experience of the complementary gender in the lifetime where the body's biology has assumed that identity.

Whether or not you take issue is about as compelling an argument as fighting the law of gravity. Your ignorance of a spiritual law hardly impedes its effects.


#13

Please contact the Randi Foundation to prove these statements and collect your prize.

Otherwise, don't expect any given intelligent person to take this sort of things seriously.


#14

Spiritual law? That's a new one for me. I freely admit total ignorance. Are you a Buddhist? My ignorance again, but I thought that they are the only ones who believe in reincarnation.

Where does this spiritual law originate? Is it necessary to go to spiritual law school to grasp its meaning, or is that reserved for those who are more spiritually advanced? How can I learn more?


#18

Gender is not an identity. It is a coercive system of cultural stereotypes, expectations, misconceptions, and imbalanced privileges that serves to put females (the humans whose bodies are considered exploitable for reproduction) in a subservient role to males (the humans whose bodies are capable of such exploitation).

Sex is not an identity either; it is a material fact. A female human can no more meaningfully "identify" as a male human as she can "identify" as a female swan. No matter how she identifies, male or swan, she will always be considered to be of the sexual underclass (female) under gender and patriarchy.

Stop lying to people under the guise of humanitarianism. Too much is at stake.


#19

Well,you know,I could have referred to Wikipedia myself to become better informed about reincarnation. What I was really asking bout is this so-called spiritual law.


#22

One can actively identify with others of the same "race" that society has constructed one into. To that extent race is an identity. One cannot identify into such a status from a position outside of it; see for instance Rachel Dolezal.

To be blunt, black is an identity that black people can claim. Female is an identity that female people can claim. Black is not an identity that white people can claim. Female is not an identity that male people can claim.

The rest of your response is typical thought-terminating cliches from someone who has uncritically accepted the male side of the story because the males speak the loudest. Educate yourself; read some Rebecca Reilly-Cooper. It doesn't take very much squinting to see that gender identity politics, summed up in the dogma "trans women are women," is just people born with penises telling people born without penises what boundaries they shouldn't have and what rights they can't get.


#23

Thanks for your contribution to the conversation; I think we may agree on more than we might disagree on. I guess I will just have to hope that Sioux responds directly.


#25

You have not actually engaged a single point I have made, nor have you shown any evidence of consulting the (authored by a female!) reference I directed to you. The comment system won't let me link to sites but it is sexandgenderintro dot com.

Unless you're willing to stop spouting uninformed attacks and start engaging critically with ideas instead of using ad hominems, there's really nothing left to discuss.


#27

That's word salad. You're dismissing one feminist philosopher's (degree, faculty position, everything) arguments as uninformed, without even understanding that they have nothing to do with trans; they have to do with the dogma of gender identity. (It's both funny and sad that you devalue a female's arguments because she's 'cis' while clearly being steeped in the male doctrine of Serrano et al. because they are 'trans.' Take away the queer theory garbage, and that's just taking the word of a man over a woman because the man is a man, aka sexism.) You then parrot the male trans party line "trans women are women," as if dressing up in pink, wearing makeup, and using the pronouns "she/her" are what are really what women have been oppressed about for the past who-knows-how-many centuries.

You can invite me to examine my privilege all you like; I invite you to examine your arguments. There's nothing there, nothing at all. You cannot come up with a coherent defense of the dogma "trans women are women" because there is none to be had. Luckily for Prof. Reilly-Cooper and me, the validity of logical arguments doesn't depend at all on who makes the arguments.

Radical feminism has a rather specific definition in intellectual circles; the fact that you don't know or understand this shows me that you are completely unequipped to engage in the issues. I'm done here.