Transgender child throws scouts into tail spin, ruins everyting

From Huffington Post:

A Colorado-based Girl Scouts troop’s decision to admit a 7-year-old transgender child this fall has prompted three leaders to resign and dissolve their troops.

As The Christian Post is reporting, all three of the troop leaders were affiliated with the Northlake Christian School in Covington, Louisiana.

Susan Bryant-Snure, one of the leaders who resigned, told The Baptist Press that the Girl Scouts’ action is “extremely confusing” and an “almost dangerous situation” for children. “This goes against what we [Northlake Christian School] believe,”

Holy crap people, get a grip.

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31 Responses to Transgender child throws scouts into tail spin, ruins everyting

  1. meanmike says:

    Wow, the comments thread on that article is full of ignorance. My personal favorite starts, “I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a bigot, but this is the GIRL scouts.” I agree, I don’t know how you could say that without sounding like a bigot.

  2. Stacy says:

    The State Scout leaders are being cool about it, though. That’s happy news.

  3. Draken says:

    Oh but, it’s clearly a life style choice this 7-year old has made.
    /cynicism out

  4. crowepps says:

    I think they should encourage more girls struggling with gender identity to join, because getting rigid people with xenophobic hangups to quit Girl Scouts voluntarily so they don’t have a chance to contaminate the Scouts with their insistence on outdated gender roles is a real plus for the overall program.

  5. Paladin says:

    Letting the girlscout leader prejudices aside (i know, we shouldn’t do that), how the hell would a 7 year child be transgender? Because s/he likes pink over blue?

    This is probably a case where the parents seek publicity, messing up kids in the process.

  6. Kids can be transgender. You’d be surprised (I think it’s clear that you already are). Meanwhile, I’m used to the Girl Scouts being open and inclusive — I’m not surprised that the higher-ups are cool with a transgender Scout, but I am a little surprised by the three local leaders.

  7. @Paladin:

    Far be it for us to judge whether this is a publicity stunt or not. Maybe the child is just advanced or mature and really is transgender. I knew at 12.

  8. Almulhida says:

    What Lorraine said. Not everyone figures it out young but there’s a non-trivial amount of us that do. I knew by 12 too.

  9. JoeBuddha says:

    What I love about the Girl Scouts; the leadership is at least half-way sane. Haven’t supported the Boy Scouts since they decided my son was morally deficient for refusing to say the G-word in the pledge.

  10. julian says:

    Good luck to the little girl. I’m glad to see that despite the bigots she’s getting support.

  11. A wee quiz: Religion poisons ________. Show your work.

  12. Vicki says:

    Paladin–

    Don’t you know anyone who knew for certain, by age 7, that he was a boy, or that she was a girl? In fact, I suspect that if, at age 7, a classmate or neighbor had told you “I don’t know whether I’m a boy or a girl, that’s what would have seemed weird.

    Most of the time, people who are sure of their gender are cisgender and nobody thinks anything of their certainty: but sometimes a child who is sure she’s a girl has a body that led the doctors to say “it’s a boy!” when she was born.

  13. michaelbrew says:

    I think the surprise involved in a seven year old knowing that he or she is transgender is mostly due to the image of the “boys have a penis and girls have a vagina” kid. That is to say, we tend to think of kids knowing their own genders because they see the physical differences between them and someone of another sex. That’s most likely wrong, but on the other hand I’m sure it’s hard to say for sure if a kid’s behavior at that age means he or she is really transgender or just likes dressing up or likes non gender typical things or who knows what else. I suppose it just challenges people’s presuppositions that a kid of that age is self reflective enough to really KNOW what their gender, a fairly abstract concept, is, especially before puberty, when males and females actually start differentiating significantly and become very conscious of their genders.

  14. Besomyka says:

    Can I just say how GLAD I am that they resigned? The Girl Scouts don’t need leaders like that; those leaders just did the the entire enterprise a favor.

  15. gwen says:

    I second Besomyka’s thought.

  16. Anat says:

    Perhaps the problem is that our society expects everyone to be either male or female and conform to a whole set of behaviors that go with the ‘appropriate’ gender (and said gender must match their genitals, how else could it be?). Some kids would probably be happier with ‘a bit of both’, ‘none of the above’, ‘I’d like to try before I decide’.

  17. @Paladin:

    Yeah, please do a bit of reading on the subject of trans kids. It definitely does happen. It seems to be a bit more common for people to figure it out on the cusp of adolescence, but that’s also about the time when most kids would first even start to hear there’s such a thing as transgenderism. Then it clicks and you’re all “oooohhh… that’s what I’ve been feeling”. But some kids are ahead of the curve. And as time goes on, information becomes more readily available, transgenderism less swept under the rug, considered less “distasteful” and “icky” and “wrong”, it’s probably going to be the case that more and more kids figure it out at earlier ages and begin transition earlier in life (sparing themsleves a bunch of awefulness).

    Probably one of THE most important things a cis person should understand about us is that there is no single trans narrative. Every trans person goes through that process in different ways, and has different experiences. There is no archetypical trans “type” from which someone could vary. Someone can figure it out at 13, at 25, at 40, at 3.

  18. Also…. @Anat…

    The issue of gender roles and gender expression is largely secondary to the issue of gender identity. Feminine =/= female, and being a trans girl is about being female.

  19. Paladin says:

    What i was thinking was: at the age of 7, i think a child can not understand the concept of gender, much less identify his/hers. If a girl likes to play with toy cars and a boy with dolls, this doesn’t mean they are transgender, just means they don’t fit the toymakers stereotype. The same goes for pretty much anything children do differently by sex: a boy could not like the more “violent” sports, a girl could not like dressing up and arranging her hair and so on, but this won’t make them a transgender person, just people that don’t fit the norm for their preferred activities. I don’t understand how a child of 7 would consider him/herself transgender while having no idea of what the differences between the sexes are.

    So, i think the problem is that we are expected to treat boys and girls different and this produces idiotic things like the “math is hard” Barbie, but that isn’t solved if a child can choose on which team s/he wants to play, it would be solved by adults not using such stereotypes in the first place.

    If something i say is offensive, please excuse me, it’s from a lack of knowledge rather than intentional.

  20. Anat says:

    To nataliebaldwin:

    The issue of gender roles and gender expression is largely secondary to the issue of gender identity. Feminine =/= female, and being a trans girl is about being female.

    I understand there’s a difference between a female person who doesn’t want to be feminine (and other permutations) and a person who identifies as a member of a gender that is different from the one assigned at birth or the one most people would infer from that person’s genital constitution (if they were to become aware of it). Still, there must be people who would rather be neither, or both or some other combination that isn’t really on offer because it is so salient that people have genders.

  21. echidna says:

    Paladin,
    Not all kids are the same, whether it’s about their understanding of gender or otherwise. I know a kid who developed perfect pitch and music reading skills at age 2 – something not all adults can do, and something no one would expect a child that young to do.

    It’s outside the norm, but the child was absolutely sure of himself regarding anything musical. You wouldn’t question whether this confidence is coming from the child or the parent – clearly the parent supports the child, but you couldn’t infer anything more.

    I don’t find it that hard to believe that a kid could be confident about their own gender at this age, even it is at odds with what other people think.

    Who knows, there may be some physical reason for the child’s sense of gender that isn’t plastered all over the media, or not. I don’t know, and it’s none of my business. The point is, an inclusive society really shouldn’t give a rats arse about some of the differences that emerge in kids. They are who they are.

  22. Anat says:

    Paladin, while a 7-year-old may not know all things society connects with gender I doubt anyone who attended preschool doesn’t realize that some kids are considered ‘boys’ and some kids are considered ‘girls’ and to which group people expect hir to conform. They may occasionally misidentify a specific person’s gender, but they have a general idea.

  23. @Anat

    Yes, you’re absolutely right. There are definitely lots of people who have non-binary gender identities. I was just trying to keep the discussion from moving in the direction of misinterpreting transgenderism as being about how well one does or does not fit into stereotypical gender roles, when such socially mandated things are quite beside the point of how an individual relates to their physiological sex. That confusion leads to misunderstandings like what were just exemplified in Paladin’s post: “wait… why does playing with dolls make someone a girl?” (answer: it doesn’t. Having an internal sense of self consistent with female-ness makes someone a girl, regardless of their assigned sex or relative “femininity”). So I tend to jump pretty quick whenever I see a conversation on trans issues straying in the direction of that tenacious misunderstanding. But yeah, I don’t in the slightest bit dismiss the existence of genderqueer, androgyne and non-binary identities and experiences, and think they’re just as valid as anything else. But accepting them won’t necessarily automatically lead to accepting binary trans identities, like with Bobby Montoya. And in certain corners of the gender movement, such identities are sometimes privileged above binary trans identities… with genderqueer folk being seen as radical and forward-thinking and sexy while binary trans women are often regarded as stuffy, boring, conservative, decidedly unsexy agents of patriarchy and binary outdated roles. Which sucks, because we’re all aiming for the exact same thing: being ourselves, whatever our selves may be.

  24. Uncle Glenny says:

    I was born in the 1950s, when there was no “Heather has two Mommies”, and the first exposure I had to the concept of being gay was television coverage of the Stonewall riotsI when I was, I suppose, about 11 or 12 (and it wasn’t exactly explained to me then but I’d catch on shortly). But in retrospect there were differences in the way I played with my toys and friends, and the former were things like toy soldiers, trucks, electric trains, and the like. From back to maybe age 5, maybe less.

    In fourth grade (I would have been 10) I went to a K-12 private school and the phys ed class had to change in the locker room, sometimes crossing paths with the older boys who played on the athletic teams. (And one of them may have been – mirabile dictu! – Christopher Reeve, although I don’t specificcally remember him.) There was definitely sexual attraction forming by then.

    I have no trouble believing that orientation and identity begin developing quite early.

  25. WMDKitty says:

    I’m female. Not because I have the “right” parts, but because I have an innate feeling of being female.

    I’m assuming that a MTF transsexual has that same innate feeling of being female, regardless of the external bits. (Please do correct me if I’ve got this wrong!)

  26. Greg Laden says:

    I would like to draw everyone’s attention to this post I wrote last July which touches on a lot of issues brought up in the present discussion:

    How Do You Get Sexual Orientation and Gender in Humans?

    There are very interesting comments on the post as well.

  27. Yep, WMDKitty, that’s about right. At least from my perspective and experience. Parts, role, whatever. Not important. But the idea of what concept of self (man, woman, genderqueer, androgyne, etc.) feels right and fits and makes sense. For me it was woman. And I hated the parts I had… they freaked me out and felt wrong, disgusting and alien. So I changed the parts, and now I’m happy and feel whole and like my body is my own, rather than some alien, creepy thing I’m attached to. My affinity for skirts, dresses, make-up, poetry and My Little Pony (or basketball, science, pen & paper RPGs, comics and guns), is pretty much a non-issue. Being female makes being femme easier, but that had nothing to do with my decision to transition, my feelings about my body or my sense of self.

  28. LC says:

    Ok… we want to talk about not being prejudice/biased/over religious and all but If you believe that you were born in the wrong body you have every right to do so BUT I also have every right to believe and teach my child that we were made male and female and to raise and allow her to be in organizations that believe the same. We can respect each others rights to their beliefs but we do not have to accept them as our truths or beliefs. I would have removed my child from this troop as well. I am a Christian. I do not judge nor try to condemn as I am in no place to do so I am human. There is but one judge. But I do raise my child to know right and wrong and to love, but love does not mean to be tolerant of what you believe to be wrong. As a person with these beliefs why do I have to have my beliefs overridden by yours? ijs

  29. Draken says:

    @LC it has nothing to do with what you believe, it has to do with the kid. What if he sincerely feels like a girl who should be playing with the other girls rather than the boys? Would you force your son to play, or avoid playing with either sex when just playing in the street? If not, why do so when he joins the scouts?

    Speaking of which, why are there still segregated scout troops? Last time I checked the Victorian age had been over for about a century.

  30. @LC

    Love would mean not condemning someone’s identity as “wrong” when it does no harm whatsoever. Not inflicting harm by teaching the clearly erroneous view that sex and gender are sorted into two neat, discrete sets. Loving UNCONDITIONALLY, and continuing to offer that love, whomever your child should turn out to be… straight, gay, bi, cis, trans, boy, girl, whatever. To love them enough to not harm their ability to love themselves simply to maintain an outdated, clearly erroneous view that sex and gender are sorted into two neat, discrete sets.

  31. Anat says:

    To LC: If a child of yours were at some point to conclude that hir true gender is other than the one others describe hir as being will you be able to accept said child on hir own terms?

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