Transitioning In Kindergarten

A school in California was in the news this week for teaching kindergarten children gender identity ideology in support of a pupil who was ‘transitioning,’ leading to complaints from parents of distressed children who understandably became frightened that they might change sex too.

The latest episode in this story involved a little girl who called the transgender-identified child by his boy’s name when she saw him in the playground and was subsequently taken to the principal’s office for a grilling which lasted ‘about an hour.’ This is an extraordinarily long time for a little girl of this age to be interrogated, way beyond any normal response to even serious misbehaviour.

When anyone changes their name it takes time for people to remember the new name and stop calling them the old, familiar one. Making a mistake by calling someone their previous name is not a crime, it it usual – more so obviously in the case of a little child. But when the child mis-named is ‘transgender’ it becomes a political matter and the school must be seen to be taking it seriously, no matter how traumatising the impact on a little girl who has made an innocent mistake.

Parents had already been informed that students have the “right to the use of his or her preferred pronoun at school and in class” through a PowerPoint presentation by the school board’s legal counsel. The book ‘I Am Jazz’ was read out to the children, to teach them the concept of “a girl’s brain in a boy’s body,” proved in this case by Jazz’s love of “pink and dressing up as a mermaid.”  It is inconceivable that schools would teach children that a child has a ‘Black brain’ evidenced by their ‘love of baseball and soul music’, but the introduction of sexist gender essentialism into the curriculum is not questioned when it is demanded by the parents of a ‘trans’ child. Parents in these cases typically become trans activist campaigners on behalf of their child and ‘trans kids’ themselves are encouraged to know and assert their rights; an intrinsic part of the trans identity is to take the role of pioneering crusader for the whole community.

The ‘transgender child’ therefore gains special privileges over other children: the right to affirmation by others that their self-identity is a material reality, the right to impose their belief on others and dictate their language, the right to force others to disown knowledge of biological reality and support a new definition of ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ as subjective feeling states. The ‘transgender child’ is given special status and extraordinary power over the other children.

It is hard to know what the impact will be on such young children of being told that a boy is now a girl. Four year-olds are still at the ‘magical thinking’ stage of development and children at this age are rigorously policing gender stereotypes of behaviour and appearance amongst themselves, fueled by toy and clothing industries which enforce a rigid gender divide from birth onwards. Individual children will react differently, but all will respond from a state of childhood unconsciousness: in other words without full self-awareness of their reactions or the reasons for them.

According to reports, the little boy ‘unveiled’ his new identity by entering the room in a change of clothes and with a new name. If this is all it takes to be a ‘girl’ how are little girls to understand themselves now? Will they dare to wear trousers again, or will they insist on dresses to reassure themselves that they are still girls; will wearing trousers make a girl less of a girl than the boy who wears dresses? Will it even change her into a boy? This is serious conjecture: after all, trusted adults are giving all little girls the message that they are nothing more than a costume change for boys.

Ultimately a 4 year-old boy has been given the right to define what a girl is. If biological sex is no longer the distinction between boys and girls, then it must be some other essential definable quality: what is it? Will the girls start to look to this boy to learn what a ‘real girl’ is, now that their female biology has been deemed not only ‘not enough’ but totally irrelevant in determining whether they are girls? The girls’ understanding of themselves as girls has been shattered, they must now look for clues to find out what characteristics they need to be a ‘proper girl’ and the obvious go-to expert is a boy. A boy who has become the most special ‘girl’ in the class.

Will the boys meanwhile feel relieved that this boy has been pronounced a ‘girl’ as that doesn’t threaten their sense of masculinity or invalidate all the messages they’ve received since birth about what it means to be a boy? Will they increase their ‘macho’ posturing and feel even more afraid to admit to any ‘girly’ interests?

Children generally believe what adults tell them (although one mother in this story proudly interprets her son’s natural naive trust as proof that he has “no prejudice in his body”) But other children will sense that something is wrong, they know when adults are lying. They might not understand where their confusion and discomfort is coming from so they may construct stories to explain it, possibly blaming themselves.

Other children, no doubt cheered on by proud parents, will become mini trans activists, policing the language of their classmates through the unconscious absorption of the idea that naming reality is bigotry.

The little boy himself, affirmed every day as a girl, is on a path which will lead to fear of the ‘wrong’ puberty, solvable only by the administration of puberty blockers, almost inevitably followed by cross-sex hormone treatments to fix his 4 year-old identity in place for life. He will be denied the experience of growing up and developing sexually in his own unaltered body, along with the chance to grow naturally into the effeminate gay man he was overwhelmingly likely to become if left alone.

The fact that ‘gender identity’ can be taught in kindergarten because it is not part of ‘sex education’ leads in reality to the situation where children are taught about sex-change before they are taught about sex. To say that a boy is really a girl has nothing to do with ‘diversity’ or ‘gender expression,’ there is no adult in this story who is allowing a boy to be ‘gender expansive’ and making sure he doesn’t get bullied for it.

Contrast this story with another this week from a school in Brooklyn, New York, where a five year-old boy called Leo who loves pink and Barbies and likes to wear dresses, without claiming to be a ‘girl,’ was met not with support, but hostility and suspicion. The parents of this little boy did not get their suggested books read out to children in class. The principal, Eve Litwack, reportedly said that “it would be easier” if Leo were transgender, unwittingly revealing what has to be a reason behind the overwhelming support for the transitioning of children: the discomfort of adults when a child breaks out of his or her ‘gender’ box.

We have to ask why there is no human rights crusade behind little boys who are truly challenging gender stereotypes, while we move heaven and earth to accommodate those who ‘identify’ as girls, even to the extent that we will teach children a lie.

We can expect to see more and more of these cases in schools of children being cautioned on suspicion of recognising biological reality. What we can’t predict is the psychological impact on children of being taught that being a boy or a girl is all in your head. Will children lose trust in their own perceptions of reality altogether? We have no idea because we’ve never done this to children before.

8 Comments

  • Kellogmom Reply

    Again my daughter at 5 wanted to be dead. Would the ‘well meaning’ professionals support that self determination for her to have died because that was what she wanted.

    • SkepticalMom Reply

      Isn’t it a crazy world when doctors allow children to diagnose themselves and call the shots regarding their medical treatment? Why even send kids who claim to be transgender to the doctor or a therapist? Why not instead go ahead and make puberty blockers and hormones available over the counter? That’s not too far off from what is happening.

      I was reading some of your comments on other posts here and wanted to tell you how sorry I am about what you and your child are going through. I also wanted to let you know a support forum for parents has been created. It is new and not too big yet, but it is growing every day. Please join and contribute if you like. You will find lots of like-minded parents. https://gendercriticalresources.com/Support/index.php

  • Gordon Reply

    As with most of these articles, this is very depressing Clearly telling a 4 year old boy that he might become a girl is psychological abuse. Does anyone know an advocacy group in the US that deals with these issues? The only way to stop it is to push back legally. This is no longer about a subset of the population, but about permitting child abuse.

    • Kellogmom Reply

      I’m in total agreement with you on this. It’s one thing to be a mature adult making (hopefully) an informed decision but to insist that small children can make these decisions is insane and totally abusive. And please if anyone knows of advocacy groups against the transgender trend in our young peoples lives in Canada please post a link or two. I’m beginning to feel alone with my thinking about this.

      • Gordon Reply

        I feel like I am in an alternate universe. Having worked in city government for a long time, I have seen this coming. The abuse, limitation on open discussion, undermining of parental authority, and recognition of legally protective (but unenforced) conflicting values seems to be of no interest to anybody.

  • Shelly S. Reply

    We, as parents, have seem to become afraid to guide our children anymore. Phases are just that; not every one has to be life changing. What happened to riding the wave? The wait and see approach seems to be the most logical and loving.

  • Braden Reply

    To say the the sentence ending in ‘cross sex hormone treatments to fix his 4 year old identity in place for life’ is a bit of a reach would be an understatement. 1) Puberty blockers are administered AFTER puberty starts, which in my case (as a transgender kid myself) was 12 years. When we talk about blockers, we are usually talking about around the age of eleven, sometimes a year or so younger or older. 2) Taking oestrogen induces female puberty. Taking testosterone induces male puberty. For this reason, there is absolutely zero possibility that the medical community is on a trajectory towards administering these sex hormones to transgender 4 year olds. Even if we ignore ethical controversy, going through puberty is not necessary for a child in the 13 and under range to appear entirely as their preferred gender. All a young natal male needs to do to seem female is grow out their hair, and all a young natal female needs to do to appear male is to cut their hair, and wear stereotypical masculine clothing. When they reach the age of puberty, if they want to take puberty blockers, they can do so, and it will cause a total of zero change to their bodies, while delaying the aspects of puberty that are sex specific. In no way is our desire to do this assumed by doctors. I wish that the kind of people who write articles like this didn’t assume so much or stretch the information they have to make it say something different. An example of what I am referring to is the claim that, because their identities are affirmed, transgender children must be being awarded privileges over other children, when in fact all that is being requested is that transgender children be treated the same as other children of their preferred gender, and that all children, be they cisgender or transgender, be treated equally.

  • atranswidow Reply

    It’s not just pre-school children that have issues and uncertainties around the concept of someone “transitioning”. When my then husband “came-out” to my children my 15 year olds first question was if it was something that would happen to him? There is no easy way of dealing with this, and as a family we probably handled it very badly. If this child is going to be allowed to have time and space to deal with his gender identity issues, then the other children need time and space just as equally to process this information and make sense of it, not by hour long lectures and slaps on the wrist for mis-naming. In my view time is what is needed, for all the children concerned.

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