Hi Lindz, thanks for reading and responding. I totally appreciate you trying to be respectful and understanding. Couple of things:
- We never told our youngest that they were playing with “girly” toys. We just had “toys,” and everyone was allowed to play; everyone was allowed to just like what they liked. Our oldest boy liked nerf guns, army camouflage, matchbox cars, and action figures. Our middle daughter like dolls and barbies, but honestly, she didn’t like the “super girly” type stuff — she kinda preferred arts & crafts and playing “guns” with her big brother and all his stuff. Our youngest wouldn’t go near the “boy” stuff. Like, had no interest whatsoever. Forever and ever. It was no big deal. We definitely were consciously aware of *not* gender-segregating things in our house. Here’s the problem: the minute kids step outside the safety bubble of home, they are exposed to a world of folks who don’t get this concept — that not everyone chooses to desegregate sex — “genders.” I work in a public school, and I can promise that kids come to school as early as pre-K, already invested in society’s “accepted” gender roles, and they think nothing of policing other peers’ preferences. The teasing and “shame” messages only grow from there, and they permeate every area of trans and non-binary kids’ lives. I wrote more about that here: 5 Things I’ve Learned As The Parent Of A Trans Kid. Also, our entire society is sex-segregated. If you’re cisgender, you don’t think anything of it, you probably don’t even notice. Everything from McDonald’s Happy Meal toys to restrooms to clothing sections to toy aisles and on and on… It’s great in theory — that American society would be Eutopian and no one would give a damn what genitals other people have (because honestly, that’s what we’re saying when we want to know “are you a boy or a girl?” We’re really saying “what genitals do you have” — which is nobody’s business.) But American society as a whole is nowhere near that point. People care way too much about trans people, and this is evidenced in widespread, rampant transphobia, and you see it even in gov’t when states make bills into laws known as “bathroom bills.”
- Being trans goes WAY beyond toy and clothing preferences. If that’s all that it were, then we wouldn’t have any trans people. The clothing is often important, because it’s part of a person’s gender expression. The big difference is that a trans or non-binary person has a deep, innate sense of being in the wrong body. Most if not all of the time. This is called gender dysphoria. And gender dysphoria can manifest & present differently from person to person. That’s why it’s important to pay attention.
If you’re genuinely interested in learning more, here’s a piece I wrote that’s a better starting point: “CISGENDER?! Is That A Disease?!”