Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fixing the Transgendered Child

Now, here's a sad story.

These parents have a three year old boy keeps telling them he wants to be a girl. He'll only play with girl toys. He puts towels on his head, pretending they're long hair. He plays with girls, not boys. Barbies are his favorite toys. Finally, when he's six, they take him to a shrink, who decides to make him a boy. First step? Take away all those girl toys. Kid won't play with boy toys, though. Won't play with anything. Just spends hours drawing:


"His drawings, however, also proved problematic. Bradley would populate his pictures with the toys and interests he no longer had access to — princesses with long flowing hair, fairies in elaborate dresses, rainbows of pink and purple and pale yellow. So, under Zucker's direction, Carol and her husband sought to change this as well.

"We would ask him, 'Can you draw a boy for us? Can you draw a boy in that picture?' ... And then he didn't really want us to see his drawings or watch him drawing because we would always say 'Can you draw a boy?'" Carol says. "And then finally after, I don't know, a month or two, he just said, 'Momma, I don't know how. ... I don't know how to draw a boy.'"

Carol says she finally sat down and showed him. From then on, Bradley drew boys as directed. Male figures with anemic caps of hair on their heads filled the pages of his sketchbook."

See the rest:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90247842

7 comments:

tonkelu said...

Can you imagine what kind of mess poor Bradley will be in his teens? Christ almighty. How, as a parent, can you not only be okay with, but force your child to be someone they so obviously aren't?

My parents knew people who had a baby boy, Jesse. Upon birth doctors were concerned because his genitalia was extremely small. Upon further testing it was discovered that externally, he was boy. Internally, she had a uterus, ovaries, etc. Surgery was performed while Jesse was still a baby to remove the penis and give him (her) a vagina. She was renamed Jessica and, as far as I know, is a normal girl. My point is that sometimes nature (or God, or the Universe- whatever) doesn't get it right.

Mouse said...

I heard this story on the radio when it premiere. I was very disturbed by it--dumbstruck.

Why would you do that to your kid? Why would you place that kind of psychological stress on a three year old?

tonkelu said...

What gets me is that the parents aren't doing this for the kid but for themselves. It's not about making the child feel comfortable, it's making Mom and Dad feel comfortable. The parents are the ones who need therapy, not the kid.

Bardiac said...

Wow, the first story was sad. The second reminded me of a family I know. And that was good.

Have you ever read the Story of X? Great story.

delagar said...

It's why the story makes me so angry, I think, Bardiac -- Bradley's family is so much like a story I know. That bit about from the parents about how they have to do this to their son or the other kids will make fun of him and not like him, that's exactly the crap these parents sprouted. The other kids will hurt him? What about what you're doing to him? What about the message your child is getting sent every minute of his life about how you feel about him? That you think what he is, the absolute core of his identity, is so horrific and wrong, that you can't bear to face what he is?

zelda1 said...

Okay, this really saddens me on many levels. My three-year-old grandson loves dolls, and tea sets, and frilly dresses and he also loves trucks and boats and swords and guns and if anyone tries to tell him he shouldn't like playing with his dolls or other "girly" toys, I think I'd have to really put a fuss. Children need to play with whatever they want and no one should interrupt them. Hell, my daughter used a towel for a cape and played wonder woman and, on occasion, my son used a towel for long hair. WTF. As far as the excuse to protect the child from being bullied, hmmm, if your child is on a playground and he is being bullied, you need to step up. Trying to mold a child to act a certain way isn't going to stop the bullies; that's a job for the adults around the children.

Sugared Harpy said...

What Tonkelu and others have said, yes, agreed.

I just want to scoop this boy up and pop in him a dress and read him fairy princess stories. All kids deserve to feel comfortable and happy.