Identity Crisis

by wallabies on February 12, 2016 - 11:25pm

          Gender transition, nowadays a frequent topic due to the multiple confessions of ‘not feeling good in one's own skin', has become an issue in many countries with regard to its legalization while conforming to one's culture and beliefs. More accepted in open countries, such as America, Canada, and Australia, transsexuality is, however, a crucial matter in regions with a stricter background with tradition and religion. As of now, America is one of the most tolerant countries concerning LGBT community rights, but its southern state, Texas, is a little behind with the community's growth. With a more traditionally disciplined population, Texas' minority of queers suffer more discrimination compared to the rest of American residents despite the state's legalization of both gay marriages and transsexuality.

          This topic mainly concerns a six-year-old Texan transgender who, after adopting his new identity, has brought many controversies in his daycare. In addition to the fact that the child wants to be addressed as a boy, the school is also informed that his parents are both male. As mentioned, Texas is a state less accommodated to the LGBT culture but, for the purpose of citizens' rights, has gone through changes. Two teachers from the daycare, however, refused to address the child other than by his designated sex, and, as a result, were removed from their job position. Questions that arise from this incident ask for society's position towards a child whom, at such a young age, has made drastic decisions regarding their sexuality; should society accept gender transition when the child is still prone to lack of judgement and exterior influences or would refusing the permission for a child to undergo gender transition be equal to depriving a citizen of his or her rights?

          As this issue has led some to believe that America's openness to LGBT has brought confusion to children's sexual self-identity and should be banned for this reason, others believe that the future generation is, now thanks to the country's acceptance, more conscious and less afraid to reveal who they really are; thus, the debate continues if the society is at fault when its people, like the teachers, refuse to acknowledge a child of their perception of the self, such as being gay, lesbian or transexual. On the other hand, those who support the six-year-old's decision think that a transexual's experience at youth can educate other children about gender identity issues and explain how this can be a private matter rather than an imposed influence from gay couples. 

          Regarding the six year old's case, his parents are both of the same gender which, as a consequence, makes public believe that his gender identity issue was engendered by parental influence. However, according to research of psychologists, most children of gay couples are surrounded in a healthy environment and the family is, in general, very well adjusted. The debate resides in wether people should abide by the child's decision and give him the permission to undergo treatment for his new gender or not. Traditions also play a major role in people's perspectives because values and beliefs are shaped by them.  In Texas, there is a lack of anti-discrimination laws because all discriminations are allowed when they are based from religious beliefs. Therefore, to discriminate homosexuals would not be considered illegal because the christian religion treats gay relationships as a sin.

          In conclusion, topics such as this become controversial when two different worldviews collide against each other. With the problem of traditional culture and the culture of the modern era in conflict with one another, the state of Texas must, by all means, establish a balance between the two while taking into consideration what may have established or created such a perception. Could, for example, people tend to believe that the child is influenced because its region is immersed in media? Could the others accept gender transition due to America's values of individualism and freedom of rights and opportunities? 

 

Reference:

Peeples, Jase. "Six-Year-Old Transgender Child Sparks Controversy at Texas Daycare." Advocate. The Advocate, 8 Nov. 2015. Web. 4 Feb. 2016.

Lang, Nico. "5 Worst States for LGBT People." Rollingstone. Rollingstone, 24 Nov. 2014. Web. 4 Feb. 2016.

O'hara, Mary Emily. "These are the worst states in the U.S for transgender rights." TheDailyDot. TheDailyDot, 2 Jun. 2015. Web. 4 Feb. 2016.

 

Comments

Hi, your article explains nicely how our society is still in an ongoing war to fight for LGBT rights by illustrating the clash between traditional and modern values. By looking deeper, it can be seen that the link between sex and gender is at the root of this issue. At birth, people are assigned a sex based on their genitalia: male or female. As they grow up in our society, they have a certain gender associated with their sex which defines the way they should act; boys are expected to be strong and brave while girls are expected to be pretty and fragile. In this case, gender is a social construct created by our patriarchal society to neatly categorize the expected differences in behaviour in both sexes. However, in the case of a trans person, he or she may have a different gender identity and thus may identity as the opposite gender or somewhere in between both genders. Usually, these trans people end up having to deal with a lot of discrimination. This is because we have not been brought up to recognize these special situations in our society. So, whenever a person is confronted with an unknown situation, he or she tends to become hostile as a defense mechanism. In the end, gender is a very vast concept that governs a lot of our interactions. If you’re interested, you can read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender.

In response to your question "Should society accept gender transition when the child is still prone to lack of judgement and exterior influences or would refusing the permission for a child to undergo gender transition be equal to depriving a citizen of his or her rights?", obviously, the child should not be allowed to have a gender-switch operation because the young body will simply not be able to handle it. However, the child should be allowed the right to be treated the way he wants, whether it is by treating him like a boy or by calling him his "boy name". At the age of six years old, there's no big difference physiologically between girls and boys; the only prominent difference is the stereotype we associate to each of them by putting a label on irrelevant things such as toys or even colors. "Girls should wear pink" and "Boys play with cars" are both common beliefs of society, but they are not necessarily true. Society puts labels on things that shouldn't be labeled, and thus, restricts a child from being happy and doing the things that he wants. Let a child be a child.

Hey good article right here! I totally agree that certain country in the Occidental society undergoes issues such as gender transition. However I do believe that focusing on this and having so much Media’s attention on the subject is ironic when at other places in the World there are major issues such as conflicts and poverty. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the stakes involved, but I believe that people should just get along with how they are born. It is not a coincidence if that issue is only in the Occidental society. It is because people are too busy focusing on ‘minor’ problems whereas in other places people fight disasters.