The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

EDITORIAL: Transgendered child not given fair treatment from law

Imagine you have a 2-year-old son who is different from other boys his age. Your son wants to dress up as a girl and plays with toys traditionally associated with girls.

Your son insists he is a girl, and acts out violently when told otherwise. You, as a concerned parent, take your child to the hospital, wondering what, if anything, is wrong. The doctors tell you that your son has a gender identity disphoria and would prefer to be called Aurora, not Zach.

This happened to a family in Ohio, the Lipscomes. They decided to accept their child’s differences and raise their child as a girl, since that is what Aurora wanted. They even enrolled their now 6-year-old in first grade under her new name. Unfortunately, child services saw the Lipscomes support of their child as child abuse, stating that the Lipscomes “did not appear to be able to recognize that some of the child’s behavior may be attributed to the home environment.”

So, because some loving parents decided to embrace their child for who she is, they are now considered bad parents, and their child lives with a foster family who does not allow Aurora to wear dresses or jewelry.

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Many transgendered adults start out with differences they can recognize as a child, like Aurora. However, not as many parents are able to give the support to their children who are different – instead they are afraid.

People are afraid of differences, especially sexuality differences. And when someone as young as Aurora has these differences, people and parents run scared, or try to force their child into being something he or she is not.

Parents of children who are transgendered even have been known to put their kids through medical treatments, including hormone therapy, to force a change. They often hide this from the child, trying in vain to protect their child from the truth.

But is the truth – that your child may be different – worse than subjecting them to even more confusion at an early age? Is forcing your child to conform to societal norms for gender, through certain toys, movies, television and books that support distinct gender roles, somehow better than letting your child be who he or she wants to be?

Society is fine with bombarding small children with ideas about little girls and dolls versus little boys and trucks. Some hospitals even still dress newborns in blue for boys and pink for girls. Girls are told to nurture and boys are shown cartoons with fighting action figures.

So if a girl or boy fails to conform to this bombardment of gender roles, they must be feared and forced back into the arbitrary standards of society?

I know many people who have had to struggle with issues of sexuality, whether they are transgendered, gay or straight. But I know few parents who actually are able to stand behind their child, as the Lipscomes did, and say that it is OK to be different, or to feel confused – it is OK to ignore what society is telling you to do, to be the person you want to be.

Aurora, and every child, deserves to have parents who support, love and accept her for who she is instead of trying to force her to be something she isn’t.

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EDITORIAL: Transgendered child not given fair treatment from law