How to Talk to Kids about Transgender People with Carolyn Hays
Imagine getting a knock on your door from someone who could derail your whole life and take away your child. That knock came for my next guest—not because she was abusing or neglecting her child, actually, quite the opposite- it was because she was listening and responding to her child in the most loving way possible. She was allowing her child to live life as the gender she felt she was—a girl. The topic of transgender youth has been contentious, to say the least. From the outside, when the person looking in is cis gender—meaning you were say, born and labeled a girl at birth and, you feel like a girl, it can be hard to imagine that some people don’t feel that alignment. The only way that I feel like we can really explain that is to switch it– for you to imagine that other people are referring to you, if you are a girl or a woman, as a boy or a man—with pronouns that reflect that, names that reflect that and you keep saying, but that’s not who I am! Some kids know from a very young age that they are not the gender they were assigned at birth. And it’s important to listen to this—because transgender people can have a very high suicide rate- a very high rate of being bullied, attacked, even murdered. Trans women, because they must contend with a profound amount of discrimination, also are at high risk of alcoholism, poverty, homelessness and lack of good healthcare. The solution is not fixing the transgender person but rather, acceptance. Let’s talk about it with my next guest who has personal experience with her own transgender child.