Imagine feeling like you are born in the wrong body? It must be so confusing for a child growing up knowing they were born the wrong gender. It must be so difficult for them to try and explain how they are feeling, without facing rejection and humiliation.
One of the most important and difficult tasks that parents face is how to best support their children while also setting the kind of boundaries and structure that helps them grow up to become responsible and successful adults. Sure, children and teens love to test the boundaries that adults set for them. But it is important to make distinctions between instances where “kids are being kids” and when they’re asserting things about themselves that are critical to their identity and development — as is the case with gender identity and expression.
But how would a parent know if their child was transgender?
At some point, all children will engage in behavior associated with different genders – girls will play with trucks, boys will play with dolls, girls will hate wearing dresses and boys will insist on wearing them – and this does not necessarily mean that a child is transgender. That said, sometimes it does – with some children identifying as another gender than the one they were assigned by the time they are toddlers.
The general rule for determining whether a child is transgender is if the child is consistent, insistent, and persistent about their transgender identity. In other words, if your 4-year-old son wants to wear a dress or says he wants to be a girl once or twice, he probably is not transgender; but if your child who was a boy at birth repeatedly insists over the course of several months that she is a girl, then she is probably transgender.
Gender identity and expression are central to the way we see ourselves and engage in the world around us. This is certainly true of transgender and gender-expansive children and teens, for whom family support is absolutely critical.
When this little girl, Avery Jackson, knew she was transgender, she felt like she needed somewhere to go for support. Although her parents were supportive, she felt like she needed to be around kids who were feeling the same as she did.
It was then that she took matters into her own hands. She managed raised enough funds to open a Transgender House across from the Westboro Baptist Church.
On Sunday, Planting Peace painted their new Transgender House in the colours of the trans flag next to the rainbow-painted Equality House they have been running since 2013.
Planting Peace is a global nonprofit organization founded for the purpose of spreading peace in a hurting world.Their projects focus primarily on humanitarian aid and environmental initiatives, including our multi-national deworming campaign and Equality House LGBTQ rights advocacy.
The new house – which is a welcome haven for all trans people – was made possible with the help the 8-year-old trans girl.
Though the Equality House is painted in the colours of the trans flag for a week every year, Avery also wanted a special place for trans individuals, where they could go all year long to support one another and keep each other safe.
I loved the rainbow [Equality] House when it was painted like the transgender flag,” Avery said. “I felt so happy and proud to be transgender.
“I wish people weren’t afraid of transgender people. I’m not a monster. I’m not scary. I just want to be treated like every other human.”
When a developer, Martin Dunn, heard about the fundraiser, he offered Avery and Planting Peace $70,000 to build the house of their dreams.
Father of three Martin Dunn, understood how Avery must be feeling and how difficult it must be for her. He said that “if I had a kid that was transgender I would want a place that would celebrate them and accept them.“That’s just not available in this country and it should be.“The idea that it would be across from a hate group was also really appealing,” he added.
Just this month, a small number of WBC followers – who have a long history of disrupting funerals with their ‘God Hates Fags’ signs – protested the service of Orlando victim Christopher Leinonen, though they were stopped in their tracks by a group of people dressed as guardian angels.
A 12-year-old trans boy recently had a rock thrown at his head as he was bullied for his gender identity, so it’s so nice to see that these houses exist.
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