Pride isn't just for grownups

Just in time for World Pride, Health Nexus staff have been passing around a few pieces on gender independent children and thought we'd share more widely.

Of course, Health Nexus is interested in many aspects of child development, and gender-independent children are no exception.

Our discussion started with this video of a small girl delivering an impassioned rant about the gender apartheid of toy stores: "Some girls like princesses. Some girls like supeheroes. Some boys like princesses. Some boys like superheroes."

Several other good videos entered the conversation:

From there someone shared this moving video about parenting a 6-year-old transgender boy: “We signed up as parents with no strings attached… This is our family. And this is our AMAZING son.”

This reminded me of a longer piece from 2012 -- S/He: Parents of transgender children are faced with a difficult decision, and it’s one they have to make sooner than they ever imagined. -- and a short, sensible-looking piece from the Atlantic, Professional Help: 5 Tips for Those Raising Transgender Children.

I've noted a distinct rise in sensitive coverage of transgender / gender-independent children in the past couple of years along with the removal of key legal barriers, which is great to see. Alberta has recently removed a requirement for transgender persons to have sex-reassignment surgery prior to issuing a new birth certificate, issuing such a new certificate to a transgender 12-year-old boy (Ontario removed this requirement in 2012), and Vancouver's school board has adopted gender-free pronouns for those few students who don't feel either "he" or "she" fully applies to them.

I'm also reminded of the 1997 movie Ma Vie en Rose (in French) about the tribulations of a young transgender girl and her family. Would that family have such a difficult experience now, nearly 20 years later? I certainly hope not.

And a slight tangent, but those who are academically inclined and have access to Wiley journals may enjoy this article:

Queering Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services: The Subversion of Heteronormativity in Practice

“This article explores the exercise of heterosexist-infused power relations within a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) inpatient unit in the UK. The ways in which heterosexism may wield its power within CAMHS in conjunction with the support of sexism, adultism, classism and sanism are discussed. That is, this article contributes to the understanding and subverting of heteronormativity in practice. With this focus in mind, other forms of intersecting oppressions are detailed to highlight the role they play in both controlling young people and teaching them about the workings of patriarchy and social norms. The aim of the article is to contribute to the disruption of the heteronormativity inherent in the arrangements within CAMHS and the dominant normative practice that produces multiple subjectivities in this setting.”

Happy Pride to all ages!