Quite a lot of people have asked me if Jack would care if our child was to be gay. The honest answer is no, he wouldn’t give a shit.
These conversations often evolve into a discussion about gender identity. It’s big news at the moment (Although most definitely not new news). Would Jack care if our child was to be transgender. (The interest is 100% on my husbands views, maybe men are perceived to be less tolerant?) Again, no he wouldn’t. I can say that hand on heart. He lives his life by the wise old mantra of, “some people are just dicks, why don’t people just see through race or sexuality and see who the dicks are and who’s alright”. Can’t argue with that really.
Recently there has been a lot of discussion around raising a child allowing them to dress and act in accordance to a certain gender, even if that’s not what their body represents. There has been discussion in the media about Angelia Jolie allowing her kid to dress as a boy, John Lewis removing gender from the children’s clothes section and celebrities not revealing the gender of their child.
Growing up I had pals who were “tom boys” running around in football kits and getting muddy, defying all gender stereotypes and not being “girly” in the slightest. But it wasn’t analysed or pulled apart, they had a great time and grew up being satisfied with their gender. On the flip side I have other friends who grew up playing the part of their gender stereotype to a T, and I’m not fully convinced that they are 100% happy with their body’s representation of their gender, even at the ripe old age of 30 something.
My point is, I don’t think that we are anywhere near getting it right for our transgender population. Why are we so obsessed with gender? We haven’t found out what we are having and it’s a massive conversation starter. But we could get a boy who loves ballet and a girl who ends up being an international footballer, they could be gay, they could be transgender. Why do we care so much? I really struggle to get my head around what makes people feel uncomfortable about people not adhering to the gender rules.
I work in the service industry so see thousands of people every week. Historically, nothing sparks a whisper like a transgender person walking into my place of work, and it makes me so angry. We need to stop.
Stop over analysing what genitals people have and whether how they dress or act match them.
Being transgender needs to be normalised and I don’t think creating a fanfair around, for example- letting your little boy wear a dress is the answer. Just let him wear a dress, with no comment or judgment, no big announcement, just allow him to enjoy wearing what he wants. Maybe he will wear a dress for a week, or the rest of his life. But if this is just normal, not questioned or judged, not pulled apart and discussed at length, surely that gives him the time and freedom to discover who he really is and the be it?
We have such a long way to go. June is a big pride month, London, LA and Sydney celebrating theirs, to name a tiny %. Still I’m not seeing enough transgender representation in the main stream.
We have come such a long way in the last 50 years, but think it’s dangerous to satisfy ourselves that we are “there”. For our child my wish is that we keep challenging social stereotypes, keep pushing forward, allowing people to be their true selves,keep opening minds and hearts until our children can live without fear of being who they want to be and grow up to be accepting of one another, and not whispering when someone who is different to them walks into the room.