Friday, October 21, 2016

The Gender Creative Child

The Gender Creative Child

When I was a child thoughts on gender identity hadn't changed
much since Genesis. You were male or female from the moment of birth
to your burial. (When a child arrived with ambiguous genitals a
surgeon was called in right off to correct the situation and prepare
the infant to fit into the one of two acceptable boxes). When
children felt they were born into wrong gendered bodies or dressed or
behaved in other gendered ways that was necessary-to-correct
pathology. Thank goodness many of us have come a long way since
then. Diane Ehrensaft's The Gender Creative Child gives great advice
for parenting beyond binary children in a world where too many people
have not gotten the memo.
Ehrensaft, who is a college professor and clinical psychologist,
has ushered many gender creative children and their families through
their journeys of discovery. She discusses many issues of concern to
parents wanting to know who their seemingly nonbinary offspring are
*the range of non CIS gender kids including many who are not
transgender either;
*factors that may enter into their gender questioning and identifying;
*ways of telling if a child's nonconformity is a passing stage or
insistent and persistent;
*three paradigms treatment has been undertaken under,
and *the range of medical treatments from hormone blockers to surgery.
Ehrensaft's voice is conversational, respectful, and
comprehensible--even when she deals with the intricacies of hormones
and surgery. I would highly recommend her book for parents, teachers,
and others who love gender questioning youngsters. I believe The
Gender Creative Child is a must acquire for public and high school and
college libraries.
On a personal note, I never except in infancy made a good CIS female.
While Barbie dolls given to me by a babysitter, concerned that I was
in danger of never catching a guy, gathered dust I bounced between
performing at recitals in frilly dresses and emulating Huck Finn in my
spare time. Puberty made no difference. Make up and hair styling
seemed a waste of time. I much preferred outdoor recreation to
shopping. When I won my first drag show people said I did a good job
moving like a man. That was how I stood and moved in regular life.
Still I never fit transgender either. I loved being pregnant and
being a mother. When I learned about gender fluidity, in my sixties,
I finally felt like the happy ending ugly duckling. I love the even
more precise term I discovered in this book, gender ambidextrous.
That is me for sure!
A great big shout out goes out to all the fine folks who are allies to
and advocates for gender creative children, teens, and even late
blooming adults.
jules hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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