Firstly, I am absolutely repulsed by the abuse (verbal and physical) transfolk and children receive. Without exception. Kindness and empathy must always take place over opinions and political/religious beliefs, especially regarding those who need love and support through development.

However, you asked a question so I’d like to try and answer it. I believe the fear is that we have such strong, bizarre gendered roles within ‘children culture' that we worry that simply enjoying wearing a dress or playing pretend as a girl/boy might be interpreted as the need to identify as the other gender.

I for example, wanted to cut off my breasts at 9 or 10 and I wanted badly to remove any ‘girly' things from my identity- I refused to wear a bra even at 13, I was horrified by the idea of waxing or plucking my eyebrows and I cried over my body becoming sexually female. I was outspoken, political, opinionated, interested in space and history. Not girly things (although I loved dolls and historical costumes). Was I actually a boy?

No. I know now that being girly isn’t weak, I don’t need to hate the ‘sexual' features of my body, and that liking girl stuff or getting sexual attention doesn’t make me stupid, less human or a babymaker. I had deep, deep ingrained misogyny from years of ‘girls are stupid/weak/crybabies/housewives’.

I associated femininity with weakness, vulnerability, constant sexualisation. I refused to be weak.

I’m from a normal middle class family, normal upbringing, privileged schooling. I still held these views just through exposure to pink/blue culture. Gender was something I had to change in myself to simply be smart, safe from abuse and respected.

I worry (I hope you can see why) that other girls like me might also go through this and interpret it as the need to be male. I didn’t need to be male. I needed to learn women were strong, powerful, human, different, able to like science and hate waxing…not a hated stereotype of prissy pinkdom.

I’m not in the closet about my identity. I love my figure, my gender, my body, my sexuality, my science degree.

But I do worry about cultural misogyny where being a girl is so widely seen as weak, or a boy who wears a dress must need to be differently assigned.

(That being said, with the correct psychological analysis and support, I totally support the acceptance of transgender minors).

Written by

24 year old with an awful lot to say about everything. Opinions entirely my own. Usually. madelaine@madelainehanson.co.uk

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