Over the past few weeks I have read a lot of articles about Caitlyn Jenner.
I have also read a lot of the comments including the people who choose to still call her by her given name, Bruce.
As parents, we want nothing more for our child(ren) than to grow up and be successful members of society. We teach them right from wrong, good from bad, and how to think before making impulsive decisions.
We also teach them to be the best person they can be.
I choose to parent my daughter by telling her to be authentic. I feel as an adult, nothing feels more pure than being myself. I am a very black and white thinker. I live my life in the “what you see is what you get” conundrum. By living this way, when I approach a new job, references are easy for me.
When asked why I left a position, I tell the truth—even if part of the truth is that I made poor choices while in the position.
My child is gender fluid. I cannot call her transgender because at this time in her life, there are days she is Lily and days he is Jack. She does wear girl clothes, has pierced ears, loves to sing, loves video games, and is one of the funniest people I know.
She didn’t ask to be born this way and to deal with the adversity of society. She doesn’t understand when adults place judgment on her. I have witnessed first hand how her peers treat her: they ask her gender and she states that she was born a boy, but is a girl. Kids, say okay and walk away, or they say “lets play.”
There is never a child that says something insulting or mean.
There are at times that a child may be okay with it at first, but later changes their mind, and I wonder where the sudden dislike comes from. Children aren’t born hating and judging others—this is something we teach them. Just as we teach them to walk, talk, use a fork, check for cars before cross the street—we teach them to hate.
We impose our own values into our children.
Why is gender such a big concern for this world?
I’ve heard, people were meant to pro-create. What about the families that cannot have children? Or the families that choose not to have children? How can society push their views onto my child?
Why is thinking outside the box so difficult to do?
I’ve met people of all faiths. Some don’t have a single issue with the way we raise our child. Some tell me they disagree but leave it at that. Some like to tell me to put my child into football so she can be less of a pansy.
Would they say that about their own daughter?
I want my child to grow up in a world where figuring out what bathroom to use isn’t a concern. Do people really think the picture of the dress will keep a rapist or child molester out of a bathroom?
I want her to not have to worry about which locker room to change her clothes in, something we had to deal with recently (she is seven years old). I want her to know that she is to always be the best version of herself, to always love herself as she was created. I want her to remain funny and pretend to be British, Scottish, or Texan. I want her to always be authentic.
I never want her to be ashamed of her body.
So, the next time someone is looking at Caitlyn Jenner and dismissing her bravery or comparing her to another person whom in their eyes is a hero, I hope that they think. She didn’t come out to compare herself against war veterans, cancer survivors, or anyone else that has had a challenge to face. She came out for herself—to feel what it’s like to be authentic, to be her inner self on the outside.
Imagine waiting until you were her age to do that?
Why is it when we discuss Bruce Jenner we discuss Olympic history, but when we discuss Caitlyn Jenner, we discuss her beauty, breast size, and appearance?
We live in a society where we sexualize women and masculinize men.
Lily is the bravest person in my life. She gets up every day and puts on her little skirts, her favorite My Little Pony shirt, pink sneakers and a beautiful hair clip in her hair. She bounces out the door without a care in the world. She has a safe place to live as herself. She can be true to how she feels on the inside and show the world on the outside who she is.
Those who ask her “when did you know you were a girl?” I ask you, when did you know your gender? When did you know you were heterosexual? You were born that way, I take it.
We need to stop sexualizing everything. It’s conflicting to me that we live in a society where sex surrounds us. It’s often that sex is what sells. My child still thinks boys are icky and have cooties. Her gender has nothing to do with her sexual interest.
Think before you judge. Think about the innocence of a child and how their mind works. Think how your words, your looks, your negative thoughts affect them. Avoid saying something under your breath.
Sometimes, just the look you can give speaks volumes.
My child will loudly ask me, “What’s their problem?”
The next time you see a child that may be gender fluid, just say hello. After all, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Didn’t your mother teach you that?
Photo: Author’s Own