The way things should be…the way they are

This starts with another of the boy’s bon mots (and yes, pedants: I know its “bons mots”…but only if you actually ARE French).

Anyway, since we are currently being filmed, last week we had the obligatory visit from the psych. Thankfully, an –ologist, who spat at the mention of psychiatrists. We got on.

She chatted to myself and andrea. To Tash and the cat. OK. I may be exaggerating about the cat. And she also spoke with the boy. Not 100% sure why we were being interviewed, beyond that it is part of the production company’s “duty of care” and they are trying to ensure a) that we aren’t actually barking and b) that we aren’t about to be psychologically harmed by featuring in a fly on the wall documentary.

Barking? Moi?


So the psych takes boy out into the garden. He likes this, since she is a pretty young lady and, courtesy of growing up with two teenage sisters, boy has a thing about young ladies.

Conversation ensues, with the psych eventually inquiring: “tell me about your family” and, as the boy seems fairly non-plussed, encouraging him to think aloud about anything “unusual” .

Hmmm. Boy racks his brain and suggests: “we have chickens”. True. But not quite what the psych was interested in. Anything else? “And a fish?”

Ye-es. Thinking about your mummy and daddy: you call your daddy “Jane”. Is that at all unusual.

“Oh, that. Well that’s because she’s trans!”

Out of the mouths of babes…and all that. Basically, he’s got it – at 6. I’m trans , and that’s that.

Unhappy part two

If only. I’d like to be able to stop the story there, but there is a slightly less happy coda to it.

Over the weekend, I chatted to the boy about school and related subjects. He got serious. “Sometimes”, he said,”I wish you weren’t a girl”.


Because…and here he got a bit vaguer…some of…all of…the pupils in the school make fun because of that some of the time, once upon a time, all of the time.

I didn’t press. Pressing turns the ordinary into a serious issue and although he had raised it, the sense from both myself and andrea is that he isn’t suffering too badly from this. All kids get flak for something: my daughter got bullied for, inter alia, being half Italian.

I think some of his school “friends” do tease him about my transition some of the time, particularly, as he suggests, when there aren’t any adults around.

Is there anything to be done about it? Probably not. Not unless it gets to be really bad, at which point action would need to happen.

As it is, some teasing, some bullying probably goes down but, as far as I am aware, not a lot worse than what happens to others in his year for a variety of reasons. A pity, though, they can’t all be as laid back about trans stuff as he is.



3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    stephanie said,

    actually thats wibble wobble.

  2. 2

    Jenny said,

    I so hope my son is able to take things his stride as well. I think he will do.

  3. 3

    Christina Steel said,

    My son is now 19. He’s only ever know Christina. For several reasons, not least as I’d filled the primary parenting role basically since he was newborn, the Family Court of Australia granted me half time parenting responsibility for a then 6 year old.

    As a parent I was very visible at school and other activities – this gave me the benefit that other’s were faced with identifying me as a parent, as well as ‘trans-person’, and then also ‘a nurse’. I’d arrive at school to collect Jim & hear a voice, “Jimmy, you’re mum’s here”, & the response, “That’s not my mum, that’s dad”. I hope those children, having been exposed in an ordinary, everyday environment a rebutal of the negatives & trans-stereotype, will grow into more tolerant & accepting adults. Those young adults will still say hello.

    Secondary school it was decided to send Jim to a private Adventist school. I learned later that the Principal’s sibling was intersexed, and he had learned to assess people for who they were, not what they were.

    For my son has shared with me, the only problem he encountered were people telling him that it must be a problem for him having a parent who was gender non-conforming, while dismissing his distress with a parent who was violent and a drug user. Says something about the bias of professional & community attitudes, that a loving & nurturing relationship is devalued alongside a violent & neglecting one. The gender bias – oppositional sexism.

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