I live with a couple of absolutely amazing kids. DangerLad is 5 and AdventureLass (their parents’ picked the nicknames) is 3; I’ve known them since they were born and they’re tons of fun and I’ve lived with them for almost two years now. DangerLad, at least, knows that I’m not a “regular” boy, or he did at one point but sometimes he wants it explained again. It comes up really infrequently with him and is definitely not a part of our day to day conversations. AdventureLass, frankly, is a three year old. She just knows me as Andy and that’s enough for her.
Last night I took the kids out to dinner. It was just a chain restaurant but they’re young enough that it’s still a big treat. AdventureLass was sitting on my lap and asked what the button on the collar of my shirt said. I took it off and pointed to the words as I read them. “Trans Rights Now.” DangerLad piped up with, “what’s that mean?”
It’s Transgender Awareness Week which ends in the Transgender Day of Remembrance so I wore my button from the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition to class. AdventureLass, being three, is interested in anything shiny. But DangerLad, at the ripe old age of 5, wanted to know what the shiny thing meant.
This is where I feel like people get hung up on explaining stuff to kids. They’re afraid that they’ll scar the kid, or that the kid isn’t ready to have their questions answered. This is how I’ve chosen to explain being trans and the fight for equitable rights to the kids; I know that they won’t understand every word but hearing a message of inclusion is important. Their parents have never specifically asked how I’ve explained my identity to them but their kids seem no worse for the wear and they trust me to answer the other questions the kids ask… so why not these?
When people are born their parents or their doctors either call them a boy or a girl and usually those little baby boys grow up to be big boys and then men and usually those little girls grow up to be big girls and then women like your mommy and daddy.
Sometimes, however, those baby boys don’t want to grow up to be big boys or men; they feel like they aren’t really a boy. Maybe they feel like a girl, and maybe they don’t feel like a boy or a girl, so they might dress differently or cut their hair differently than people think a boy should. And sometimes those baby girls don’t want to grow up to be big girls or women so they might dress more like boys and maybe cut their hair. That’s called being transgender, or trans.
Some people are mean to trans people because they think they look different or sound different but that’s not nice. In church we learn that EVERY person is important and that we should be kind in everything that we do and that we should treat everybody fairly. That is what a “right” is – treating everybody fairly and being kind to everybody and not just the people who are just like you. So “Trans Rights Now” means that transgender people, or trans people, deserve to be treated fairly like everybody else.
This isn’t, of course, verbatim what I said. I checked in with DangerLad a couple times to make sure he understood, and he asked a few questions that led to short tangents. It was more of a conversation than a lecture. But… yeah. That’s how I explained being transgender to a 5 year old. He’d heard most of it before, in various ways, but it never hurts to repeat it. It also never hurts to answer questions. And as he gets older I’m sure he’ll have more questions that either I, or his parents, will answer.
So yes, folks, this IS the gay agenda. We corrupt children over cheap faux-Mexican food. Be afraid.