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Parent power: Raising Kate

One mom's fight for her child's identity

By Connie Matthiessen

It all started at a family wedding in Colorado. Ellen James* took her 4-year-old son, Ben, to the bathroom. It was crowded, so they shared a stall. Watching his mother going to the bathroom, he began to loudly pepper her with questions about her unfamiliar anatomy. “He seemed shocked,” James recalls. “He had two brothers, and I guess he assumed everyone had a penis, the same way everyone has a nose, or an elbow.”

At the time, her son’s response made her laugh. Later, she realized it marked a turning point. Ben had never shown any interest in his older brother's toys, and he’d always been drawn to girls' clothes. To simulate long hair, he wore towels or arm chair covers on his head. When he was 3, he was a princess for Halloween.

Until the trip to Colorado, Ellen James and her husband suspected their son might be gay. But this was different. "After that, he started talking about being a girl,” she says. “He began to make it clear who he was, and who he was didn't match his anatomy."

Living in a conservative Midwest town, James and her husband didn't know anyone with gender identity issues. The family is solidly middle class: Ellen James practices family law, her husband manages a manufacturing company. All three of their children were baptized in the Catholic Church, where James attended Sunday services. The prospect of raising a child who felt like he was born into the wrong body pushed them to the edges of their understanding. “It was a whole new reality — and not something we were prepared for," James says.

Born in the wrong body

After the Colorado trip, Ben began drawing pictures of himself in boy's clothing, but then adding thought bubbles above his head to show what he felt to be his actual self: a long-haired girl in a bathing suit. He asked his family to call him Kate. And at night, he prayed for God to "make his outsides match his insides," as he put it.

Ellen James and her husband began reading everything they could find on gender identity and transgender children. One high-profile expert's research warned that allowing children to dress in the clothing of the opposite sex and to identify themselves as the opposite gender — even in play — could create a self-fulfilling prophesy. In response, James and her husband tried to keep the door open for Ben to embrace a male identity if that was what he decided: James kept Ben’s hair in a boyish buzz cut and persuaded him to paint his room teal instead of pink.

But such expert opinions conflicted with other research James read — and ultimately with her instincts as a parent. James says her child never wavered. Whenever she checked in and asked him what he liked about being a boy, the answer was always the same: "Nothing."

Ultimately, Ellen James and her husband consulted a therapist who specialized in transgender issues; they took Ben to see the therapist as well. The more they learned, says James, the more convinced they became that they should allow Ben to live as a girl named Kate, if that was what he wanted.

There’s no solid data on the number of transgender people in the world, but recent analysis of U.S. census data by UCLA's Williams Institute estimates that there are 700,000 transgender people in the U.S. (.3 percent of the U.S. population). What is known is that transgender people face more risks and more obstacles no matter where they live. Transgender young people in particular are at high risk for suicide (one-third of all transgender youth have attempted suicide, according to one estimate), drug use, HIV and STD infection, depression, and homelessness.

Recent research by San Francisco State University's Family Acceptance Project suggests that parental attitudes can change those odds. Researchers found that transgender youth who are accepted and supported by their families are less likely to engage in risky behavior and demonstrate a high degree of optimism about their futures. In contrast, transgender and gay youth who are rejected by their parents are eight times more likely to attempt suicide, six times more likely to be depressed, and three times more likely to use illegal drugs and to be at high risk for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, than youth whose families accept them.

In the end, Ellen James says she and her husband took the advice of one expert who suggested that they follow their child’s lead. "The counselor said Kate would tell us what she needed and when," James says. "As adults, that's excruciating. You want to know what to expect, what the next step will be. But it's been true: She's let us know every step of the way."

Difficult transition

In first grade, their child was Ben at school and Kate fulltime at home. The following year, Kate asked her mother when she could, "go to school as myself." Ellen James wanted to move slowly — "At that point we were still second-guessing ourselves," she says — and she suggested that third grade would be a good time to make the transition. "Katie threw herself face down on the couch," James recalls. "That seemed like forever to her."

Deciding that his mother wasn’t moving fast enough, Ben outed himself. He told close friends at school that he was a girl; he also told the school counselor.

As the school year wore on, James realized that living a double life was taking a toll on her child. At home, Kate was exuberant, spirited, and happy; at school, Ben was withdrawn, quiet, and shy.

So Ellen James met with school officials and told them Ben wanted to start third grade as a girl. She was apprehensive about how officials at the Catholic school would respond, and was pleased that their initial reaction was positive. "At first, everyone seemed to be on board," James recalls.

When word got out to the archdiocese, however, the school changed its tune. Over Easter break school officials informed Ellen James that if it was “Kate” who showed up after summer break, she would no longer be welcome at school. James said that from this point on, the principal, teachers, and other parents stopped speaking to her. After the break, her child’s social life also took a turn for the worse. Teachers no longer called on the student whose name was still Ben on the roster. On the playground, kids taunted Ben, and told him he was headed for hell. "My father says you're committing one of the Seven Deadly Sins," one kid said.

"It was tough on Kate, because these were kids she thought were her friends," Ellen James says. "It bothered her that they were fine until the adults got involved: That was when the remarks got vicious."

As a lifelong Catholic, Ellen James felt equally devastated. "I felt my whole world come crashing in," she says. "Everything I'd been raised to believe — lessons about tolerance and acceptance — seemed like a joke."

New school, new child

Now, two years later, Kate attends a public school where she's thriving, according to her mother. School administrators and teachers know Kate's situation, and they've been supportive from the start. Kate has friends and is invited to play dates and slumber parties. (Kate's close friends at school know about her identity, but many other kids at her school do not.)

"Your goal as a parent is for your child to be healthy and happy, and she is now," Ellen James says.

But James' relief is tinged with apprehension. There have been problems: Last year, for example, a friend turned on Kate when she learned that Kate had been born a boy. The girls are in different classrooms this year, and so far everything has been peaceful. Still, Ellen James knows there are rough patches ahead, particularly in middle and high school, when kids can be intolerant — especially about sexuality and gender issues.

Kate and her parents will also face a choice about whether or not to start hormone therapy. The treatment, which originated in the Netherlands and has been used in the U.S. for just a decade, initially forestalls puberty; later, around age 16, the child can take estrogen or testosterone to develop appropriate physical characteristics. (Once a transgender young person reaches adulthood, he or she can elect to have a surgical sex change.)

For now, Ellen James is too busy to worry about the future. Along with three kids and a legal practice, she's regional director for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). James gives speeches regularly to civic groups, school counselors, and other organizations, telling her family's story. "I feel like I'm educating the world around Kate," she says.

Ellen James knows many people don't agree with the choice she and her husband have made to let Ben become Kate. "People act as if a little redirection would fix it, as if she were a bratty kid in a candy store," James says. One teacher even suggested that James was indulging her child’s behavior because she really wanted a daughter.

"But this isn't a whim we came up with when we were bored one day,” Ellen James says. “This transition has been going on for years.” Ultimately, James is convinced that there wasn’t an alternative ending to her child’s identity story. "It isn't a choice,” James says. “It's who she is."

*Ellen James uses a pseudonym to protect her family's privacy.
 

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

07/9/2012:
"people are saying "god help this child" and that she will be traumatized... from the the article it seems the traumatizing part of life would be the part of life where she has to not be herself and live as boy... i dont think there is anything wron gwith it i just hope people are kind and understanding. and i hope that she accepts her body for what it is and doesnt grow up with body dismorphia and wanting surgery or anything. god BLESS this child. she clearly doesnt need saving. "
07/9/2012:
"I think Ellen and her husband are awesome parents. "
06/15/2012:
"people didnt choose who they wanted to be they didnt have a button that said i wanna be straight its not there fault if they wanna be gay or bisexuel or anything else that has to do with sexualty then let them be it "
06/6/2012:
"I am so pleased to see this story on an educational site. Recently I have become very comfortable with the emergence of more and more people telling there stories of transition being able to finally live as the person they are supposed to be I know a few children in this situation and have had parents ask me as an educator, caregiver and member of pastoral care if there is much literature out ther for children about transgender issues. I watch some shows on television, especially on LOGO or IFC but wonder about the appropriateness for younger children, It would be nice for more people to share stories about how they felt in precschool and elementary years and what some of the issues and success stories are and everything in between. "
06/6/2012:
"The BOY is 4 years old! He is not old enough to make this type of decision for himself! It would be one thing if this boy were an adult, but he's 4 YEARS OLD with parents who are being irresponsible! What a terrible tragic thing for this young boy to live through -- they are screwing this kid up for their own selfish reasons. If these parents truly raise their children in a church environment, they should seek help for their son's ailments, not condition and indoctrinate him into an unfulfilling and ultimately destructive lifestyle. God help this boy! "
05/29/2012:
"My child goes to a school that has a child who was born a boy but is all girl. We all accept her for who she is and not what body part she may have. "
05/29/2012:
"I understand the severity of your situation but the way i see it, you kind of allowed "Kate" to act as if she was a girl but whatever i have no problem with Transgender people "
05/11/2012:
"That is so amazing how their family excepts how Kate is! It is wondeful, "
04/24/2012:
"Excellent article to read to help with understanding regarding Katherine. "
04/16/2012:
"As a parent, I know I would do anything to make my children happy. Kate is lucky to have wonderful parents. I wish you all lots of happiness. "
04/16/2012:
"This is such a courageous, little child, along with this family.Little Kate, is KATE. If anyone would know, it is she!!Just as a childs gender, is not a choice,niether is a childs sexuality, a choice.Just as others know they are in the right skin,and mind-set, some, likewise know they are not!NO ONE,on Earth,can make judgements on ANYONE.We must join together, as this wonderful,family has done,and do everything to help, support, love,and protect,this precious child born unto them,regardless, of what society deems right,for we all must answer, to God, and God alone.I don't know what God these people worship, but I know, my God, is a God of love,and to chastise these ones , is displeasing to God.They will answer someday,for thier cruelty.... Stay strong, J.R. "
04/16/2012:
"There is an excellent and sensitive French film called "Tomboy" that conveys these issues from childrens' and young teens' viewpoints... "
04/16/2012:
"Taunting is found on every playground. Most Catholics I know are open minded like most folks. I wonder if the parents got a second opinoin. I do believe in transgender but not sure when a child is really developmentally ready to make such a big change. Sometimes when kids are going through transitions, parents decide to home educate their child so they can protect their child through it. I think transgender would be most difficult for the parents to accept than others- it must be an overwhelming change at times. "
04/11/2012:
"it doesn't matter what other people think. if you love your child you give them what they need. if any of my children told me they thought they had been born in the wrong body then i would work to make them feel comfortable. i don't care what it takes i would give them what they needed. i'm not catholic but i do live in a place where people are not very tolerant and if it took moving to see that my children were happy with who they are then i would do it in a heartbeat. "
04/10/2012:
"As a Christian and a future educator am I proud of this families tolerance, acceptance and love. I don't see any political agenda in this story; I do see an obvious need for education though! These hateful comments are directed toward a child and that is what is disgusting. And the school! Since when are followers of Christ supposed to turn people away? Unbelievable. "
03/28/2012:
"Thanks so much for your bravery - I have a transgender child - born a lovely girl and now an equally lovely boy. Show Kate love, love and more love and your family will flourish. "
03/8/2012:
"I am very proud of the James family for standing up for their daughter's decision. Obviously there is a reason for your precious child to feel the way she does and I think it is wonderful that you didn't try to change her. No one understands why these things happen but God almighty and He wants "all" of us to be happy! Hang in there and just keep loving your precious child! "
02/24/2012:
"Here's a scenario. Middle school boy has a crush on middle school girl. This goes on for a long time, maybe even his friends know about it. Suddenly middle school boy finds out that middle school girl isn't a girl after all. What do you think the end result will be for both. Sure, unfortunately, as things go middle school "girl" might get talked about, but what about the boy. At that age self awareness is developing. How disgusted he probably will be when he finds he has been attracted to a boy all that time. How much might he question himself. While I applaud the support of Ben's parents, our society has become non-accepting of self. These notions of "I have to change to be happy" and "I can do whatever I want" are killing people and destroying society. Changing circumstances such as jobs, where you live, who you date are fine. Changing your gender is not a circumstance or obstacle it is who you are, it is the make up of you. Putting a dress on a boy isn't going to change ! his DNA. Cutting off parts isn't going to change what he really is, it will just hide it. How deceptive is that. What she should have asked is not "What DO you like about being a boy?" but "What DON"T you like about being a boy?" and dealt with each issue over time while allowing him to play dress up at home. As a parent you are responsible for making major decisions for your children. If when he grows up and finds that he wants to be the man he should have been groomed to be he is going to blame his parents because he was never taught how to be what he was, but what he wanted to be. He should be taught how to be a man, but shown the roll of a woman, not treated as one. "
02/9/2012:
"My son's favorite color is pink and he always wants to pretend the girl role if he is making believe...he always wants to be a fairy, ballerina, Tinkerbell, or any of the most feminely feminine roles you can think of. He's also VERY boyish and wants giant trucks and cars from the toy store to play in the dirt with. We are just loving him and allowing him to embrace whatever he likes. We will suggest that the Barbie Goes to Princess Charm School movie is usually for girls, but when he persists, we all make popcorn and watch the virtual Barbie movie that was surprisingly funny and entertaining. I read a lot on line about this but a comment on this thread I loved more than anything else I have read on the matter. TERRIFIC!!! I will reiterate! Someone here wrote. <<< I think if our society was more open as to gender roles, then fewer people would feel a need to assert themselves as the other gender. If there was a freedom in our society for boys to be whatever they wanted to be then maybe Ben would not have felt he need to become Kate. He could have stayed Ben, a boy who liked long hair and beautiful things. " <3 <3 <3 this! "
02/8/2012:
"Kudos to the precious little girl for being a strong fighter. She is headed in the right direction to fulfill a life that she wants. to the parents: Never ever ever feel you've made the wrong decision. No matter what or who stands against you, pointing, criticizing, or laughing.... Stand by your child and know that your child knows, she is accepted for who she is! "
02/3/2012:
"wow, I feel bad for this little Boy Ben! God made him a him and its not the parents right to change that. Seems like from the young age of 3 letting your son dress as a girl even on Halloween was a bad idea. it almost seems like they wanted a girl? Ill pray God guides these parents back on the right path, and hopefully before they allow any permanent physical damage. Kids are just being kids and don't think anything of it when it comes to toys and such. My daughter loves playing with boy toys and has a heart for the outdoors ( things boys love), however its my job as a parent to allow it to only go so far. I would not let encourage her to shave her head or start wearing boxers. Come people take parenting more seriously please. "
02/3/2012:
"When I first read this story I felt the pain and decisions making that was required of this family. I for one am raising my child to be tolerant of others who are in difficult situations and we openly discuss anything that she feels a need to know. In the real world there are things that we naturally for ourselves would no dream of and the differences of people are so very often a source of question for us. Still I will not instill in my daughter a hatred or distain for someone who is different than she is. Kate is not a murderer nor did her parents put into her hands a gun to kill anyone. What we as parents do or don't do are what kills the tolerance of different people in our world. Would I want my daughter to date someone transgendered. I think I would leave it entirely up to her and pray that whatever I taught her would make for the right decision for her not me. Kates and her parents who have allowed her to choose what gender makes her happy has not ultimate effect ! on anyone's life that wishes to remain outside the situation. I can't understand the outrage because this child is in the school and may just be sitting next to one of your children. it truly doesn't rub off. Some people have not learned tolerance of anyone other than their own kind. So very sad. "
01/30/2012:
"I read this story with tears in my eyes, because I lived it. I was that little boy but without a family that would deal with my feelings. I grew up in a very rough area in a time when transgender was just becoming know of through Renee Richards. I could not tell people that I felt this way for fear of being beaten beyond belief. My mother knew that I was "different" but never really wanted to deal with it. I played on the high school football team, joined the military and served my country, even married but never felt right. I graduated from college and went on to become a successful attorney and got divorced because I could not be the person that was expected of me. I eventually sought counseling and went through the transition to become a woman. For all you religious people out there, I am a devout Christian, and it was that devotion that almost made me commit suicide because I did not want to feel as I did. After much prayer and a feeling of peace over my decision that came in a church in Sedona Arizona I moved forward. I have spent most of my adult life as a female and do not regret the decision. I am happily married and have two wonderful daughters via surrogate. I am a successful lawyer, respected in my community and attend church every Sunday. I hope that all of you when faced with a child that is different act as humanely and lovingly toward him or her as Ellen James did. I wish I would have had them as parents. God knows my life has not been easy and I suspect when I arive at the gates of heaven, as I know I will even if my decision was wrong because I believe Christ died to pay for my sins - all of them, I know God will gently and kindly explain to me why my life was the way it was. I wish Ellen James and Kate the best in their future and I pray that there is a little more tolerance in this world for none are perfect and there but for the grace of God go I. "
01/23/2012:
"I read the article and find some of the negative comments totally ridiculous. This family was put into situation that was avoidable. The child who has a identity disorder did not make this up about wanting to be a girl. Gender identity disorder is something that exists. If you read the article carefully, the child knew from age 4 how he felt. As for religious beliefs, this disorder affects all religious beliefs whether conservative or not. Name calling whether from children from school or adults, are completely in the dark and are completely insensitive to the person who is affected. I think the family did the right thing in supporting the child to create a positive environment as well as they could given the circumstances. I am sure that the parents have considered counselilng for the child with regard to the gender identity disorder. If people cannot accept people who are different, those people should keep their comments to themselves. People who do not accept people who are different should, go back to where they came from, the society does not need people who are not open to change. Further, I applaud the family who made the difficult decision to support their child, and the child will do well and feel comfortable with her body. Iam confident that every turn of events with regard to Kate has been a milestone. I hope Kate is very happy and continues to have a positive experiences with regard to her journey in the future. "
01/18/2012:
"It's so sad to see children used for political purposes. This is a situation that the parents created based on their own sick need for attention. The LGBT community is fundamentally political. Their assertions are not based on science; in fact, the classical theories regarding the origins of gender identity disorders have not been disproven, and biological males who identify as females (and vice versa) have a psychiatric disorder with a category in the DSM (the manual that contains diagnostic codes for the medical community). Look it up if you don't believe me. This child needs treatment to become a psychologially whole person. "
01/17/2012:
"Greatschools pushing their agenda. No cred to your site any longer. Bye bye "
01/17/2012:
"For those who "applaud" this family while at the same time calling yourselves "Christians", you need to decide what side of the fence you are on. Psalm 139:14 "...fearfully and wonderfully made..." Mark 10:6 "...God made them male and female..." . You can believe what you want, but don't say you believe one thing that is in direct violation of another. And I have to ask as many other have...what exactly does this article have to do w/ finding good schools? "
01/17/2012:
"When I read this story weeks ago, I thought, wow, what a great story. Now, seeing all the negative comments, I realize my naivete in thinking that most parents would agree that it was a positive story. To those who say this story does not deal with education, have you read a story here on GS about a student dealing with a disability? Bullying? Physical activity? All of this is part of our current educational landscape, including students who are transgendered, gay, or questioning. For anyone who opted out of the community, I won't miss your input in these discussions. "
01/17/2012:
"The child should be old enough to make such decisions, I am not offended as much as I am dismayed by some of the remarks. Child advocates are not fighting for this child as much they are fighting for thier egos and causes. Have we lost our minds? "
01/12/2012:
"First, I would like to say that I am a southern baptist - typically considered to be very conservative. I am very strong in my faith....and I applaud this family! I wish more families attended to the needs of their children as this family has. This situation was completely unknown to this family before they ran into it head first. They went into unfamiliar, uncomfortable territory for their child. This article is Very relevant to education because it illustrates what kind of needs we, as educators, may need to address. As an educator, I serve families. As a christian, I believe that the family was intentionally created by God to support each person. We are born with a need for family; and family can strengthen us to weather some great challenges. I feel that God put the family into place so that we would have the best chance of having a strong support network. The family in this article is clearly that. As a conservative christian I am appalled at the hateful resp! onses from people who object on christian principle. God calls on us to live each day without assumption as to what it will bring. He frequently takes us places we don't expect to go...if we will let Him. I am grateful that this website includes more about school culture than just buildings, books and test scores! "
01/11/2012:
"What an amazing story. "
01/11/2012:
"Yeah, I agree with many other parents on this story: 1. What does it have to do with finding good schools? 2. The Great Schools site is pushing an agenda that is harmful to families 3. The usual ellitist liberal snots are spouting off (once again) about how much more educated, understanding, and sensitive they are than the rest of us (the MAJORITY, I might add). 4. I hereby relinquish my 2 day old membership in this liberal farting club! "
01/11/2012:
"I am repulsed by the title of this article, since the BOY's life was destroyed his parents power, in this case! What a shame that these parents were so weak that they could not step up and GUIDE their child down the path GOD chose for him! What if the kid decided that he was going to be a bank robber when he grew up, and he was determined that he must kill people in doing so, and he refused to waver on it? Would the parents have had the same appeasing response! I DOUBT it! The decision to print this article from the viewpoint of the parents being BRAVE enough to let their kid ruin his life is REPULSIVE as well! What have we come to? "
01/9/2012:
""Well now!" Why is Great Schools promoting sexual deviation through a one-sided exploration of a parents' obsession with the sexual meanderings of their child. Every adult has a variety of options on how to live, but children must grow up under the scrutiny of their peers. This pursuit of prepubescent childhood exploration and validation by parents appears to border on child-abuse, no matter the self-absorbed reasoning. Every child is unique, to be sure, but by defining adult marginal stereotypes through simple childhood questioning and normal exploration, are the parents not dooming the child to a life of misery? Knowing several transgenders, I can safely say, it is not a happy life. But the beauty of our country is you are free to raise your child in any manner you choose, and often pay for the resulting therapy. "
01/9/2012:
"I fully support Ellen and her family. I have a similar situation, although my son does not seem unhappy as a boy. He remains most of the time quite gender neutral except at "showtime" when he likes to sing and dance, preferably in a dress, long hair and high heels. He doesn't like most "boy" activities. Most of his friends are girls. He seems to be happy though remaining neutral. For now. We love him and support him. And I'm so glad this family is doing the same. "
01/9/2012:
"Because "Ellen James" uses a fake name, how do we know if this mother, who allegedly is a family law attorney, even exists? How do we know this is not a made-up story created by someone promoting a homosexual political agenda? "
01/9/2012:
"I absolutely believe that we support our children as they are, provide support where needed, and love them unconditionally. I think the James' are doing exactly what we should all be doing as parents. "
01/9/2012:
"Dear Offended People: How can you be offended over what is a real situation in a school setting? This can happen anywhere to any parent and the school and anyone at the school will have to be very understanding. A few years ago I worked for an afterschool program for kindergarteners. On the first day I went to pick up the kids to walk them over to the afterschool classrooms. In one of the rooms I couldn't see the little girl I was supposed to pick up. Luckily, her mom was there the first day to help me. This wonderful little girl looked very much like a boy. Her mom told me that she liked to dress like a boy and have short hair. I worked with this family for a year and they gave the little girl every chance to be a girl, they even had one day a week where she was expected to dress in a girly fashion to just see how it was. The little girl never waivered, she was who she was. She had some of the best, most understanding, helpful parents around. She was also a very swe! et child. She drew lots of pictures of princesses too, but she always labeled them "Mommy". :) Please "offended" people, don't be so judgmental and assume so much until you have actually been in the position these parents have been in. You never know..... "
01/9/2012:
"I don't know Kate or her family, but if the child is truly happy then the parents have succeeded. I am sure Kate will encounter challenges as she grows older, just as most children do. With a supportive social network, I'm sure she will turn out great just like most who have such a network. Kate is lucky to have parents who have educated themselves, and not only that, but bother to attempt to educate others. I may not be transgendered or living an alternate lifestyle, but I think about those who do, like I think of my likes and dislikes of food. I know that tomatoes are amazing for me, but try as I might to like them, I don't. My mother loved them, my son loves them, but they make me gag. I am lucky that people do not show such intolerance toward my preference to not eat tomatoes. "
01/9/2012:
"Wow very inspirational. I can't even imagine what that family is going through/went through. It's tough raising rids with everyday issue, but gender issues. i didn't even think such thoughts were in kids mind at such a young age as Katie's. Good luck and thank you for sharing. "
01/9/2012:
"I applaud this family for it's sensitivity and bravery. I'm not surprised that the church / school didn't support their child in her struggle. Hopefully Kate will be able to live a happy and fulfilled life as she deserves. "
11/28/2011:
"Parents and schools are here to open the doors of the world for children, but not to push them in any one direction. Through all the effort, frustration and discoveries your family has encountered over the years, I fully applaud your acceptance of Kate's true self and thank you on her behalf! "
11/28/2011:
"A child that age is not old enough to have the hormones to have sexual feelings unless he was sexually abused. I think in this case, the parents just do not know what they are doing parening wise. I have 6 boys. The 2 of the older ones would mention being jealous of girls...wanting to be girls, wanting to be mommies when they grow up, and so on. The oldest is completely in to girls now...wanting to date them. The other just isn't mentioning wanting to be a girl at his age anymore. My 7 yr old is the one who says the most. Maybe he will end up gay, or whatever else, no big deal. He will not be the first family member to end up gay. Plus we have friends who are gay. But we all agree, no child can tell if they are actually gay at 6 or 7, or if wanting to be a girl is just a normal part of fantasy play. So, when my child wants to be superman, should I fight the school to allow him to wear a superman outfit and run around trying to save people? When my child wants to be a militar! y person, should I inform the school they have to let him bring a gun to school and go around shooting people as if they were the enemy? Not! Let him play that he is a girl during his play time, but still be a boy at school. Then, when he is older, revisit the whole idea of being transgender if he still feels that way. "
11/22/2011:
"I think this is a great story. Kudos to the parents and it is relevant because kids have a really hard time at school over these types of issues. There is no reason to be outraged. Kids need to find the best school fit for them and who they are. This story demonstrates that. There are a lot of negative comments here and I think the parents are doing a great job following the lead from Kate and doing what is best for their child. They should be proud. "
11/21/2011:
"I have a question. As a parent myself. I have a son. What are you going to do when Kate wants to date. Are you going to require her to let the boys know that she was born a boy. As a mother of a son I would be quite upset if my son started dating a girl who was actually a boy. It may be okay for you to allow your child to live this way, I am not going to judge you. But if my son chooses to be a heterosexual young man and finds out later that the girl that he likes is actually a boy, then your "problem" has become my problem, and thats not something that we asked for. What are your plans for that. "
11/21/2011:
"How in the world does this have to do with education? It seems like you are trying to push a certain agenda than have an informative article concerning education. Whom ever approved this article to be on this website should be fired. I am completely dissappointed. "
11/21/2011:
"Wow! I am in agreement, with many of the other parents!!! I am OUTRAGED, I have no clue of what this has to do with what your site originally was solicited for, to help find GOOD schools, but I will no longer be continuing my membership with this site! God Bless our children, shaking my head - BIG TIME!!! "
11/21/2011:
"What does this have to do with this website? I am offended highly. I have come here often to look up schools for my children. We are military and this site has been an asset but it won't be of use to me anymore. This has nothing to do with schools and I am tired of this being forced down the throats of society! And by the way, my son has used the bathroom with me on several occasions as a small child meaning 4 and below and I NEVER let him watch me. That's nasty. "
11/17/2011:
"Check his DNA. That should settle the matter on if he's a boy or girl. "
11/16/2011:
"Amazing and inspirational. Kudos to Kate and her parents. "
11/16/2011:
"It is so easy to use God as the end-all arguement. But what about facts? What if a child is born a hemaphrodite? Does this not prove to you that it is possible that sometimes the body and the brain and the hormones do not "match" each other? For those of you who liken this to wanting to be a bird, if your child was born with wings and feathers, you might have a suitable metaphore. God created the human being, but nature takes its course. Every day, children are born missing parts, or with extra parts. Sometimes, those parts are not visible to the eye-such as an over-abundance of estrogen. But it is there. How does your belief system explain that? If only it were as simple as you make it seem. Do you believe God is that simple? You make God sound like He has the mind of a human being. You do not have the capacity to understand God, and you are the one questioning His creation. Again, in your world where God has such simple ideas about how things should be, where does ! the hemaphrodite fit in? (by the way, for the sake of clarity, I will explain that a hemaphrodite is a human baby born with both a penis and vagina. Sometimes, children are born with ovaries and a penis. Or a vagina and no uterus, etc... In your simple world, what toys should that child play with in order to stay sin-free? The human body is so complicated, it is impossible for everything to be perfect. People used to believe that mental illness and retardation were "evil". It is an easy way to explain a painful, difficult reality-it cannot be God's fault, so it must be the individual who is wrong. No, it is not God's "fault". It is reality. There is no right or wrong, black and white-this topic is many shades of grey. Stop assuming that you have God all figured out, and accept that there is no rightous way for the human body to develop. "
11/16/2011:
"Good job, I applaud you. Your child has an instinct of who they are and no one should take that away from them or make them feel different,. Kuddos to you. Let your child be happy in the body they want to be in, not what society says. "
11/15/2011:
"Kudo's to these parents, Kate one day you will understand what unconditional love from a parent involves. I believe in God and I know that he never intended his words to be twisted to scar a child, a family like this. Love they neigbor - remember? People who are inconsiderate, scared, ignorant often behind others, a religion or even worse use others (children) to do their dirty work. Shame on you. "
11/14/2011:
"I think that Kate has wonderful parents. They listen very well to the needs of their child and comfort her, although it must be very difficult. They are very brave. I admire their courage. "
11/14/2011:
"The most notable thing, in general, about all these responses is that most of the intolerant, hateful and close-minded comments are the ones that make references to God (frequently while using bad punctuation and grammar). I wonder what that indicates. "
11/14/2011:
"If these hateful, False-Christians knew anything about the science of "being born," then they would know that sexual differentiation of the body takes place before sexual differentiation of the brain during development. In other words, a child can be made a boy on the outside but be given the brain of a girl. Would these False-Christians say the same thing about an infertile male? The cause of these differences all boil down to the same thing: hormones. -Dallegrave, E., Mantese F., Oliveira, R., Andrade, A., Dalsenter, P., Langeloh, A. (2007) REPRODUCTIVE TOXICOLOGY. 81 665–673. "
11/14/2011:
"To the person who found this story hard to believe because they don't think a 6 year old can make thought bubbles... My 5 year old understood them, and does so even more now, at age 6. She uses them in a special class at the public school she attends, when drawing pictures to portray situations she's having trouble communicating or expressing emotions. FYI. :) "
11/14/2011:
"Hello! I actually think it's difficult to get through this situation, but I think we as parents are guides for our children to help them find their identity and share with them what we believe. I think as people we should not reject or judge anyone. That does not mean we share what they do Reject a person because of their gender, race or religion are not things of God. When children are young, do not know about sex, they are guided only by what they like, they do not know God made girls or boys, they are discovering. Without judging you and just sharing my opinion, I think, like you said in your testimony, that you just was guided by him instead of you guided him. I have a girl and a boy, my daughter likes to play with small carts but she is completely feminine ... sometimes my son said he wanted to be a girl and sometimes tries to play with my y daughter’s toys, I do not see problem with playing with dolls or with her toys, but when he says he wants to be a little girl I talk to him about how good it is to be a boy, I tell him that his father and older brother are boys and they can do many fun things, I also try him to share as much as possible with his father. Now he says he likes to be a boy and he behaves as such. God made him a boy and my job is to help him to understand this truth. I really hope everything gets better for you and your family may God help you in this difficult life that you have chosen for your child. "
11/14/2011:
"For those who believe that there is some ulterior motive on behalf of the parents for supporting their child, ask yourselves and be honest with yourselves in answering.... Who would choose such a hard life for themselves or for their children? Do you feel that it is an easy "choice" for them to listen to and acknowledge their child's true self - one that does not conform to the "norm"? This story tells me of a family's struggle to accept the reality of their child's identity. I don't gather from the story that they are trying to "make" him a girl. I gather that they were surprised by their child's revelation. To those who accuse the mother of wanting a daughter - do you truly think this is the way she would want a daughter, at the sake of a son? Do you think she would essentially choose to give up her, assumably, stable family life to advocate for her child who will have to endure a life of ridicule, aggression, prejudice, etc.? Do you think she would rather put her family through the hardships they've endured and will have to endure for the rest of their lives simply because she wanted a girl? It would seem to me that this family probably has! the means to adopt a girl. Wouldn't one assume that that would be the simpler route (even considering that sometimes adoptions can be a very long and hard process)? For those who believe this article is another piece of gay propaganda, ask yourselves and be honest with yourselves in answering.... Do you truly believe that "gays" are out trying to "convert" you and the rest of the world? I have found that they are merely hoping that we not pass judgment on them - that we let them live their lives how they feel they must live them. If someone of the same sex happens to be interested in you, do not be offended. He or she simply sees something in you that they like. That doesn't mean that they are out to try to "make" you gay. For those of you who are parents, ask yourselves and be honest with yourselves in answering.... Are you in control of everything that your child thinks? says? feels? how he or she behaves? or what he or she is interested in? The answer is no. Children are not our puppets. They are their own individuals. And, regardless of how we try to guide, instruct, influence, cajole and redirect them, they all will do what they want to do. Now, we - as parents - can tell them the pros and cons of what they should and should not do. But, when it comes to their feelings - that comes from them. One could try to tell them repeatedly what they should and should not feel or think - to the point of brainwashing if someone is driven to that extent. But, when it boils down to it, parents KNOW what is true of their child and what is not - what is real of their child and what is not. A child cannot behave a certain way day in, day out just because they want to put on an act - because they want to have their way. No child can be that committed to doing that 24/7. For those who say God does not make mistakes... I believe you all are right! Everyone of us is God's perfect creation, whether we're born male or female, gay or not, black or white, tall or short, handicapped or not, near-sighted or far-sighted, with Down's Syndrome or ADHD, with an innie or an outie, as a righty or a lefty, blond or brunette, etc., etc. Some people were born with a slightly different hormone or gene or whatever is attributable for their knowing they were born the "wrong" sex. Everyone knows of folks like this. You can just "tell" sometimes by listening to them, observing their mannerisms, their demeanors, their speech patterns, etc. It is evident whether someone wants to admit it or not when someone clearly should be of the opposite gender. I don't see Kate's situation being one that is "sexual" as some have asserted. It is of gender identity. I didn't gather from this article that the 4- to 6-year-old child was saying that she was sexually interested in one gender or the other. The child is stating that she does not feel "right" in her own skin. Nor is this the matter of what she likes to play with or how she likes to dress or what color she likes. For those of you who are offended or who have chosen to tune out, that is most definitely your perogative. You should know though that you are sticking your head in the sand. This is the reality of our world. And, as many claim to be Christians, you should know that we should not pass judgement or hate. We should, instead, love one another as God loves us - differences and all. I applaud the parents for loving their child so completely and unconditionally. My best to them and to Kate! "
11/14/2011:
"This article brought tears to my eyes. Power to the parents who stand behind their children and LISTEN. Some of the comments I have read here are shocking and sad. I hope you don't spread that ignorance and fear to your children. "
11/14/2011:
"I applaud your strength and courage in standing behind your child. More parents need to be under- standing like you are and support their child in their life. May God grant your child a smooth life in all that comes in the next 10-12 years. "
11/11/2011:
"I think i know what you are going through. But I don't understand why you would let your child (your son)go on acting like a girl? I mean if you really tried hard like you told him you are a boy, you were born this way, god wants you to be this way then i would get it. But it seems like you gave up too early on him;I am a christian and it says in the bible that god does not want this for his children. he gave your son to you as a challenge, and right now i think your losing. god gave you a son who thinks he is a girl, god wanted you to find a way to teach your son and help him. right now i just think your hurting him.I'm sorry if my words anger you much love and hope for your family. Saida "
11/11/2011:
"Kate is SO lucky to have such great parents!!! Bravo to Ellen and her husband!! Transitions aren't easy especially such a big one as a gender transition. I have a 4 years old myself who is deeply attached to me and knows I'd favor a girl. I keep his long golden locks for that reason as long as I can. He had both gender toys from the start. And even though he has barbies etc., he is 100% boy. In fact, b/c of his round angelic features and golden locks, people often mistake him for a girl to which he responds calmly -- I am actually a boy. Gender identity is very strong and not to allow your child to be who s/he is is depriving them of happiness. Another story of how gender identity is so strong. My son asked me to buy him a Tinker Bell. When we were in a toy store "girl section" this one little girl was "objecting" us choosing a "girl's toy" saying my son is not supposed to play with dolls. My son who strongly believes he is a BOY explained to her that she can play with cars ! and he can play with dolls. So my son's gender identity is very strongly a boy, despite unisex toys, golden locks, people's thinking that he is a girl, me preferring a girl. This is just an example that no matter what the circumstantial factors are, gender identity is very strong. I would even abolish the concept born in a "wrong body" b/c that word "wrong" already suggests something is WRONG with the child.The society has these narrow concepts of what constitutes a proper boy or a girl. Forget about gender identity... A boy has to be tall a girl has to be short are nothing in comparison to the gender issue but still those stereotypes are negatively affecting children and later adults... PEACE to all!! "
11/11/2011:
"I think that this family has done a great thing for their child. They are providing love and support. I pray that Kate remains positive about her future and that God keeps her safe. "
11/11/2011:
"To all the people have questioned whether this child has a genetic disorder or mental condition, don't you think the doctors and psychiatrists the parents took her to explored those possibilities? Unless you are a professional who has met with this child, her parents, and closely observed and examined them I suggest you keep your "diagnosis" to yourself. "
11/11/2011:
"I find this story somewhat difficult to believe. Not necessarily from the concept, but from the described actions of the 6 year old. How many 6 year olds conceptualize "thought bubbles" and can draw them in pictures? how many 6 years olds can understand the ego "insides" enough to verbalize it? I struggle to believe 6 year old is so caught up with this when they are still discovering and learning so many other foundational concepts. I am doubtful this is true. "
11/10/2011:
"These discussions make me so sad. What if your "child" says they think they are a bird? By the responses written here, my guess is that you would take them to a zoo to see if they could genetically alter them to become one! Where does it end? "Who are you to tell me that my "child" can not become a bird, or a lion or anything else. You intolerant people! My son wants to be bird. Why shouldn't he?? My daughter wants to be a gorilla. Who are you to tell me she can't be one! Everything is O.K. in the name of tolerance isn't it? How dare you judge me! My daughter will be a lion if she wants to be! How sad that so many in this world have lost their ability to know right from wrong. They have eyes, yet do not see. Ears, yet do not hear. "
11/10/2011:
"I believe the parents are doing the right thing. I am the mother of 3 beautiful girls and if one of them really insisted they felt like they were supposed to be a boy and didn't let up I would do everything I could to help her really understand who she is, inside and out and do what I could to support her. "
11/9/2011:
"My son, when he was young, would state he wanted to be a girl, but we told him that "God made you a boy, and God doesn't make mistakes". I have not had any issues come up with regard to gender identity. He has very masculine traits, competitive,sports, friends are boys-has liked girls and continues to be interested in girls but in the traditional way, not because he wants to be one. "
11/8/2011:
"My heartfelt congratulations to these parents for following the lead of their child. None of us knows the longterm consequences of our decisions for our kids, but I can only think that listening to Kate and supporting her will help her maintain her trust in others and shore up her resources for the difficulty of becoming an adult - man or woman. "
11/8/2011:
"To those of you spouting "god" and "sin" and "going to hell"? I pity your children. I was raised in the church. What did I learn? GOD is the only one that has a right to judge. GOD loves ALL people. And we, as mere humans, are to love and forgive each other. I was taught that those who seek to be GOD and make judgments are the ones in the wrong. If your TRULY a believer in christ, try reading the bible and grow up. You are nothing but a bunch of children in full grown bodies. "
11/8/2011:
"I was surprised and happy to see such an interesting and thought-provoking article on the Greatschools site. Kate's parents have demonstrated a lot of bravery, both in dealing with what must be intense personal emotions around supporting Kate, and in facing other people's judgmental comments. I applaud their courage and strength, and hope we get an update on Kate's progress at some point in the future. She's obviously a very strong person, and I wish her the best. And if I ever have doubts about my decision to leave the Christian faith, I can just re-read some of the narrow-minded, hateful comments below and be reassured that I made the right choice. I hope that by the time my children are parents, this country will have evolved a bit and become more tolerant. "
11/8/2011:
"Very good article, GreatSchools. The comments were very thought-provoking, too. I’m actually less afraid of my kids having gender identity issues than I am of exposing them to religious extremists behind the posts below. I was raised in a Christian household and I completely disagree with all the hateful, judgmental, and intolerant remarks. None of these are Christian values and their interpretation of God, not unlike “The Terminator� (1984 version), couldn’t be more crazy. When my day comes, and if I end up facing some guy in a white beard, holding a clip-board at the pearly gates, they can go ahead and send me straight to hell if it’s “wrong� to have values like kindness, acceptance, and tolerance. Kudos to the James family for not sweeping Kate’s feelings under the rug – you probably saved her life. "
11/8/2011:
"Great article. Personally I think I would encourage a child to enjoy whatever “girl� or “boy� things he/she wanted and not be to quick to believe that he/she is meant to be the other gender. I was a girl who was always boyish, liked boys’ clothes, liked “boy activities,� and identified with boy characters. I did like dolls, too, but I always felt it would be better to be a boy, because they seemed to have more adventures, and they didn’t have to change so much at puberty! (On the surface, at least.) I still am boyish and like a lot of boyish things, but I didn’t become a boy, and I grew up to have a fulfilling marriage and become a loving nurturing mom, and have a great fulfilling marriage. I married a guy who had an Easy-Bake Oven as a kid, and who is creative and loves to cook and bake. It works well for us! I think if our society was more open as to gender roles, then fewer people would feel a need to assert themselves as the other gender. If th! ere was a freedom in our society for boys to be whatever they wanted to be then maybe Ben would not have felt he needed to become Kate. He could have stayed Ben, a boy who liked long hair and beautiful things. "
11/8/2011:
"I'm gald this was given attention. I think the parents are doing the very best thing. To all the people taking the ridiculous religious tack- which does god wants the least; children who feel and live as a different gender, or kids and teenagers commiting suicide because they are SO miserable? And God does make mistakes, more correctly put there are problems with this type of development sometimes, that's how the medical community knows about intersex humans. If things can develop incorreclty physicall(and all sorts of physical anomalies occur often) then physical/psychological anomalies can occur as well. "
11/8/2011:
"Sounds like a difficult situation, and like the parents have handled it in the best way they know how. As for the comments below along, the lines that "God doesn't make mistakes; the kid is a boy and his parents are messing him up" -- assuming your premise is true, that "God doesn't make mistakes," isn't it still possible that God, on purpose, put a little girl into a little boy's body to teach us all lessons about understanding, tolerance, compassion, and being non-judgmental? Please: open your hearts to God's true love and quit spouting intolerant messages in the name of religion. "
11/8/2011:
"I think this is a great topic for teachers to be aware of, but I don't think this article was written well. Most of the transgender people I know (including myself) would be offended to see how often "he" is used to refer to Kate, given how clearly she expressed her wishes to be called a girl. If teachers and parents are going to understand what trans kids need, then teachers and parents (and journalists) need to try harder to respect these kids' wishes. I think what the James family has chosen is right. I'm a transgender male, and I distinctly remember being five years old, and knowing I was a boy. A lot of people commenting here have confused gender with sexuality, and they've confused gender with hobbies. I didn't think about being gay or straight at age 5; I just knew I was a boy. I didn't think about whether I liked Tonka trucks or cooking more; I just knew I was a boy. My parents and family heard me say I was a boy, but they thought it was a phase I would grow out of. ! Since coming out to them as an adult, they've been as supportive as I could ever want, but I wish they'd taken me seriously as a kid and respected my choices from age five. As a trans person who got more support than most, but could have used more, I think the James family is doing everything right. I think the only thing Kate is missing is more support from people outside her family. "
11/8/2011:
"A boy wearing a princess costume! This is not a gender issue. It's a cultural issue. We don't inherit a certain tendency for a certain type of clothes or style. We learn cultural styles. What is this boy learning? It is too early to decide that this child is transgender. His fixation with girl things may not have anything to do with his sexuality. It may have more to do with an inherited tendency to get unusually preoccupied with a certain hobby or interest. Any possibility that this child has Asperger's Syndrome? Or an obsessive-compulsive disorder? "
11/8/2011:
"Another example of lawyers thinking they know what's best. I have seen lawyers do good, but boy can they screw up many things. Here's a mom who's done that to her own child, confusing the issue that we have genetic make up from both parents, but we really are what we are born as. He's got an male genetics, you cannot change that. Our Congress is run by a majority of lawyers, look at the job they're doing, can't get too much right can they? "
11/8/2011:
"It is sad that parents take a strong step in encouraging a small child into such thinking. Someday, after he has had hormone treatment and surgery he may realize it was all a big mistake encouraged by his mother, and the permanent damage will be done. I was convinced I was suppose to be a nurse and went into nursing because my mother and grandmother were convinced I was suppose to be a nurse. I was 35 before I changed fields and found my true and fulfilling calling. And, he will never be able to fully reverse the physical damage done nor the emotional damage. He may hold his mother responsible for miss guiding and even encouraging him in destroying his life. "
11/8/2011:
"1) The Catholic School made the absolute correct decision not indulging in this "BOY'S" fantasy. 2) Not surprising that the public school would not have a problem with the boy's delusion is because public schools are godless institutions that have no moral foundation. 3) The parents of this boy are part of a culture of permissive parenting gone to the extreme! They are damaging their son for life by condoning his unhealthy behavior. 4) Our culture is so obsessed with "sex" and sexuality and have no sense of right or wrong - or even the reality of "truth." 5) A six year old has not even matured yet! And how would any decent parent allow their boy to dress up as a princess for Halloween??? You are the parents people! Have some discipline! - or is discipline a dirty word? 6) These parents may have sent their children to a Catholic school and attend church but in my opinion they are not Christians. A true Christian would not go against the will of God by fostering an ungodly behavior in their son. 7) The reason that transgendered people are suicidal is because they know that deep down they have forgotten God and have sought to find solace in earthly, flesh desires which can only lead to destruction. 8) I pray these poor godless people see that only by turning to God and to read His holy scripture and following His precepts that they will ever have peace in this life and for eternity. In Jesus' name - amen. "
11/8/2011:
"Thank you for posting this story and best wishes to the family and the child. Most of the negative assumptions I have read here are not borne out by what is in the article. I hope the harsh critics can learn to think and act as generous, loving and accepting of others as their religion tries to teach them to be. "
11/7/2011:
"I have a four year old son that likes to play with girl toys, does this mean he is suppose to be a girl? No! I would never suggest or entertain an idea...he's 4 not 18, their brains are not even fully developed! Unfortunately, mom made a mistake that will forever affect the lifetime of this poor confused child. The mother of this child is the one that needs to be evaluated! "
11/7/2011:
"What a wonderful mother! "
11/7/2011:
"I understand that these parents had an extremely tough decision to make,it's heart renching to see your child hurt.But knowing that God doesn't make mistakes and hearing her son praying to God to make his outsides match his inside...she should have interviened telling him to ask God to fill his inside so that he would have NO question about his outside!Ben is meant to be exactly who he was born to be,an amazing child of God.So as parents we need to guide our children on the right path.I pray that Ben ultimately figures this out for himself.God bless this family! "
11/7/2011:
"You've got to be kidding me. Let's get back to real issues in schools like protecting kids from bullying and improving the education system. Is this site going the way of the mainstream media and making a much larger issue of something that is not? In my opinion, the real issue here is the parenting. The parents are basking in the glory of being heroic while they are destroying this child as well as opening HIM up to ridicule. I'm really having a hard time getting a handle on a 3-yr old knowing he is gay. In my experience, a child that is acting such as this has probably been exposed to something inappropriate. "
11/7/2011:
"I think that this story is very inspiring and holds out hope for a future that is full of tolerance and acceptance. Good for these parents, and for all those in this child's life who accept her for who she is. "
11/7/2011:
"Hello, My favorite colors are purple turquois, magenta, and violet. But as a parent it is not always reasonable to offer my daughter consent by advising her to stay protected and to schedule an HIV screening. As her parent, I may be sending a cowardly approach to admitting a difference in sexual identity and orientation. She may feel that she is obliged to respect her Fathers unresolved identity crisis. Yet, while when together her sense of beng respected is not threatened, she may perhaps be let down by feeling she is taken for granted by my underestimating the implications and results of my being gay. "
11/7/2011:
"The vitriol of these remarks is astounding and disturbing. It's amazing how many of these folks think they know what's best for a child and a family they've never met. It sounds to me like the child's behavior has been consistent over time, that her parents are taking this situation very seriously, and that these two parents are trying to do what's in the best interest of their child. "
11/7/2011:
"I know not everyone agrees, but I have always firmly believed (especially after having a gay friend) that some people are just born into the wrong body. I applaud the parents in this situation for being so open-minded and doing what was right for their child and not what society considered right. I wish the child a happy healthy future. "
11/7/2011:
"My daughter often tells me she's a boy. I've battled with that eventhough I consider myself open minded and have gay friends. Thank you for your story. It gives me new insight and something to think about more deeply and ways to nurture my child. "
11/7/2011:
"Wow.. I can only empathize with this family. I do pray for their peace. It's difficult as an individual to find themselvess sexually if there is confusion. But when the parents saw their little baby boy being born, and there was no shadow of a doubt that they were having another son, I am sure nothing could have prepared them for this one. The best you can do is love your child unconditionally, do not judge, trust God for strength..and just take each day as it comes! "
11/7/2011:
"I truly dont think that God put him in the wrong body and I personally dont agree in anything to change your sex. Its my humble opinion. "
11/7/2011:
"I can't imagine how difficult this situation must be for the entire family. It is easy for those of us that have not had to face this issue to pass judgement, good or bad, but without first-hand knowledge, no one can truly understand what it is like to have a transgender child or know how they would handle it. It seems that the James' are doing everything they can to learn about transgender children & any transgender-related issues that their child may face. I applaud the James' for their commitment, their understanding and the courage that both they and Kate exhibit. "
11/7/2011:
"It appears that these parents tried everything to steer their child to accept his gender and still their child insists on being a girl. I believe the parents are doing what is best for their child. Until you've been in those shoes it can be very judge others. I am sure this has caused much agony for the entire family. "
11/7/2011:
">90% of my clients report that they knew at age 3-5 that they were the opposite gender. they spend their life until mid to late adulthood trying hard to be happy and then eventually the strain becomes too much and they either transition, or commit suicide. It is our duty as human beings, as Christians, as Muslims, as Jews as Buddhists,as agnostics, as members of this diverse race to love and support everyone. Living is hard enough without straining under the weight of other people's judgement and fear. "
11/7/2011:
"It's astounding that a number of people who have commented here would impose THEIR beliefs on another family, and on their child's sexuality and gender, despite the child's stated needs and preference. Children don't make up things like this--it takes tremendous courage for them to share something that goes so against the grain of the culture. These parents are amazing people who are demonstrating respect for their child by hearing and supporting her. They make our world a far better place. And these days, we need all the people like this we can find. "
11/7/2011:
"What an admirable act these parents have done for their child. Unfortunately, many parents in the same situation, with the same conservative upbringing would have done the opposite and have demanded for the child to be the way that "nature intended". Well, homosexuality occurs in animals as well, so it is just as natural as being heterosexual. These rigid beliefs are the very thing that has these children to have so many emotional issues, including suicidal attempts! I just hope that more parents in this same situation, can do as these parents did......and trust their intuition, based on love. "
11/7/2011:
"I am impressed with this family. Coming from a religious background to be so open minded is outstanding. But I am exremely impressed with Great Schools for showcasing this story! Way to go! We've been on Great Schools for years, and I am honored to continue and support this organization. "
11/7/2011:
"Very well done Ellen James, Congrats in your bravery and undying love for your child, I dont think anybody could of done it better and Kate, sweetheart, Welcome To The World, May God Bless You and The James Family "
11/7/2011:
"A Catholic/Christian works for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)????? To me is a no, no.... it is against with your belief and ultimately our GOD. I don't know how you strike your balance between your work and your religion. I am a firm believer that God gave our talent to glorify him but not defying him. "
11/7/2011:
"This was a good, useful article, but have you ever heard of proofreading, GreatSchools? There are numerous typos in this article. Very sloppy editing. "
11/7/2011:
"It is sad to see so many people here bashing Kate's parents for supporting her. "
11/7/2011:
"These parents are very brave. If you have gone through this with a child you know that it isn't simply a matter of 'redirection' and then everything will be OK. The level of suicides among transgender youth are shocking and they need to stay strong for their daughter. Before you judge- please read, get educated. Remember when people thought 'gay' was a choice too? "
11/7/2011:
"Sounds to me like the mother is the one who put this noncence in this childs thought and trained his mind to believe he's female. I believe the mother needs the therapy and now destroyed this child life completely. The sad thing is that she is the one to blame and is trying to put the issue on this little and very young child. Makes me ill that she still has custody of him. God help them. "
11/7/2011:
"Great article, thank you for posting it. To those of you who say "it's wrong to support that child" and "it a choice", YES, IT IS A CHOICE! It a choice for a person (and a child IS a person, not your personal puppet or toy) to be who they think they are. A choice for THEM to decide who they want to be. Who are you to say what is wrong or right or to judge the parents for SUPPORTING THEIR CHILD? Who are you to take that choice away from them? I wish more parents were like Kate's parents- loving, involved, supportive. If this was to happen to your child, what would you do? Blame them, the school, friends, TV? shame them into thinking that what they are feeling is wrong and backwards? Bring the wrath of god? Drive them into depression and suicide? I really hope you don't have kids or that they are "normal" so they don't get to see what a "loving" parent they have. "
11/7/2011:
"Perhaps James' parents would have done better to get him therapy than to encourage him to believe that he is something that he is not. Even with hormone therapy or surgery, he was born a male and will always be a male. Four-year-olds can ask some strange questions and say some strange things. Not all their requests should be indulged. "
11/7/2011:
"and if a child wants to be a monster,serial killer, bank robber or any other thing I suppose parents should go along with it once the child demands to be. "
11/7/2011:
"I feel sorry for a parent who would allow a child to tell the who she or he is when the physical evidence is not there. Science will tell you that the early years are determined by how we direct our children. I feel so sorry for this boy who will grow up in this already confused world. Sadly the parent will also live a life of regret "
11/7/2011:
"Way to go, ellen. I think your doing great and keep doing what your are doing to assist other families with similar issues... "
11/7/2011:
"Excellent job, Great Schools, for posting this! This is a topic that we, as parents, need to be educated on. Thank you! "
11/7/2011:
"God does not make mistakes. He fearfully (awesomely) and wonderfully created this child in his mother's womb. The parents should have received counsel from the Word of God and not from any man. The mother is right, "It isn't a choice, it's who the child is" and the child was created by God as a boy. Again, God don't make mistakes. The boy should be raised as a boy. "
11/7/2011:
"This is wrong and a sin.God is not a confsionist to put a girl's anatomy in a boy's body.Their son was created and born a boy just as God wanted and they should have sat down with their son and explain things to him instead of going along with it and trying to get attention.This is perverse.I don't agree with with their decision,they need to read the bible and understand that God saw all that he made and it was GOOD.That means boys stay boys and girls stay girls.How would they feel if they invited a girl to a sleepover and it turn out that girl happens to be a boy?Will they be laughing all the way to the bank?This is deception and evil in the sight of GOD. "
11/7/2011:
"I was very touched by this article. I believe that Ellen James and her husband are extraordinary parents. They see and accept their child for who "she" is. In years to come and with the proper research the rest of society will come to learn that Katie was born with a hormonal deficiency which prevented her from being born a female. My thoughts and prayers for strength are with the James family. "
11/7/2011:
"I think the parents should foster an appreciation in Ben of self acceptance of who he is. I believe if he doesn't think his outside matches his inside he isn't accepting himself. He needs self love. "
11/7/2011:
"I actually feel for both the parents and the child. Without judgement, and realizing it would be very difficult for me to handle, I commend you both on the support, love and willingness to preserve your child's happiness and welfare. "
11/7/2011:
"I totally agree with the parents decision. The child always knew what she wanted to be. The world is a cruel place and shame on the parents of those children who are too ignorant to educate their children on being different. They can quote from the bible all day long when it suits them, but they dont live by the scriptures themselves, except in their Old Testament small minds. I think you and your husband are doing a wonderful job and that is #1 - listening to your child. #2 doing the research #3 Not cave in to the outside world. This is very hard even in this day and age and your child will thank you forever. "
11/7/2011:
"Thank you for sharing this article. I hope that Kate continues to grow in the person she is meant to be. "
11/7/2011:
"I have no problem with someone who is old enough to have sex hormones being this way. But a 6 yr old does not have sex hormones. Boys can like long hair and make up and cooking and all that sort of thing without having to BE a girl. When a girl likes boy things, they used to call her a Tomboy, not transgender. I think this family is nuts. They should be teaching their son that it is OK for boys to like "girl things." And make it clear they will accept him and love him regardless without telling him he is transgender or anything else sexual. He is 6! When he is old enough to actually have a sexual identity, THEN they can embrace the idea that he really is transgender. But simply liking "girl" things does not make someone transgender. I think it is very narrow minded of these parents and shows a serious lack of understanding child development. My oldest son would tell me how he wanted to be a mommy some day and would put on his sister's dresses and wear make up when he was lit! tle. I let him play however he wanted. Now he is almost 17 yrs old. He is definitely not transgender or gay. IF he had been, it would not have been a shock as we have family and friends who are gay. Now I have a 7 yr old boy who likes to cook and put make up and nail polish on all of us. This does not make him gay. It is OK for a little boy to play with "girl" things or do "girl" things. It is not OK for the parents to decide that is his sexual identity. "
11/7/2011:
"James has is very strong an has been though a lot an has much more to go through in the near future "
11/7/2011:
"That's why I don't let my children "celebrate" Halloween. We have to inform our children early that they have to "be" who God made them to "be". It is called "submitting our will to God, the Creator." The confusion enters the picture when we entertain with falsehood as this Mom allowed. Children, unfortunately?, pick up on everything...especially, ambivalence from parents. "
11/7/2011:
"Our babysitter is transgender. I have known him since he was 13 and watched as he transitioned from a girl to a boy and now a young man. He went from depressed and confused to happy and well adjusted. It was the best possible choice for him to live the identity that he felt. We all love and support him for it. Good luck! "
11/7/2011:
"I feel sorry for this child and his family who are deceived by satan's lie... There is no such thing as 'born this way'. In the beginning God created male and female..... Rom 1:18....onwards clearly states how man exchanged the truth for a lie and how man & woman exchanged the natural for the unnatural.......I pray that the Lord open the eyes of these blinded people! "
11/7/2011:
"It's very admirable to see a parent not care about what others may think about you as long as their child is happy and feels complete. I would have done the same if I was in your situation. "
11/7/2011:
"He might grow up to be gay. I don't have a strong opinion because this is uncharted territory. I'd check his chromosomes for an extra X if I were the parent. It may be too soon to stand up for such gender issues. Gender roles are largely cultural behaviors, not genetically inherited. "
11/7/2011:
"I applaud the parents for what has obviously been a very tough decision; but in the end, it is the child who must live their own life. To allow a child who feels they are in the wrong body to assume a lifestyle that fits with who they feel they are, is generous, kind, and I believe the right thing to do. Religion has no place in this, and if people want to think it does, that is their choice, but keep your comments to yourself unless you have walked in another person's shoes. If only more people could truly live their lives to be more open-minded and accepting with people who do not fit into their ideas of the "norm". Be proud that you have an amazingly insightful child who knew from a young age that they did not fit in with what they looked like. To each his own, and no one has a right to judge others. I wish the family the best, it will be a long exhaustive road, but there are those of us out here who don't judge others, and we raise our children to accept everyone, ! and that what is truly important is who they are on the inside, and not what shell they come in. "
11/7/2011:
"There are many children like Kate, and families as supportive as hers. Some of them found their way through using the services of TYFA (Trans Family Youth Allies), a national support and advocacy organization staffed by parents of trans youth. If your child needs help, contact us at www.imatyfa.org "
11/7/2011:
"I think the parents have made a right & longterm choice for the kid's future. You cannot keep things under carpet as if nothing is wrong. Facing and going ahead is a appreciable quality "
11/7/2011:
"confusion. God makes no mistakes. He is perfect if God made a boy he made him a boy on purpose. The good news is God's love extends to us all even thoes of us with gender idenity issues. This however is wrong. It is up to the parent to raise the child to know God. Don't forget about Sodom and Gamorah! Love the child not the sin! The bible actually says it is a sin to dress up in clothing of the opposite sex. I will find it and post it... "
11/7/2011:
"I'm not Christian, but in my humble opinion, "Christians" who are intolerant and unaccepting are not Christians at all. If Christ were here today, he would have to come up with a whole lot more parables to teach these hypocrites. Bravo to the James, and love and respect to Kate. May you grow up to be a happy and healthy woman. "
11/7/2011:
"This is a sad story but I recognize the effort in publishing it to attempt to persuade the general public to accept transgender, lesbians and gays as normal citizens. Despite the American Psychological Association's change of categorizing these to non-disorders, the VAST number of people DO recognize these as disorders. I highly suspect APA as trying to ultimately just make money; somehow. Thank you. "
11/7/2011:
"Is there anyone doing a study on the parents' relationship and how this relationship affects the child? Is the mother fulfilling a feminine role; is the father fulfilling a masculine role? I know this is somewhat subjective but is the child receiving proper input from Dad and Mom? Another thought - my mother-in-law says, "God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" hence the question: if homosexuality, lesbianism and transgenderism was meant to be, how was the human race supposed to continue? Nontheless, all humans have souls so we must be patient and kind. Nevertheless, disordered behavior, like bank robbing for instance and heterophobia, is NEVER to be condoned or encouraged. Thank you. "
11/7/2011:
"What a lucky child Kate is, so few parents have the insight that you have. I don't think that Kate picked her gender I believe it was decided in the womb. Best of . luck to you and your family We can only hope that the people who have a problem with her gender and every other child born in the wrong body will some day see the light, transgender is not a choice it is who you are. "
11/7/2011:
"It has been wisely said that "one should not be so open minded that their brain falls out." Your article is an exercise in pandering to current political correctness, without any scientific or truly rational basis. Here is why: - It is not reasonable to allow a 4 year old child to define whether (s)he is a boy or girl, that is a normally obvious phenotype. Children are not generally accepted experts in anything. Their understanding is unavoidably limited by their limited experience and development. - It is not reasonable to unduly focus upon whether a 4 year old child thinks they would prefer to be like Mommy or like Daddy. Young boys often identify with their mother in the early years, and they later separate from Mommy and become closer to their father. A 4 year old, or a 6 year old, has many thoughts and fantasies. That's great. However, it is foolishness to give them great weight. - Playing with toys that are typically thought to be associated with boys or with girls is culturally bound, and it has no inherent connection whatsoever with gender or gender identity. Preference for such toys are matters of socialization and personal preference. In some cultures, male warriors wear makeup and jewelry without being homosexual or women trapped in male bodies. Boys may play with Mommy's jewelry without being gay or females trapped in a male bodies. - A therapist who specializes in transgender issues may be well intentioned, but they themselves may have a mindset so indoctrinated to assume the legitimacy of the question that they are not willing or equipped to question the premise itself. - Males, boys or men, can be sensitive. Females can be tough. People often try to put others into neat mental boxes they can more easily deal with instead of dealing with the sometimes challenging task of relating with individuals who may exhibit nontraditional behavior. Playing with Barbie Dolls doesn't mean a boy is really a girl and he must have a mismatch of mind and body. There is no scientific evidence of what such a thing is, or that such a mismatch can occur. - Giving a child hormones or surgery to alter their physical appearance (ex. secondary sexual characteristics, etc.) based upon the conclusion that the child would prefer to have physical characteristics of the opposite gender is physically altering a child on the basis of a child-ish preference. If an adult wants to alter their physical appearance, that is adult decision. No one would suggest letting a child decide that for anyone. - That people can be mean does not inherently support whatever they are mean about. - There is no scientific proof that sexual preference is biologically determined, and that is an entirely separate issue from gender identity. It should not be assumed that just because a child thinks he wants to be a girl that he therefore must want to have sex with males. Including this issue at all only clouds the real issues of whether a 4 or 6 year old child can make the decision to change their apparent gender and whether adults should facilitate them doing so. - Whether someone is homosexual or heterosexual has nothing to do with this article. You have a story of a 4 year old child who saw Mommy in the potty, and he later decided that he wanted to be like Mommy. Mommy and Daddy then decided to indulge the decision of a then 6 year old, dress him like a girl, send him to school like that, reinforce for him that that is who he is, and ask everyone to call him "Kate." Parents sometimes try so hard to be accepting that they accept even the absurd. This story is a tragedy. "
11/7/2011:
"This article is published to encourage people to accept lesbians, gays and transgendered behavior into the mainstream of Western thought. I do not understand these behaviors but contrary to the American Medical Association (of which only 20% of doctors belong!) these behaviors ARE contrary to Natural Law and ARE a disorder of the natural. The American people do NOT have to accept this behavior and SHOULD not but one MUST separate the person from the behavior. ALL humans have souls and some humans are more confused than others. If God created homosexuals, what was His plan for the continuance of the human race?! "
11/7/2011:
"This article isn't givng the full depiction of this child's personal history. I am an R.N.and my husband is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and we both have worked with children. A child's behavior is a reflection of what he or she have been taught or learned. My question would be what role does the father have in this child's life or has he ever been abused? "
11/7/2011:
"It cheers me deeply to know there are parents open to allow their children to be themselves! Yay! "
11/7/2011:
"I blame the parents!! No way I would buy my son girl clothes or vice versa. If he is an adult he can buy what he wants. A four year old only knows what he/she is taught. "
11/7/2011:
"This is a great article and I can appreciate a parent who supports human complexity and make it acceptable. Many people think that human differences are only formed on the outside of the body and take no consideration of the chemical and genetic differences we have although we are well aware that they exist. However, religion has mislead the human race of acceptance of all kinds of human beings and the worst part is the person who is born with certain genetic and chemical compositions that have absolutely nothing to do with the decision they've made. Parents like Ellen James help to make the world a better place to live. "
11/7/2011:
"I am sorry.. Kids are so confused today because they see other confused kids and adults and society just turns the other way.. God doesn't make mistakes.. "Kate" is a little boy and should be proud to wear the body God Gave him. Stop giving into these kids. get their hormones checked out. They are miswired and this isn't normal by any means. "
11/7/2011:
"I admire this family's courage to stand up for their daughter and do what is right for her. God blesses you! "
11/7/2011:
"Im not sure if your organization expected this article to be taken seriously, but you can now remove me from your email list. This sint a supermom story, this is a tragedy. If a child wants at a young age to tattoo and pierce themselves we do not indulge these behavior until they are at a maturity point where they can understand the implications of their decisions and how they will effect their future. Gender is a far more serious topic than tattos or piercings. Only full grown adults should be able to make decisions like this and any doctor who would give hormone therapy to a child to prevent puberty is cruel and has no sense of humanity. "
11/7/2011:
"My son felt more comfortable dressing as a girl at age 2 or 3, as well. His favorite color was pink; he had long, flowing hair; anyone who met him assumed he was a girl. It was not big deal to us. His teacher at the private school he attended would remonstrate us that it was our responsibility to start dressing him like a boy, but since she had no children of her own (an therefore had not had the experience of having her 17 month old son throw his new navy blue sneakers out the window so that he only shoes available were his cousin''s hand-me-down red patent leather mary janes--'ruby slippers')I figured she had no idea what she was talking about. We smiled, told her we would take that under advisement and let him dress how he wanted. When he was 8? He asked to get his hair cut for the very first time. He said long hair got in the way. He is now 19 and identifies as a boy. I am really glad we did not listen to others and trusted out own son to make what we felt were basic per! sonal decisions. I am glad it was never a big deal. "
11/7/2011:
"Gender is a permanent characteristic. Humans cannot change their gender any more than they can manufacture a tree. Would a "transgender" (male to female) ever have a baby or menstruate? This is a very sad story, one more about adults than a child. This boy should be given time to recognize and affirm his gender through his father. Just because homosexuals are marketing the idea of "transgender" among children, people don't have to buy it. There is no proof that homosexuality is genetic. This is a belief. I am a historican. Historians know that spikes in homosexuality are a product of culture, particularly ones in which moral law is breaking down. Trying to force pro-homosexual beliefs on Christian churches with over 2,000 years of Biblical teaching and experience with pagan and pro-homosexual cultures is also ridiculous. We owe our children a better legacy than this.t "
11/7/2011:
"Wow! What brave and courageous parents! I admire you commitment to what is best for your child and hope she is always loved and accepted. "
11/7/2011:
"This is so tragic. This poor child will grow up confused and emotionally distraught. Parents exist to provide care and guidance to their children. The behavior by this parent is irrational and neglectful. Calling it "freedom" or applying some other spin is simply ridiculous. "
11/7/2011:
"These parents did what all parents should do - put their child first. It was great to read their story. "
11/7/2011:
"James Family- We applaud your approach and have been foster parenting a youth in a similar situation for almost three years. We are adopting this child and will support our child's needs indefinitely. Closed minded religions and people do not make it easy to parent well.... "
11/7/2011:
"How blessed this child is to be born to the parents he has. They're listening to their child and helping her/him to be who she is, rather than imposing rigid gender stereotypes about who she/he SHOULD be. If only we could approach everything in the same way, we'd have fewer wars, crime, insanity, dysfunction, etc. "
11/7/2011:
"I wish there were more wonderful and supportive parents like Kates. But then we would need more tolerant and openminded adults in our world. The adults are the ones who raise children to be open and tolerant to others... or not. Where are they and why is it that everyone acts hateful when they are just fearful? "
11/7/2011:
"Good article, it enlightened me on a real issue I have never heard of before. However, the article was hard to follow because there are lots of grammatical errors. "
11/7/2011:
"I wholeheartedly agree with the direction Kate's family is going. I am a grandma and have no first-hand experience with a most-likely transgender child although I would be comfortable with Kate. She needs to have all the support and love that can be provided by all around her, in a mode of quiet acceptance. What would it be like to be born in the wrong body? How would anyone know if he or she had not experienced it? Kate would be more than welcome in my home to associate with my 8 year old granddaughter and my 12 year old son and with me. Best wishes to her and her family. "
11/7/2011:
"Hurray for Kate's wonderful parents! If all people just "Live, and let live" we would truly accept each other for who we are, and are not. Best of luck to Kate! "
11/7/2011:
"Bravo! Thank you for sharing this story. I have taped several shows on this subject and watched them with my ten year old. I want her to understand that sometimes people are born in the wrong body. I want her to be prepared for a child like Kate in school and to not be afraid or ignorant. I want her to be the first one to reach out and be their friend. She is very upset with how some children are bullied in school and I felt this issue went along with that topic. I asked her to write me a story about what it would be like to be born in the wrong body. I wanted her to really think about it for a while. It took her a while to do that assignment, but I was very pleased with how much thought she did put into her story and the compassion that she displayed. I know this is a very difficult topic for parents and all they really want to do is the right thing for their child. It takes a mountain of courage to be a trailblazer in this world. I hope Kate has an easy time as she continues her transition in this world. "
11/7/2011:
"Fabulous story. The parents are right to follow Kate's lead. Kids are born with gender identity and the parents are being very supportive by allowing Kate to be the person she was born to be. Very inspiring. I hope that this kind of parenting becomes the norm for kids who are born "into the wrong body" "
11/7/2011:
"Thank you so much for posting this article. Two years ago, our 14 year old son confided that he has always felt he was in the wrong body. He never gave any indication of this throughout his childhood. He played football and was always masculine. I was devastated and terrified of how others would treat him. We have met with many doctors, therapist, and spent time researching others experiences. We are not ready to tell others for his safety but he knows that we support and love him. Since then, he has discovered that there are other kids in our small town that are also transgender. I am proud of how courageous he has been through it all and I know that God has a plan for these kids. It's so important that parents and other children are compassionate towards these kids as they are not freaks. It's been a very difficult and long journey, but I love my child. Ultimately, I would rather have a living daughter than a dead son. Thanks again for sharing this information with us all. "
11/7/2011:
"It's sad how so many "religious" people have so little tolerance for anyone who isn't exactly like them. Ellen, you have set the example of what being a real parent is all about. Putting your childs needs and wants above your own. I think she is the luckiest girl to have such caring and understanding parents who accept her for who she is. Good luck to you Kate. May all your dreams come true. "
11/7/2011:
"I think Kate is extremely lucky to have those two people as her parents. I wish the entire family strenght and I hope Kate will grow into a confident and happy young woman. If people in this country would just accept each other the way they are there would be so many more happy people. Why is it that hard? Life could be so simple! "
11/7/2011:
"When he was 3, he was a princess for Halloween? Wth, who made him do that?? "
11/7/2011:
"This is a beautiful story about a beautiful family doing what anyone of us would do to for our children's happiness. God bless you all as the road ahead is easy for none, especially anyone with differences, but I know there is happiness for Katie and her family! "
11/7/2011:
"Parents are here to guide their kids not encourage them to be something they are not but to embrace what they already are. The child can have the personality they bring out at home and should show it at school and that dosen't mean they need to change genders or call themselves other names they are physically the same person and need to have the proper guidance from the parents. The school shouldn't be calling them another name when legally the name they were given is on their birth certificate and that "is" their name. "
11/7/2011:
"What a wonderful story! Kudos to Ellen James for doing the right thing for Kate! I wish you all the best of luck; hang in there, and continue fighting the good fight! "
11/7/2011:
"Thank you for sharing your story. The more we hear of situations like yours perhaps things will get better for our 'different' children. My son has always enjoyed playing with the 'girl' toys. When a preschool teacher shooed him away from the play kitchen I had to go to school and reprimand her. She didn't repeat her mistake. He hasn't shown interest in other boys but just likes to play 'girls' things. I just want to help him feel comfortable in his own skin. I take one day at a time and help love himself. "
11/7/2011:
"Well-you have stepped over the line once again. I feel for the mother & her child in this situation, but how does this individual story apply to the masses. Perhaps something more going on behind the scenes. I am unsubscribing--too much left wing trashy info on this site--not enough good parenting, take responsibility info. Goodbye! "
11/7/2011:
"He had to tell them what he thought and they have to accept him for what he is, and to him he is a girl in the body of a boy. Nothing will make him change his mind, so the parents have to be there for him or should I say her. He is was he is and has to accept it, and his friends have to respect his new gender. "
11/7/2011:
"Hurrah for her and her parents for acceptingher for who she is. "
11/7/2011:
"As the parent of a gender-creative son, I so admire the courage of this family for finding a way to let Kate live an authentic life. Thank you for sharing your story. "
11/7/2011:
"This is a well-crafted piece of advertising/propaganda about indulging (yes, indulging) a deviant child and promoting yet another radical fringe group. I'm sorry if this hurts anyone's feelings, but I'm not interested in another San Francisco organization tearing down societal institutions and promoting lefty-oriented militants (be they teachers unions or other political pressure groups). And I don't agree that this makes me (or the majority of typical, hardworking, productive members of society who support traditional America) a bigot. Unsubscribing to your magazine. "
11/7/2011:
"Unreal. "
11/7/2011:
"Just wanted to let this family know they are not alone. About 5 years ago there was a little girl in my son's preschool who "wanted to be a boy" and being a tomboy wasn't enough. She asked all her school friends to call her by her "boy name" and she told everyone she was a boy. If any kids told her she was a girl she would melt down for the whole day until this comment was taken back and she was told she was indeed a boy. The parents had to meet with the teachers and try to come to some understanding of what this all meant for them. I wish this family luck. May they find peace in their new family dynamic and much support and understanding in their community and family. I admire them for trying to help their child so much in such a trying situation. Way to go! "
11/7/2011:
"I believe it's a choice. "
11/7/2011:
"This is thoroughly disgusting and distressing. Instead of helping this innocent child with what is a psychological aberration this "mother" is abusing this child by fostering the aberration. This is really and truly CHILD ABUSE. "
11/7/2011:
"As a voice clinician specializing in work with transgender people to train congruent voice and communication, it is so encouraging to to me that there are parents in the world who trust their children when they tell them their true gender. The Seattle school district community is very supportive of transgender youth. There are no fewer than 5 high schoolers at one school in particular in transition today. We have come so far, and have so much farther to go in lowering the "wow" factor around transgender issues. Well done to Kate's parents, and even more so, to Kate. Sandy Hirsch www.givevoice.com. shirsch58@gmail.com. 206.718.4387. "
11/7/2011:
"I think the parents are making a mistake to think that a six year old boy is ready to change his sexual idenity. "
11/7/2011:
"My heart goes out to this child - and the family. It's hard to find acceptance in this judgmental world for all of us - and with these difficult issues let's just pray that the family will find peace and acceptance by many - and Kate will find her happy place. "
11/7/2011:
"I am a parent of three (now adult) children and one grandson. I spent more than a decade supporting schools from being an elected trustee for seven years and working on school bond campaigns for several more. I respect the time and talent of every person in the educational system and I know that how they treat children and families is paramount to the success of our system. I am so pleased to see GreatSchools recognize that in order for a school to be great it needs to serve all children. This includes their race, ethnicity,religion,immigration status, language, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. If we are to ever live in a world that works for everyone, we must begin with schools that do. All the best, Rev. Christie Hardwick "
11/7/2011:
"typo, "Deciding that his mother wasn’t moving fast enough, Ben outed himself. He began told close friends at school that he was a girl; he also told the school counselor." Ed. Note: Thank you for pointing out this typo, we will fix it! "
11/7/2011:
"Very important article about spreading awareness about this often misunderstood issue. Editing could be better though, James is referred to as "her" for example towards the end....more importantly though I wish the correlation the counselor pointed out about a family's acceptance and love reducing the risks was emphasized more and expanded to community acceptance as well. Thanks for bringing awareness to this issue!! Ed. Note: In the article, James refers to the child's mother, Ellen James. "
11/7/2011:
"Bless your heart for the difficult decision you were faced with, and the deep acceptance/tolerance your family has shown Kate. Being a mother of a "straight" daughter. Who has many gay friends. It is not a choice for Kate, it is her journey.. And Its wonderful parents like you that help her find love and peace in who she is. God Bless you and your family.. Way to go Kate.. I am proud of who you are and your dedication to live your life honestly.. SMB "
11/7/2011:
"What wonderful parents! It must have been hard on them to give their child the total support that she needed. They stepped up to the plate. The world should learn from their example. "
11/7/2011:
"At 4 years old we begin to question our gender is something I would question the parents about. A 4 year old doesn't care what the gender is, they just want to be happy, loved and cared for. I would question these parents to see which one is disappointed they didn't have a girl. There is more to this story than is being told and I lay it all at the feet of the parents. What a shameful thing to do to a child. God help them. "
11/7/2011:
"My youngest (of 4) was born a girl. She was never a girl internally, and now - at age 17 we are doing testosterone shots and getting surgery consultations for double breast removal. School was a decade long struggle. We moved to 5 different schools in 4 years (my son's choice). We did home-schooling. We did charter. Thank God my child is very intelligent and was able to graduate 1.5 years early. It was a horrible road in many ways. And very isolating. Rough! Thank you so much for your thoughtful and sensitive article. Well done! And my love and light go out to the family mentioned. Such amazing openness and insight for these parents to truly SEE their child and deal with the reality, instead of forcing Kate to live in the agony of falseness. Gender Identity issues should be looked at like any other condition than may require treatment. We must learn, listen to our kids, and be guided to doctors, therapists, and communities that lessen our child's suffering, and help them toward a healthy happy life. Great topic, Great Schools! Keep it up. : ) P.S. We've noticed many transgender people are highly musical. Interesting. "
11/7/2011:
"Bravo to you for posting this amazing story! I read about Kate and her family on a news site a short time ago, and was quite moved by their tenacity to be the best parents they could be for their child. Thank you for helping to educate and inform others about this widely misunderstood condition. "
11/7/2011:
"What a load of horse manure . This is a contrived story designed to be a hit piece on the Catholic church instead of focusing on a parents that have lost their minds . "
11/7/2011:
"Something is wrong here. I know this mom is being lauded for her wonderful parenting abilities, but a 3-year-old should not be this interested in his sexuality. Do some medical research. This is just propaganda for the gay and lesbian community. As a parent, I would have a problem with this being pushed in my child's classroom, and I don't think it's very tolerant to push this sort of social agenda on the entire school community. "
11/7/2011:
"I'm sorry to say this, but I feel the child is mentally ill. The parents are encouraging it, too. Children don't get to "lead the way." They need guidance from their parents, who need to stick to their morals. If God made him a boy, then he should embrace his role and live the life that he was intended to do. People are so wrapped up in being politically correct that they're letting their kids dress in drag? Really? Come on! Many men have a gentle and feminine nature, but they can still be men! "
11/7/2011:
"This is an absurdity. This child needs help, not this type of accomodation. You're going to let a child decide sexual identity issues at the age of FOUR? Not only are we not teaching boys to be men, we're teaching them how to be women. I fear for any society that elevates this tragedy as triumphant. "
11/7/2011:
"Great article and story. Reaffirms my belief that we are all created in God's image and likeness; we are all perfect in His eyes. "
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