"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.
"I think Ellen and her husband are awesome parents.
"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
"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
"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!
"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
"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 "
"That is so amazing how their family excepts how Kate is! It is wondeful,
"Excellent article to read to help with understanding regarding Katherine.
"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.
"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.
"There is an excellent and sensitive French film called "Tomboy" that
conveys these issues from childrens' and young teens' viewpoints...
"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.
"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.
"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
"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.
"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
"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.
"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!
"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!
"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
"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
"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
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.
"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
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.
"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
"Greatschools pushing their agenda. No cred to your site any longer. Bye
"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?
"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
"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?
"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!
"What an amazing story.
"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
"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?
""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.
"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.
"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
"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.
"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
"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.
"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.
"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
"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
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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!!!
"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.
"Check his DNA. That should settle the matter on if he's a boy or girl.
"Amazing and inspirational. Kudos to Kate and her parents.
"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.
"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
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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
-Dallegrave, E., Mantese F., Oliveira, R., Andrade, A., Dalsenter, P.,
Langeloh, A. (2007) REPRODUCTIVE TOXICOLOGY. 81 665Ã¢â‚¬â€œ673.
"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.
"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 daughterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.
"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!
"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
"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.
"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.
"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!!
"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.
"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
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"Very good article, GreatSchools. The comments were very thought-provoking,
too. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 Ã¢â‚¬Å“The TerminatorÃ¢â‚¬Â�
(1984 version), couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“wrongÃ¢â‚¬Â�
to have values like kindness, acceptance, and tolerance. Kudos to the James
family for not sweeping KateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s feelings under the rug Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you probably
saved her life.
"Great article. Personally I think I would encourage a child to enjoy
whatever Ã¢â‚¬Å“girlÃ¢â‚¬Â� or Ã¢â‚¬Å“boyÃ¢â‚¬Â� 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 boysÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ clothes, liked Ã¢â‚¬Å“boy activities,Ã¢â‚¬Â� 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 didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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
"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
"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.
"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
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
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.
"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.
"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!
"What a wonderful mother!
"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
"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.
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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!
"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.
"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.
"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.
">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.
"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.
"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.
"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
"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
"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.
"This was a good, useful article, but have you ever heard of proofreading,
GreatSchools? There are numerous typos in this article. Very sloppy
"It is sad to see so many people here bashing Kate's parents for supporting
"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?
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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 "
"Way to go, ellen. I think your doing great and keep doing what your are
doing to assist other families with similar issues...
"Excellent job, Great Schools, for posting this! This is a topic that we,
as parents, need to be educated on. Thank you!
"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
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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
"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.
"Thank you for sharing this article. I hope that Kate continues to grow in
the person she is meant to be.
"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.
"James has is very strong an has been though a lot an has much more to go
through in the near future "
"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.
"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!
"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
"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.
"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
It may be too soon to stand up for such gender issues. Gender roles are
largely cultural behaviors, not genetically inherited.
"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.
"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
"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 "
"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...
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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
- That people can be mean does not inherently support whatever they are
- 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
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.
"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?!
"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?
"It cheers me deeply to know there are parents open to allow their children
to be themselves! Yay!
"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.
"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.
"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.
"I admire this family's courage to stand up for their daughter and do what
is right for her. God blesses you!
"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
"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.
"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 "
"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.
"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.
"These parents did what all parents should do - put their child first. It
was great to read their story.
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....
"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.
"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?
"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
"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
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.
"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!
"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.
"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"
"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.
"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.
"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!
"When he was 3, he was a princess for Halloween? Wth, who made him do
"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!
"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.
"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!
"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
"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!
"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.
"Hurrah for her and her parents for acceptingher for who she is.
"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.
"This is a well-crafted piece of advertising/propaganda about indulging
(yes, indulging) a deviant child and promoting yet another radical fringe
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.
"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!
"I believe it's a choice.
"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
"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. firstname.lastname@example.org. 206.718.4387.
"I think the parents are making a mistake to think that a six year old boy
is ready to change his sexual idenity.
"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.
"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
"typo, "Deciding that his mother wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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!
"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.
"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 "
"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.
"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.
"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
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.
"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
"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 .
"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.
"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!
"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.
"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.