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No Such Thing as Too Young

Tori McCray

Posted on March 13, 2020 22:06

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About the regard for children in the LGBTQ+ community.

While working on a university project which resulted in the book, Trans/South: Ten Stories of Identity, I learned a very important fact about the LGBTQ+ community: there is no such thing as "too young."

Many of the people we interviewed during the project documented that they first started feeling "different" when they were under the age of five. This declaration goes against what many believe in regard to how much a small child can understand. Many members of the LGBTQ+ community began questioning who they were when the differences between girls and boys became more distinct. Others began to question their sexuality and gender during the most strenuous time in a child’s life, puberty.

The misconception about young children who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community is that they have not experienced life enough to make such an rash decision. But there is nothing "rash" about identifying with the LGBTQ+ community. What many people outside of this community don't understand is that these individuals have spent years researching and battling with themselves on who they are as a person.

Recently, a law was proposed that would limit childrens' abilities to go through gender-reassignment treatments. This law also stated that the parents of children going through these treatments could be charged with child abuse. This law's goal is to not only limit the number of people transitioning, but to also limit the number of transgender children.

We can look to Dwyane Wade's daughter, Zaya Wade, for confirmation that society believes a twelve-year-old does not have the mental capacity to choose who they want to be. In an interview, Dwyane Wade stated that his daughter had been researching and contemplating for years over her transition. For years they had discussed the best path for Zaya.

Many times people believe that children are making impulsive decisions regarding their gender and sexuality when in reality they have been questioning themselves for years.

The most important thing is that we need to believe children. As adults, we often disregard children's thoughts and opinions on the basis of their age. We cannot afford to do this with children of the LGBTQ+ community.

Tori McCray

Posted on March 13, 2020 22:06

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The 2nd chapter of Sweethearts of 1989; the LGBTQ+/trans* slice of life romance story continues!

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