CommunityPam's House Blend

Outing #2: When You Endanger A Child For The Sensationalism Of It

~~Article 2 of 2 on transgender outing today~~

I got a call tonight from Shannon Garcia of TransYouth Family Advocates (TYFA) last night.  She described a 9News report from Douglas County, Colorado, saying there is enough information being put out in this article and accompanying video to out the transgender child for ridicule and violence.

The news station apparently wasn’t interested in talking to anyone with expertise on transgender children to get the child’s perspective out in their on air broadcast.  The accompanying print article refers comments from Kim Pearson, the TYFA Executive Director, but these weren’t included in their on air comments.  

The Rocky Mountain News is doing an article on this story soon, but they at least are getting a perspective other than the worried parent in the same classroom.

The article’s headline read Boy wants to return to school as a girl.  Some gems from the text:

– “I see this as being a very difficult situation to explain to my daughter to explain why someone would not want to be the gender they were born with,” said Dave M.

His daughter will be in the same class as the student.

– “I do think that there’s going to be an acknowledgement that ‘Why are you in a dress this year when you were in pants last year?'” said Dave M.

– That thought is not comforting to Dave M., who believes his daughter is not ready to think about the issue of being transgender.

“I don’t think a 3rd grader does have the rationale to decide this life-altering choice,” said Dave M.

– [Dave M.] is also unhappy with the way the school is handling this. The district has been preparing for the child’s return to this school for months. Dave M. thinks other parents should have been made aware of this sooner.

“I just find it ironic that they can dictate the dress style of children to make sure they don’t wear inappropriate clothing, but they have no controls in place for someone wearing transgender clothing,” said Dave M.

Yes, let’s force everyone to conform.

For an idea of how irresponsible the press is in releasing this to public in this sensationalized way, let’s remember that the child we are talking about is in third grade.  This be emotionally disastrous for this child due to the media attention.  Has anyone looked at LGBT youth suicide rates lately?

And, it could have been dangerous with for this transgender third grader even without the media coverage.  Let’s not forget about what the Christian Civic League encouraged in Maine.  In their online publishing arm — The Record — they commended a grandfather for encouraging his grandchild to protest an m2f transgender classmate. From that commendation:

Mr. Melanson told his grandson to use the girls’ bathroom whenever he saw the other ten-year-old boy using it. Melanson reasons that the same anti-discrimination laws that are likely to be used to justify one boy’s use of the girls’ bathroom may also be used to justify his grandson’s use of the same bathroom.

His reasoning is sound. Nevertheless, he has been told by school administrators, and the local police, that his grandson cannot use the girls’ bathroom. The administration persists is allowing only one boy to use the girls’ bathroom at the Asa Adams Elementary School.

And who can forget that NARTH’s Canadian psychiatrist Joseph Berger advocated, on NARTH’s website, for the ridiculing of gender variant children:

In a blog on NARTH’s website, Berger expressed disgust with a Northern California school that accommodated a cross-dressing kindergartner and other children with “gender-variant” behaviors. Berger said that instead of teaching tolerance, schools should “let the other children ridicule” boys and girls who don’t conform.

“It is a mistake for various interfering, ignorant and biased busybodies to try to ‘counsel’ the other children into accepting the abnormal,” Berger wrote. “It is very healthy to be able to draw the line between what is healthy and what is sick.”

So, with our third grader, we see religious right organizations have advocated protesting transgender elementary school kids, as well as ridiculing them.  Well, I feel Christ’s love there, don’t you?

For those of us with LGBT families, do any of us think that outing an LGBT elementary school child in the media is responsible?  Would you have wanted to be outed by the television news, even if they didn’t mention your name?

My best wishes are for the continued health and well being of this child, especially after this kind of press coverage.


Note: I talked to Kim Pearson of TYFA on the phone Thrusday night, and she told me that GLAAD is going to take on News9 for their article and news story.  That’s good news to my ears, that’s for sure.

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