Veto legislation that would harm my transgender child

A bill approved by the Florida legislature banning transgender children from female sports would make already vulnerable children even more vulnerable. The measure has serious consequences for my child and young people like her.

At 3, our darling son was doing what we thought was role playing while he was playing being a girl. As his third year progressed he was playing a lot at being a girl; at least we assumed it was a game. He started to get very upset when we said the game was over and it was time to be himself again. He started having temper tantrums about it. We said we couldn’t play these games anymore and stopped it.

At 4 years old, unbeknownst to us, he told his teachers that he was a girl. They would correct it. One day when I picked him up from school he asked me to explain to his teacher that he didn’t pretend to be a girl and said he didn’t understand why we all thought he was a boy when he knew he was a girl. I was stunned.

His pediatrician explained to use that there are a number of children like this. She said the American Academy of Pediatrics has a standard that could lead to considering whether a child was transgender and that there were other criteria she wanted us to find out about, so we could see if our child fell into this category.

Still in shock, because we had only heard the term transgender from afar, we opened up to learning. My family is religiously conservative, so that was on the foreground of my mind. We reached out to friends who were psychologists to ask if it was a mental health issue. We started to read and educate ourselves.

We were going out of town that summer, so we tried an experiment in consultation with a psychologist and our pediatrician. We asked our child if she wanted to be called a girl and dress differently on our trip.

Our child started to beam and cry at the same time with the words, “Oh mum, can I? What am I going to wear? “I took her to the mall and we went to the girls section of a children’s clothing department. My kid chose a simple girl’s dress, a cute T-shirt and a skirt with shorts. came home to try on these new clothes, the smile on my child’s face is still with me all these years later.

That summer, we had a wonderful time with the family. We had no tantrums or tantrums, and we had never seen our child so comfortable with herself and the world. When we returned, we started seeing a specialist and made a social transition.

The following year was very difficult for all of us as we negotiated our conservative family and the world. Our child doesn’t know that many in the world think there is something wrong with her. After understanding the reality of transgender teens and teens and their epidemic rate of suicide attempts, we decided that our primary role was to keep her psyche intact, letting her know that she was born in perfection as desired. from God and protect her from those who would harm her.

When the bill currently on Gov. Ron DeSantis’s desk was introduced, I felt fear like I never did. I do not believe that anyone would want to introduce such hateful legislation and that there are enough leaders in our state who would support it.

My child from an early age has had developmental delays, but she loves sports. She begs us to enroll her in team sports. My child is not a physical threat to anyone she sports with. It would be a triumph if she simply mastered the skills of a sports team.

What should I tell him if Governor DeSantis signs this bill? How can I explain that in our great country of ours, we can still pass laws that discriminate against children? How to explain that she does not play as a team with her friends?

Health and education professionals across the country say this legislation will harm children. Female athletes say that is wrong and that they are not threatened. She puts children at risk by implicitly sharing their differences with the world.

Gov. DeSantis, you know it’s not a safe world for them. Please don’t make it more dangerous. Protect them by vetoing this legislation.

This article was written by a parent in Gainesville who wishes to remain anonymous in order to protect the safety of their child.


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About Johanna Gooding

Johanna Gooding

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