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tyke

Trans Scouting (Use other thread for new policy)

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I have two daughters.  One grew up all pink, ruffly, nail polish and a couple of closets full of shoes for every occasion.  The other was blue jeans, flannel shirts and I don't think she owned a dress until she was in her 30's.  Relatives would quietly ask me if she was gay.  I always said I didn't know and I never asked, but if they want to ask, go ahead.  No one ever did.

 

Well both are married and have kids of their own.  And wouldn't you know it my prissy daughter has a daughter just like her sister and my tomboy daughter has a daughter with a passion for pink and glitter.  They don't seem to be any more concerned about the kids' futures than I was about theirs.  

 

Yes, my ruffly daughter has been to the BWCA and my tomboy daughter is still mad at me for not taking her.  

 

To this day, neither girl has ever complained about their daughters coming home with mud from one end to the other having spent the day at Grandpa's farm.  And yet when it comes time for church, both are all dressed to the T's with ruffles and lace.

 

All four of them are an never ending source of amazement and unpredictability which works out just fine in my book.

 

I can assure you that not all my Eagle scouts were straight, too.  And this was long before the BSA opened up membership to gays.   When one doesn't spend all their time thinking about all the what-ifs and projecting judgments, things seem to run a lot smoother in life.  Nothing stays the same for very long.

 

I think the "don't ask, don't tell" approach is just another way of saying, "mind your own business" and that works for every relationship even those between parent and child.  I have more important things in life than to worry about other people's sexual orientation, like where my next cup of coffee is coming from. 

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I had an acquaintance in college who was going through who was going through all the hormones in surgery to go from girl->guy. This was back in Reagan 1st term and in a  small Bible belt college. I observed the harassment, isolation, and occasional death threats and figured no one would go through that on a whim. I also had a fabulous gay roommate (best of the bunch) and I really didn't give a damn...I knew what I was and what I liked and had already found the future Mrs Turtle.

 

I agree with Stosh's "Don't Ask Don't Tell". We had pre-policy gay scouts...maybe I am getting too old. It just seems like too much societal change too fast for me. We seem to live in a time of deconstruction just for deconstructions sake...

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I am not going to re-argue the idea of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in general. We had many debates about it in the context of the "gay issue." It's a nice phrase, but in practice it signified the exclusion of a particular group.

 

In the situation that this thread is about, "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is irrelevant. The article linked in the original post tells us that this boy is 8 years old (so presumably in the second or third grade at school) and "has been living as a boy for more than a year." So he (using only male pronouns here to avoid confusion) started school "living as a girl" and then sometime in the first or second grade started "living as a boy." He was also "accepted as a boy at school", the article says. Presumably the other children noticed this change, and probably some mentioned it to their parents. So just the fact of this happening meant that it was not a secret, and the article confirms that it was "not a secret." So there was no "telling" to be done. Everybody knew.

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I had a Chinese roommate, a black roommate, a gay roommate and a straight-white roommate in college.  Of the bunch, only the straight-white guy caused bumpy roads and even then it wasn't all that bad.

 

9 + 1 = 10

9 - 1 = 7

9 x 1 = 9

9 / 1 = 9

 

How many people would say I got it right and how many would say I got it wrong.

 

It's kinda too bad that we all tend to see the one thing wrong while ignoring the 3 things right.

 

As a scouter, seeing the good in the boys makes life a lot easier.  You're gay?  You're an Eagle?  Which will dominate when talking with him?  Never talked to the scout being gay, but had a ton of conversations on him becoming an Eagle.  Too bad it doesn't always work out that way in today's society.  By the way, he's a student at Cambridge in England now working in astrophysics on the new cutting edge gravity waves research.  He's my Eagle that couldn't start a fire, but I guess that wasn't all that important to him, we just worked around it.

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I am not going to re-argue the idea of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in general. We had many debates about it in the context of the "gay issue." It's a nice phrase, but in practice it signified the exclusion of a particular group.

 

In the situation that this thread is about, "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is irrelevant. The article linked in the original post tells us that this boy is 8 years old (so presumably in the second or third grade at school) and "has been living as a boy for more than a year." So he (using only male pronouns here to avoid confusion) started school "living as a girl" and then sometime in the first or second grade started "living as a boy." He was also "accepted as a boy at school", the article says. Presumably the other children noticed this change, and probably some mentioned it to their parents. So just the fact of this happening meant that it was not a secret, and the article confirms that it was "not a secret." So there was no "telling" to be done. Everybody knew.

 

Of course it's relevant or we wouldn't be wasting our time on this forum talking about it.  Name one other thing about this 8 year old other than he might not be really heterosexual.  If all I had done with my daughter is focus on her being a tomboy, I might not even have a daughter in my life today.  If one really believes in the worth of another person, and all they focus on is what they think is wrong will not make a good relationship.  Find what's right, it's more important in the long run and as a scouter we, too, have the duty to help other people at all times.  BP slipped up when he omitted a scout's duty to judge other people at all times.  Maybe that's one of his faults we slipped up.  Maybe it's because no one ever asked him why he spent an enormous amount of time in his life hanging around young boys.....

 

I need more coffee, life is too short to focus on the wrong things.

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Qwasze (and others), do you think this kid is just making up the idea that he is "really" a boy? Do you think he is lying?

...

Well, sex is defined based on reproductive function (with some exceptions for chromosomal anomalies), so the youth is speaking against that. In doing so, of course, the child is "making it up" -- just like I can make up all kinds of things that speak against material facts (or so may atheist colleagues claim I do). There is no "gender switch", if there were, we would be having a much different conversation.

 

Is deceit intended? No. The youth is convinced, based on perceptions of what a person of opposite sex should think, feel, and do, that s/he more like that person and not like any anatomically similar person who would concede their sex based on anatomy alone. If thoughts/feelings/actions take precedence over reproductive role, as they hear society suggesting they should, then the next logical step is to assume the identity dictated by cognitive, not biological, processes.

 

This is a much different process than the tom-boy or effeminate male described by @@Stosh and @sentinel. Tom boys or girly men see themselves as exceptional members of the same sex, not normal members of the opposite sex.

 

Each person who I or my wife knew who attempted to identify opposite their biological sex is so different that I couldn't find a common motivation.

  • Some had serious cognitive impairments.
  • Others were no less sharp than you and I.
  • Most felt odd for a long time, but unlike the youth in this story, could not articulate it until their teens or later.
  • Only one was abused by an adult (lay-clergy, if I recall).

I can't speak to behaviors of self-mutilation or other negative associations. Those details haven't come up when talking to them or their parents. Since they have come up when talking other non-trans folks, I wonder how much such an association is by chance.

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9 + 1 = 10

9 - 1 = 7

9 x 1 = 9

9 / 1 = 9

 

How many people would say I got it right and how many would say I got it wrong.

 

It's kinda too bad that we all tend to see the one thing wrong while ignoring the 3 things right.

I don't see what this has to do with the topic, but my answer would be that you have not asked a question that can be answered. Technically you have not asked a question at all, but if the question is, "Did I get it right", there can be no answer until we know what "it" is. Or you could be asking the question four different times, in which case the answers are Yes, No, Yes, Yes.

 

Context also matters. If you are an engineer designing an airplane and you get one out of every four equations wrong, I want to be on a different airplane.

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Name one other thing about this 8 year old other than he might not be really heterosexual.

Stosh, I don't think you understand what the issue is here. The question is not whether he is heterosexual or not. The question is whether he should be treated as a boy or as a girl.

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So Beavah, you're saying that kids are seeking surgery on their private parts without really needing it, just to get attention?

 

 

Yah, if yeh think an 8-year-old is actually seekin' surgery without that notion bein' strongly encouraged by adults in his or her life, you're out of your mind.

 

And if yeh think any responsible professional in da medical community would consider such surgery, let me know so I can report 'em to their state medical board and have their license to practice medicine permanently revoked.

 

Playin' into pre-pubescent notions of bein' "trans" is just irresponsible as close as I can tell from da available research.  If somewhere between 80% and 98% of the children with professionally diagnosed "gender identity disorder" revert to bein' perfectly happy with their biological gender by adulthood, then lockin' a kid in with social pressure and medical procedures is just child abuse, plain and simple.  

 

We should treat all kids with understanding and compassion and support, eh?  I also don't reckon anybody's in favor of burnin' Joan of Arc at the stake anymore on account of wearin' pants and feelin' called to be a soldier.  Treat all people with dignity.

 

But we should not be makin' child abuse normative.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah
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Yah, if yeh think an 8-year-old is actually seekin' surgery without that notion bein' strongly encouraged by adults in his or her life, you're out of your mind.

 Agreed

 

I need more coffee, life is too short to focus on the wrong things.

Agreed. As to your math, NJ is right, don't design planes. But as to a metaphor describing people it's okay. Maybe a better version is everyone's glass is half full. Nobody's is full, nobody's is empty, but everyone's is half full. Look for the goodness and accept the problems.

 

Not really related, but remember when Clinton, the Bill, said "It's the economy, stupid." Again, the BSA is pulled off its message. Well, I guess we don't know what its message is so any incident will do just that.

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I don't see what this has to do with the topic, but my answer would be that you have not asked a question that can be answered. Technically you have not asked a question at all, but if the question is, "Did I get it right", there can be no answer until we know what "it" is. Or you could be asking the question four different times, in which case the answers are Yes, No, Yes, Yes.

 

Context also matters. If you are an engineer designing an airplane and you get one out of every four equations wrong, I want to be on a different airplane.

 

It has everything to do with the topic.  How does an 8 year old boy know about what's right and wrong and what social ideals are good and or bad?  I'm of the opinion that someone somewhere made some judgments about him and convinced him that in order to "fit in" he has to be different.  Well, being different is the same situation we are all in.  In the majority of this boy's life he is "normal" (if there is such a thing) but if displaying love, concern, nurturing, all "female" attributes means he's gay is a conclusion that judgmental people have decided is so.  But while those attributes may be female, they also apply to being a good husband and father as well. Society just makes judgmental decisions out of thin air.  An aggressive male that talks smack is no different than a female being "assertive".  A male is expected to earn a pay check and the female is expected to stay home and raise the kids.  Yet society looks askew when the dad stays home and takes care of the kids while mom goes out and has a career.  One might think this is old fashioned and unenlightened, but the society around them still balks when they see it.  It looks good in the press, but in the quietude of home life, it's still an "issue".  Does society scrutinize the dad to make sure he's doing a good job or is it assumed he can't do as well as a mom.  And what's with this mom abandoning her children for a paycheck?  Women are supposed to be the nurturing half of the equation.   After all we all know males do better in the economic realm while females do better in the home life.

Stereotypes are real, people use them all the times whether we want to admit it or not.

 

By the way, friends of mine didn't follow the "normal" choices in life.  Dad stayed home and mom worked as an industrial engineer in the local factory.  The two boys grew up just fine, the older is a sheriff's deputy and the other is into medical research.  Neither of them patterned themselves after their dad (who happened to be a really nice gentleman).  I worked with the mom, they lived just down the street and the older boy was a member of my Venturing Crew.  If I had any doubts about the stereotype, I never would have had the opportunity to meet such nice people.  I never asked questions that were none of my business.  Worked out well.

 

Context matters?  Not really, that's just another layer of judgmentalism applied to the situation, most often used for justification to reinforce preconceived notions a person adheres to.

 

If one is looking for an 100% perfect engineer, they have a long search ahead of them.  Nobody's perfect.  Until they are, I wouldn't get on any airplanes anytime soon. 

 

Stosh, I don't think you understand what the issue is here. The question is not whether he is heterosexual or not. The question is whether he should be treated as a boy or as a girl.

 

No, the issue is whether or not anyone should be treated like a human being.  We don't need the stereotypes and judgments to harass any 8 year old boys.  Either this boy learns to cope with a judgmental society or he's going to have a miserable existence.  After all if I woke up this morning thinking I'm King of the World, I'm probably going to have some problems long before breakfast.

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I'm a firm believer in the idea that just because I don't "get something", doesn't mean there isn't something there "to get". But I agree with those posters that say an eight year old being considered transgendered is premature. I don't believe an eight year old understands themselves enough to make such a judgement.

 

But, this is something "I don't get", so maybe I'm wrong.

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I'm a firm believer in the idea that just because I don't "get something", doesn't mean there isn't something there "to get". But I agree with those posters that say an eight year old being considered transgendered is premature. I don't believe an eight year old understands themselves enough to make such a judgement.

 

But, this is something "I don't get", so maybe I'm wrong.

 

I don't get it either.  I am not well-versed in the medical or psychological aspects of the subject.  As a "gut" feeling, I would agree with you that it seems premature to conclude that an eight-year-old is transgender.  It certainly seems premature to be talking about any medical treatment that is difficult or impossible to reverse, and way premature to be talking about surgery (a sub-topic that seems to have been introduced into this thread by accident.)

 

But that still leaves the question, what does the BSA do when this young person wants to join a Cub Scout pack rather than a Brownie troop?  This young person says he's a boy, his parents say he's a boy, his school apparently says he's a boy, and maybe there are medical/psychological professionals who say he's a boy.  (One of the many things we don't know from the article is the process by which all these people concluded that this young person is a boy.  There have been a lot of assumptions by posters in this thread as to how and why that happened, but we have no facts on the subject.)  The BSA says no, the birth certificate says he's a girl, so he's a girl.  (It's so difficult to write about this while maintaining proper grammar.)  He can be a Venturer when he's old enough, but he cannot be a Cub Scout now or a Boy Scout later.  And that judgment does not seem to be based on the idea of "prematurity", because it appears that even when he is considerably older (say, 16), and still considers himself a boy, the BSA will still consider him a girl.  So he can be a Venturer, but not a Boy Scout.

 

I don't know with certainty what the right policy is, but I don't think the BSA does at this point either.  That being the case, if there is a Cub Scout pack that is willing to accept this boy as a boy, I don't think the BSA should prevent them from doing so.

Edited by NJCubScouter
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No, the issue is whether or not anyone should be treated like a human being.  We don't need the stereotypes and judgments to harass any 8 year old boys.  Either this boy learns to cope with a judgmental society or he's going to have a miserable existence.  After all if I woke up this morning thinking I'm King of the World, I'm probably going to have some problems long before breakfast.

He doesn't want to be King of the World. He wants to be a Cub Scout.

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Yah, if yeh think an 8-year-old is actually seekin' surgery without that notion bein' strongly encouraged by adults in his or her life, you're out of your mind.

 

And if yeh think any responsible professional in da medical community would consider such surgery, let me know so I can report 'em to their state medical board and have their license to practice medicine permanently revoked.

Actually, I don't think any of that. I don't think he is seeking surgery and I don't think any responsible physician would perform it.  The idea of surgery came from a post by qwasze to which you responded, here:  http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/28705-trans-scouting/?p=447571    The relevant part of your response did not seem to be about this particular child, but about "kids" in general, including those who would be considerably older.  Sentinel has suggested that I misunderstood your post, and I am willing to accept that, although I think you misunderstood mine as well.

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