Columnist: Stop Assuming Your Kids are Trans Because They Like Something the Other Gender Does

Columnist: Stop Assuming Your Kids are Trans Because They Like Something the Other Gender Does

The Church of England has issued guidelines to all its schools about bullying, especially LGBT related bullying.

Rebecca Reid for wrote an op-ed about the statement. Her main takeaway from the guidelines: “The upshot of the statement was this: please let your children dress-up however they want to, and don’t shame them if they choose items of clothing that don’t fit the stereotype of their gender. Children should be able to wear whatever they want, play however they want, not be confined by pink for girls and blue for boys and that have absolutely no bearing on whether they are a boy or a girl.”

This is the problem I have with the statement. Everyone is hypersensitive about bullying these days. In fact, the guidelines were created in part in response to a survey from the Anti-Bullying Alliance that over half of kids fear being seen as different. But why are we coddling these children? There is a difference between teasing and playground banter and the kind of physical bullying that we should be sensitive to. There is a reason why we are seeing an increase in grown adults who are functionally adolescents. It is the worst kind of arrested development.

I know my opinion on this is unpopular, but it is the truth. Human beings are hierarchical beasts. We all instinctively know it. And children are not just no exception to this, they are usually the ones who can recognize it the best.

I don’t consider myself ever being “bullied” in school and I don’t consider anything I did to be “bullying” to others. All kids are trying to fit in the best they can and any little difference is pounced on. We are herd animals when push comes to shove. We are tribal, instinctual and irrational and our children are the most extreme cases of all of these. They don’t know any better and it is our job to teach them how to be civil. There is a reason “Lord of the Flies” hits home with everyone.

This kind of issue, as with any issue, immediately gets straw-manned and everyone is yelling past each other. And then there are just trolls, the art of which I have dabbled in from time to time.

Sure, children should be protected from targeted physical violence from their peers, or from anyone for that matter. But name calling, teasing, heat-of-the-moment scuffles and the like are how we form our opinions about the world and learn from our mistakes. It is also how we learn to resolve conflict. Instead of teaching children to call the police when we have disagreements or are harassed, we should teach them how to handle conflicts. We should be the adults in the relationship and not shield our children from anything bad happening to them, but rather be a resource for them to help them figure out their place in the world.

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