The 2020 Episode hosted by Barbara Walters entitled My Secret Self is about the lives of three families into which an offspring was born with transgender disorder.  Walters explains that the frequency of transgender disorder has increased through the years with more and more families coming out with admissions that one of their children has the disorder.  The families seek to make the lives of their children better by advocating understanding of the disorder.  An initial action of parents of transgender children was to establish internet support sites for families struggling with children possessing this condition.  The episode zooms into the endeavors of three families, two of which have biological males who feel that they are females, and one family with a biological female later coming out as a male.  All three families were interviewed by Walters as well as their children and all three claim that the most difficult struggle that each of them had to face was having to deal with the social consequences of the conditions of their children.  The three families stress that the condition of their children is not a choice and that it is a valid and existing medical condition.  Their medical specialists support this view and so encourage the parents of the children to exercise more understanding when dealing with children with this disorder, as well as ensure that the children are given a socially, culturally, and personally fulfilling existence, as much as possible.  The show also enjoins the audiences to maintain an open mind and heart for children with such a condition that they are not gay or homosexual, and their disorder is not something they have control over they are all suffering from a genuine medical condition.

Personally, if I was the parent of a 3-year old biological boy who claims that he is a girl I would initially be shocked.  Of course, like most parents would likely do, I would try to convince my child otherwise, but since no effort of convincing will change the perception of the child, I would most likely seek psychological help.  My personal conviction with children having this disorder is to make sure that they are given the life that they deserve as human beings, not limited by whatever condition they might have.  This condition is just like any other medical disorder and should not be viewed as a handicap to giving and achieving a comfortable standard and quality of living.  Perhaps, after the initial shock, I would do everything in my power to ensure that my child lives normally, just like any other child, but according to his gender, which is female.  This is the only way that I could avoid further medical complications for the child such as severe depression and psychosis.  I will do as the parents did in the 2020 episode and make sure that my child is first, given the proper medical attention required for the condition, is properly introduced, or reintroduced into society to avoid discrimination and hostile perception, and I would give the child all the domestic support and encouragement that he would need to grow up as a productive and intrinsically and psychologically healthy individual.

Maybe initially, I would, like the parents in the 2020 episode, think that what my child is going through is simply a phase, but as said in the episode, a phase passes, and this condition does not.  If the child consistently manifests his gender perceptions then I would most likely suspect that something is wrong and like all parents I would embark on research and consultations to exactly point out the condition of my child.  It is my child, after all, and it is unlikely that a three year old would tell lies, so I would probably believe my child immediately and try to discover things about the condition later to give me more confidence that my child is not just being unreasonable and is not just perceptively confused.

Of course, initial requests of the child to dress according to his chosen gender would be dismissed but with the persistence of the child, and mostly for the happiness of the child, I would most likely submit because everything that a parent does should be in the best interest of the child which brings me to the decision of whether to allow the child to dress as a girl in school.  On this matter, I would probably be more reserved because if it is in the best interest of the child that I protect him from insults and derogatory remarks in school, then I would.  However, it again boils down to the happiness of the child, because I will not be around to protect him forever, so even if the decision might be painful and difficult, I would most likely, eventually, allow the child to dress as a female in school for the sake of his own happiness.  If the child is well brought up in the family and is equipped with the proper values and principles, then even with the challenges that he has to face in school, he will most likely emerge to become a confident, strong, and healthy individual.

The 2020 episode has helped me to understand that gravity of the problem of transgender children and the difficulties of parents who have such children.  Honestly, I did not know about this prior to the episode and the show had helped me become more open-minded when it comes to transgender individuals.  My only concern is how, in society, can one distinguish these individuals from those who are gay or homosexual  Transgender individuals are dealing with a genuine, medically proven condition while most gays and homosexuals are such because of the matter of choice and conviction.  Nevertheless, the episode has helped me look at people in a more permissive and understanding way because most of the time my personal convictions keep me from being considerate, but with the knowledge of children having to deal with conditions such as this, and with so much courage and hope, who am I to just pass off their struggles as hypocrisy and pretention  What these children have is something that can be explained medically and should absolutely not be dismissed as confusion or adamancy.

Normally, gender is something that follows the biological characteristics of a child in other words, a child perceives hisher gender in relation to the physical features that heshe possesses.  (Kalat, p. 331)  However, in certain cases, things can go biologically wrong.  Children who are born into this world have to deal with many things even before they are born.  One of these is prenatal hormones.  Prenatal hormones are important, (Kalat) because anomalies in the concentration of these hormones can result to real biological conditions result from these anomalies.  (Kalat, p. 332)  Children who have problems with prenatal hormones can either be born with physical characteristics of the opposite sex, and so if the perception of gender is dependent on the biological characteristics of a child, then children who exhibit physical characteristics of the opposite sex will have to deal with the confusion of perceiving their own gender.  This makes gender decisions dependent on the physical attributes of the child, and if such physical attributes are biologically determined, then, then gender decisions are therefore, indirectly relative to biological attributes.  An example of this mentioned by James Kalat is the condition known as Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia in girls which result to the over-excretion of testosterone.  (Kalat, p. 333)  The perception of girls with this condition is largely affected to the extent that they prefer to be exposed to male playthings.  So, judging by this alone, it is possible that while gender is not totally dependent on biology, biology has a huge role in influencing the childs perception of gender.  This basically means that biological conditions are not to be overlooked when certain characteristics of a child show that there is some degree of gender confusion.  In relation to transgender children, because it is an already recognized medical condition and the 2020 show explains that medical specialists are currently conducting studies to determine the connection between transgender conditions and the secretion of the male and female hormones, one can easily conclude that conditions such as this one where gender is involved may actually be linked to biological factors.


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