Effeminate son, what would you do?

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    May 08, 2008 1:56 AM GMT
    Effeminate son, what would you do?

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90247842

    i can't honestly say i know how i would react. I know i would be understanding but i would be so worried.. maybe something is wrong.

    lol i hate to admit this but i had a little mermaid toy when i was really young that i loved. My parents say i watch cinderella alot. But to be fair, my parents have video of me playing and apparently the little mermaid was my sidekick for batman action figure so there... a little dignity.
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    May 08, 2008 2:04 AM GMT
    I would love and protect him, allowing him the space to be himself. His gender expression and gender identity are elements of/about him, not me, the hypothetical parent. I shouldn't define it - he should.
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    May 08, 2008 2:07 AM GMT
    I would love him no matter what. If he wants to shoot hoops...we shoot hopes. If he wants to play with dolls....we play with dolls. I would never tell him its wrong to be who he is.
  • HndsmKansan

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    May 08, 2008 2:11 AM GMT
    I totally agree with the others... whats the alternative, make him feel inferior? That would be the worst thing in the world. To be comfortable with himself should be the goal, regardless of who he is...
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    May 08, 2008 2:16 AM GMT
    RunintheCity saidI would love and protect him, allowing him the space to be himself. His gender expression and identity is about him, not me the parent. I shouldn't define it - he should.


    My thoughts exactly.
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    May 08, 2008 2:24 AM GMT
    When children at the ages of 2 and 3 are expressing themselves as the opposite sex, I would say it is innate and they should be allowed to develop their own way. Such young kids dont know the difference, so they are obviously acting on their own internal feelings.
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    May 08, 2008 2:26 AM GMT
    What would I do? Nothing. If he showed an interest in fashion, I would encourage him hoping he was the next Armani or St. Laurent and would keep me in the lifestyle I so richly deserved for being such a good father! icon_cool.gif
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    May 08, 2008 2:28 AM GMT
    Oh my heart breaks for Bradley.

    As a kid, I played with dolls and tonka trucks, I was big into constructing houses for dolls and used tonka trucks to move earth and bring in lumber and the dolls decorated hehe

    But I still remember being picked on cause I liked dolls, by both my family and people outside of it. I eventually stopped playing with any toys what so ever and stopped being friends with women..

    BOY, where my family stupid, I turned into a big'ol homo hehehe

    Still, I'd love both of them for who they are, I'd protect them as much as I can and teach them how to stand in the face of ridicule and be proud of all that they are!
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    May 08, 2008 2:37 AM GMT
    Man that was heartbreaking reading about the boy forced to give up his identity to pacify his parents desires. By his own mothers words you can tell he's a mess. He wants so bad to please his parents he's willing to play a role for them but she knows down deep inside he still identifies as female. I just couldn't do that to a child. I believe if we are lucky enough to have children they are gifts. Incredible little souls with their own unique personalities. It would be sadistic to screw with that little soul like this. If he were born my son and developed gender identification problems I'd privately ache for the struggles he is going through but I'd never try to step in and demand he be something he is not. If he wants to play with dolls he'd have the whole freakin barbie collection. If he wanted a pink room when I was done painting it the room would look like someone threw up pepto bismal all over the place. I'd have to seek out medical help to know how to deal with this but I'd seek out someone like the one therapist that won't make my child feel like a piece of confused garbage. My goal would be to understand and how to adapt. Of course being a gay man I'm more receptive to this approach because I know what it's like to hear you are not normal for your sexual thoughts and desires so you try to give everyone else what they perceive as normal to make them happy. They get all the happiness by your performance but you are freakin miserable and thats what I'd be aware of in this situation. I want so much to find the one family screwing with their son and tell them to give him his fucken doll and leave her alone. icon_smile.gif
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    May 08, 2008 2:37 AM GMT
    Depending on how early I noticed it I'd try and counter the femininity.

    Toy trucks and tool, perhaps take him to those mindless fair events where tractors pull concrete blocks around. Since how he's raised impacts his future self I'd try and sculpt him to be a bit more manly.

    If he still ended up an effeminate homo I'd love him all the same thou.
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    May 08, 2008 2:45 AM GMT
    Trance23 said
    If he still ended up a effeminate homo I'd love him all the same thou.


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    May 08, 2008 2:47 AM GMT
    Trance23 said
    Since how he's raised impacts his future self I'd try and sculpt him to be a bit more manly.


    Which raises the essential question at work here: Why is manly superior to effeminate? The misogynistic presumption of the superiority of gender expression of a masculine nature is never questioned enough in these situations. Why is the effeminate 'bad'? What is the fear?

    (I'm not asking Trance, just posing the questions for the general discussion.)
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    May 08, 2008 2:54 AM GMT
    ^ not asked directly but I'll answer.

    I won't speak for society, but personally I just wouldn't want a feminine acting male child. Knowing his future will be tougher by the sole fact he doesn't conform would push me to try and mold him while young. I'd say it stems from the fact I don't think children are born destined to be masculine, or feminine. I think thats all determined by upbringing.
  • ShawnTX

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    May 08, 2008 3:05 AM GMT
    It's sad what some parents will do to their kids to make them 'perfect'. It's well intentioned, sure, but they need to realize that they're just opening the doors to serious psychological issues in the future.

    I was a pretty femme kid, I played with dolls, made them clothes, played with my mothers make-up and LOVED to walk around the house in her heels. I also did all the usual 'boy' stuff too, so I could hardly take issue with having a femme child. My parents let me do my thing and I think I turned into a pretty well-developed person, so I would model that as a parent.
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    May 08, 2008 3:05 AM GMT
    I would love him no matter what. One has worked in Child care. A Child is asexual. So One is happy for a boy to have a Dollie, as this may have no reflection on him, when he was a teen, young man, man.

    But If this was the case still at ten. Well He would grow up ready for the world, because of dads jokes. Not only would One acknowledge it, One would make fun of it too. One would toughen him up for the world.

    But I would also try to get him into Motor bikes, and such too. Fishing, camping with tents.
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    May 08, 2008 3:05 AM GMT
    I don't think i would actively try to change their gender identity but i would play with them with blocks and trucks a little just to try to give them even exposure.

    The truth is im not sure how id even raise a girl. Society starts training girls to be devoted to marriage from a really young age. In some sense i would feel the need to shield my daughter from societies expectations for women:finding a husband they can live through, and looking pretty to attract a husband who will have a good job. Lots of girls toys promote this kind of thinking, that girls have to be superficial in some sense Barbie dolls, polypocket, and play kitchen included.

    Now im not totally downing girl toys. God only knows i loved to play house in kindergarden (I did some cooking, i wasn't a chauvinist kindergardener like some of my friends).So i think i had a descent balance in that i was able to play well in both scenerios. I would however be worried if my daughter started to play barbie and house way too much
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    May 08, 2008 3:07 AM GMT
    ShawnTO saidand I think I turned into a pretty well-developed person


    oh I do, too....I so do, too .... icon_eek.gif

    icon_lol.gif
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    May 08, 2008 3:13 AM GMT
    I would love him the way he was. And I think any parent that would try to "mold" there son into what they want is a bad parent. People say being gay is a much harder lifestyle? Compared to what?? There is no easy lifestyle. I'm not over being raped while my family is being slaughtered in africa I think I'll get over the hard lifestyle. I think its selfish and extremely potentially damaging to the kid from being a child to adulthood.

    Parents try to take on too much of a role of who their kids should be, instead of letting them be who they want to be. I believe the only job a parent should be doing for their child is giving them a loving supportive relationship, giving them confidence and helping them become the man/woman they were meant be.
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    May 08, 2008 3:14 AM GMT
    RuninthecityWhich raises the essential question at work here: Why is manly superior to effeminate? The misogynistic presumption of the superiority of gender expression of a masculine nature is never questioned enough in these situations. Why is the effeminate 'bad'? What is the fear?

    That's part of the cultural narrative at work here, but it's not so simple for parents who want to protect their kids from the brutal prejudice they are almost certainly going to encounter when they emerge from childhood. Further, it's not like being part of a racial minority, or even the gay minority, whose members can support one another. Trans kids have a much more difficult time finding support from contemporaries.

    I've worked with two families with obviously trans boys, both under 10. Of course, my approach is totally the second therapist's approach. Frankly, it shocks me that people are still trying to recondition gender on what is basically the old psychoanalytical model. As JSTTennnis observed, it is obvious that the first kid is doing his best to conceal his nature just to please his parents.

    It makes a huge difference in the psychological health of a kid if he feels totally accepted by his family. (I showed the families the film "Ma Vie en Rose." It's helpful in making this clear.) If a kid has that, the bigotry he encounters in the world is a lot easier to handle.

    Most of the work I did with the two kids I saw was with their families, not with the kids themselves, since they had yet to encounter the cruelty likely coming their way. I have also worked with another trans kid, 12, whose mother and sister completely supported him and he's learned what he has to do to protect himself. The kid must never be held accountable for the world's disapproval but eventually he's got to learn how to deal with it.

    I loved working with these kids, especially the youngest, because they were completely earnest. I took them shopping and they made a beeline for the girls' department. I might add that in one case this had nothing to do with the usual gender-based stereotypes: he played sports as well as played with dolls. Their usurpation of gender and complete innocence about it was very moving to watch.

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    May 08, 2008 3:15 AM GMT
    i think you worry too much.

    if your boy is more girl, then yes, you should worry for his safety, but your dignity comment at the end of your initial posting is rather disturbing.

    if an adult is going to raise a child, it should be with the understanding that that child is an individual (not a clone) who will one day be an adult unto him/herself, whether s/he conforms to the parent's ideals or not.

    really. grow a pair and fight for your effeminate son. he has bigger balls than anyone on the football team.
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    May 08, 2008 3:23 AM GMT
    See I look at gender identity disorder as being completely different from having a few feminine qualities. In the one boys case he clearly identified as being female. It went as far as getting excited when someone acknowledged him as a little girl. I think something like that is so deep rooted it's beyond environmental. In the other case they've tried providing more masculine toys. Even eliminated the damn color pink and this kid for whatever reason still shows signs he is pulled toward the feminine.

    I just think in these cases no matter how hard someone desires to "mold" a child into something it's not going to work in the long run. It may become a game of that double identity that the one mother was talking about.

    I do agree with everyone who said they would prefer that this wasn't an issue because you would ache for his safety but through proper medical approach you would be given avenues to work around it.

    The bigger question would be... what happens if at the end of all the masculine therapy he still personally identifies as female? What do you do then? Look at him and say.. STOP THAT! and confuse the kid further? You may be fighting a losing battle in the attempt to recreate the child for what you thought was his safety.

    Like I said, it's one thing if your boy likes to play with dolls and comes off a bit feminine but also knows he's a boy and also embraces more masculine things. You can create a healthy balance with that but when it's to the point where he strictly identifies as female, has no desire to embrace anything masculine I just don't think you are going to be successful in a home transformation and the one needing the transformation to acceptance may end up being the parent.
  • MisterT

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    May 08, 2008 3:46 AM GMT
    I'd love and support him either way, and encourage them to be themselves, not try to cover up who they are, that's wrong and can lead to much deeper psych probs in the future.
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    May 08, 2008 3:49 AM GMT
    Trance23 saidDepending on how early I noticed it I'd try and counter the femininity.

    Toy trucks and tool, perhaps take him to those mindless fair events where tractors pull concrete blocks around. Since how he's raised impacts his future self I'd try and sculpt him to be a bit more manly.

    If he still ended up an effeminate homo I'd love him all the same thou.


    I'd incorporate the more masculine things like the toy trucks and stuff but not to see if I get the same results that you are suggesting. I'd be interested to see if he had any interest in those things. If he did fine. If not I'd be fine with that as well. I'd be very cautious in demanding that my son play with a toy or color with a certain color simply because he was a boy.

    I just don't think even if I did see him embrace some of these masculine things I'd be eliminating his feminine personality. I'm pretty sure there are lots of feminine men out there that enjoyed going to mindless fair events where tractors pull concrete blocks but it didn't make their vocal inflection lower or change the way they walked or presented themselves. So even though he ends up embracing all those masculine things you may still end up with an effeminate homo as you said.
  • mcwclewis

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    May 08, 2008 3:59 AM GMT
    RunintheCity said[quote][cite]Trance23 said[/cite]
    Since how he's raised impacts his future self I'd try and sculpt him to be a bit more manly.


    Which raises the essential question at work here: Why is manly superior to effeminate? The misogynistic presumption of the superiority of gender expression of a masculine nature is never questioned enough in these situations. Why is the effeminate 'bad'? What is the fear?

    (I'm not asking Trance, just posing the questions for the general discussion.)[/quote]


    I love you.



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    May 08, 2008 4:11 AM GMT
    RunintheCity said[quote][cite]Trance23 said[/cite]
    Since how he's raised impacts his future self I'd try and sculpt him to be a bit more manly.


    Which raises the essential question at work here: Why is manly superior to effeminate? The misogynistic presumption of the superiority of gender expression of a masculine nature is never questioned enough in these situations. Why is the effeminate 'bad'? What is the fear?

    (I'm not asking Trance, just posing the questions for the general discussion.)[/quote]

    I loved this statement as well but I think you already know the unfortunate answer.

    Men who are perceived as feminine are considered weaker. A weak man is of no use in a society dominated by the masculine male. Now I'm not saying that. I'm giving you the obvious answer. It's a shame. It can be disputed but to the whole of society the role of the Masculine male as the superior being was established immediately.