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Sex and Sexuality

Abstract

This paper seeks to discuss the whole complex issue of sex and sexual identities in a dramatically changing society. Many families and parents are struggling with the rising reality of trans-gendered children who are otherwise perceived by the society as morally loose. The paper thus explores the complex issues that arise from the transgender identity. Issues that families and children who are transgendered encounter are explored along with the need to develop appropriate and relevant approaches in dealing with the issue as to enable transgendered children accept and appreciate their sexual identities in a society that is both liberal and conservative.

Introduction

The topic of gender identity disorders is one that has received many reactions worldwide. Every society has its own communal approach to the issue. Conservative communities like the ones in Africa still hold a closed mind approach. In such communities the trans-sexual people are always regarded as a form of punishment from the gods to the parents of the child. In other societies, the whole topic is always avoided like a spate and is perceived to be avoided. Therefore there is really no one to stand out and speak for them. This paper seeks to scrutinize and find out if the report given is true. Furthermore, this paper will try to explore the impacts of family support groups like the Mermaid, Gender Identity Research and Education society otherwise known as Gires.

Sexuality in Liberal Societies

Liberal societies have charismatic people who are working hard to ensure that children, who are suffering from transgender disorder, are positively perceived and understood by the world. However, they also still experience stigmatization. This is the reason behind the hiding of the real identity of the interviewed people. All across the world, trans-sexuality is an issue that is still highly debated with different people holding different opinions concerning the issue. There are those who believe that the feeling is inborn and therefore no force whatsoever is capable of changing it. Others just believe that nature is bound to take its course especially at puberty stage therefore no one should interfere with anything.

Sexual issues among Teens

The issues that formed the basis of my interview are as follows. One of the first issues that I identified in my report is the lack of objective discourse on the role of puberty hormone. This perspective has limited discussions on treatment of transgender children. The other major issue was the stigmatization that is present in society. It is also of importance to know if support groups are in any way of help especially to the parents who lack effective and appropriate parenting skills to apply on their children.

In my interview, I had one on one discussions with Sophie (real name withheld) a colleague of mine at the workplace. She is a single mother of three children, two daughters and a trans-sexual son who recently went through therapy. The son is now a daughter. She says that one of her daughters is excited while the other cannot accept the reality that she would never have a brother. I therefore made my choice to interview her with the belief that she would be the best candidate.

During my interview, my colleague collaborated with Linda on the issue of children as young as ages six begin to show signs of transgender disorders. She was the first to notice it when her son Tonex (real name withheld) was the age of eight. She says that he seemed to have developed interest in female stuff. She once found him in her bedroom trying on her clothes and applying her make-ups. She recalls that for six good minutes she stood at the door watching her son. For quite a while, she thought that he would get over it. Her assumption emanated from her judgment that he resembled his father more than her. This therefore made her believe that the child had more male genes than female genes. She recalls her first real conversation with Tonex. He said that he always had this feeling of being caged in the wrong body and wanted to get out of it. She also reported that she had earlier found her daughters trying to dress their brother up like a lady but never made anything out of it.

Sophie also agrees to the fact that there are children who acquire new experiences from encounters that directly or indirectly affect their lives. Most of these events are always traumatic. Many of such children are reported to have been able to conform back to their original gender identity. This is always after counseling. She tells me of a couple she met that had a similar situation. She says that they are lucky because the son finally decided to maintain being a man. His trauma emanated from the physical violence in the family. This prompted him to believe that being a man would make him a heartless person.

Issues not addressed in the Report

One of the things that this report did not raise is the bureaucracy and struggles one has to go through changing their gender identity with the authorities. This is because, like my interviewee`s son turned into a daughter, every other document indicates that she is male. It is quite a struggle trying to change. She therefore feels that relevant governments should be able to help facilitate the changing of identities. The other challenge that is not mentioned concerns enrolling transgender children to boarding schools. As she got busy, sending Tonex to a boarding school became a nightmare. There was no particular girls’ school that was willing to enroll Tonex into their school. This was so because Tonex had not yet gone through therapy to have the genitals changed. Most of the teachers feared admitting that Tonex was putting the other girls in grave danger.

Transgender and Stigma in society

It is observable that across the board, stigmatization of individuals with transgender disorder is still a major challenge. Sophie agrees with the report on stigmatization and adds that it is probably the biggest stumbling stone to her daughter and the whole family. She says that she had to move to a totally different neighborhood where they were little people known. I must also mention that she was not impressed by my request to interview her and only agreed on condition that she is not mentioned anywhere. She said that she was doing it for her daughter because she wanted no one to disturb her peace. She also mentioned that she has turned down a number of interviews and shows. This was majorly because she never wanted to parade her daughter and household to a world that is always skeptical of trans-gendered children. To her, it was some way of keeping her daughter away from public attention.

However, Sophie`s major question is that if indeed it is true that the world is changing their view on individuals with transgender disorders, what then is the sense of hiding people`s identity when reporting about their experiences. Does it make sense even for someone to appear in a television interview and still hide their identity? If these societies have embraced nature and are willing to accept any one the way they are, why would grown-ups hurl insults at her? Why do they have to behave like this is the first one they have seen? Her other question was that if developed countries, like the UK, are still lagging behind in providing medication to such affected parties, what about other less developed ones? It was also apparent that only a handful of the developed countries have already initiated these kinds of medication that are critical to the affected children and adults.

Family and Sex Identity

Given that Sophie is a single mother, she confessed to having mixed feeling about the conditions of Tonex. She shared that at times she feels that it is because of the divorce and therefore the absence of the father that led the child to be more female-oriented. She openly accepted that she was looking forward to having a son and not a daughter in Tonex. Her former husband also was appalled by the fact that he would not bear a boy child. This, she says was another rocking stage in the family since it was also hard for them to accept this child. She was also pained by the thought of destroying the baby pictures that Tonex had grown to hate. This was because they all showed her as a boy.

In conclusion, transgender children and adults should be given a wide range of services. One of the very first service that they should be accorded is counseling. This is because counseling is considered to be one of the most effective ways of get a real sense of self-identity throughout life encounters. This enables them overcome traumatic experiences and heal. This will in turn help them to revert back to their normal gender. Transgender children should also be provided with free puberty hormone-blocking treatment. This is of utmost importance to them because they might develop features of the sex they do not feel comfortable in.

Governments and relevant health experts and developers should also commit themselves to constructing special health facilities that will cater for children and sections of the society with gender identity issues. The world also needs exposure and education concerning transgender children and adults. This, if well-executed, will help in reducing the rate of stigmatization that they receive. As Sophie told me, may be for a moment we should stop and see ourselves in these children`s daily lives, see the kinds of challenges they go through and how they struggle to come to terms with the stranger in their bodies.

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