When your gender doesn't match you
For 14 years, this seemingly all-American family has been forced to confront the nearly unfathomable fact that the boy they nurtured through baseball and Cub Scouts is, at her core, not really a boy at all.
He is a girl in a boy's body.
Read that sentence three times. Does it even make sense?
Now, as Sander blossoms into an outwardly typical teen-age girl, her family has come a long way toward confronting the truth about its youngest member:
Sander is transgender, a nearly invisible minority among sexual minorities.
"Outwardly typical?" Do most teen-age girls have a penis?
Today, Sander awaits adulthood, when an operation is expected to transform her male sex organs into a female's. She takes a drug that hinders testosterone production, blocking the growth of facial hair. She dreams of one day marrying a kind husband with a good job, while she stays at home to raise three adopted children.
Adopted? Why can't she just have her own... oh right, "she" is really a boy!
For as long as the family can remember, Sander was different from other boys. He liked to watch his mother cook, vacuum and put on makeup. He wanted to play with dolls. He cried when he first realized that his genitalia were male.
Now if I said that girls like to do those things I would be labeled a sexist and probably charged with some sort of "hate crime."
As Sander grew up, the family retreated into a secret life. At home, in private, Sander played with his mother's makeup, shoes and jewelry and his growing collection of Barbie dolls. He began to accumulate a closet full of girls' clothes, which he wore around the house.
Why would parents let their child do this?
Randell, Sander's now-24-year-old brother, would ask, "Why's he always wearing girls' clothes?" Rhonda says.
But Randell, a fraternity man during his years at Oregon State University, happened to take a human sexuality course, in which he learned about the whole spectrum of sexuality, including transgender people. He brought the book home with him one weekend and showed it to his parents.
"He said, 'There's nothing wrong with him,' " Rhonda recalls.
Thank goodness a taxpayer funded institution showed him that there's nothing wrong with boys wearing girls' clothes.
The real turning point for the family came on a June afternoon in 2000. Rhonda and Mike were in downtown Portland when they happened upon the annual Gay Pride Parade. Rhonda recalls watching a group of "lovely ladies" marching by. They were representatives of the Northwest Gender Alliance, a support organization for cross-dressers and transsexuals. She was astonished.
"That's like what I live with," Rhonda recalls thinking. "I said, 'We're bringing Sander to this next year.' "
"That was the first time we ever took Sander out dressed as a girl," Rhonda says.
They were nervous boarding the MAX train for downtown. Sander, then a sixth-grader, wore a wig and animal-print pants. They fretted about running into people they knew.
A sixth grader?!?!?! What is wrong with these people!?!?!?! AAAAAHHHHHH!
They began to tell a few people that Sander was a transgender female. Rhonda told her colleagues at work. Sander told schoolteachers and administrators, who arranged for her to use the private faculty restroom.
What about equal treatment? Why don't all the kids get to use the private faculty restroom? Seriously, FRC or Liberty Counsel ought to sue. Put a stop to this madness. And what happens at the YMCA? Or public restrooms? Guess what Sander, you're not following my daughter into a restroom.
I'm just speechless. I can't believe the Fishwrapper would print this sob story legitimizing this behavior. Let's take a look at some interesting facts:
Most, if not all, "transgenders" are male. As are most rapists and child molesters. Men act out sexually and are more likely to be sexually deviant.
To say that this is not a "lifestyle" is absurd. I could easily assert that hunting is not a "lifestyle" but that I was born that way, I have the urge to hunt. I can't help who I am. It's just not a choice for me. It's hardwired into my system. Man has hunted since the beginning of time. I need special rules and conditions so that I can enjoy my "self-expression" because it is just who I am. So we can't have hunting regulations. No bag limits restricting my "identity". And those city ordinances that say I can't discharge my firearm within city limits? Those are hateful and discriminitory. And if PETA says bad things about me they should be charged with "hate crimes."
Being "born that way" does not excuse deviant behavior regardless. I'm certainly not conceding that gays or transgenders are born that way but say, for the sake of argument, that they are. So what? Child molesters could claim the same thing. That doesn't make it right. Society has said that adults have sex with children is wrong. It is perfectly appropriate for us to say the same thing about homosexuality or transgender behavior. No, I'm not suggesting we lock gays up, we have decided that consenting adults can be as sexually deviant as they want. But public policy should not reflect that this is normal much in the same way public policy should not condone having multiple partners at the same time.