After a Maryland couple decided to listen to their 5-year-old daughter’s urgent and persistent insistence that she was a boy, after a psychiatrist told them it would be healthy to let the child live as a boy, after they let him pick a boy name and found a school that would enroll the child in kindergarten as a boy last year, Tyler’s parents have had no second thoughts.
“It’s not a phase,” said his mother, Jean. “Anyone who meets him says, ‘Yeah, that’s a boy.’ ” …
At 6, Tyler is on the younger side of the transgender community. But that’s not because he is unusual. Most transgender adults say they knew from a very young age that they felt miscast in their bodies. And doctors agree that gender identity usually manifests between 3 and 6 years of age.
What’s different is that Tyler’s parents — both schoolteachers and coaches — decided to listen to their child. They ignored the family members who expressed shock and disbelief. They ignored the teasing from a neighborhood bully. They ignored the gossip among some co-workers.
Instead, Jean and Stephen let Tyler pick his name, his clothes and his toys. Instantly a happier, healthier child emerged from the surly preschooler who was always fighting over dresses and leotards and the word “she.”