We at GenderGP understand the true nature of gender incongruence where someone's true gender identity is different to the one that society expects them to have based on their genitals.
Being transgender is not a lifestyle choice, a preference or a cool thing to do. It is an innate sense of self. It comes from the deepest knowledge and understanding of someone's own identity, their heart, their soul, their brain, their being. Themself.
People who are gender incongruent, transgender, trans, gender diverse – whatever we want to call it, are real. They exist, they are honest, they are telling us something simple. Society expects them to be male, but actually they are female. Society expects them to be female, but actually they are male. Society is saying they must label themselves as either male or female, when neither feels right. Society expects them to fit within a picture of gender that has been constructed over time, but does not match reality.
There is mystery and fear surrounding gender identity, but this is something we have seen through history. Fear leads to prejudice and discrimination, and prejudice and discrimination lead to hate, murder, death. Literally.
This mystery and fear is being fuelled by a group of people who are responsible for the pain that this hate, murder and death causes. Some of these people are leading our country and they are informing politics and policy. They are accused of not promoting the wellbeing of transgender people. The very people who we trust to help us live our best lives, contribute to and encourage the hate and the fear.
This policy and political viewpoint is severely impacting the children who happen to have been born with a gender identity that is different to the one they were expected to have. And remember – they didn't ask for this, being trans is not an easy life to live in this day and age, nobody would choose it. When they first realise they are 'different', it hurts. When those that love them wish they didn't have this 'difference', it hurts, and when the people who are supposed to protect them deny them their identity, that hurts a lot.
We at GenderGP ask that the guidance for schools is rewritten with the following key points:
- Love and support every child in your school – whatever their size, their colour, their appearance, their sexuality, their gender identity, their race, their level of ability.
- Every child in your school deserves the opportunity to thrive and learn and attain the highest they are able to.
- Make sure that all children in your school are protected from bullying, from prejudice, from discrimination.
- No one child deserves any better treatment than another child. White, cisgender, able children do not need to be protected from any child that is black, trans or less abled simply because that is what they are. All the children in your school need to be protected from harm – equally.
- All children need to know that when they tell you something you will keep it confidential. You would always take action to protect them, but you will not take action to break their confidentiality unnecessarily.
- All children should be allowed to freely express themselves and develop in their own way. Whether they are shy, or musical, or creative, or scientific, or sporty, or kind, or technical – they deserve to develop their own talent.
- That freedom of expression extends to how they present themselves to the world, make your school a safe place to develop their identity. Whether they want to have long hair, short hair, wear dresses or trousers – allow them to try out a style that suits them. Allow them to be a round peg in a round hole.
- Nip mystery and fear in the bud – call on charities and organisations who have trans representatives to educate your staff, your students and your parents. Listen to those who have lived with trans people, who are trans people, who understand what it means to be trans.
- Start from a position of belief. If a child is saying someone is hurting them, believe them. If a child is saying that they need help, believe them. If a child is saying that they are trans then believe them. To not believe children who are asking for your help and support, will end in pain, murder, death.
Every trans adult was once a trans child.