We are writing with some concerns about our child’s experience in school around the issue of gender. We understand this is a challenging and controversial topic in schools, and respect that different children and their families have different needs and beliefs regarding gender identity. We fully support the school’s belief statements and appreciate the thoughtful attention given to these ideals.
In 8th grade, our daughter became involved with a small group of other young biological females who identified as transgender, and subsequently wanted to adopt a transgender identity herself. She began using a male name and pronouns at school with both her peers and teachers.
As deeply involved parents who know our child well and have educated ourselves extensively on this subject, we are certain this sudden identity change is driven by a desire for peer acceptance and not by any inherent gender identity disorder. D suffered from anxiety and depression in middle school, and it seemed only to be exacerbated by fixation on gender identity. Among D’s friends, body hatred was a main topic of conversation, and her friends advised her on breast binding, which constricted her breathing and worsened her anxiety and difficulty focusing. Over the summer, without any focus on gender or access to internet or social media, we have seen D’s mental health improve dramatically. We have concentrated instead on participation in healthy activities and building positive relationships, and this has been clearly beneficial for D. Though we will support and love her no matter how she identifies in her life, we believe she is still too young to decide her gender and sexual identity.
D’s Parents | “Ray of Hope” | June 26, 2023
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