Raising the trans equivalent of Jello…

Persistent and insistent.

These are the two words I see over and over when it comes to transgender children. In some ways they describe Jeremy, especially when it comes to electronics and anything purple (seriously, no, you don’t need a purple miniature frying pan when you don’t even cook) but they don’t describe zir at all when it comes to being trans. Jeremy can be so vague and ambivalent I end up feeling like I’m raising the trans equivalent of Jello.

I’m not going to say Jeremy never gave me any signs of being trans as a child because zie was definitely gender creative. Zir favourite colour was pink and zie loved Barbie, stuffed animals, and taking zir baby out for a walk in the stroller.

gender creative Jeremy

The flip side is zie was also passionate about Magic School Bus, Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, and just about anything with wheels…

Jeremy watching Granddad fix the car

Jeremy “helping” Grandad and zir uncle fix the car

Jeremy cheerfully wore zir sister’s second hand clothes but was just as happy with Hotwheels shirts and Pokemon runners. Zie loved zir pink Build a Bear and zir Matchbox cars track and went from a very feminine looking long hairstyle to a buzz cut with equal appreciation for both. Even when zie got older and increasingly uncomfortable with pronouns, Jeremy didn’t come right out and say so. A friend of mine finally suggested a trial run of pronouns and it took changing temporarily to they and them before Jeremy finally admitted zie was trans (after months of hinting).

The only real persistence Jeremy has is the insistence that zie is definitely trans and even that’s somewhat vague. At this point Jeremy’s not sure if zie’s pangender but knows zie falls somewhere on the trans spectrum. I’ve assured zir that, yes, it’s fine not to know and zie will sort zirself out eventually. I’ve also assured zir that it’s okay to be pangender and interested in RC cars, computers, and rebuilding and rewiring everything in the apartment. It’s equally all right for zir to be female and interested in RC cars, computers, and rebuilding and rewiring everything in the apartment. Zie was very relieved about both.

Which is why I’m posting this. In an online sea of posts about toddlers demanding dresses or blue boy jeans, there needs to be an additional narrative. Not everyone sorts out their gender at two and it’s equally important to realize that someone who doesn’t figure out their gender until after puberty has just as valid a narrative as someone who sorted it all out at three. And they are just as photogenic and awesomely cute (although I could be biased there).

our new hall light

Absolutely adorable and very handy. Jeremy found this Tiffany lamp and installed it in our front hall. Next to work on shortening the chain a bit 🙂

14 thoughts on “Raising the trans equivalent of Jello…

  1. Yes! Expand the narrative! I recently tried to read The Transgender Child (or whatever). I didn’t realize it had an intro by Dr. Spack, but I thought, well, it’s just an intro, *everyone* recommends this book, then in their first chapter they detailed Dr. Spack’s “4 signs a kid is trans”. What a load of bull! Stuff about how they use the toilet, what undies and bathing suits they’ll wear, and which toys they prefer. I KID YOU NOT. I am so, so glad I didn’t read this earlier. We were already so far from the “media ready” version of a trans kid’s journey that this would have sent me over the deep end questioning our reality.

    In short, yes, I’m all about expanding the narrative. It, too, is a spectrum.

    • Jeremy had one birthday party where they made stuffed animals and another where they shot each other with Nerf guns.

      I’m thinking it would be equally as effective to whack myself over the head with the book a few times, take some Advil, and call it a day.

      • Ha ha ha. unfortunately, I dare say this head whacking method would work as well in so many situations in life!

        Hurray for legitimacy of different paths of all sorts.

  2. Pish, the problem with the lamp is that a tall person is standing beneath it! I have the feeling that if you stood under it, the length of the chain would be just fine! 😀 WTG, Jeremy!

    It’s always good to have someone handy living in your household. This is from my perspective, since I’ve never lived in such a place.

    • It’s so not fair that trans people are held to higher gender standards than cis people. We’re allowing more wiggle room for cis girls who would rather play rugby or fix cars and, to a lesser extent, cis boys who like crafts and dance but trans people are expected to follow stereotypes like they’re gender laws.

    • Oh me too. I need to get out the pliers on my next day off and shorten the chain. It’s just Jeremy and I here. I’m short enough to walk under it and so far zie’s ducked 🙂

  3. I so understand what you’re talking about. I remember reading a cartoon at a transgender girl’s mom’s blog I follow that showed a cis girl all dressed up for prom and her parents telling her “No Alexa, you can’t go to prom, you’re too young to know your gender” Even though it was funny, truth is I was avoiding most of youth interactions at that age (and almost any kind of romantic or sexual relationships) since I was unsure of my gender myself. I think it’s obviously harder for non-binary people to sort things out. It’s like giving a person two choices for their favorite meal. “Steak or gummybears” maybe they keep jumping from one to the other since none of those its actually their favorite. And it shows up as a big surprise when somebody tells you “You know, you could have a different favorite food” “O.O You mean there exist different types of food than Steak and Gummybears????” “Yeah, we call it: Different food” “OMG I can’t believe it” xDD.

    Its hard for your brain to start dealing with non-binary gender AND keep dealing with zero gender stereotypes. I think it’s a process and also, I do not think we have all the possible cathegories sorted out yet. More keep arising and theres a reason for that: We’re still bundling up gender as a hole, and I think the problem lies in there. I am not sure it is. When I was at highschool I just couldn’t get my sexual orientation (Was I a lesbian? Was I homoflexible? Was I Bi?) Something seemed off and I couldn’t pin it. I could tell which people I was atracted to, but couldn’t bundle up a cathegory for them. When I realized I was trans* the sexual orientation became clear. I was obviously polysexual, but couldn’t get to that with my mind working only on two genders. Now on the gender spectrum I feel exactly the same way as when I was trying to pin down my sexual orientation. (Am I a very girly transguy? Am I in the androgynous middle? Am I a demiboy? Im pretty sure I’m not genderflux.) and I keep feeling I’m missing a variable here, or two.

    I think It’s not so much as giving time to Jeremy to find out which gender he is, but giving time to society to understand how gender works. When I first started trying to pin down my gender, not even the internet knew genderqueer people existed. I might had come out waaaaaay earlier if I had had some references or terms on the matter. I always knew what I was, I just had no words for it, or proof there were anyone as me out there. I do not think Jeremy does not know either, I just think he’s still missing a term for it. More than giving him time, maybe it would help giving him the posibility of finding a new term for it, and explain what it means. I look back on some of the things I said or wrote as a toddler, a kid, and a teen and I am amused now at how good I was at explaining my own situation even though I had no words for it. At age seven, I told my mother “when I grow up, I’m gonna write a story were a girl is a hero” She answered “You mean where a girl is the heroine” “No” i said “Of a girl who’s a hero”

    No, not all of us cried for a Vagina or a Penis at age four. That does not mean there weren’t signs. And no, we did not all of us could tell our gender at age 15, some of us cannot even tell our gender at age 25, that does not mean we do not know which our gender is, that just means the genders we have available aren’t still all the genders existant.

    No, my favourite food isn’t steak nor gummybears. May you be surprised, out there, there’s an ingredient called “cheese”? Because I mostly love all foods that contain it. I could even love a Steak and cheese or gummybears and cheese combination. xD

    • Thanks 🙂 Jeremy agrees that zie knows zir gender but doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe it. And apparently is too busy setting up the router zie got at Value Village to read up on it currently LOL. Zie’s trying to set up a new router to provide zir with wifi for the block surrounding our place o.O

      • Ok, that’s impressive. xD Tell zir zie could also use an alfa antenna conected to zir devices in order to catch wifi signs from further away. Although I asume the router avoids looking strange carrying the antenna around 6.6

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