Oakland, Calif. —
A lesbian couple in California has started giving their 11-year-old son, Tommy, hormone-blocking treatments so that he can follow through with a stated desire to become a girl named Tammy.
The two moms, Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel, said they want to help delay the child's entry into puberty, so the child can make an informed decision about gender at a later age.
While transgender rights advocates are pleased that the child's parents are accepting -- and even helpful -- others see this as an outrageous act akin to child abuse.
"This is child abuse. It's like performing liposuction on an anorexic child," Dr. Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, told FOX News.
The two moms told CNN that Thomas identified as a girl before even speaking; the child was learning sign language because of a speech impediment and insisted on using the female sign.
The child threatened genital mutilation at age 7 and was diagnosed with gender identity disorder the following year.
The couple has two older sons and said that even though they are lesbians -- they weren't sure how to handle this situation. They could see immediately, though, that the child's behavior and attitude improved instantly when she started identifying as Tammy and started wearing girl's clothes.
"It was odd to us," Moreno told CNN. "Even though she has lesbians as parents, this is all new to us in every possible way. We know what it's like to feel different - we've got that one. But to feel like you're not in the right body was just something we could not put our heads around."
The couple said that their temple and friends in the San Francisco Bay area have been extremely supportive.
Tammy is currently being treated at a Bay Area hospital that has a specialty program for transgender kids. The hormone blockers Tammy is currently taking will have to be stopped at age 14 or 15, at which time Tammy will need to decide whether to enter male puberty or start taking female hormones.
People are "outraged" and this is "child abuse"???!! This child has loving parents who are educated and care enough to understand what is going on and HELP the child so that she does NOT have to go through the hell that other Transgender people have had to go through in the past!
I was born in 1960 and my parents beat and humiliated me all throughout my childhood (starting at age FOUR) to try to stop me from being the person I KNEW I was -- and guess what, it DIDN'T WORK! I simply learned that I had to HIDE who I really was. I went through years of HELL trying to play the "part" that society wanted me to play, but in the end I couldn't do it and had to become my true self.
Since I had no hormone blockers or female hormones as a child, I went through hundreds of hours of painful electrolysis to remove the hair from my face and body costing me around $15K. I also had to undergo very painful facial feminization surgery to remove the male features from my face that male hormones caused me to have -- costing me around $25K (and that would have cost around twice that in the US).
It took me 48-years before I finally got to live as my true self. I never got to experience relationships like other people did because I always had to hide who I was. Now I finally have the body to match the mind I have ALWAYS had -- as far back as I can remember -- and after all these years I am finally happy.
So, to the people who are "outraged" and think that it is "child abuse" to help an innocent child avoid all that I had to go through -- I ask you: WHICH IS MORE CRUEL -- Allowing the child to have full, happy life, or beating and humiliating the child to try to "get them to stop" being Transgender and causing them to go through the same HELL I (and THOUSANDS of other people) have had to go through??!!
Those who are outraged are uninformed bigots. Transsexual people have been around since the dawn of time in all cultures and socioeconomic classes. They have also been medically transitioning (aka "sex change") for more than 60 years, 60 years! So this isn't anything new. To those of you who say she's too young I must ask: How old were you when you knew your gender? Probably a lot younger than her.
One of the reason people are "outraged" is because her parents happen to be lesbians. Who her parents are doesn't matter because people are born transsexual (mind-body mismatch); nobody chooses to be transsexual. And only people who have been thoroughly evaluated and diagnosed as being transsexual are allowed to transition. These parents have listened to their child and taken steps to support them; kudos to them.
on Fri, 10/21/2011 10:25 AM
I am happy that Tammy's parents are open to their childs possibility of being Transgender and are willing to let the child in the end decide which gender.
The gender of the parents is Irrelevant.
While I agree that it shouldn't be categorized and made out to be child abuse, as she is lucky to have parents that are willing to try and understand and help. But the fact remains that they are giving her a treatment that is not meant to be compatible with children her age! Our bodies go through these changes for a reason, not just gender identifications. Because of these inhibitors she may very well be stunted in her physical growth in areas that have no effect on her gender identity (ei: one arm significantly shorter than the other, astigmatism, any number of chemical imbalances in her brain, the list goes on!) A child's development should not be hindered by medication and hormone inhibitors when she NEEDS those hormones to circulate in order to develop properly. Both females and males create testosterone. The person below who commented that they weren't able to live out who they were for 40+ years, I cannot even pretend to fully understand or relate, but I can say that I have a visible moustache and unibrow, and they don't make me feel very feminine. But I'll be damned if I go to the world crying about it because I HAD to spend $$ to make my outside appearance match my inside. You don't HAVE to do anything about it, there are trans* people all across the world who will NEVER be able to afford laser hair removal or even know what the technology is! But they are HAPPY! WITH WHO THEY ARE!