Jon David Kahn
July 12, 2013
The Washington Post reports that a Maryland couple has no regrets about a decision they made to allow their 5-year-old daughter to live as a boy. Now 6, Tyler (formerly known as Kathryn) has been living as a boy after his family made a public switch 18 months ago when Kathryn insisted she was really a boy. A psychiatrist told the family that the switch would be healthy if they allowed Kathryn to pick a boy’s name and if they were to able find a kindergarten that would allow them to enroll the child as a boy. Tyler’s mother said “It’s not a phase. Anyone who meets him says, ‘Yeah, that’s a boy.'”
According to the report, the transition has been somewhat seamless:
Whenever the family watches television, Tyler roots for the boy characters.
His home looks like a house with a son. Karate gear, soccer balls, cars, trucks and pirate swords abound. At school, he’s a boy. Plain and simple.
Although Tyler is considered on the younger side of the transgender community, there is evidence to suggest that transgender adults felt miscast in their bodies from a very young age. Doctors believe that gender identity usually manifests itself between the ages of 3 and 6.
The family is starting an informal support group with tips to help your transgender youth adjust and adapt to the logistical concerns that arise from a switch as an early age. Among the issues are school enrollment, sports, and bathroom use. Not to mention the following:
His parents will have to find a doctor who will begin tracking him for early signs of early puberty next year. And once there is a sign – they are a family of early bloomers, and that trait is genetic, Jean (Tyler’s mother) said – they will have to decide whether to begin giving him puberty blockers to stop breasts and curves from blooming.
Boys will be boys.