In a final court case yesterday, a seven-year-old child was removed from their mother's care because the child (born as a boy) had "lived life entirely as a girl". It was reported in The Guardian and now The Mirror and is so damaging. I know these two individuals and the young girl is clearly trans (she was assigned male at birth) and the mum has just been trying to support her.
Dear trans girl,
I cannot begin to explain to you how much it saddens me to hear that you have been separated and that you are no longer allowed to express your gender identity in the way that makes you feel whole. After having spent time with you and your mum on number of occasions I cannot understand how anyone could not see you as the girl that you really are.
As a trans person myself, I had to go through the awful motion of pretending to be someone I wasn't because of society and the people around me assigning me a certain gender and role. I know that you must be confused and scared right now and I hope that whatever happens, that one day, you will be able to live out your gender and express it in a way that you want; without anyone telling you otherwise or forcing you otherwise.
The only person who can truly know who you are is yourself and no amount of hair cutting, pronoun changing, Spongebob, or any ridiculously assigned 'boy traits' can change that.
You are old enough to express preference at two or three. When I met you at the age of five, you were using female pro-nouns and were living happily as the girl that you are.
Dear mum of the trans girl: I know that if times were different when I was growing up, you would be the type of mum I would like to have; the type that would support her child no matter what, despite all the different services and people around you failing you. I know in my heart that all you ever wanted was for your child to be happy, and to be happy meant being able to express her gender in the way that she feels. All you ever did was support her.
I cannot imagine how unjust it feels to have your child taken away from you when all you wanted was to help your child to be comfortable in their own skin.
You told me recently that it feels like breathing in treacle.
I'm thinking of all the other mums out there who are doing their best to support their trans child who fear the reactions of those who are meant to support. I wonder how concerned they are now, that justice hasn't prevailed. When I was visiting, over two years ago, to film with you both you were so confident with who you were. I recognised a person emerging from their shell. You were headstrong and five years old. I bet you can't bear having to live your life as a boy, the gender you were assigned at birth.
No one should have to live their life in the wrong gender and forcing a child to do so is nothing less than form of abuse; a form of abuse that has led so many trans people to end their lives.
This judge will be proven wrong in a few years time, when you are deemed old enough to express preference. Because you can't change a trans person and you cannot force a gender identity upon someone.
The fact that a judge uses examples such as Spongebob, the Power Rangers and outdated ideas about boy or girl traits speaks volumes in this matter. No toys or interests can tell you or give you an idea about someone's gender identity. Our gender sees beyond superficial and socially constructed ideas such as that.
We must rally together at times like these, or we're not paving the way for the future. This is about every trans person out there that was forced to live in their assigned gender.
This is about every trans person out there that has the fundamental right to express their gender and live out their true and authentic life.
Friend and Trans Campaigner
I've set up a petition, you can sign it here.