UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 15, 2024

Gender identity choices should be made in adulthood

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The controversy of the acceptance of transgender is becoming an age-old argument. 

Coy Mathis, a 6-year-old boy, self-identifies herself as a girl.

She dresses up as a girl, and the parents have changed her documents to make her legally female. But the elementary school she attends does not allow Coy to use the girls’ bathroom. Some see this as the wrong reaction to this situation; others see this as appropriate.

But what makes a person decide that he or she is trapped in the wrong body?

Some people say they were born that way, and others say it is acquired through society. But there is large majority who believe it is a choice, and society can affect those choices.

If there wasn’t such pressure on people to look, act or feel a certain way, we wouldn’t have as big of a problem as we do now with sexual identity. I do believe that it starts from birth, but it is influenced by society.

Until children such as Coy are old enough to really make the gender decision by themselves, then they should remain the way they were born and, in this case, use the gender-specific restroom.

That doesn’t mean I am discriminating against transgender or not allowing one to express his or herself. But children need to make that conscious decision when they can account for their own actions—around adulthood.

In Coy’s case, since she is biologically a boy, and because she is not at a rightful age to fully make decisions for herself, she should continue using the boys’ restroom.

That brings me to the parents making these decisions for their child. I believe every situation is different. Parents should not do something that would hurt their child. But even if a child likes girly things, where do you draw the line for letting him wear girly clothes or letting him grow his hair out?

Though I do not have children, I would imagine I would let them have their own choice of toys, but I would continue to have them wear the correct clothing for their gender.

I would not want my children bullied. I would not want them to be disappointed with me for letting them be like that as an adolescent. For all we know, they could just be going through a phase.

Older transgender people are a different story. Adults identifying as a specific gender are old enough to make that conscious decision. But wouldn’t you feel a little uncomfortable if someone of the opposite sex walked into a public restroom with you?

According to the article “Sex-Segregated Facilities” in www.transgenderlegal.org, in 2005, New York City Human Rights Law guaranteed transgender the right to use the gender-specific public restrooms that they identify with.

On the other hand, according to the article “For the LGBTQ America Today Encyclopedia, Greenwood Press” in http://phobos.ramapo.edu many states courts have said that laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity does not permit transgender persons to use the opposite sex bathroom. 

Furthermore, until children reach the age of 18 and can make their own decisions, they should continue to live the way they were born.