I was honored when the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) asked me to write about my reactions to the “Supporting and Caring for Our Gender Expansive Youth” report they released yesterday. The report compiles findings from their recent Youth Survey and was co-authored by Gender Spectrum.
You must read the report. It’s devastating and will show you that we need to do better — we have to do better — for the sake of differently gendered kids.
And, if you have time, ready my essay, here’s an excerpt:
“Sometimes (C.J.) dulls his sparkle because others don’t know what to make of it. He’s had people hurl homophobic slurs at him. He’s had peers in the school bathroom try to see if he has a penis or vagina. He’s had adults tell him to stop being a sissy and to “man up.” Today, he was told to “go jump off of the Tyler Clementi Memorial Bridge.” All because my seven-year-old boy likes pink more than blue, dolls more than trucks, skirts more than pants.
It’s scary raising a child; it’s even scarier raising a gender nonconforming child….
Imagine raising a child who — according to the survey – will feel less happy than their peers; is more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol; views their life goals as unachievable; believes they have to leave home in order to be accepted; feels unsafe at school; and finds religion to be unloving.”
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Here are two fundraising campaigns that you might be interested in:
QUIRKIE KIDS is hoping to raise $2,500 in the next 30 days to launch a line of pink tees for girls AND boys with playful designs not normally associated with the color pink. QUIRKIE KIDS believes that all kids should be free to wear pink and is working and gives kids more options to express themselves through their clothing. Click here to check out the campaign.
The documentary Inside Out has also launched a 30-day funding blitz. They are asking 80,000 caring people to donate $10 (the price of a movie ticket) to fund the first feature film to go deep inside the lives of transgender and gender non-conforming children and their families. By following the journeys of five children over one year audiences will understand their hopes, fears and— often difficult— decisions. Inside Out puts a human face on these stories and, in doing so, inspires empathy, increases awareness and broadens the public’s understanding of people. Click here to learn more and/or donate.