Stand With Trans Offers Understanding Gender Expansive Children Event

Eve Kucharski
By | 2018-03-28T13:40:35+00:00 March 28th, 2018|Michigan, News|

When a child is born and assigned a gender at birth, the status quo is that they’ll stick to the well-defined lines of gender: girls will play with dolls, boys will play with trucks. However, there are many children who won’t adhere to these rules, because they don’t feel comfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth. These children are called gender expansive. Stand with Trans, an organization dedicated to aid transgender youth, will host an event on April 10 to help parents understand if and why their young child is exhibiting signs of gender expansion.
According to Stand with Trans Founder and Board President Roz Keith, children know early on what gender they identify as.
“The statistic that I’ve heard is as young as two children know who they are,” Keith said. “They’ll also address the fact that just because a child desires to play in the princess dress-up dress doesn’t mean that they’re a trans girl, or because they like trucks or rougher and tumble play, doesn’t mean that they’re going to be going to identify as a boy. Time will tell, so they will address that factor and how do you know and what do you do about it.”
The event will consist of a panel of three medical experts: pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Dan Shumer, licensed social worker Sara Wiener and clinical psychologist Dr. Antonia Caretto. Additionally, the panel will be joined by Sara Kaplan, a mother of two transgender children from Berkeley, California. According to Keith, the event’s main goal is to dispel doubts and misunderstandings about young transgender children.
“We wanted to make sure that we address this topic in a meaningful and sensitive way so their parents could understand why a child starts exhibiting certain behavior or declaring, ‘I’m a boy,’ or ‘I’m a girl.’ There is a biological origin to gender and what do you do as a parent when the child is so young,” She said. “And how do you manage that? How do you manage that socially?”
And although the event is aimed at parents, Keith urges anyone who works with children to attend as well.
“I am really pushing hard that anyone who does anything with children on a regular basis, whether it’s someone in a school — a teacher, an office admin person — to mental health professionals, any kind of medical personnel whether it’s a medical assistant, nurse or med student, or anyone who has contact with children needs to hear this information because it’s relevant,” she said. “It will help educate so you know what to do when this happens in your medical practice, your therapy practice, in your classroom, in your family.”
 The Understanding the Gender Expansive Young Child Event will happen on April 10 at 6:30 p.m. The first 90 minutes will be panel discussion with the last 30 minutes open to meet the panelists and talk with them further. The event will be held at Orchard United Methodist Church at 30450 Farmington Road, Farmington. Interested parties should RSVP with roz@standwithtrans.org.

About the Author:

Eve Kucharski
Writing became my life when I enrolled at Michigan State University's journalism program. While at MSU, I also discovered I had a passion for the spoken word, and I heavily involved myself in the world of radio. In May 2017, I earned my bachelor's degree in journalism with a concentration in electronic news media. Currently, I am thrilled to be working as an editorial assistant at Between The Lines, a weekly LGBTQ newspaper based in Livonia, Michigan.