When a baby is born, it is assigned a sex based on its genitals: if it has a penis it “must be” a boy, if it has a vulva it “must be” a girl. The assumption is that it “must be”, because it is a matter of prediction; a prediction with a high probability of being correct.
However, there is a percentage of boys and girls whose identity doesn’t correspond to the sex assigned to them, the one they were assumed to have at birth. In fact, sexual identity doesn’t depend on sexual organs, or on chromosomes... Sexual identity is a question of subjectiveness, of self-awareness, and it starts expressing itself on conquering language from around two years of age.
Sexual identity is a question of subjectiveness, of self-awareness, and it starts expressing itself on conquering language from around two years of age.
Transsexuality is not something that can be diagnosed, because identity can’t be diagnosed. Of course there are no wrong bodies, but if anything a misguided approach which judges and imposes this ‘must be’ on bodies, on boys, on girls. In fact we are given the gift of diversity. And among the numerous kinds of diversity we can find girls with a penis and boys with a vulva.
While it is true that knowledge of transsexuality is improving and that we are moving towards better understanding of one another, it is also true that society still feels the need to distribute people into one of two categories that dictate how boys (and men) must be, and how girls (and women) must be and where anything not corresponding to that classification may cause awkwardness or discomfiture.
Clichés and biases which have direct consequences on the wellbeing of young transsexual boys and girls remain in place. There are also social, legal, educational and health-related discriminations that prevent them from living a completely normal life in keeping with their identity.
And among the numerous kinds of diversity we can find girls with a penis and boys with a vulva.
Young transsexuals, and their families, don’t want condescendence, or tolerance, they only demand respect. They call for a law that no longer treats transsexuality as a medical disorder and which is committed to respect for freely expressed sexual identity. A law that permits every minor to change their name and sex on documents, with no need for diagnoses or treatments.
In addition to legislative updating and adjustments in the medical and educational spheres, each and every one of us must, at school, at home or in the street, respect their identity, the way they dress, the name that represents them and their privacy.
Because no matter whether girls and boys have a penis or a vulva, it is essential that they be allowed to freely express their sex as they understand it, and that they are not obliged to obey a behaviour, uses and customs socially assigned according to the genitals they were born with.