Another guest post; this slice of life comes from my Sister Zsa Zsa Gabortion.
So, this happened just this morning;
Child: “is he a boy or a girl, mommy?“
Mommy: “he’s a boy- he just doesn’t really look like it”
Me (inside my head): “I CAN HEAR YOU”
My problem is never with the children in this situation – they’re being indoctrinated in to binary gender concepts from birth and don’t have the time or education to undo that nonsense unless their parents are also actively doing this. I’ve heard this question from children for years now, and it honestly doesn’t really bother me. There are two things that bother me as a result of this:
1) Parents shushing their children, not offering insight or explanation – this usually results in the kids yelling their question louder and making everything more awkward. Telling your child “I don’t know” is okay, so is telling your child “That’s a rude question to ask, it’s none of our business“.
2) Proscribing me a gender to shush them up, particularly the wrong one. This does nobody any favors, hurts my feelings, and often confuses the child further.
All in all, this is an opportunity to talk to your child like a human being and teach them that all other people are deserving of respect, as well as imparting some important social cues such as Nobody is responsible for explaining their gender to you.
In this case, it’s up to the parent to educate the child after they educate themselves. Gay people, Queer people, Non binary people, Passing and Non-passing transgender people are a part of our world and we shouldn’t have to navigate awkward social landmines whenever we go out because you don’t know how to talk to your kid.