Is it a phase?

The Whittington Family released a Youtube video of their son, Ryland, and it went viral. It is a video about their son’s story and how they found out he was transgendered. Ryland was born female, but by the time he could speak, he identified as a boy. The family wasn’t sure if he was just ‘going through a phase’ like most parents thought, but it became more evident as he grew up and identified stronger. They eventually sought out professionals on the subject, and they all came to the conclusion that he was in fact, transgender. They, as parents, realized that this is their child and they wanted to do everything they could to make them happy and stray away from the statistics that they learned about when children are forced to be something they are not.

The family received support and also a lot of backlash from the community and the viewers of the video. To the point that the comments have been disabled from the video so the backlash could discontinue. Dr. Richard Besser, on his interview with inside edition, confirms that by the age of 4 to 5, people are able to gender identify themselves and know that it is true. He says that, “what your child really needs from you is love, compassion, total acceptance, not judgement.” The parents of Ryland show just that, and he has “never been happier in his entire life.”[youtube][/youtube]

Toys are Media Too

From the excerpt ‘Redefining Girly’: Reconstructing the gender norms of society on the Today Books Website by Melissa Atkins Wardy, it discusses a portion of her book, Redefining Girly, that focuses on how the media influences our societal opinions on gender.

Quoting Wardy, “Media greatly influences children, taking a role in shaping their perceptions and behaviors, and toys are a form of media. Just like the healthy foods we feed our children, toys, too, should be “nutrient rich,” allowing free play, creativity, and exploration in order to boost brain development and self-esteem through play. There should be no room in the toy box for gender stereotypes and sexualization.”

She continues to talk about how it has influenced her own family’s life such as her daughter and son. She says, “Toys are not meant to teach children about gender. They are meant to teach children about life.”

I decided to post about this because it reminded me a lot about our trip to Walmart and how the toys in the aisles have a sense of definition of gender for children today.