Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kids - Gender - Interactions

9 year old female youth from a program I work with, the week before we had an extended discussion on sex, gender, and non-gender normativity.

youth: so _____ is a boy right?
me: yes
youth: so then why does she talk like a girl?
me: *no idea what to say to that* there are somethings you just can’t change

that reminded me of another half written blog entry from the summer, so I thought I would post that up too…

4 year old female, enthusiastic, has been in my class tuesday and thursday for the past 6 weeks. has been taught my name almost every week and continues to call me teacher. always wants to do everything right then. has trouble waiting her turn. would much rather run my class than be in it. wears a plain black bathing suit with bedazzled heart in the center of her chest. Hair braided with colorful barrettes at the end of the braids that fall out every other class, so I put them in my pocket for safe keeping and am constantly finding them days later.

x- “teacher? why do you wear shorts?”

x- “teacher? why don’t you have paint on your nails?”
me- “why do I have to have painted nails?”
x- “because that is what you are supposed to do”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The four-year-old reminds me of what some kids asked me back when I identified as female:

"Are you a boy or a girl? Then why don't you wear earrings?" or "Why aren't you wearing a dress?"

If little kids depend so much on clothes and accessories, then I wonder if they'd have an easier time accepting transpeople. Of course, that wouldn't last long; your nine-year-old already noticed something about your coworker's voice.