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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Let girls be (tomboy) girls

If a girl likes to climb trees and doesn’t like dresses, should she become a boy?

My Daughter Is Not Transgender. She’s a Tomboy, writes Lisa Selin Davis in a New York Times commentary. Her seven-year-old daughter, who likes to wear track pants and T-shirts and plays more with boys than girls, is “sporty and strong, incredibly sweet, and a girl.”

And yet she is asked by the pediatrician, by her teachers, by people who have known her for many years, if she feels like, or wants to be called, or wants to be, a boy. . . . when they continue to question her gender identity — and are skeptical of her response — the message they send is that a girl cannot look and act like her and still be a girl.

Davis wants transgender kids to be who and what they want to be. But she also wants her daughter to whatever kind of girl she wants to be. (Yes, she’s open to the idea that her daughter might decide at some later date to become male.)

This girl is seven years old.

I remember asking myself as a child — I probably was 10 — whether I regretted not being a boy. Boys could do a lot more than girls, I thought, but they had to be brave. Being a girl was easier, I decided. I didn’t think about it again. After all, it’s not like I had a choice.

Looking at a variety of studies, “it appears that about 80 percent of kids with gender dysphoria end up feeling okay, in the long run, with the bodies they were born into,” writes Jesse Singal in New York Magazine.  “If a kid has gender dysphoria, the most likely outcome is that he or she will grow up to be a cisgender, gay or bisexual adult.”

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