80 percent of kids will grow out of it
The 80% statistic is critiqued by trans health specialists as it comes from a flawed study conducted by Thomas Steensma in 2010. The study is criticized because the researchers lost track of 45% of the participants and assumed this meant these participants had grown out of their gender variance. Additionally, the researchers did not screen out kids who may play or dress in creative ways for fun, from kids who experience gender dysphoria (persistent, insistent, and consistent discomfort around their gender). Lumping all of the children together caused the data to be skewed and made it sound like most kids can just grow out of their gender dysphoria.
Parents make their kids 2SLGBTQ+
Parent(s) cannot change their child’s gender or orientation. Often, people understand that parent(s) don’t make their kids straight or cisgender so it makes sense to include gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender kids in this equation too. Just as your parent(s) did not create your gender or orientation, you will not be able to change these parts of your child’s identity.
There are only two genders
Gender is more like a spectrum or web than the 2 boxes we often describe it as. Some people may fall on either end of the spectrum but others could feel somewhere in between, a little bit of both, or like no gender at all.
There are examples of gender diversity across all cultures and histories. In India there is a 3rd gender called Hijra that is recognized by the Government and protected under the law. Here in Canada, many Indigenous cultures recognize up to 6 genders. The English term for these genders is Two-Spirit but many Indigenous languages also have their own words for this. Here in Alberta, the Provincial Government now legally recognizes a third gender category called non-binary.
All people who are transgender are also gay
Gender and orientation are different. Gender is a person’s internal sense of who they are, while orientation describes who a person is attracted to. Someone’s gender does not determine who they will be attracted to. They may like someone of the same gender, but they may not. Only time will tell.
All people who are transgender need medical intervention
Not all people who are transgender want to take hormones or have surgery. Some trans people like their body the way it is and find social transition (name changes, clothing changes, hair style changes, etc.) to meet their needs. Unfortunately, a lot of media representations focus on the single story of medical transition. There is no script or path to follow and each individual will have different needs in their gender journey.
You can tell a kid’s gender by their interests in clothes and toys
Children may play with certain toys for a variety of reasons and may not associate toys or clothing in the categories adults do. Children may play with toys or dress in ways that align with the gender they were assigned at birth to please parents, so they don’t stand out within friend groups, or because of their personal interests. Ignore the toys and the clothes when it comes to gender. The only way you can know anyone’s gender is by listening to them.
If you don’t let your child act or dress that way, they’ll stop doing it
Although you can stop behaviours associated with gender creativity, your child’s feelings aren’t going to go away and suppressing them could lead to harm in the future.
Kids are too young to understand their gender
Research has shown that developmentally kids begin to understand their own gender as young as age 3.
2SLGBTQ+ identities are a new thing
The words we use to talk about 2SLGBTQ+ identities are newer, but these kinds of feelings have always existed. Historically, people would have used different language to talk about these feelings, or expressed them in different ways, but we can still find many examples of 2SLGBTQ+ identities across history.
Kids are only acting this way because their friends are doing it
Kids may start to express themselves differently within friend groups because those friends make them feel safe, not because those friends have made them gender creative. This goes along with the parent(s) make kids 2SLGBTQ+ myth. Friends and family cannot change a child’s gender or who they are attracted to.