Since my presentation was a bit short, I just wanted to talk a little bit about my subject matter. I studied transgendered children and their place in the foster home. I talked a lot about these childrens’ lack of agency and what that means for them. Let’s face it, children aren’t taken seriously anyway. They say they don’t like a certain type of food, they’re forced to eat it anyways. They say they want a certain job when they grow up, people don’t take that seriously. Now, yes I know that children change their minds about million times a day. So do adults. My point is, what do the parents of small children, let’s say toddler age and up, decide to take seriously? If their child says they don’t like broccoli, they probably make them eat it anyway. If their child says they want to be the “other gender” do they take the child seriously? Or do they just assume that their child is going through some sort of phase or playing some sort of game? It’s a tough question with no real answer. It would obviously depend on the parents. How much the parents listen to their children and how much they brush off as a child’s mindless blabbering.
My project was mostly focused on foster care. Children in foster care are at an even bigger disadvantage. Foster parents are not always understanding. They might not even be nice. If you couple that with a child who is transgendered, the results could be damaging. That’s not to say that all foster parents are horrible. When these children are trying to decide what they want for their own lives, they are unable to make their own decisions. They cannot sign for medical treatments. They might not even make the minimum age requirement for the procedures that they would want to go through. It’s also nearly impossible to get access to any of the resources they want without a signature of a parent or guardian. For children in foster care, this is made even more difficult.
I compared children in foster care who lack parental/guardian support to young children from what I’ve been calling “mom blogs” that I found online. Here is an example of one of those mom blogs:
The mother of Kennedy talks about how much she supports her child and accepts him for who he is. The blog is interesting because the mother talks about how her and her son’s lives have changed and how happy her child is. She gets some comments from readers- some positive, some negative. I won’t go in to detail about everything she talks about, but stories like Kennedy’s and other similar ones did make me think about how that relates to children who do not have this type of support. Children who aren’t as lucky and really have no say in their own lives.
It’s really just sad when you think about it.