I was all excited about the ABC Primetime Nightline program last week on transgender children. Especially because in my class this coming week I am teaching about a court opinion in a dispute between divorced parents over custody of their son who wants to dress like a girl. The court sides with the father, who insists the child's gender variance should be discouraged. The case is as painful to read as those in which a trans parent loses his or her child after transitioning - including having parental rights terminated, the most extreme measure the state can take against a parent.
Just a couple of years ago, Barbara Walters did an extraordinary job covering trans kids on a 20/20 special. Same network. I figured it would be just as good.
Well some of it was... The journey of a couple to understand their son who always knew he was a girl - including their decision to allow him to start a new school year, at age 10, as a girl. (The child's older sister goes into the classroom first to explain to the situation to the other students. Priceless.) The mom who wrote a book, "Princess Boy," because her son said that's what he was. Even the 19-yr-old MTF who finances her surgical procedures by earning money as a sex worker was powerful. It was hard to watch but it felt real.
But there was a catch - a big catch.