On Minors and Gender Issues

I’m not a bigot in any way. I feel alive and love when people are who they are inherently. I can tell when they are being something other than themselves and it bothers me because it feels inauthentic.

I am ecstatic to live in a period of time where you can love anyone who you connect with openly and free. Maybe we aren’t completely there yet, but we are way closer than we have ever been in history. And we continue to progress everyday.

In this time period there is also a controversy over medical care and human rights. Particularly gender dysphoria. This part I don’t understand. 

Regardless of any health issue that arises, we should always try the least invasive solutions before diving into something unknown or irreversible. It’s not only the right thing for our bodies, it’s socially responsible for the cost of healthcare. 

To be clear I am not opposed to any kind of lifestyle and/or partner of any possible combination. 

And if there is no other solution one tries for being comfortable in your skin other than modifying your body with surgery or medicine, then I support whatever it takes to ensure that we are comfortable expressing ourselves as who we are.

To be clear however, I am opposed to this as a first solution or any solution for minors. Particularly for minors. 

I just don’t get what the controversy is about on gender altering for minors. 

Why can’t we buy cigarettes until the age of 21? 

We’ve made this restriction because we believe says we aren’t wise enough to make the decision to do something potentially harmful to our bodies. We KNOW it’s harmful and a risk. My mom died of lung cancer at the age of 49 from smoking. It’s bad for us. But there are people who live well into their 90s smoking everyday and don’t pass from smoking issues. It’s a risk. 

Same with 21 as the age limit for alcohol and in states where it’s legal – Marijuana. Risks.  Being old enough to decide to take the risk. Alcoholism runs in my family. I myself need to stay dry because it affects me in very negative ways. 

What about car and vacation home rentals? Many have age limits of 25. No one is arguing with these. Young people in general are a risk for so many reasons. Too many to list. Most of the time it has to do with making decisions that as you get older you wouldn’t otherwise take.

Why can’t we vote until the age of 18? Or even get a tattoo? Or enlist in the military? Because our brains are not yet developed and we aren’t yet wise or experienced enough to think things through or make major decisions.

These age limits are universal. As you get older you can rationalize more clearly, understand your emotions and make better decisions than a 16 year old may.

We have a legal obligation to our children until the age of 18. An obligation to protect them, not just cater to their wishes. We don’t cater to them because they are not old enough to know their own minds yet. We should absolutely support and let them try out things they would like to explore. But I would draw the line at permanent body changes. Using the line “but I know my child” is not possible because if the child isn’t old enough by every law to even vote, they can’t know their own mind- so how could a parent?  

Related, but unrelated…. Weight loss surgery. Pediatric weight loss surgery is not common. It happens but it is uncommon. There are strict prerequisites for it. Those prerequisites are family support/community in place, the requirement that all other medically supervised diets and exercises have failed over the course of 6 months to a year, and mental health pre-op. Plus – the adolescent has to have a BMI of 40 or more. 

Even grown adults have these guidelines. 

So I have to ask why is it controversial to put an age limit on gender altering drugs and surgeries? 

These children cannot even vote, let alone buy a cigarette. We all agree they are not old enough to make decisions good for them or society, so why is it so controversial that they wait until at least the age of 18?

Why are we scared that adult rights are being taken away when we put parameters in place to limit gender altering drugs/surgeries on adults too? Parameters like medically supervised alternatives first and the requirement for emotional support and counseling, before and after? How different is it from bariatric surgery? 

I think these are important considerations and that law makers are being responsible with our healthcare dollars by putting these laws in place. Children are not able to vote or buy mind altering substances for a reason. So why are we even having the discussion about body altering? 

I’m not a bigot. I am just asking. We need to be able to ask questions without being seen as a bigot. 

Enlighten me so I can help support positive societal change too.

5 thoughts on “On Minors and Gender Issues

  1. So you are asking these questions – have you sought out answers? Have you tried to hear the perspective of the people whose lives this issue directly affects? I’m sure there is a lot of information available about why gender-affirming surgeries can be lifesaving for some people, even pretty young people. I assume there are many steps and requirements for least-invasive treatments and psychological evaluation prior to surgery – but I don’t actually know. I do think every individual’s situation is unique and legislation makes sweeping generalizations. I also think the people who are living any particular experience are the authorities on that experience, not specifically adults or lawmakers or even healthcare providers. We should put in the effort to enlighten ourselves, if we want to have meaningful discussions about controversial issues.


    1. There is so much confusing information out there, which is why I am asking- from people who are affected by it or support it. I only know two people in real life with young children… I have my own beliefs as a parent, but I am questioning why it’s controversial. To me it seems cut and dry and I explained why. I do want to hear the other side. I want to know and want to support it. But generalizations on the other end just saying I can’t understand don’t really explain it well enough to support legislation either way. So I’m hoping by opening up a discussion we can all learn a lot more about why this is in the news almost daily.


    2. Also, a person’s gender identity and sexual orientation are two distinctly different parts of their sexual identity. A straight woman and a lesbian both identify as women, while both straight women and gay men are attracted to men. One does not necessarily impact the other. So saying one supports everyone to love whom they choose doesn’t equate with an unbiased and supportive attitude towards gender identity.


  2. Thanks for this thought-provoking conversation. My first knee jerk reaction when I heard this in this news was “here we go gain, government trying to control our bodies, taking away our choices”. But when you look at the other laws that are in place to protect minors, this makes sense because it’s extreme body altering. Children also have a tendency to follow the flock rather than staying true to themselves. IMHO, perhaps it makes sense for them to live as the gender they identify with (ie., cross-dressing), attend regular counseling, then when they become of age make an informed decision. I have also read that is grumbling in legislature to take away medical care for even adults who want to have gender modifying surgery or obtain medical care so we also have to worry about a slippery slope situation.


  3. Thanks Shell. I heard this too about the adults, but when I tried to look up information; all I found was that stricter pre-requisites will go into place prior to the surgery. They were akin to the bariatric surgery – which everyone knows my brother had. He had to jump through hoops to make sure he was serious. I brought up the weight loss surgery example because it is something that is similar with making sure the person is truly ready before just going under the proverbial knife. Then my brother gained it all back. He promised to do all he was asked, but his mental addiction to eating did not stop. It wasn’t due to hunger. He gained it all back and then some. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask adults to go through a rigorous screening process for something much more mentally challenging to face than changes of than weight loss. I blogged this because I don’t know if I am finding correct information. If I am, then I am wondering what the problem is and if it is a general knee jerk reaction. While everyone was all riled up about this which affects such a small percentage of the population – the government was working on taking away abortion rights which affects everyone. I have to wonder if all this infighting is because we don’t understand and are quick to fight with one another about knee jerk reactions and not really reading through what the actual laws/proposals. If anyone was trying to control anything from any side, I think it would have been to distract us with what seems to me like reasonable transgender medical guidelines while abortion was on the table for the overturning of Roe v Wade.


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