The days of Marlo Thomas’ “Free to be… You and Me,” it seems, are long gone. Now, when kids don’t quite “fit” within the gender roles prescribed by a patriarchal society, no longer do we say, “You’re fine just the way you are!” Instead, more and more frequently, we are saying, “Maybe you were born in the wrong body.”
The quickly popularized phenomenon of transing kids — that is, to begin youth on treatment programs as soon as they proclaim a “gender identity” that doesn’t match the gender roles traditionally attached to their biological sex, ushering them into the process of “transitioning” towards living as the so-called “opposite gender” — has been widely celebrated and supported by liberals and progressives alike. But are we moving too quickly? What are the consequences of medical interventions like this on children? What are the social consequences?
With many questions left unanswered (and many questions not being asked in the first place), the “trans kids” trend needs more interrogation.
Lisa Marchiano, LCSW, is a clinical social worker and Jungian analyst. She is also one of those people who is concerned we’re moving too fast and too uncritically towards transitioning kids. Her article, “Layers of meaning: A Jungian analyst questions the identity model for trans-identified youth” can be found at 4thWaveNow. For more on her work, visit The Jung Soul. I spoke with her over the phone from her home in Philadelphia.