Recently I was at the Gender Spectrum professional’s day at the beginning of their family conference. Diane Ehrensaft PhD, author of, Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children, was a speaker there. She talked about the different categories and language that children used to explain their gender identity. It was really fascinating. When asked in an accepting environment about their gender identity children came up with words such as gender smoothies,which is put everything you know about gender in a blender and hit on. The kids were very clear about who they were. They took what is a complicated issue and made it really simple. On the other hand, many adults recently had a melt down when a picture of a young boy painting his toe nails was on the cover of a recent J-Crew advertisement.
It seems that in some ways children just understand things way better than adults. To children so much is simple. Why can’t I play with a boy’s toy just because I am a girl? Why can’t two men or two women get married if they love each other? Why can’t countries solve problems without violence? Why do people from this religion, hate those from that religion?
It may seem that they have a simplistic view of things, but I think if we look closely some things really are that simple. As I write this the government fights over the debt ceiling. What is the solution in a country with a divided government?… compromise. What is really so complicated about that? Yet the sides have been fighting for what now seems like forever about something that will probably end up being resolved with a solution that had been previously discarded. A child would know this, why don’t the adults? Maybe some things really could be that simple.