Freelance writer and mother Anoosh Jorjorian knows many parents are trying to negotiate between their gender-creative or trans children and the school system. She developed this letter after several conversations over time with trans friends and parents of trans and gender-creative kids and sent it to her child’s pre-kindergarten class. She asked BGD to publish it in hopes that it can be a resource for other parents. (The child’s name has been changed.)
Hello, TK class,
It was a pleasure to see some of you at the TK play date on Saturday!
We wanted to write all of you about our child, Ocho. Ocho was born as a boy, but we are currently describing him as “gender creative.” We know this might be a bit unfamiliar to the parents and possibly a bit confusing for the kids, so we wanted to outline how we are talking about Ocho’s gender with his teacher as well as open a space in case anyone has questions for us.
We know that many boys often dress as girls when they are young. Ocho has been expressing a preference for girl clothing for over a year, becoming more consistent with this preference over time. Sometimes Ocho identifies as a girl, or talks about becoming a girl.
We have told Ocho that he can be whichever gender he wants, and that if he doesn’t want to choose, he doesn’t have to. Most of the time, he prefers not to identify as a girl or a boy, but just as “Ocho.”
We don’t know yet if Ocho is transgender. We are in touch with a few transgender friends as well as parents raising transgender kids to make sure we are supporting him as well as we can as his identity develops. Currently, we are still using male pronouns with him at home.
We often hear from other kids, “Is Ocho a girl or a boy?” In those situations, we say, “Sometimes Ocho feels like a girl, sometimes he feels like a boy. But he’s always Ocho, and he likes to play lots of different things.” Ocho does, in fact, like “boy” things, like trains and airplanes, as well as “girl” things, like Frozen and Strawberry Shortcake.
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We know this is unfamiliar territory, and we are trying to work it out as we go along. We hope that if you have any questions, or if your child asks you questions that you don’t know how to answer, that you will feel comfortable talking with us.
Thanks so much for reading through this, and we look forward to a wonderful first year of elementary school! We hope to meet more of you in person as the year progresses.
Anoosh Jorjorian and Kevin Miller
Anoosh Jorjorian is a freelance writer, a blogger, and a Stealth Queer Mom living in Los Angeles. She writes about the politics of parenting at www.aranamama.com and tweets @aranamama.
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