Diversity or damaging? Ryland Whittington’s story

1 Comment 16 June 2014

Recently, a set of parents in San Diego accepted an Inspiration Award at the 6th Annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. For a video of their little girl Ryland transitioning at the ripe old age of five into a boy.

The video subsequently went viral and was applauded by many as a break-through in being accepting and understanding parents of a transgender child.

But honestly, I think they crossed a thin line between reaching out to support other parents and abusing their own child’s trust. In fact I think they pretty much trampled all over it.

I get that this topic may be popular and trendy and get lots of attention. And I do not challenge their decisions to allow their child the freedom to choose his/her identity.

However, I have four kids and I’ll be damned if I can keep up with every time one changes his or her mind. So, I have learned to go with as much of it as I possibly can.

One day kid A likes watermelon. The next day it is equal to battery acid.

On the same day, kid B decides he’s gonna try on his sister’s dress up dresses. But then thinks draping them over his shoulders and being a prince is better.

Hell, I didn’t decide what career path I wanted to take until after I had graduated college and worked in the field for over a year. Now I can’t wait to go back and work in the field again.

Furthermore, half of the married adults in our country can’t be relied upon to stay married. A decision they most likely made in their 20s or 30s. Maybe even later.

So, you want me to believe that broadcasting a “transition” for all the world to see, including the child’s name age and photographs to our unforgiving and insatiable social media that will own the story forever and someday come back and haunt that child, is an incredible act of compassion and understanding on the part of the parents?

And somehow benefits the gay lesbian and transgender community?

Umm. Sorry. But, no.

Yet, our society by and large chooses to hail them as heroes… Trail blazers for future generations of transgender children.

What if he decides to go back to being a she? Three weeks from now. Ten years from now.

What if he decides he doesn’t want anyone to know he was born a girl? And wants to have a sex change? In private.

Sorry kid. Your parents chose to tell the world for you at five.

No, not just your neighbors and a few friends. But the whole wide internet world.

My question is this. Why do we find it so easy to vilify parents that put their kids in pageants, or potty train on a reality television show (Kate Goselin) but not for publishing a five year olds life choice to become a boy?

And if they were not out for fame and virality could they not have done it anonymously?
Without giving away their child’s privacy?

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. TomS says:

    The parents should be jailed!

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