What a 7-year-old Can Teach us About Gender Identity

Have you ever had a new perspective formed through the teachings of a child? I'm not talking about a small thing, like whether brown and black can really go together, but on a huge topic like gender identity? Well, I did. After 4 years of knowing inside she was a girl, Jeremiah gathered all of her clarity and courage to officially show the world who she really is: Jade.

And now, she becomes a teacher to all of us -- her family, classmates, teachers, parents and all who will have the gift of exposure to her transition. She gets to do what SO MANY adults in earlier generations did not: own her instincts, follow her intuition, wear what she wants to wear -- BE WHO SHE WANTS TO BE.

She doesn't have to suppress it so deep down inside that she loses connection to her soul and entire sense of self.

She doesn't have to hold her breath over and over again, embodied with stress and fear, to the point where she makes herself physically ill, developing Cancer or some other horrific condition, that poisons the body when we repress and hold on to negative emotions.

She doesn't have to put on a front for her parents, or society, and pretend her whole life to like trucks, horseplay, sports, or chicks (unless she wants to!).

She doesn't have to be secretive and secluded with her thoughts and feelings. And have to feel alone, as if there is something wrong with her, or she's broken. Or live a completely incongruent, repressive, and potentially depressive life where she ends up dying alone with 20 cats, or committing suicide from years upon years of relentless self-rejection of who she truly is.

She doesn't have to fake her way through relationships, frat parties, all that stuff in order to fall into what is deemed "normal" or "appropriate" or "godly".

Sorry, America, but those are the days of old.

And those who expect a person to suppress who they are in their gender or sexuality - are the ones with the problem. They need to look in the mirror and make a serious change. They are in denial of what we will one day find out is logical and scientific. Those individuals are now the "weird" or "broken" ones (how ironic).

In so many ways we can celebrate...how far we've come, that those days of discrimination against the LGBQT population are ending. That a person can be openly transgender, gay, gender fluid, etc. and it is not considered the plague.

Yes, those days of old are fading.

The days of NOW are that people get to truly live. That a child gets to own their sexuality from the MOMENT THEY FEEL IT. They get to explore their confusion and curiosity. They get to let their desires and intuitions be actualized - whether it's being called "John" and wearing a tuxedo. Or being called "Jade" and wearing braids and dresses. The days of NOW are rising above the stigmas and the "shoulds" and connecting with a higher awareness of what is "normal" and "acceptable".

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Now lovely Jade gets to feel WHOLE and PROUD of whom she is! Her emotional garden gets to be filled with flowers of "I am good enough" "I am lovable" "I believe in myself"!

She gets to live in screaming color, of whatever is in her heart and mind!

She gets to live congruently!

She gets to live in positive, accepting thoughts!

She gets to breathe, deeply and wholly!

She gets to own who she is starting at the young age of seven and have a chance to live the most fulfilling life possible!

Thankfully, those days of discriminatory thinking are going away - albeit slowly. But, if I trust that things happen exactly the way that it's needed, then I trust that Jade becoming the first ever openly transgender child at my daughter's elementary school is going to make serious, positive waves. Waves that will bring reflection and deep thought to many who were taught so many unhealthy ways of thinking from the previous generations. Waves that will change the world as we know it.

Seeing Jade debut her braids and dress - I grew. And I trust her timing is just perfect.

I leave you with Four Incredibly Profound Lessons:

#1: Discrimination is out of style. Feel free to resist letting others be what their minds, hearts, and bodies want to me. But you will be the minority (and possibly alone, depressed, repressed, etc.)

#2: Be responsible in what you teach children. It will be a short time before Jade's classmates simply see her as a girl. It is the adults that will have difficulty with the transition. Therefore, any judgment or kindness a child exhibits towards Jade will be strongly influenced by these adults. Children are not born racist, sexist, homophobic, hateful, etc. - those kinds of thoughts and actions are learned. Teach love, kindness, and acceptance. We don't have to understand another person's choices to accept them.

#3: Children are incredible reminders of how to live in our heart's desire. They have clearer minds and are not yet disillusioned. How can we deny the joy and innocence of a child's desire? Hearts will break wide open - and beliefs will change - because of Jade's courage. All children are perfect as they are. And Jade, you are perfect.

#4: Our judgment is our mirror. I have learned that anyone that's not considered "normal" is a huge mirror for me on how to be the most grateful, kind, loving, accepting person I can. Thank you transgender population, flamboyant gay men, and "butch" lesbians. Thank you to those with autism, and intellectual developmental disorders. Thank you to those with disfigurements, or other visible physical conditions.

Thank you to Jade and her family for helping me to see all that matters is where our hearts are coming from, and to be grateful for all I have. Thank you for sharing your story so we all can grow.