gender. confusing?

Today I’d like to talk about something I’m actually hesitant to talk about. It’s not that the Intramuralist doesn’t have an opinion nor that I believe we cannot discuss respectfully. Rather, it’s that my vantage point is so far away. Time and time again, we witness those around us (maybe even us) become firmly entrenched in staunch, passionate opinions, failing, no less, to realize that our vantage point is so far away, that we are actually incapable of having a fully accurate perspective. My sense is many of our conversations would be better — and more solution-oriented — if we were willing to admit that our opinion has been formed from very far away.

Hence, noting our very removed perspective in the following incident that made some headlines this week, there are two concluding questions that seem wise for us to ask. Let’s see if we can do this well…

Meet James Younger. He is a 7 year old twin brother, whose parents are involved in a significant, contentious custody battle. The primary reason for the contention is that his mother wishes to raise him instead as a girl. 

Anne Georgulas and Jeffrey Younger were married for 4 years before having their marriage annulled in 2016. They have been fighting in a Dallas family court for more than 2 years over the conservatorship of James.

Georgulas is a pediatrician in private practice. She believes James has gender dysphoria and thus should be raised now as a transgender girl. Georgulas calls her son, “Luna.” In a released video recording of James at 3, James states that he is a girl because his mother told him so and has him wear dresses and finger nail polish.

Younger is a mathematician. He believes his ex-wife has “manipulated” James into a “false gender self-identity” and thus opposes the child’s gender transition.

On Tuesday of last week, a jury ruled 11 to 1 that Georgulas has the sole right to make all medical and psychological decisions for James and his brother, Jude. On Thursday, however, after significant state and national outrage, a judge reinstated “Joint Managing Conservatorship,” meaning both Georgulas and Younger must be involved in decisions about their kids’ medical and psychological care.

First and foremost, I find my heart grieving for young James. Remember James is 7 years old. 7 year olds have just mastered learning to ride their bike. Typically in second grade, they are beginning to understand how numbers fit together; they’re more solidified on left and right and how to read a clock; and they often really look forward to recess and lunch. They are not adults, and according to the medically adopted stages of child development, they are just now beginning to demonstrate logical, concrete reasoning. Logical reasoning is not indicative of 7 nor especially not 3 year olds.

How confusing.

I often think of how confusing even our teenagers are, trying to find their identity… trying to find how they fit… trying to find a way to navigate through life in a healthy way, with massive hormonal changes, in a culture that’s way too full of social media, comparison, and too-often-encouraged self-absorption. As written in Psychology Today, “One of the important things to remember is that what a teen does and is exposed to during this critical time in life, has a large influence on the teen’s future, because experience and current needs shape the pruning and sprouting process in the brain.” Hence, with so many unhealthy influences coercing our kids, how can they not be confused? And that’s teenagers. 

Thus remembering we are so far removed from the Younger situation — and that we are incapable of having a fully accurate perspective — I find myself wrestling with two questions…

First, if a parent wants a child to be a different gender — I ask sincerely — is that abuse?

And second, what’s the role of the state? In a situation like this, is it appropriate for the government to intervene and terminate the authority of either parent? 

Who, friends, has the most authority for our kids?

(God help us. We need it. Did I mention this is confusing?)



2 Replies to “gender. confusing?”

  1. Gender Dysphoria was classified as a mental disorder in DSM until 2013, just like eating disorders, bipolar personalities, ADD/ADHD, etc… Additionally, GID is quickly becoming a political hot topic amongst the LGBTQ+ community. Did you know there is also “BID- body Identity disorder”. It’s characterized by a patients strong desire to be disabled, and they have an intense desire to have a limb amputated, or become blind or deaf.. They call themselves “transabled”. Of course, no dr would amputate a healthy limb. Yet drs no longer treat gender dysphoria as a disorder; they comply with the patient’s desires, with hormone therapy, “top surgery”, and other body altering surgeries that are irreversible. It’s crazy. Would a dr perform liposuction or gastric bypass on an anorexic who thinks they are fat? The area of their brain that controls cognitive thinking (the frontal lobe) is not even fully developed until they are 25 years old, yet they are making these kind of decisions. I don’t understand how the mom doesn’t factor those things when she states her son is now a girl. My heart breaks for this family. I would like to think the mom is doing what she thinks is best, but I think there are more details to this story that we probably don’t know enough about to comment on. I do not think the state should get involved. When this child turns 18, he can make those decisions on his own. Kids are being taken away from parents who know their children are suffering mentally, yet do not want to go down the path of hormone treatments and surgeries. These parents are considered unsupportive. Kids are coming out at 15 and 16 years old with these “revelations” and if the parents are not compliant, the courts gets involved and treat it as an abuse case. This is more common than you think. I pray for this family that they find the best way to raise this child.

  2. Touchy subject for sure. I have no children, so am no expert on what is the correct way to raise one. But, I do have common sense and it tells me that a 3-7 year old child does not have the ability to make a choice which will affect his life forever. I believe it is the parents obligation to allow the child to be themselves, but not to influence the direction they will take. The direction they may take today, tomorrow, 5 years, 10-20 years is going to change drastically with being allowed to experience the events in life that will have a bearing on the direction they will eventually choose. They both need to support this child as he goes through this experience, phase, life choice or whatever it may be, but they do not have the right to make such a life altering decision for this boy at such a young age. He has much to learn and so much life to live to make this decision on his own.
    I pray for this family.

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