Transgender kids: Painful quest to be who they are [cnn.com]

By Madison Park / CNN

Berkeley, California (CNN) — One of the first things Thomas Lobel told his parents was that they were wrong.

The 3-year-old had learned sign language because he had apraxia, a speech impediment that hindered his ability to talk. The toddler pointed to himself and signed, “I am a girl.”

“Oh look, he’s confused,” his parents said. Maybe he mixed up the signs for boy and girl. So they signed back. “No, no. Thomas is a boy.”

But the toddler shook his head. “I am a girl,” he signed back emphatically.

Regardless of the fact he was physically male, Thomas has always maintained that he is a girl. When teased at school about being quiet and liking dolls, Thomas would repeat his simple response, “I am a girl.”

Thomas, now 11, goes by the name of Tammy, wears dresses to school and lives as a girl.

Her parents have been accused by family, friends and others of being reckless, causing their youngest child permanent damage by allowing her to live as a girl.

When children insist that their gender doesn’t match their body, it can trigger a confusing, painful odyssey for the family. And most of the time, these families face isolating experiences trying to decide what is best for their kids, especially because transgender issues are viewed as mysterious, and loaded with stigma and judgment.

Click to read and view the rest of the story on CNN…

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