After her cherished teenage daughter came out and expressed her want to be recognized as non-binary, a mother has opened up about her heartbreak.
People who don’t want their gender to be classified as either male or female are referred to as non-binary or genderqueer. In other words, they don’t think their childhood gender accurately represents who they are today.
Nearly 10% of teenagers now identify as “gender diverse” or non-binary, according to study last year that was published in the American journal Pediatrics.
A mother (whose name has been changed to protect the identity of her child) has now come out to discuss the time her 12-year-old daughter questioned her gender.
This is incredibly hard for me to say, Mum,” My 12-year-old daughter started the Whatsapp message. ‘… Neither a girl nor a boy do I feel like myself.
I answered that we’d talk about it when she got home as I sat there in amazement and astonishment, staring at my phone. Later, in our living room, Lizzie informed me that she preferred to be addressed using the pronouns they/them.
She desired for everyone to refer to her as Zack, to replace her skirts and pink tops with figure-hugging hoodies, and to completely eradicate her previous existence. She had been too afraid to tell me she was non-binary in person, but now she appeared just as resolute as she had been fearful. Mother spoke to DailyMail
‘I, meanwhile, felt like I had been kicked in the face. Lizzie was the name I’d chosen for my daughter, the name I’d painted in pink on her bedroom wall, to suit the princess-loving little girl I adored. Surely this must be a mistake. A phase. A way of fitting in.
‘I’ve had three years to grieve for the little girl I loved — and get to know a completely different person, who I love no less but for awhile barely recognised. Raising any teenager is tough; navigating the process with a non-binary child brings up a raft of complex issues still poorly understood by anyone not directly impacted by it.
‘How many parents know what it’s like for their child to get changed in candlelight because they hate the sight of their developing breasts? For them to want to wear a binder, to flatten their bust, or have surgery to remove it altogether?
Many parents believe that being non-binary is a statement made by teens to gain attention and are not true states of being. Since I was one of them, I should know.
I’m a 38-year-old working mother who is unremarkable in terms of politics. The gender discussion hadn’t even crossed my mind because I didn’t think it would have any impact on me.