Yesterday, October 12th, we celebrated the infamous Children’s Day. Child, that beautiful word, which comes from creation, from creating, from smearing yourself in this process of discovering who you are. No strings attached, no judgments or prior notions, just the delight of discovering the world every day and discovering yourself in it. A phase in which we adults should cherish this freedom, supporting them to follow their path, flourishing day after day, and seeking to interfere as little as possible with our preconceived concepts, our morals and prejudices.
Childhood has always enchanted me. How children see the world reveals things about our deepest state of truthfulness, of what is genuine. At the same time, as they grow, we can see how external interference, from the spaces they inhabit, from the people they live with, shape their behavior. And this gives me an immense responsibility on our part.
It is very common, in our adult-centric society, to look at children with the air that we know more than they do, that they are not yet ready and do not know about the world. Thus, castrations, impositions of concepts and rules interfere in this flowering process and speed up a maturation that would come with time, with falls, with the realization of the consequences of choices and even the pleasures of being who you are in an integral way and potent. Ignorance of us, those who have long forgotten the delight of existing beyond or below the concepts imposed by society about what is correct and acceptable.
The child is subversion, discovery, chaos. It is the force of transgression, which looks at life and can be whatever it wants, and that’s exactly why so much aim to control its steps and deeds. When we talk, for example, about raising children so as not to gender, that is, not imposing gender standards on them, we are not necessarily saying that all children are trans – at least not in the way we understand this concept today. – but that, if we continue to impose a gender even before they understand themselves as subjects in society, we embed in their unconscious behaviors and rules that do not match their natures.
I was a trans child, and I was imposed – society, my family, doctors, everyone! – the male gender. Male performance, clothing, toys, tastes, disdain. Since before birth, after looking at my genital organ, they have already started a process of modulation, preparing to receive the one whose future they already imagined, within the standards of what is expected of a man. I ask myself today: what good was this restriction if not to hinder my self-awareness process? That if not for me to go through several violences and only at the age of twenty-three I had enough strength and conscience to finally be the one I’ve always been? Me. Transvestite.
I don’t blame my parents or any parent for this. As Paul B. Preciado said, no one taught these fathers to be fathers and mothers of children who were said to be dissidents. That is why I insist that this process of changing perspectives and behavior begins with the freedom of children, so that they do not reproduce concepts and imposed violence. But for that we need to be aware enough so that we do as little damage as possible in building them.
A few days ago I watched a video on the internet about a European family who raised their child in a “neutral” way. It abdicated the binary concepts in creation, gave it a non-binary name and used the neutral gender at first. In addition, they always sought to respect delu’s wishes: toys, clothes… everything he wanted to do was more important than what binary and cisgender social norms dictate.
In addition to freedom and support, so that she wouldn’t suffer reprisals for being who she was – just a child -, the parents constantly talked with her and her child about issues such as respect, gender identity and prejudice. All this to instruct the child and make him understand not only who he was within his spectrum of freedom, but also how society works and what pluralities of existence we have in the world.
Today, already a little older, the child understood on his own and asked his parents to treat him in a masculine way and give him men’s clothes. But in no way did this stop him from playing with whatever he wanted, wearing other clothes and even behaving in an “effeminate” way, as our cis-binary society would say and rebuke.
This account came to me like a deep breath. Seeing a family with cisgender parents looking for ways and ways for their child to discover who they are on their own is something so rare and so necessary that it has given me some hope about everything we’ve been fighting so far to protect children in the process. Unlike what conservatives insist on saying, no one is imposing transgender on them, not even preventing them from being cisgender, but seeking to free them from the shackles that start from a revelation tea until the end of their lives, for the simple fact that they have one genitalia or another.
It is urgent that we protect our children from imposed gender norms. As Travis Alabanza would say in his show “Burgerz”: “What comes first, gender or violence? It doesn’t matter, they are the same thing.” Thinking gender is thinking about how our society behaves in order to control who can and cannot do certain things, as well as who has power over whom, and who can have that power. It is noteworthy that, even for those in power – in our current society, cisgender and white men – gender violence continues to operate. It does not make you its greatest victim, but even in the position of executioner, it restricts your potencies so that they delude themselves with power and keep the machine working as it is, even if that is not what you want.
Protecting trans children is, therefore, protecting all children from this castrating process. Because every child that is born can be trans, as well as it can not be, and it is necessary that we adults and, above all, fathers and mothers, are open and attentive to listening to the paths that each one needs to follow, thus being able to support and welcome them. -there. That we need more attention to trans children is a fact, given that they – we – are the ones who suffer the most from not being able to be who they are most of the time. And when they are, they receive reprisals from society constantly.
Protecting them is protecting us. Protect them from continuing gender violence, patriarchy, rape culture. Protect them from reprisals when they don’t conform to the standards imposed on them. So that these mini-bius, n-babys, trans boys, transvestites, little girls in general can enjoy the pain and delight of discovering themselves day after day in the adventure that is life.
Let’s not get in the way. Everything we do, most of the time, is in the way. It cannot be said how an artist should paint his picture or dance with his body. This is just done, and the only person who can do it is the creator of your steps. It remains for us to observe the creation of the work and, at most, help those who create when necessary.