What should parents do when their child finds that their assigned gender and gender identity are different? She said, “I’m glad the girl … I cried with tears. She thought she had to accept this girl as a girl.” Mr Shimizu (pseudonym), who lives in Tokyo, says: She snuggled up to her child, who felt uncomfortable with her gender, and listened to her mother’s thoughts and experiences as she walked along with her growth process.
“By the time she was two, she liked frilled clothes and the anime pretty Cure’, dancing with towels on her skirt and long hair on her head.”
“She said she liked the skirt, so her friend gave her her daughter’s skirt and put it on. She gave her what she liked.”
Since she entered kindergarten, she has sometimes been “colour-coded” by gender.
When making carp streamers for Children’s Day, girls were supposed to make pink carp streamers and boys were supposed to make light blue carp streamers.
Mr Shimizu had previously told her kindergarten teacher, “Please let me choose what she likes.”
She recalls getting off the kindergarten bus that day as she happily embraced the pink carp streamer.
When she was five years old, when she was filming Shichigosan, she talked with her husband, and she took pictures in four different costumes, Japanese and Western.
She shot in four different styles, but when shooting in pink kimonos and dresses, she said she was “pleased.”
“My child is also a human being.”
Since she entered elementary school, she is more likely to be able to classify colours and behaviours by gender, more than in kindergarten.
Before enrolling, her father, mother, and herself went to the principal’s office for a consultation.
Since I went to school in plain clothes, I would like you to wear clothes you want, such as skirts, and when you call a child’s surname, do not distinguish between “Kun” and “san”.
The magnet with the student’s name printed on the blackboard is also different in colour for men and women, and I asked them to stop colour-coding by gender.
Then, the words returned from the principal were “I don’t know what’s wrong” and “I can’t do it even after half a year.”
“I don’t think I’ll be absent from school.” Despite consulting with such anxiety in my heart, the story is parallel.
It is said that Mr Shimizu’s husband said, “My child is also a human being,” because of the lack of understanding of the principal.
Mr Shimizu says, “I just wanted you to cherish me as a person, not because I was transgender.” “I wanted you to treat me as one of the various children, not a special person.”
Blank name field. Newly chosen name
Shortly after I entered elementary school, I stopped writing my name in the name field of the test and started to keep silent by introducing myself in the English conversation class.
“In the practice of introducing myself in English, I couldn’t say it because I didn’t like the name.”
It was hard to keep using names that are common to men.
The name field on the test was repeatedly blank, but the teacher just drew a line with a red pen and pointed it out. “I wanted you to hear a word about what happened,” says Shimizu.
During breaks, older children sometimes make fun of their names and bully them as “boys or girls?”
I consulted with my family and decided to use a common name at school.
I told the teacher to that effect and started using the name “Rina” (pseudonym) that I thought of myself.
Broken heart. Desperately grasped hand
Rina and Shimizu
In elementary school, I started using the new name “Rina” smoothly, but the bullying from the children continued.
You may be exposed to discriminatory rants or shouted for your family register name even though you are using a new name.
After consulting with the school, the teacher said, “Be careful of the child who did it as a bully,” but on the other hand, “the child cannot understand that the assigned gender and gender identity are different.” I was bullied.
The child was hurt and said, “If I die, my mom will die?” “If I die, I like pink, so put in pink flowers.” I tried to jump from
“I could only hold my wrist all the time anyway. The next morning, I had a bruise on my wrist.”
A gathering of parents and children who “stuck together.”
Initially, Mr Shimizu himself did not know about transgender or had any acquaintances with the parties around him.
When Rina felt uncomfortable with her gender, she started collecting information.
“I wanted to reassure myself that there are other people who feel uncomfortable with their gender, and I’m not the only one, so I started participating in LGBTQ children’s and family gatherings.”
The voluntary organization “Nijikko” holds exchange meetings for children under the age of 15 and their families, who may be LGBTQ, and the NPO “Meeting to connect LGBT family and friends” are the parties concerned. It supports the family.
When Mr Shimizu participated in the gathering of Rina and her parents and children, she said, “Even when it was time to go home, the children were stuck together and did not leave.”
“I want to walk together and” widen the road.”
Rina, who went on to junior high school, said she was “fun at school.”
She smiles, “I think it’s the first time I’ve enjoyed school.”
In junior high school, she says that uniforms can be selected from multiple patterns regardless of gender, and even girls with long hair often wear slacks on their ties.
“When I entered junior high school, the principal said, ‘Thank you for coming to our school. Please tell me anything. I will never ignore your opinion. I’m glad I came here when I graduated. I’ll do it. “
“It seems that the school is also promoting efforts to avoid” gender division “. I hope you do not give up on various things because of your gender. I also told him,” I will do my best to support you, so do what you like. Please. “
Through her experience with Rina, Shimizu says that her educator also unknowingly felt that “unnecessary gender division” was being done in her educational setting.
“Since children grow up in the area, the school will create the area 10 years from now. Some children may not fit into that area by gender. Gender colour, list, the order in the ceremony, etc. I think it’s better if the gender feels like “melting” instead of deciding. “
“Even in elementary school, other than my daughter, I was told by the teachers a little later that there was a child who felt uncomfortable with their gender. There may be a child who is hurt without the teacher’s knowledge. “
“Children who feel uncomfortable with their gender are trying to live their way, even when people around them say something unpleasant. Therefore, I would like to walk together and widen the path.”
The world that sends her daughter.
Nowadays, accusations and discrimination against transgender women are becoming a problem in each country, including Japan.
Mr Shimizu also says that he sees discriminatory posts on SNS and offensive words in the comment section of web articles every day.
In the future, when her daughter went on to school, got a job, and went out into society, Mr Shimizu expressed her uneasy feelings.
She said, “There is a lot of discrimination and bashing against transgender women, and I am worried that I should send it out to such a world.”
Still, she said, “I saw an invisible view through her daughter. I want to do what I can.” She will make various efforts as a parent of the parties and as a community member.
If any of the people who read this article have a family of children who feel uncomfortable with their gender.
Mr Shimizu calls out like this.
“Please take good care of your child’s appearance and his feelings. I’m sure it’s okay.”