My son recently has been taking about being a TOM GIRL.. When I ask him what he means, he says that he likes doing things like girls do. I tell him that he is a little boy and that there no such things as a TOM GIRL.. I asked him what types of things he does that are girl like but he is really not sure. Im a little confused and upset. Is he showing some early signs of being gay?
I also told him that he should not be saying things like that in school because some other children may make fun of him. Again I am a little confused and concerned. Should I be? How should I proceed? Just let it blow over. Ive heard him mention the Tom Girl a few time over the last 6 months or so.
Your child is most likely just exploring the idea of gender roles and self identity at this age, but you should know that there are transgendered children (not the same as gay at all) who really identify their gender as the opposite sex. I listened to an episode of NPR's This American Life recently (2/13/09) about this issue that you can find at http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1283. Perhaps if this is persistent, you should take your child to a psychologist familiar with transgender issues.
That said, I remember calling myself a tomboy as a child, playing rough-and-tumble with boys, etc., and I am (and always have been) a heterosexual female as an adult. Maybe you just need to talk to your son about the idea of gender roles and how he doesn't have to BE a girl to do things a lot of kids mistakenly think are "girly". What are you doing in your home to perpetuate the traditional idea of gender roles? Maybe if he sees mom cooking and dad building stuff, he thinks that he has to be a girl if he likes to cook... Just thoughts.
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