chapter  8
17 Pages

Social work practice with transgender and gender variant youth and their families


There is, inevitably, one question that has welcomed each of us into family life: “Is it a boy or a girl?” The question is not asked of us, of course. It is assumed that the answer is simple and apparent. Someone looks at our genitalia and decides. Are you a boy or a girl? The answer to this question is assumed to be definitive, outside of our power, and it will shape much of our future life. It is believed to be a given, predetermined; and it is a binary. Boy or girl. Few of us ever question the assignment that was made at birth. Fewer still ever question the meaning of the question. Must we be a boy or a girl? Are these the only two options? Are they mutually exclusive and clearly distinguishable, and do I have a choice in the matter?