(May 19) - An Omaha child born a boy will start the next school year with a new name and a new identity -- as Katie, a girl.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, the parents of the 8-year-old say the child they first named Ben exhibited girlish tendencies as young as 2, when he would create long hair using scarves. A year later, he donned a tiara and dressed as a princess for Halloween.

The child's mother told a CNN affiliate that she's come forward to tell her family's story so people will understand. The Omaha newspaper reported that it is difficult to accurately estimate the number of people in Western countries who are transgendered, meaning they see themselves as a different gender, according to the American Psychological Association.

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posted by blankfist 3 years 9 months 2 weeks ago • 33,791 views
siftbot says...

Tags for this video have been changed from '8 year old, eight, sex change, boy, girl, child, news' to '8 year old, eight, sex change, boy, girl, child, news, transgender' - edited by kronosposeidon

kronosposeidon says...

The title is a bit misleading, because the child didn't have sex reassignment surgery, or a "sex change," as most people term it. I don't think any ethical physician would perform sex reassignment surgery on a child. This child would be considered transgendered.

I know the whole transgender/homosexuality subject is tricky at times. My younger brother also used to wrap/hang towels around his head and call himself "Lindy" when he was just three or four years old. He also used to have some toys that were gender normative for girls. If you haven't guessed by now, he's gay, and he's happy being a gay man. He doesn't want to be a woman. That's why doctors would never perform sex reassignment surgery on a child, because it's way too soon for them to properly judge what they really want to be. Hell, a lot of transgendered adults aren't sure what they want to be exactly. That's why many of them are refused for sex reassignment surgery.

I grew up in Omaha, and even though it's a fairly large city (750,000 in the greater Omaha area), I bet from this report that most people will be able to figure out who this kid is anyway. It's a big small town, you might say. I wish her the best.

MilkmanDan says...

That has got to be weird to figure out. From the perspective of the kid, the parents, and the (judgmental) community.

I grew up in rural Kansas, and was exposed to a strong cultural bias against homosexuality or transgendered people. When I was young and stupid (or younger and stupider than I am now), say in early High School, I thought that I hated homosexuals, in spite of the fact that I didn't actually know any -- probably because in the atmosphere that culture creates it would be extremely hard for anyone to be openly gay or transgendered and have to put up with attitudes like I had or worse. Fortunately I grew out of that, probably earlier than I otherwise would have due to my own struggle with "coming out" as an atheist in a similarly hostile environment and making an empathic connection of feeling held back from my nature.

After moving to Thailand, I got married to a Thai woman. She has some female friends, but probably about 2/3rds of her friends are either gay men or "kathoey" / transgendered men -- she was on her community college's cheerleading squad and many of her male friends are connections from that. Although I thought that I abandoned any remaining cultural homophobia during college, I must admit that Thailand pushed those boundaries at first -- it is just so different from the conservative midwest region of the conservative USA. But I have since seen that they are good people, nice, and good friends for my wife (and me) to have.

Some things here are bass-ackwards, but the cultural tolerance or at least apathy towards different sexual orientations seems like a real improvement over my own American / Bible Belt cultural upbringing. I hope this kid can get everything figured out in an environment that is more like Thailand than what I grew up in...

tedbater says...

Because an 8 year old child has no idea who they are. While I may not agree with gender reassignment in the first place; I respect the right of an adult to make that decision. But in an 8 year old child? Disgusting.

>> ^bananafone:

>> ^tedbater:
This is the sickest thing I've ever heard.

Why?

Oh @<a rel="nofollow" href="http://videosift.com/member/MilkmanDan" title="member since August 16th, 2009" class="profilelink">MilkmanDan, don't they have three bathrooms in thailand instead of the two we have in the states? I think that's awesome.

bananafone says...

Good to hear from the armchair psychologists here. (Btw, she didn't get surgery. She just dresses as she feels now.)

I knew I was a girl when I was 8. I liked to rough-house with my brothers and act boy-ish, but never once thought I was one. Just because you can't imagine someone feeling differently, doesn't mean it's horrid awful and terrible.

Can you imagine, just for a moment, what this girl is going through? What if you grew up in a world that was convinced you were something else? And then abused you when you didn't conform?

Think you need to give children a little more credit. Sometimes they're smarter than the adults.

>> ^tedbater:

Because an 8 year old child has no idea who they are. While I may not agree with gender reassignment in the first place; I respect the right of an adult to make that decision. But in an 8 year old child? Disgusting.
<em>>> <a rel="nofollow" href='http://videosift.com/video/8-Year-old-Boy-Has-Sex-Change#comment-1027583'>^bananafone</a>:<br />
<em>>> <a rel="nofollow" rel="nofollow" href="http://videosift.com/video/8-Year-old-Boy-Has-Sex-Change#comment-1027582">^tedbater</a>:<br><br> This is the sickest thing I've ever heard.<br></em><br> <br> Why?<br> <br> <br> Oh @<a rel="nofollow" href="http://videosift.com/member/MilkmanDan" title="member since August 16th, 2009" class="profilelink">MilkmanDan</a>, don't they have three bathrooms in thailand instead of the two we have in the states? I think that's awesome.<br></em>

rottenseed says...

>> ^kronosposeidon:

The title is a bit misleading, because the child didn't have sex reassignment surgery, or a "sex change," as most people term it. I don't think any ethical physician would perform sex reassignment surgery on a child. This child would be considered transgendered.
I know the whole transgender/homosexuality subject is tricky at times. My younger brother also used to wrap towels around his head and call himself "Lindy" when he was just three or four years old. He also used to have some toys that were gender normative for girls. If you haven't guessed by now, he's gay, and he's happy being a gay man. He doesn't want to be a woman. That's why doctors would never perform sex reassignment surgery on a child, because it's way too soon for them to properly judge what they really want to be. Hell, a lot of transgendered adults aren't sure what they want to be exactly. That's why many of them are refused for sex reassignment surgery.
I grew up in Omaha, and even though it's a fairly large city (750,000 in the greater Omaha area), I bet from this report that most people will be able to figure out who this kid is anyway. It's a big small town, you might say. I wish her the best.

Yea, my "brother" did the same things. The sad thing is, I was an only child. So yea, I played with dolls, didn't have a strong father figure in my life to take notes from. The fact of the matter is, I didn't have a real sexuality before puberty. I wasn't a sexual being. I was asexual. Whatever I did was driven by learned behavior and not by hormonal directives. So, now I'm a straight male, and I'm glad my mom didn't stifle my "different" behavior, but I wasn't decidedly a female because of these things.

honkeytonk73 says...

Perfect... the google ad on the right has 'ladyboykisses' a shemale dating service LOL

Anyway. This is just more evidence that proves we are all intelligently designed.

kronosposeidon says...

I understand what you're saying, rottenseed. I suppose I wasn't clear with my wording. Just because my little brother sometimes liked to pretend to be a girl and play with a lot of girl toys didn't automatically mean he was going to be gay. When I wrote, "If you haven't guessed by now, he's gay..." I meant that you might guess where I was going with this story, given the topic at hand. I wasn't trying to suggest that occasional girl-like behavior in a boy means that the boy inevitably will become a gay man. My bad.

In regard to tedbater's comment, as bananafone and I mentioned, she didn't have surgery. She's now being treated as a girl instead of a boy, but no surgical reassignment has taken place. The parents consulted a specialist about this and learned as much as they could about transgenderism before they started treating her as a girl. Maybe you consider that disgusting as well. I don't know. Regardless, the issue itself isn't as cut and dried as you might believe. Neither of us are experts, and I can tell the parents didn't approach the issue lightly. I think their approach to this deserves the benefit of the doubt.

MilkmanDan says...

>> ^bananafone:

Oh @<a rel="nofollow" href="http://videosift.com/member/MilkmanDan" title="member since August 16th, 2009" class="profilelink">MilkmanDan, don't they have three bathrooms in thailand instead of the two we have in the states? I think that's awesome.


Some places do, but not all or even most. I've seen buffet lines with different prices for "man" "woman" and "ladyboy" also -- presumably guys eat the most, girls the least, and in-betweens ... inbetween.

marinara says...

here goes, i hope i get flamed.

I understand that genetics can make you feminine and gay, but how do you explain gender reversal before the kid hits puberty? You can't, but I can.

FUBAR environment for the kid. I've met more fucked up parents than fucked up kids.

gwiz665 says...

While that is true, it is not necessarily to the kids' credit, but often to the detriment of the adults... adults can be pretty fucking stupid, and kids do have an upper limit simply based on lack of "world experience". So while a kid may be smarter than an adult, that's certainly not the norm.

>> ^bananafone:
Think you need to give children a little more credit. Sometimes they're smarter than the adults.

Xax says...

I'm quite curious to know how much the parents influenced the child's thinking in this regard, especially after hearing the mother, and some of the things the kid says. But I do know that some kids really do have gender identity issues, and I can't imagine how difficult it must be for them to cope with them internally, let alone publicly.

dannym3141 says...

Bananafone - there are many ways in which parents paint over the opinions/beliefs of a child, this is only different because we see it as a sensitive issue in adults.

Do we try to place ourselves in the position of a child raised as a fundaMENTAList christian, and consider what THEIR feelings might be? Let's be honest, we don't - certainly not in the way we do in cases like this. The parents of my hypothetical child just raise their child to the best standard they know of, they do what they consider their best by their child. If that child suddenly decided "Hey, religion is bogus, i don't want this anymore!" I highly doubt the parents will say "Ok, i'll get a babysitter for sunday mornings. You can stay home."

My point here is that people raise their children to what they consider their is in the child's best interest. The child doesn't get the option.

So, for me, the question should be "Is it wise to let a child dictate his own upbringing?" Because i'm sure if you start doing this for EVERY child (not just the children who walk a line along modern society's sensitive topics that will guarantee an outcry), then we'll end up having children dictating that every meal must be chocolate and cream with milkshake.

Don't mind me, i just find it interesting how people (as a whole) change their behaviour based on how "sensitive" the topic is supposed to be. If this was a child who decided they wanted to join a "in 5 years we all drink poison" cult, you'd be saying oh the mother should just over ride the silly child's whimsy. But because it's the buzz-topic of sexuality, everyone's pro choice for the evidently mature child. I'm not being facetious either, i genuinely find it interesting how easily we can draw a line and consider the same philosophy sensible and another thing insane just by hitting a sensitive topic. It doesn't have to be deadly poison either, it could be poison to make your arm fall off - i suppose that would be similarly life-changing as realising you'd made a mistake 10 years ago about wanting to be a woman.

Personally, i take the mother-of-rottenseed (rottenapple?) approach - i'm fine with a child of mine being whatever they want to be, but i certainly wouldn't raise with a direction/destination in mind until they were old enough to have a reasonable and intelligent input.

Jesusismypilot says...

I just hope the kid truly feels this way. The word choice of the child is very adult and seems to be planted with buzz words from someone else... that said, again, I hope the kid really feels the way the video portrays. She/he is guaranteed to have a very difficult life ahead of her/him.

Blessings,
JIMP

Porksandwich says...

I dunno, the whole thing is pretty hard to comment on with the array of possibilities as to why the kid would want to act or dress different.

Being that it's at a stage where it's really doubtful puberty is kicking in, it could be something as simple as he gets treated nicer when he's a "girl".

I know a lot of male teachers in elementary and middle school were definitely kinder to the girls, female teachers were normally pretty even in the treatment but would be more severe with punishments/reprimands towards the boys.

And if at home you like the attention you get for dressing up like a girl.....well you might just decide you prefer it.

And other kids hate taking showers/baths...had one kid who'd piss himself so he could get out of class and often times go home. And that was the whole point, he got to go home if he pissed himself..eventually they stopped letting him go home and made him keep a change of clothes on school property, etc. Then he started pissing as he went down the slide so it screwed up recess, and then they'd make him go down the slide with paper towels until he cleaned it up mostly. After the pissing didn't work, he trained himself to puke nearly on command...and that worked for awhile. Eventually in middle school he just gave up the reason for not being there and just never showed up most days.

Kids do things for attention or because of the results that comes of from said activity. Piss/puke kid was not liked by other kids, because hey..he stunk, peed himself all the time and then started throwing up seemingly randomly...and he pretty much was remembered so all through high school.

Boy who becomes girl is probably going to come to regret it as soon as the other kids figure it out, being different in school is not an easy thing in many areas throughout the country. And it's doubly so if the teachers/administration/other parents don't understand it or agree with it. It's not so much intolerance as it is being too indulgent toward kids, if they let one do it (especially at that age) then others will want to do something similar...or dress up as pirates/etc. And it adds a whole other level of complication to boy/girl teams, changing rooms, bathrooms, etc.

Good luck kid, I suspect you have home schooling ahead of you if you keep heading down this road. Whatever it says on the birth certificate/state ID/driver's license under sex is what you are going to be considered no matter how you dress or act.

entr0py says...

I'm going to guess the title is totally deceptive. . . Watching.

Yes indeed. They didn't even mention the possibility of sex change when she gets older, it was totally absent from the report. They also didn't talk about the possibility of delaying puberty so the kid can decide at a later date. Merely letting the kid dress and speak the way she chooses to is absolutely nothing like a sex change. Why such a sensational and completely inaccurate title? Just to get more views? I can only speak for myself but I would have up-voted if I weren't pissed about the title.

Also, why the WTF tag? Now you're just insulting the kid.

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