Can you think of anything more cruel than telling a five-year-old boy who likes Lady Gaga that he might have gender dysphoria? Or telling a nine-year-old tomboy who hates Barbie and loves Beckham that she might really be male – in spirit – and therefore she should think about putting off puberty and possibly transitioning to her ‘correct gender’?
Saying such things to kids who are only doing what kids have done for generations – messing about, discovering their identity – turns playfulness into a pathology. It convinces boys who aren’t boyish and girls who aren’t girly that they must have some great gender problem, a profound inner turmoil that their tiny minds must address, when in truth they’re just having fun. What an awful trick to play on children.