One of my biggest pet peeves as the parent of a gender fluid child is the well meaning, very femme group of moms who kindly reassure me that Anneke will "grow out" of her Tom-boy phase. The conversation often goes something like this.
"So Anneke, doesn't ever wear dresses?"
"Nope," I reply "ever since she could rip it off her body she has boycotted dresses."
"Such a Tom-boy. I was like that as a kid, played with boys; didn't like dresses but don't worry she'll grow out of it." says the couture corporate mom as she checks her hair in the daycare mirror.
Up until a few years ago my reply was, "We'll see."
Now I say, "I certainly hope not. She is amazing just the way she is."
One of the most offensive questions I've gotten has been "Aren't you worried she might grow up to be a lesbian?"
I remember replying, "I hope she does. Men can be a lot of work." You homophobic b*#@#!
That last part is what I wish I'd said.
The reality seems to be, kids are quite accepting. At her daycare in Toronto the kids who knew her from toddlerhood just accepted that that's the way s/he is. It was the parents who felt the need to probe and console me, that eventually she would conform and be 'normal' like the rest of us.
When Anneke would overhear some of these conversations I'd let her know that I hoped she would never change just to fit in with the other kids. "Those other girls are boring," I'd say "just look at them, they dress alike, talk alike and play the same things all the time... you are much more interesting. It is much better to be different that be like everyone else."
"I guess so," Anneke would reply with a serious face. Her sad face often broke my heart.
I am happy, however, to report to all those moms that in her 12+ years of life, s/he shows no signs of "growing out" of her gender-fluid ways.