Oh my! My son acts lIke a gIrl!

By Shabnam Sadigova

It is a country where even homosexuals have to be homophobic, the weight of this sentence is well known to everyone aware of the situation. Homophobia is the fear of homosexuality or homosexuals, irrational hatred, discomfort, and discrimination. I will soon clarify many notions about this subject below, but first I want to write about the title.

Many preschool and school-age boys are exposed to verbal abuse. Their peers or people around labeling them as “walking like a girl”, “sitting with girls”, “looking like a girl”, “has a girl’s beauty”, “talking like a girl”, “playing with girl toys”, or scolding them as “do you play house too?”, “do not behave like a girl!” and so on (without knowing and sometimes even deliberately traumatizing these kids for life). I have to admit; that even giving these examples stresses me. We need to understand how sensitive and careful we must be with the words we use when we refer to someone. Especially knowing how it will change their lives…

Accept this as an axiom: playing with “girl toys” has nothing to do with a boy’s sexual identity or his orientation. Toys are a good source to imitate real life for children. There is not such a concept that boys must play with cars and girls with dolls. Playing house with dolls helps your son to learn sexual roles. If he puts the male doll in his father’s or in his role, it is a sign of your child’s healthy personal development. Essentially, you have to let your kids play with all types of toys regardless of their sex. This is necessary for child development and does not have any effect on their sexual tendencies. 

The most commonly confused concepts in societies are “gender identity” and “sexual orientation.” Let’s take a look at LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and some of the terms mentioned above;

Gender Identity is the personal sense of one’s own gender. A person is a male or a female.

Sexual orientation: a person’s sexual identity about the gender to which they are attracted. It is not congenital and is not a disease.

Lesbian: A woman who feels physically and/or emotionally attracted to another woman. Lesbians can also be identified as female homosexuals. Sexual identification or sexual orientation self-label of a person may not coincide with their behaviors.

Gay: A man who feels physical and/or emotional attraction to another man. A gay person can also be identified as a male homosexual. Sexual identification or sexual orientation self-label of a person may not coincide with their behaviors.

Bisexual: This is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior toward both males and females. A bisexual person may be attracted to one sex more than the other and/or this trend may change over time.

Transsexual: The name was given to those who feel like they belong to the opposite sex. This applies to both men and women. This means, that a man may want to be a woman and a woman may want to be a man. However, the word transsexual is a term associated with a person’s spirit. It has more to do with the person’s inner world, the sex they feel they belong to rather than how they behave in day-to-day life. For this reason, it is not so easy to identify them from the outside. Because they do not always reflect their orientation to their appearance.

Transvestite: a person, who derives pleasure from dressing in clothes primarily associated with the opposite sex. Most of the transvestites are men. Transvestite concept is often confused with transsexuality. A Transsexual is a person who feels emotionally and psychologically belongs to the opposite sex, even though they were born with the physical characteristics of the other gender. Male or female transsexuals usually start cross-dressing even before gender reassignment surgery. Transvestism is not a sexual orientation. A transvestite may be heterosexual or homosexual.

Homophobia: is not just a psychiatric concept. It is estimated that every 48 hours a homosexual person is killed due to homophobia. According to Amnesty International, homosexuals are being oppressed in about 70 countries.

After some explanation, let’s go back to our main subject. If a boy has sexual inclinations toward “males”, it will surface one day and this preference isn’t treatable nor can be prevented with therapies. If your child does not have such an inclination, you do not need to be afraid that your son is playing with girls. In other words, your child’s sexual orientation will not change just because he is playing with different toys.

In short, your concern may be real that your child behaves like a girl/boy, but if your child has a genuine sexual inclination, you don’t have to work to impede it. There are three reasons for this:

  • You can’t change a sexual orientation with an outside influence.
  • If you try to change the situation Instead of accepting it, that will hurt your child’s psychology.
  • Homosexuality is not a mental illness according to the APA (American Psychological Association) and the WHO (World Health Organization).

How can be our life if we never mind what other people say or think? What are we, really? Is being yourself and not hurting others really that hard?…

Take care of your mental health.

Ay aman! Oğlum qız kimi davranır!