The Miami Herald's Roberto Santiago does a decent job on the story of the five-year-old boy who is enrolling in Broward County schools as a girl. But if you really want to read about him, check out this story by NT's Julia Reischel (if you haven't already). She takes you into his home and tells a fantastic story of Nicholas, a.k.a. Nicole. (Regrettably, the Herald made the decision to call the child "Pat" in the story, which only brings to mind Julia Sweeney's hilarious sexually ambiguous character from Saturday Night Live. Yeah, they're pretty swift down there at One Herald Plaza).
I usually say to each his own, but I do have lingering doubts about the parenting going on here. In Julia's story, the mother recounts a story of the boy saying, "I want the fairy princess to come and make my penis into a vagina."
His age at the time of the statement: TWO. What two-year-old uses words like vagina? And if the boy did actually say that, how the hell did he learn a word like "vagina"? Good God, is there no grace period for a child to be spared the nuts and bolts of genitalia?
She also says she polished the boy's nails, bought him dolls, etc. Basically encouraged his journey into girldom. Nuh-uh. Wrong answer. You discourage that kind of thing. Gently, but firmly. You don't just surrender the child to freakdom right off the bat. But the weird-ass mother (in my opinon) is one of the things that makes this story so goddamn fascinating.
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Here's a scene Julia witnessed:
When her mother asks her if she's happy with the way she looks, she says no.
"What would you change about yourself?"
"Mm... my penis," Nicole murmurs.
"What would you do with it?" her mother asks.
"Um... cut it," Nicole replies, very softly.
"And what would you do with it then?" asks a surprised Lauren, who later says she's never before heard Nicole express dislike for her penis.
"I would hammer it," Nicole says.
"What?" Lauren says.
"Hammer it," Nicole insists more strongly.
Couldn't link Julia's story because the Web site was down this morning. For those of you who have suffered through New Times' interminable Web problems, I apologize. Someday they might figure this Internets thing out. UPDATE: It's back up and running after turning away a lot of good morning folk. Click here to read Julia's superlative story.