Love, Aunt Boo
We need wisdom from the elders
This is a letter from my 94-year-old mother to her twelve grandnieces and grandnephews who are starting to have their own families. Mom has been reading PITT over the past year. She has become very concerned about the harms of extreme gender identity ideology on the next generation of children, her little great-grands. Our family is very close, and Mom wanted to do what she could, even with the risk of being judged by these beloved young relatives. Included with this letter is Rachel Rooney’s My Body is Me! a wonderful book offered by Transgender Trend. Mom also included the article “A Childhood is not Reversible” about the harms of socially transitioning young children. Although I introduced Mom to the parents at PITT and to these issues, this project was entirely her idea. This is her letter, based on her own research, written from her heart.
I am so proud of my mother. To spend that precious family social capital built on a lifetime of deeds deserving love and respect—when she could easily stay silent. Sometimes a grandmother or great-aunt can say what a mother or father cannot. Mom asked me to share this with the PITT readers, in case other concerned elders might find it helpful when communicating with their own families.
Remember: your love is more powerful than anything else. -Elizabeth
Hello, this is Aunt Boo.
This letter is to explain the book and article I am sending you. Both are about gender, which has become an issue with children in today’s world. A bit ago I got a lovely note and poem from one of my daughters, thanking me for reading to them as children. She commented that all three love to read because of that experience. This book is about our bodies and is my gift of love to all the new members of this family.
I am sending each of you (my great nieces and nephews) this important article and a book to read to children you have now or will have in the future. I am aware that this could be offensive to some, but I hope that you will at least read it. Having lived 94 years, been a mental health counselor for almost 50 years, and known “tomboys” who have married, had families and yet remained gender non-conforming without needing to “transition,” I have opinions about all of this. Our own family includes gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in different generations, some who have struggled to be accepted for who they are. I am glad that our society has changed since I was a girl. I am glad we have embraced equal rights for gay people and people who are gender non-conforming. People cannot change who they are attracted to, and love is love.
But because I believe in science, I also know that we cannot change the sex we were born. Nothing that medicine can do can make me able to produce sperm and not eggs!!! If adults choose to explore options to try to live as a different gender, I have no problem. BUT I want to PROTECT my young relatives from deciding to undergo health-changing procedures that they may regret such as puberty blockers or surgical removal of either breasts or genitalia while still children (procedures that cannot be reversed and have been poorly researched). SO, I am sharing this long article with you. I know that not all of you have children now, but we should all be aware of what can happen to children and be prepared to address these issues if they arise. Protect them until they have adult brains before they make these life-changing decisions and not while they are still growing. (Apparently our brains are not fully developed until our mid -20s.)
Being a parent is a very demanding job, and we all want to do it well. I know the demands; our three were only 20 months apart and I was a very busy mom in those years. Fortunately, gender was not an issue we had to deal with then. I hope you also each get a thank you note far in the future for protecting and enriching their childhood in every way.
The enclosed book is for each of you to share with your children now or when you have any. It is a book to help children love the body they have. I hope you enjoy reading it to them. It will be time well spent.
My love to each of you,