Too young to know your gender?
The story of 11-year-old Tammy who was born a boy and is now living as a girl sheds some light on the issue of childhood transgender issues
September 27th, 2011
12:36 PM ET

Too young to know your gender?

Comments of the morning:

“I applaud these parents for loving their child for who she is and allowing her to find herself rather than forcing her to suppress all of her feelings and be ‘normal.’" - WowMe

“If God wanted him to be her, God would of created you as such. Going against Gods word is dangerous!” - The9thSeal

Little boy lives as little girl

Hindered by a speech impediment, it wasn’t until age 3 that Thomas Lobel, by learning sign language, could communicate with his parents and the first thing he told them was that he was a girl. Eight years later, Thomas now goes by Tammy and lives as a girl, a process that has been difficult for her parents; the balance of supporting their child and taking criticism from family and friends can be painful and confusing.

So what do CNN.com readers think about their decision to support Tammy’s wishes to live as a girl? Some said they fully support it, while others said that, among other things, Tammy is too young to fully understand gender.

bojimbo261 said, “Children know more than adults do.”

flipnap2112 said, “I am a 42-year-old man. Some of the ways I acted and dressed would have had these adults convincing me I’m transgender. But back then my parents just laughed, didn’t assign a thing to my behavior and I grew up as normal as one can. I’m as heterosexual as one can get. Why are you doing MRIs and brain scans. They’re kids!”

khadija60 said, “People don't realize that forcing boys into the Rambo mode and girls into the Barbi mode is extremely destructive. I know men who cook and sew and women who can change an engine. It doesn't mean they are gay or lesbian. People should just lighten up.”

Mijan said, “And some gay men are extremely masculine, rough, and tough. Some lesbians are extremely feminine and delicate. Some people are androgynous. One of my straight guy friends loves to bake, knit, sew, and wear kilts... but he's absolutely straight. And (as I was in the Army) I know a lot of straight women who are extremely rugged and tough. Let people be who they are! Boys will be boys, except when boys will be girls, and that shouldn't be a problem, because that's just how people are.”

MeNMine said, “I think that most of the problem comes simply in perception. Tammy likes to wear dresses and do other things that girls want to do. But no amount of artificial hormones or surgeries is going to make him a girl. He is a boy, who just happens to enjoy and associate more with stereotypical ‘girl’ responses. I think the problem is that Tammy and those around him feel like they need to change who he is (by taking hormones and possible future surgeries making his body feel more feminine) so that he can fit in.”

VinoBianco said, “Transgender people are a real thing. It doesn't mean they were abused or are ‘sick’ – the science on this is still being discovered but you can have the mind of one gender and the body of another. Why can't we just accept that? These kids have to go through too much confusion to have to deal with the ignorant judgments of society.”

And readers debated the parents, a lesbian couple’s influence:

lamponhill said, “Funny that this boy who thinks he is a girl has two moms! Has anyone thought that he identifies with women because he doesn't have a male to identify with? Sad that he doesn't have a father.”

gimmetheax responded, “Funny that some commenters haven't noticed that he has two brothers who are very ‘masculine’ and who, coincidentally, ALSO have two moms....”

NCCallie said, “I'd like to applaud Pauline and Debra. You have obviously struggled to make very difficult choices and have focused on what is best for Tammy. I think it is encouraging to see that two people can love a child so much that they put her needs first-ahead of society's perceptions and bigotry. Tammy is lucky to have you as her parents.”

bamagrad03 said, “So they let this kid call the shots when it was 3 years old...that's great parenting right there.”

kakash responded, “When it comes to something as traumatic as gender identity disorder then you're damn right the kid has to be involved if not in charge of the decision. This isn't about doing homework or bedtimes. It's about the child's mental health. It isn't a parenting issue.”

EricaWIP33 said, “I was born a boy...I transitioned into a woman only recently, but I have known since I was four years old that I was a girl. The only reason I didn't do it before was because of a world that was so cold and uncaring, and social stigma that went along with it. That, and at age 10 my father told me to either get happy being a boy, or get busy finding a new place to live. If only my parents were as accepting as Tammy's are, then maybe I would have enjoyed my childhood more.”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (617 Responses)
  1. camper repair shops near me


    May 14, 2021 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. chassis repair shop near me


    May 14, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. houses for sale sandpoint

    This site truly has all the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 14, 2021 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. property for sale around me


    May 14, 2021 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. home for sale near me

    Hello! I simply would like to give you a huge thumbs up for your great info you've got right here on this post. I am returning to your web site for more soon.


    May 15, 2021 at 01:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. indoor rv storage orange county ca

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article plus the rest of the site is also very good.


    May 15, 2021 at 02:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. homes for sale athol idaho

    This is the perfect website for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject that has been discussed for many years. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    May 15, 2021 at 04:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 3 bedroom houses for sale near me


    May 15, 2021 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Vsp Providers

    I absolutely love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you build this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very own blog and want to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thanks!


    May 15, 2021 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Vsp Providers Near Me


    May 15, 2021 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 2007 Maserati Quattroporte For Sale

    There's certainly a lot to know about this issue. I love all the points you have made.


    May 15, 2021 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Used Maserati


    May 15, 2021 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. rv repair service near me

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this web site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!


    May 15, 2021 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rv furniture outlet store near me

    Good write-up. I definitely appreciate this website. Continue the good work!


    May 15, 2021 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Maserati St Pete


    May 15, 2021 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Internet Marketing Jobs

    An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you should publish more about this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people don't talk about such issues. To the next! All the best!!


    May 16, 2021 at 04:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Repair Shop

    This website definitely has all the info I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 16, 2021 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Aika Online Pran


    May 16, 2021 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sprinter Van Ecm Repair

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 16, 2021 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mercedes Sprinter Maintenance Service Near Me


    May 16, 2021 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Maserati Biturbo


    May 16, 2021 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Southern California Sprinter Repair


    May 16, 2021 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Sprinter Door Repair Panel


    May 16, 2021 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Maserati 2016

    This web site definitely has all the information I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 16, 2021 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Sprinter Diesel Repair


    May 16, 2021 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sprinter Repair Costs


    May 16, 2021 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 2007 Maserati Quattroporte

    After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!


    May 16, 2021 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Dodge Sprinter Repair Shop


    May 16, 2021 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Sprinter Van Seat Fabric Repair

    You're so interesting! I don't believe I have read through something like this before. So wonderful to find someone with a few genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!


    May 16, 2021 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Repair Shop

    That is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!


    May 17, 2021 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Alternator Mercedes Sprinter 2016 Repair


    May 17, 2021 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Sprinter Repair Los Angeles

    Great blog you've got here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 17, 2021 at 03:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Repair Van


    May 17, 2021 at 04:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Maserati Suv Pictures


    May 17, 2021 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Service

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 17, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Sound System Near Me

    Good write-up. I definitely appreciate this site. Thanks!


    May 17, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. school bus paint job


    May 17, 2021 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Interior Remodeling Orange County


    May 17, 2021 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Leak Orange County


    May 17, 2021 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. rv repair riverside ca

    I really like it when individuals come together and share opinions. Great site, keep it up!


    May 17, 2021 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Plumbing Los Angeles

    Very good info. Lucky me I came across your site by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!


    May 17, 2021 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. rv furniture near me


    May 17, 2021 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv solar installation los angeles

    This web site definitely has all of the information I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 18, 2021 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. rv services near me


    May 18, 2021 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. financial group

    After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a means you can remove me from that service? Thank you!


    May 18, 2021 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Home Health Care Palm Desert


    May 18, 2021 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Content Marketing Help

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a superb article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    May 19, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Optical Exam Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Best Place To Buy Eyeglasses Near Me

    Hello there! I simply wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for the excellent info you have right here on this post. I'll be returning to your blog for more soon.


    May 19, 2021 at 05:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. i need energy pills

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this information.


    May 19, 2021 at 07:58 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Leave a Reply to RV Repair Places Near Me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.