I have been very much dismayed to see the story of Zach Avery plastered all over the papers this week. For those who don't know Zach is a five year old who has been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, born as a boy Zach feels like a girl.
As such I have seen lots of comments, many supportive of letting the child live as they want, as they have been clearly diagnosed. However lots have been critical, either due to their ignorance/prejudice of the condition in general or of the parenting claiming that it is their responsibility to raise the child in one way so they can make their own choices at later life.
I don't really want to get into either of these arguments, a parents job is to do what is best for their child. Clearly Zach's parents felt that this was by allowing him to live as a her. However I fail to see how having this as front page news, or even on any news paper could be in the best interests of a five year old. I'm not saying he will, but I find it perfectly conceivable that this could be a phase (I would wager that 100% of children diagnosed don't then feel exactly the same once they go through puberty). Making this "news" will only make it harder for the child once they hit their teens, irrespective of how they feel about themselves and lets face it, if Zach reaches his teens with GID then it will be hard enough as it is. Shame on the parents for potentially putting their child through this and shame on the mass media for treating it as "news" - especially those who put it on their front page!