60 Minutes Science of Sexual Orientation mother of twins, part 2

At last, I am posting some follow up comments made by Danielle, mother of the twin boys featured in the 60 Minutes segment, Science of Sexual Orientation. Part one is here and should be read first.

Danielle said this in her initial email:

I often wonder “if” I had told Adam that “yes” he could be a girl when he became old enough would he have stayed on that track of thought? However, at the urging of his therapist I told him I understood he was a girl yet he was really a boy and couldn’t be a girl.

Wanting to be clear, she wrote to elaborate:

This was my response when he was three years old. We thought it would be confusing for that age of a child to hear he could be a girl but not until he was older. Later in his life I was up late watching a tv show about transgender surgery. Adam had awaken and was watching the show behind me – I didn’t know he was there. I heard a gasp. When I turned around there was my Adam staring intently at the tv. He asked me in a shocked whisper “Can I do that surgery and be a girl?” I told him “yes” he could but not until he was 18 years old. He became very excited. You have to understand the differences in his age. I believe the information I gave him at each step was based on age appropriate responses. He did stare at me for a bit and asked me if I would really let him do something like that if he wanted. I assured him I would if it would make him happy. He wanted to know why I would help him change his body. I informed him because I loved him and I didn’t want him to be sad or hurt. He asked me if I really loved him that much. My response was a very sound “yes!” that seemed to please him very much.

The last time Adam and I talked about him being able to change his body into a girls body Adam was indecisive. Again, I believe it’s the age/stage of his life and awareness of all around him. This conversation occurred after Tyra Banks had issued an invitation to be on her show. At that time Adam advised me he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He didn’t know if he should change his body so he could be a girl, stay with a boys body, if he was straight sexually or gay. Again, I believe his answer and confusion to be age appropriate. I declined the show offer because I didn’t want him to expose himself when he was so unclear about his future. I didn’t want to “lock” him into any particular role. That was when I decided to proceed with the hormone therapy to give him more time and maturity to decide what he wanted for himself. However he was already fully into developing so we decided not to go ahead with the treatments.

We are in the process of working on another television project. I am allowing Adam to participate because I believe the show will allow him to show his confusion and be himself as he is for a 12 year old. This lead us to another conversation about the issue. For all of his wise wisdom he informed me he still didn’t know what he wanted to do. “After all Mom, I’m only 12. I’m not suspose to know 100% for sure where my sexuality belongs. I’m suppose to be able to explore and decide later” And that’s where I have left it. For him to be a normal 12 year old child, maturing, developing and exploring the possibilities of his future. I’m here to guide him, support him, and show him all the possibilities of the future. I can love him, hold him, praise him and catch him if he falls. That’s my role as a parent.

I then wrote to her to clarify how these thoughts related to her parenting decisions, specifically with his name and school. She said:

The issue of what name to use during school was never really discussed. I wouldn’t have allowed him to use a girls name at school even if he had pushed me to do so. He was “Adam” and that was that.

During school hours he could wear what he wanted as long as it followed the school dress code. He only asked to wear a dress to school a few times. My response was always that his brother couldn’t wear his fireman clothing so he couldn’t wear his dresses to school however, he did wear them around the house. He did wear a girls black sweater with gold thread for two years. He wore girls tennis shoes all his life because of the color and sparkles and still wears them. He would wear girl shirts; however, in today’s fashion world, sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference except in color. In his younger years, he wore girl jeans with sparkles but only for about an year then he didn’t want to wear them anymore. But the really feminine clothing was only at home. My life was easier dealing with this issue because I had twins. His twin wanted to be a fireman. He had everything to do with a fireman just like Adam had everything to do with being a girl. My rule was that the girl clothing (dresses, heels, jewelry, skirts, femme blouses, makeup) and the fireman clothing stayed home when we went to the library, grocery store, grandma’s, church, school and so on. My main reason for my restrictions were due to my parents who are totally against Adam’s gender issues. However, his Nana didn’t care what he wore so he could take his dresses to her house and wear them over there. I did have an issue at school once where the principal asked me if I could get Adam a different book bag (his was pink) and buy him different shoes (his were white with a pink logo on them). I advised her that he wasn’t breaking any rules by his choices so I wouldn’t make him give them up. I told her I could give in to him and allow him to wear dresses to school if she really wanted to push me since there isn’t a dress code that says he can’t. She backed off after that. However, I wouldn’t have ever allowed him to wear a dress to school anyway. Yes, I had restrictions about what he wore and did in society but he did have a bit of freedom by his choice of shoes.

I again want to thank Danielle for her candid comments. I have received emails from parents and professionals who are glad for this glimpse into how one parent reasons through these difficult issues.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Carl Vehse

    Presidential nominees selected by duel to the death, what kind of weapons allowed, if any, to be determined.

    Hey, if it’s “the next most powerful job after God,” should it be any other way?

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com Kevin N

    In two of Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction novels, Imperial Earth and Songs of Distant Earth, the president is chosen at random from among those citizens who are mentally fit and haven’t committed a crime.

  • Carl Vehse

    The demonrats would also exclude those who hunt caribou, eat mooseburgers, and don’t abort babies with Down syndrome.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    When in doubt, turn to Monty Python.
    Throw candidates into the water and see if they float.

  • TK

    I got stuck at the premise: “If God got fed up with us — and who would blame Him — and stepped down…” It’s a challenge to continue reading after that opening line.

    That being said, I think that it wouldn’t hurt to “just pick someone off the street and say, “Hey. He seems nice. Let’s give him ultimate power over us all”. Of course, I’d want a vetting process, with a pool of ordinary joes to choose from, background checks, debates…yeah, it would turn out to be the same complicated process as we have now.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Come to think of it, I’d rather be able to choose (including the ability to ban) what press we get stuck with.
    Well, I guess we can choose that nowadays, except the banning part, though we can turn them off. But I’d just as soon shut many of them up.
    Maybe the more desirable thing would be to choose what kind of electorate we could have.
    Nah. Can’t go there.
    We’re pretty much stuck.
    My fondest desire would be for presidential campaigns not to last so long. Granted the primary process was compressed, but these people have been campaigning like forever. And the campaigns alone do a pretty good job of tearing us apart. Long, ugly, over-the-top campaigns surely make clear majority wins hard to achieve, and thus make future governance difficult.

  • Peter Leavitt

    For airplane reading I like Charles MCarry’ s spy novels featuring Paul Christopher, the Harvard eucated CIA spook. Christopher is the thinking man’s Jame Bond. The best of the Christopher novels is Tears of Autumn, out of print, but available on Amazon and in libraries.

    McCarry was for years an undercover CIA agent and is probably the best American spook story writer.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Instead of refining how we choose Presidents, let’s refine the office. Given that the Constitution pretty much forbids 80% of what the government does, if we returned to that, the President would no longer be the world’s most powerful man, and the shenanigans about getting him elected would greatly decrease, as the stakes would be far less.

  • Anon

    Dr. Veith, you mean like what the Framers meant in the Constitution? Quite a notion. All we have to do is repeal the 1913 amendments.

  • Anon

    People, the president of the executive branch of the federal government of these united States isn’t supposed to have “ultimate power over all” or be “next most powerful job after God” We aren’t supposed to be electing a dictator every four years. It used to be that who was on the county or city counsel and who was governor was more important than who was president. It used to be that the State legislators selected Senators and replaced them at will, so it was more important who your local representative, whom you might actually know or know about, was.

    As Bubba also points out.

  • FW

    How about have congress elect the president like they do in England.

    Does anyone know why our founders decided not to go with the system they were used to from Mother England

    There is something to be said for a unified party rule. at least we can be clear on who to blame!

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Yes.
    To give the citizen more stake in the choice, and not the parties.
    I recall that political parties were not held in high favor at that time.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “Would we want to make sure whomever we elected to rule the universe was someone we know to be responsible with the power over life and death and who wouldn’t just smite people because he’s bored? … And would we want to make sure he has a good understanding of physics … Or would we just pick someone off the street and say, ‘Hey. He seems nice. …’?”

    Why does Frank J. Fleming hate George Bush so much? :)

    Susan (@6), so censorship of the press: a good thing? “I guess we can choose that nowadays, except the banning part, though we can turn them off. But I’d just as soon shut many of them up.” Why do you hate the Constitution?

    Also, (@12), you said the presdential system is designed “To give the citizen more stake in the choice, and not the parties. I recall that political parties were not held in high favor at that time.” But then, nor were average citizens. Thus, the electoral college.

  • Sam

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MDZiMDhjYTU1NmI5Y2MwZjg2MWNiMWMyYTUxZDkwNTE=

    Perhaps one way to not pick the P is to improve the method of picking the VP. The link above? Ouch.

  • Sam

    Sorry; the word NOT in comment @ 14 should be removed.

  • FW

    certainly how we pick our vp could use improvement. ouch ouch ouch

    http://mleddy.blogspot.com/2008/09/couric-and-palin-and-orwell.html

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Yes, tODD, but the electoral college reflects the citizen vote, not its own desires. We elect the electors.
    Remember your joke last night about McCain being applauded for murder, tODD (and how we all laughed)?
    #6 was my stab at hilarity.
    But I do shut them up all by myself…when I can find mute on my remote.
    Sometimes it takes this old gal a while–I can’t remember if I’m operating my cell phone or the clicker or the garage door opener. Ever think you’re muting Campbell Brown, and call your sister in Kentucky instead?

  • Anon

    Maybe we won’t have to, anymore:

    “KMOV: The Barack Obama campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign.”

    Remember his proposal for an internal security force as well-armed and numerous as the regular armed forces?

  • Anon

    It is worse than I initially thought.

    http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=182623

    The “Truth Squad” includes prosecutors and sherriffs from around the State of Missouri.

    I’m reminded of a certain episode of Babylon 5.

  • Anon

    And of course, the Sturmabteilung.

  • Anon

    And it builds. Now it includes the justice department. Reporting while we yet may,

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/justice-department-vs-republicans/

  • Susan aka organshoes

    That’s been reported on Special Report with Brit Hume.
    His campaign is also sending letters to TV & radio stations in certain states, urging them not to run ads from the NRA that he says aren’t accurate.
    But, of course, they are accurate.
    His slogan should be ‘Change–you can bet on it.’

  • Anon

    From the office of the Governor of Missouri:

    http://governor.mo.gov/cgi-bin/coranto/viewnews.cgi?id=EkkkVFulkpOzXqGMaj&style=Default+News+Style&tmpl=newsitem

    Hopefully Obama, his campaign cronies and these people will be spending a good deal of time in federal prison.

  • Anon

    And Baraq Hussein Obama will have a chance to write his third book, this time from San Quentin. Perhaps he will entitle it “My Struggle” . . .

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@24), oh wow … you’re right! I never noticed it, but Obama is just like Hitler! Wow! I’m so going to vote for McCain now! Why hadn’t you posted a salient comment like this before?!

  • Anon

    Well, let’s see, you can go to the right hand side here and purchase Dr. Vieth’s _Modern Fascism_ — I recommend that you do, and read it. And you can get Elie Wiessel’s _The Portage to San Cristobal of A. H._ for confirmation from a liberal source.

    That will show you the ideology.

    Then, you can consider the SA tactics being used in Missouri and possibly elsewhere.

    Then you can add the mass slaughter of infants.

    Add to this forcing homosexual marriage upon all of the States, and some phrases suggesting on the churches, too.

    Then consider the promises of universal service to the State, regulating thermostats, and food rationing.

    Or you can remain sarcastic.

    Your choice.

    But such choices are not without consequences in life, and before God when you die.

  • Van Ajemian

    I’m being a party pooper by breaking up the merriment. Friday night, PBS broadcast a Bill Moyers interview with Professor Andrew Bacevich of Boston University. Bacevich has come out with THE LIMITS OF POWER, in which he talks about the imperial Presidency, that is, about the power which the President has.

    We should be concerned about whom we elect, because the President has so much power. But what if we took some of that power away? While our vote would not become frivolous, we would be less concerned about accidentally electing the wrong person. Why not a Presidency consisting of a council of three, with provision for quick action during emergencies?

  • allen

    Obviously, the disadvantages of having a one-party state outweigh the advantages.

    But I was watching TV and Fareed Zakaria was interviewing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. He asked the Premier if what is going on in China today isn’t some sort of departure from Socialism.

    The Premier responded that Adam Smith wrote two books, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and The Wealth of Nations (1776). He said that while the latter book describes the “invisible hand”, the former is about the “visible hand,” and that a society needs to use both hands.

    Zakaria asked him which book was his favorite, perhaps knowing that Smith had always considered the first to be greater. Wen smiled and said that his favorite book is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Wen is a geologist by profession.

    Is multi-party democracy unamenable to getting some of those smart geology fellers in there?

  • Anon

    van Ajemian,
    The President does not Constitutionally, lawfully have that much power. We don’t need Triumvirs, we, the People and the several States need to insist on “upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

  • http://link Boy78

    One or more screens are alternatively arranged in a panoramic configuration. ,