Transgender school children

Well, this is interesting:

Support for transgender pupil 2010-12-09 11:03

Johannesburg - School children must be supported in their right to a preferred sexual orientation, the Eastern Cape department of education said on Wednesday.

“There is an urgent need to advance a transformation agenda that addresses all matters of common social and cultural understanding… The Constitution is the supreme guiding document,” said the department’s superintendent general, Modidima Mannya.

His statement follows a report in the Daily Dispatch on December 5 of a transgender pupil at Cambridge high school in East London who was forced to leave the school because he was not allowed to wear trousers.

Mannya met with the school’s principal, Grassey Buitendag, on Wednesday.

“Born a girl, the Cambridge teenager - who now identifies himself as a boy - tried to swap his school skirt for grey trousers but was not permitted to do,” the newspaper reported.


The teen is planning to leave the school at the end of the year to join another institution. “This after the school told his mother that if the teen could not adhere to school rules and code of conduct, the parent should ‘consider the option of an educational institution where the wearing of a uniform is not part of the tradition of that particular institution’,” the report said.

Mannya apologised for any hurt that may have been caused by the incident and said that arrangements had been made “in the best interest of the child in the current circumstances”.

He did not go into further detail about what the arrangements were.

He said the “right of this child to her preferred sexual orientation” must be asserted and that other children in similar circumstances must be supported.

Recommendations would be made to the executive council responsible for education on a process required to address transformation issues in schools, he said.

The term “transgender” was the state of a person’s “gender identity” not matching one’s “assigned sex”, and gender talked more to the role one chose to take in society as opposed to sexual organs.

  • SAPA

It’s all well and good for the school to support the child, but I can’t help wondering how the other pupils treat him. Surely there must be teasing and bullying. School life muct be hell for children like these.

Transgender? Is this what we used to call a tomboy? Where is it going to pee, and what will the other students think of sharing a bathroom with it? Where do you draw the line? And why are things so complicated nowadays. Why can’t it just be a tomboy, a girl who likes kleilat gooi and go-carts.

<a href=> a useful tip

Empathy aside, gender remains a physical attribute (like eye colour), not a state of mind, and the SAPA report fails miserably by not making this distinction.

Mannya would do better attending to the dire need for classrooms and qualified teachers in the Eastern Cape rather than embroiling himself in such a preposterous form of “transformation” for the sake of point scoring.

Equality does not imply society bending over backwards to accommodate the whims or preferences of a pupil.

Where is it going to pee, and what will the other students think of sharing a bathroom with it?
It? Some tortured child identifies with the male gender, and he's an "it"? And why can't anyone at a high school wear pants if they want to? Our local branch of the govt secondary education infrastructure fought letting girls who wanted to, wear pants - and lost, big time. And they still identified themselves as girls.

And for that matter, one kid from just a couple of years ago is having gender reassignment surgery - how much easier for her if she had been allowed to be a she, at school?

Apologies to the rest of the forum that this has to be my first post here. I will introduce myself on the introduction thread hereafter.

Hermes, I disagree with you.

Sex is a physical characteristic, gender is a matter of personality. Also, there are two definitions I would like to share with you: sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sexual orientation is the sex of the partner you are attracted to (male or female) and has nothing to do with your self-image or gender identity. Therefore, a person can be homosexually (same sex) oriented, heterosexually (different sex) oriented or bisexually oriented.

Gender identity is how you perceive your own gender (male or female) and has nothing to do with the sex of your preferred partner. Cis-gender refers to people who are comfortable with their birth-sex.

Intersex refers to people with the physical sexual characteristics of both, or ambiguous or indeterminate characteristics.

There is more than sufficient medical evidence to prove that transgender people are personalities imbued with the physicality of the opposite gender, and that it is a biological state by birth, much like that of intersex people. That mere fact is what the entire transition process is all about - making the body fit the mind.

The persons mind cannot be changed, so the body is changed to match the mind. Transition is about making changes to the transgender person’s body in order that the person can be whole, find happiness and continue with life as a productive member of society. It is no easy journey, and it is very costly. Many cannot afford to transition and spend their lives “in limbo”.

Ignorance does not justify your obvious bigotry and prejudice.

“Equality does not imply society bending over backwards to accommodate the whims or preferences of a pupil.” - the arrogance and affront in this comment leaves me without words. In fact your attitude is typical of people who don’t know what they are talking about.

Equality DOES JUST THAT. Transgender people ARE equal under the law, meaning that they are not to be unfairly disadvantaged or discriminated against - and since it is a given that transition is a part of being transgender, it means EXACTLY that they should be allowed to progress unhindered into their correct gender role.

Trans people suffer a great deal of persecution and prejudice in daily life - and it is even worse when they are children and teens in an uncaring impersonal school environment which enforces unwanted and unwarranted gender stereotypes on people. With all the homophobic and transphobic bullying of school children leading to deaths and suicides in the international news lately, one would expect people who supposedly keep their eyes on the news to display a little more savvy when making such patently stupid and bigoted remarks.

@ Watookal: As for the retarded comments about “where he would pee” it just goes to show how narrowminded South African (and some Western) society still is. Who cares where they pee? They can pee in any bathroom they like - after all, what do you do in a bathroom that needs to be x-rated? Besides, most public toilets have stalls and partitions, so what?

And lastly, Watookal, a “tomboy” most often does not actually identify as an actual male trapped in a female body - and “it” is a derogatory and insulting term to apply to a person.

As a transgender woman, let me just add that my gender and my own identity is MY choice and MY business, and so nobody else has the right to tell me what gender I “should” be in order to satisfy them. I am after all the one who has to live with the result, not you. Why should I have to satisfy some stranger or a system that dares to prescribe to me what gender to be, and who to choose as a partner, and what to wear?

As a transgender person, I can see very clearly that some of you here have no clue what it is to be different, to not fit in, and to be targeted for something that you cannot help being. You should count yourselves lucky you were born “normal”. I sincerely hope none of your children has to suffer the burden of what it is to be transgender in the face of such embarrassing ignorance.

There is more than enough information available online for you to get an education on this subject without embarrassing yourselves so badly.



I do not agree with you that gender is exclusively a personality trait and find most literature contradicting this notion. This aside, we are dealing with males identifying with females and vice versa. I have expressed empathy with transgender school children, but stated that identifying with the opposite gender changes your physical attributes no more than wishing for a different eye colour. What we are dealing with is a mismatch between personality traits and physical attributes.

To claim that “There is more than sufficient medical evidence to prove that transgender people are personalities imbued with the physicality of the opposite gender”, is in fact misleading – all that medical evidence can proof is a mismatch.

Your claim that “transition” is an intrinsic aspect of being transgender and therefore a right in terms of equality legislation is a non sequitur.

Children under the age of sixteen are regarded as incapable of consenting to sexual relations because they are not developed enough to fully assess the implications. I have reservations about such young children being allowed to embark on a gender transition programme. Under the circumstances it remains my considered opinion that boys should remain among the boys and the girls among the girls until they reach an age where they have the responsibility to take such far-reaching decisions.

Whether you are justified in regarding my position on this matter as bigotry, arrogance, prejudice and affront aside, you certainly lie when you claim that it leaves you without words – it evoked a flood of verbosity and insults. Making assumptions about members on this forum is unwise – you don’t know their challenges. And it is stupid of you to lie.

[ Off topic posts split to ]