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Black Beauty Mogul Jodie Patterson Speaks On Raising a Transgender Boy

Avatar • Oct 16, 2015
https://instagram.com/jodiepatterson/

Jodie Patterson with Penel (center) and her two other sons Source:https://instagram.com/jodiepatterson/

When it comes to sex and sexuality the lives of transgender men, women and children are still a mystery to many. Their experiences don’t receive much cultural attention or space — except to express derision — which is why you may not know that 20 transgender women were murdered this year. The latest victim was shot in the back while being savagely beaten by six men.

Enter Jodie Patterson, a beauty mogul who founded Doobop.com and Georgia By G & Company. She is a mother of five, including a 7‑year-old transgender boy named Penelope, or ‘Penel’. In a video for Cosmopolitan, Patterson speaks about her decision to believe her daughter when she said, “Mama I don’t feel like a boy. I am a boy.”

Penel is my third child and we assumed girl. Perfectly, anatomically, perfect girl. Everything looked in order. Really early on there were signs that Penel was very different. Something was weighing on Penelope really really heavy. Every time we would try to put clothing on him or dress him or bathe him there was an intense reaction to his body from himself. Once Penelope started to speak it was like, “I’m not a baby.” That was one of the first sentences. “I’m not baby.” and “No.” No to clothing, no to shoes, no to hair brushing. And so one day I remember pulling Penelope aside and just being like, “What’s really wrong baby, like why are you so upset?” and Penelope said, “Because everyone thinks I’m a girl.” And so I said, “Oh baby it’s fine. However you feel on the inside is great.” and he said, “No I don’t feel like a boy mama, I am a boy.” And so that sentence was really hard because I was ill-equipped. Like what do I do with that. I don’t know how to handle that.”

Patterson says she questioned whether her parenting was responsible.

I felt like I had kind of maybe dropped the ball in some area. All of my sisters and my mom raised me to really be proud of being a woman. And my child was like, “I don’t want to be a woman. I’m not a woman. I don’t want to be a woman. I love you mom but I don’t want to look like you. I want to look like dad.” So I just felt like, “What had I done? Had I forgotten to do something that’s really essential to self pride?”

Patterson and Penel Source: http://georgiany.com/

Patterson and Penel Source: http://georgiany.com/

Contrary to what many believe, Patterson said that childhood is not too early to have a conversation on gender identity.

Identity is something that happens that early. I think when people say, “Well how does Penelope know that he’s a boy at age 2?” and I would say, “Well when did you realize you were a woman?” It was crystal clear what he was saying, “I don’t want to be mama. I want to be papa. I want a doctor to make me a peanut. I don’t want boobs.” I do remember at that moment in my head not considering Penelope “she” anymore.”

In an article for Essence’s print edition, Patterson spoke on her fears for Penel as puberty and adulthood approach;

Sometimes I cry and it’s usually when I think of the near future. Who will be his first kiss? Who will love my baby? Who will understand Penel’s beautiful complexities as I do? What do I say if Penel asks for hormones? And then I think of the devastating notion that someone, one day will ridicule my Penel and show us for the first time how ugly the world can be.

We’ve had awkward situations where people have wanted to “out” Penel in public just to let others know that he “isn’t really a boy”. That hurt – more so to see the devastated look on Penel’s face than the confused look on all the faces of the adults. And in those painful moments I remember that it’s important to raise Penel with a progressive mindset. In 20 years when he’ll be a young man, ideas around gender and identity will be that much more advanced. In 20 years, when Penel is on his own and living out in the world, I don’t want him to be burdened by our current misconceptions and prejudices. I want him to be free and happy. So I think forward and I think big.”

Patterson and her family Source: http://georgiany.com/

Patterson and her family Source: http://georgiany.com/

And as for why she shares Penel’s story, Patterson said she wants to change societal perceptions of transgender people;

As MamaBear, I’ve created an environment for our family that’s insulated. As protective as I am of Penel, I share his story with the world, so that we can change the prejudices against the LGTB community. My belief is that once you intimately know someone who’s transgender, everything changes. That’s exactly what happened for our family. I support Penelope’s complexities, regardless of the comments we hear: “She’s so pretty, just put a dress on her.” “Don’t encourage her to take it too far.” “She’s a tomboy and can grow out of it.” “Cutting her hair is extreme. Why do that to her?””

Watch the video here:

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FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago

Thank you for this piece. It’s great to hear about a Black mother who accepts her child’s gender identity, considering how bigoted we tend to be towards transfolk. I’m willing to bet that the same bigotry will rear its ugly head in the comments on this article. People are people, no matter how they identify. Being transgender is a real and valid human experience: it’s not mental illness, it’s not attention-seeking, and it’s definitely not perversion. It is not against God–if you truly believe that he made us all, he made transpeople too. Please BGLH readers, don’t let me down… Read more »

fudgeicecream
fudgeicecream
5 years ago
Reply to  FreeTea

That is not a boy its a girl. There are no boys with vaginas . You people are completely bonkers

Rachel
Rachel
5 years ago
Reply to  FreeTea

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27 God does not support your statement. There is no third choice, or fourth or fifth.…

StraightShooter
StraightShooter
5 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

Not everyone believes in the Bible and just because you spout quotes from it doesn’t make it true. You don’t have any evidence other than the opinions of the men that wrote the Bible.

abbyb_4
abbyb_4
5 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

i bet you don’t brush your teeth

clever_moniker
5 years ago
Reply to  FreeTea

Too late. There is so much ignorance on this post.

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago
Reply to  clever_moniker

I know. It’s so sad how we forcibly shut the mouths of our own when their voices don’t support White patriarchy.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

I feel so bad for this mother. I hate what this loose culture is doing to our children. How can her child possibly feel that a dr can give her a “peanut” unless someone has exposed this to her??? Parents, hold your children close!!!

Sadi
Sadi
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

That’s not true. For as long as there have been civilizations, there have been trans people. Just because there’s more visibility and more medical assistance with being transgender, doesn’t mean they never existed before this time. Also don’t pity anyone in this moment of gender self discovery. How about instead we support black families that have trans family members.

$8319184
$8319184
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

***Disclaimer*** ***I’m going to write something that I am sure will be deleted, even though I intend to express my views in a respectful manner, will not be saying hateful things, and will not be disparaging this precious child or her loving mother. *** A lot of institutions in Europe are no longer willing to do sx change surgery. There has been enough time to study the recipients of such changes and many doctors now argue that their quality of life post surgery is not worth it. They are now more in favour of therapy. The Dr who pioneered sx change… Read more »

Milos Mom
Milos Mom
5 years ago

More power to mother for listening to her child and holding Penel’s hand on this journey. Kudos Jodie!

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

Hmmm.I am not convinced at such a young age a child can fully understand gender. Plus gender roles are often a product of your society. My problem with this article is the comment about the “outing”. If you are LGBT and open and proud about it then it shouldn’t matter about people “outting“you. But that would be a matter of maturity IMO and like I said this is a child. and even in the mother’s own words the child is confused when people mention the child is biologically female which is TRUE. How can she expect open mindedness and be… Read more »

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago

Man wrote the Bible. Sure, the Judeo-Christian God has been said to have influenced the writing via divine inspiration, but how can we be certain that parts weren’t misinterpreted, accidentally or deliberately?

From a scientific perspective, transgender individuals are biologically plausible, and historically, tribes/ethnic groups all over the globe have recognized individuals born into a body of the opposite gender within their societal structure. If intersexed individuals exist, why is it so hard to grasp that transgender people exist?

eljjai
eljjai
5 years ago
Reply to  FreeTea

Really? I dont know of any tribes in Southern Africa that do this, could you name a few? I’m genuinely interested because as far as I know, gender roles are so rigidly defined in traditional African culture, I’m talking Sub Saharan here, that there isn’t even a word for homosexual let alone transexual. Concepts that have long formed part of a culture can easily be seen by the language. For example, sodomy comes from the Sodom and gommorah story in the bible, it’s that old. There are literally no single individual words for a lot of the concepts that westerners like… Read more »

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago
Reply to  eljjai

http://bit.ly/1MxMybM

Start on page 220.

The Mbo tribe is a notable example of a sub-Saharan African tribe that historically had transgender identities.

Oratilwe
Oratilwe
5 years ago
Reply to  eljjai

Actually in quite a few south African tribes, your aunt of your father’s side is considered to be “manliest” and as “strong” as men. The Khoi and San people also allowed their women to hunt because their bodies were small enough to move through bushes quid a more quiet manner…

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  FreeTea

I’ve never heard of any tribes in Africa or in the orient, or in Europe that have historically accepted genders other than ones that are assigned at birth. Pls give examples.

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

Please see my response to eljjai. 3 and 4th gender designations were common in precolonial societies. Just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  FreeTea

Like I said before, this couldn’t have been the norm, unless they had sexual relations with opposite sex ppl since this is the only type of union that produces the next generation.

Oratilwe
Oratilwe
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

It does happen. The third gender, however, usually ‑forgive me for saying this- dies out because they don’t have the necessary sex organs to reproduce (such as the uterus or sperm).

Oratilwe
Oratilwe
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

Yes there might not be any but there are tales of vampires, ghosts and other supernatural things that come from all the areas you mentioned it doesn’t make it any more valid. We’ve grown now, as human beings. It may be human nature to only want one or another way and really want there to be categories for humans but we’re studying it now and we’re finding that there are more- despite what history suggests. It’s also pretty normal for mammals of the same species that look a little different from them (eg. Snow leopards and leopards), that has actually… Read more »

clever_moniker
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

Or you could google “third gender” instead and do some of the leg work yourself. Just because you haven’t heard of it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Oh, and we don’t call it “the orient” anymore. You can just say Asia.

fudgeicecream
fudgeicecream
5 years ago

Please.. A child does not even know the difference between male and female at two years of age. This is nonsense.

Lex Moran-Solero
Lex Moran-Solero
5 years ago
Reply to  fudgeicecream

Most trans people, like cis people, know from the very beginning.

Jacqy
Jacqy
5 years ago
Reply to  fudgeicecream

Total and utter nonsense!!!!

JibJab
JibJab
5 years ago
Reply to  fudgeicecream

All I can say is when you know — you know. At that age, we tell our kids that if something doesn’t feel right than it’s not right… or to speak up and tell an adult. It seems like Penel did just that.

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago
Reply to  fudgeicecream

Children develop at different rates. I knew about sex differences at 2 (my parents have told me some funny stories), and I was reading kindergarten level books without assistance by 3.

Just because it makes you uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s automatically nonsense.

Abz
Abz
5 years ago

I am so proud for BGLH for publishing this piece. It’s great that you recognize the complex experience of trans black people, and the unique struggles they face. I’m so for intersectionality. The black community is often (unfairly) seen as homophobic and transphobic; i’m glad that we can start to have these discussions 🙂

I wish Penel the best as he grows, and i’m sure there will be many out there who will love him as much as his mother hopes for.

blackgirllonghair
blackgirllonghair
5 years ago

Yes I read/watched everything I linked to. And no I don’t purport to be a transgender expert. I’m not sure how the article can act “as if you can raise a child to be transgender” when all I have done here is LITERALLY lift Jodie’s direct and unfiltered quotes out of two pieces done on her and her family. This story touched me because I am a mother to two children and I can’t begin to understand how much strength and ferocity it takes to protect a child from a world that only wants to see gender as A/B. That’s… Read more »

ILiveHere
ILiveHere
5 years ago

Black Beauty Mogul Jodie Patterson Speaks On Raising Her Transgender Son There. Just fixed it for you. It’s innocent to not get it right the first time, but you are writing a headline online and teaching potentially millions of people to call trans boys girls and trans girls boys. In a time when trans people of color are regularly murdered, misgendering language is dangerous. It would be even better to change the title once you learn it is transphobic. Then trans people of color and parents of trans children of color could proudly share it, even furthering this conversation! Here is… Read more »

blackgirllonghair
blackgirllonghair
5 years ago
Reply to  ILiveHere

The title was changed soon after we received the original comment. So… yeh. Again, I think we have to strike a balance here between correcting folks in a constructive way, and attacking folks who WANT to have this conversation. This is a conversation I WANT to have here on BGLH. I’d been wanting to write on transgender issues for some time because I became aware of the high murder and suicide rate after reading sites like ForHarriet.com. I love that Jodie spoke up because it was the perfect introductory piece for our site. This is the first time we’ve discussed transgender… Read more »

Lex Moran-Solero
Lex Moran-Solero
5 years ago

I applaud you for letting this mother tell her story — as she says, when someone knows a trans person, it changes the way people think about the issue. However, from the title it does sound like she’s choosing to raise a girl as a trans boy. Maybe that was her own wording and, if so, it’s unfortunate; but it’s almost guaranteed to give already-misinformed and ignorant people the wrong information. It may not sound important, but the general public is grossly misinformed about trans issues and usually they get their mistaken views from media sources that don’t bother to… Read more »

Lex Moran-Solero
Lex Moran-Solero
5 years ago

I can’t speak about the changed agenda and I’ll take your word for it that your happiness came about when you accepted your own true gender, but this is not about you. We do need to see less “Bruce” Jenners and more Caitlyn Jenners — more people that can be allowed to reveal and accept their true selves without the discrimination and misunderstanding that prevails when they try to do so. Sounds like this mother did her homework and didn’t try to force her son to live a lie for the convenience of others, so no need to feel sorry… Read more »

JibJab
JibJab
5 years ago

Beautifully expressed.

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
5 years ago

Wonderful post, which unfortunately won’t get as many thumbs up as others.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

How is accepting your true self denying part of yourself, hating certain body parts and hiding them? How can ppl mutilate and distort themselves when we are taught that we are to love ourselves and have confidence in ourselves?? Isn’t this whole thing very backward??

Lex Moran-Solero
Lex Moran-Solero
5 years ago

You’re right, this child should not be outed — not only is it detrimental to his mental health and confidence, but it can be dangerous too. So many trans people are assaulted and killed every year — especially trans people of color. Penel’s family’s first priority is to keep him safe.

Lex Moran-Solero
Lex Moran-Solero
5 years ago

When a kid says “I don’t feel like I’m a boy, I AM a boy”. It’s time for the parents to consider that this may be more than a tomboy or imitation thing. A gender therapist can help figure out which it is and, if it is a trans child, the earlier this is dealt with the better for all.

LusciousDC
LusciousDC
5 years ago

At 2 years old, they say they’re rabbits and puppies too. This is a 2 year old child who doesn’t even know the implications of gender yet. A two year old child who is the youngest of 5 and the ONLY girl. I wonder where she got the notion she was a boy. and to give in and feed that notion is just cementing it in her head that she is what she is not. Stop the madness.

Lex Moran-Solero
Lex Moran-Solero
5 years ago

Well said!

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

I applaud your choice, as too few do these days, unfortunately, to become the woman that you were designed to be!! Why is now dirty and “unevolved” to not remain the woman or man you were designed to be from birth, rather than mutilating your body to do what society is now all of a sudden saying is right?? I’m so happy that you are brave enough to be the wonderful woman that you were designed to be from the beginning! How wonderful!! YOU are courage!!

Darla Jones
Darla Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

I second both posts!

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

RIGHT!! What happened to the days when Black parents raised up their children to be REAL, regardless of what the “majority” society is perpetuating on their children?? These are the days, I guess, when Drs will now tell their schizophrenic patients, “Yes, I know you are a bird. You can definitely fly from that ledge” instead of keeping that patient in reality. I guess now ppl simply tell them what others want to hear. Oh! I guess we tell our children, “Yes, you are white, just like George Washington,” despite the fact that they are more brown complected than Esther… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

Exactly! She is just being set up for confusion and heartache!!

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

We are definitely living in the last days and unfortunately haven’t seen the worst of it. The devil is a liar and has lied to and blinded so many. The Bible says he comes to steal, kill, and destroy and goes around like a roaring lion looking to see who he can DEVOUR! As Christians, we have to show love like never before, but we are also called to speak TRUTH.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

There are some exceptions, due to us a living in a sinful world, but from birth, our chrosomal makeup determine our gender.

StraightShooter
StraightShooter
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

Gender is different from DNA. Do some research before you try to wrongly correct people.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

You’ve just affirmed what I wrote. There is obviously more visibility and dr assistance than in previous millennia and obviously the child was exposed to lgbtq agenda. This adorable child is way too young to understand any of this stuff, she had to have been EXPOSED. When I was her age, I wouldn’t have dreamed that a dr could make a “peanut”, a nose, or anything else! Maybe the dr can give me meds to help me through a cold, but how could I ever fathom, as a CHILD, that the dr could ALTER ANY PART OF MY BODY?? Come… Read more »

Sadiqa Asma'u Bramlette
Sadiqa Asma'u Bramlette
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

There is not some LGBTQ agenda aside from being able to provide a safe haven for people trying to figure themselves out. Secondly, that BOY is not too young to understand concepts of gender. My dear, this is the information age. If it were not for this access we wouldn’t be here on a pop culture/natural hair care blog discussing the state of black youth and the trans community. And if you can tell, that BOY is speaking HIS truth. HE is telling HIS parents that HE wants a peanut. You’re talking as if you’ve never wanted something as a… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

I would never attack a child, but I would confront the parent. Who says it’s good to navigate our way through life based on our feelings?? I didn’t FEEL like coming to work this morning. I didn’t FEEL like getting college degrees. I FEEL like eating cake and cookies everyday. Feelings change from day to day, or even moment to moment. Making decisions based merely off of feelings is not wise, which is why this little girl’s parents should have steered her in a better direction. Of course we live in the Internet age, but if this baby learned about… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

Just bc you don’t believe in the Bible doesn’t make it any less true, and there are not only biblical opinions that go against what this article is suggesting, but also historical evidence of societies all over the globe since the beginning of time. If this were the norm historically, then you and I, nor any of us, would definitely not be here.

StraightShooter
StraightShooter
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

Show me some evidence and then you can have this debate. Your argument makes no sense. Historically, Black people have been treated like third class citizens. At many different points in history science has been used to justify unfair treatment. Even today Black people are treated unfairly. Because this poor treatment has a basis in history does that make it right?

Nei
Nei
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

You make absolutely no sense. Have you even studied anthropology? Please, go to your local university and sit in the classes of the core disciplines…specifically biological and cultural anthropology. You may do well to follow it up with a few courses in cultural sociology as well.

And for the record, while there is nothing wrong with believing the bible, touting it as fact is insane. It has nothing to do with the reality we live in and has been historically and scientifically disproven, repeatedly.

Your argument is otherwise baseless and obscure.

anna
anna
5 years ago

Some people are born with parts of both sets of genitals. What is your stupid ass irrelevant opinion on their gender?

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  anna

That is for SOME PPL! It is NOT the case for this child, or the Bruce Jenners of the world!! What does hermaphroditism have to do with this????

DLB
DLB
5 years ago
Reply to  anna

There is no need to assault Keda just because you don’t like her assessment. When doctors’ examine a patient internally, they can determine whether the person is technically a female or male. Documentaries & investigative series have done stories on that issue.

LusciousDC
LusciousDC
5 years ago
Reply to  anna

Then they get to choose what they want. That is a medical issue. This girl wasn’t born like that so your stupid ass question doesn’t belong here.

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago
Reply to  anna

Right? [sarcasm] Apparently, there’s no way your brain can be in the wrong body, even accounting for the fact that intersex people are often trans. Don’t you understand? Trangender people are just deluded. My experiences as a cis person justify their delusions. Besides, there’s no way a child could have any idea about who they are at that age because they haven’t been properly molded into something pleasing to me.[/sarcasm]

Lele215
Lele215
5 years ago

I think that some educated affluent Black people are so interested in proving how sophisticated they are compared to “typical blacks” they end up advocating all kinds of insanity. This is a child and this child is entitled to privacy. At least, wait until she is 13 or 14 to explore gender issues and patting yourself on the back for being such as open parent. It is also not lost on me that the biggest advocates of transgenderism appeared to be people who are locked (or imprisoned) into the ideas of traditional gender roles. So what she likes to wear… Read more »

JibJab
JibJab
5 years ago

40 years ago homosexuality was considered a mental illness, and was treated as such. I can only imagine how someone who came “out” as transgendered would be treated. Other things we did in the past that might not be considered “right” today: slavery, child brides, child labor, domestic abuse.…

HisMercy
HisMercy
5 years ago

I disagree with this on so many levels, BUT looking past what I consider to be insanity, I just see a mother who is trying to do the best for her child. I wish them well.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  HisMercy

I’m sure she loves all of her children, but at the same time I feel like she just doing what seems popular right now.

Sadiqa Asma'u Bramlette
Sadiqa Asma'u Bramlette
5 years ago

Can you not misgender Ms. Jodie’s son? Please and thank you. This is not about political correctness, it’s about respecting a child’s agency. No one has the same exact experience. This boy gets to have the ability to be in a family that respects his wishes. Don’t play the devil’s advocate when it comes to a child exercising their autonomy to make sure they have “peace and happiness.” Not once in this article did Ms. Jodie say that her son was actively getting gender reassignment surgery. He expressed his thoughts and his mother responded accordingly. Let that boy live.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

I did not “misgender” HER; you have. SHE was born a girl and I’m sure will grow up and have a period and breasts, to go along with her vagina, just like I do. Even if the dr does “give” her a peanut, her dna will forever and always suggest that she is female. Did you know that ALL men who have ever tried to have a uterus inserted have died from it??? That bc God didn’t make men to hold lady parts, and vice versa. How am I playing devils advocate?? Lol! I’m merely responding to a post on… Read more »

Atekam Trebloc
Atekam Trebloc
5 years ago

Yes, he is and we are just allowing it. This is sad to me.

Atekam Trebloc
Atekam Trebloc
5 years ago

Wow. What a sad story to read for me. What’s even more sad is to know that society and groups are pushing/forcing these “ideals” on all. There are males and females. People need to stop trying to change what is natural and right. Further, how can a child, at age 2, decide that they are no longer the gender they were born with? That is something that baffles me. Heck, they can’t even pee without diapers for the most part, yet they are able to make drastic decisions like this? I don’t believe it, but that’s only my opinion. This… Read more »

Crmy Coco
Crmy Coco
5 years ago
Reply to  Atekam Trebloc

No one is “pushing” anything on you. You and your narrow-minded delusional self ALWAYS have the freedom to not click on a link, turn off the tv and avoid inviting into your life those ppl you have little to no tolerance for.

Adriannan Nonyo
Adriannan Nonyo
5 years ago
Reply to  Crmy Coco

Oh shush. She claims as soon as her baby was able to talk to claimed she was a boy, she pushed her child in this lifestyle. Its called common sense not irrational opinions.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Crmy Coco

This is absolutely being PUSHED on all of us. It’s ridiculous and sickening. Newsflash: this article is not on tv.

Annah Simon
Annah Simon
5 years ago

Please don’t use ableist slurs. Ins*ne is a very poor choice of words.

Oratilwe
Oratilwe
5 years ago

I know a lot of people are tired of matters of trasgender and transsexualism being “pushed” on them and it understandable hut I feel that it’s about time people challenge the issue specifically that of gender. For anyone who doesn’t know the difference between gender and sex is that gender is a socially constructed concept and sex refers to the roles played in reproduction (Xs and Ys) . now The whole Idea of ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ is crazy to me because those ideas do not refer to sexual reproduction but rather to clothing, behaviour and activities. To turn a blind eye on… Read more »

Oratilwe
Oratilwe
5 years ago

Thank you so much for saying this ! I don’t know, I think it represents their change in gender physically. If a man were to walk into a bar with a skirt and high heels on, people would immediately sense his femininity even though those things don’t represent all women

DeeDee
DeeDee
5 years ago

The People are far away from God! You speak to your fruit, right from the womb!

Crmy Coco
Crmy Coco
5 years ago
Reply to  DeeDee

God is a lie.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Crmy Coco

What has God lied about??

Oratilwe
Oratilwe
5 years ago

By persuading the him with girls things would also changed things though. If she’d persuaded him with hippo stuff he probably wanted to be a hippo too..my doesn’t make it right. What are ‘girl’s things’ anyway? Why must it be so gendered all the time ?
We push the gendering of things so much and then we wonder why there aren’t many women in the maths field, science field nor in silicone valley. If a kid wants to play with trucks let them, if they want to bake let them. Those are toys. Kids things not girl kids and boy kids’ things

Lele215
Lele215
5 years ago
Reply to  Oratilwe

This is so spot on. I was not interested in playing with dolls when I was a girl. One of the only positive things my dad ever did for me was to buy me building blocks and tinker toys instead. I was never limited by ideals of what women were supposed to do or who women were supposed to be for that matter. I did what I wanted and I do what I want which included completing a graduate degree in STEM.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Lele215

Congrats for your achievement! That’s so awesome ??

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Oratilwe

Yep, this is true. Human’s aren’t perfect, but every society has roles for boys/girls, men/women and this has been the order of the world for several millennia. Even in same sex relationships, there is a certain order in even the way their relationships play out bc everything needs some sort of structure. There is also a proper structure that should be found in families bc children cannot navigate through this world alone.

omfg
omfg
5 years ago

i think you should indulge a child only so much.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

I make NO sense to suggest that from the beginning of time ppl have behaved according to their gender??? And this is how societies have formed?? Now, who is the insane one? You are proving the Bible as absolutely accurate RIGHT NOW with your perspective and statements. Read the about what Romans says about the “debased mind” and in the last days ppl calling what is right, wrong, and what is wrong, right. So you, dear, are the proof that the Bible is real. And as for sitting in another class: no thanks, I’m a working woman, so don’t have… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

I didn’t say that trans ppl didn’t exist before now. The Bible says there is nothing new under the sun and it also addresses cross dressing. Re read my posts. What kind of society celebrates disorders??

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

I didn’t say it never existed, but I did ask for references. If it did exist, they had to have died out bc same sex relations can’t produce. Unless you mean that there were simply trans ppl there, but not the majority of the tribe. Otherwise, they couldn’t have existed for very long lol!! Also, are you Asian? Some of my Asian friends have referred to Asia as ” the orient”, but I used the term in my last post bc of the ancient time period I was referring to.

Chevanne
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

Give me an example” is a lazy way to debate. Do the work and argue a point. Infertile or newly formed middle aged couples don’t reproduce either but no one seems to object to their unions. Third sex individuals are born with every new generation so they don’t “die out”.

My [suchandsucharace] friend said it’s okay.” It’s not. Calling it the orient or the people oriental is outdated. Asians can say what they like among themselves (like black people) but no one else should be using that term.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Chevanne

Again, I used the term ” the orient”, which I have heard Asians use. I never said they said it was cool to call Asians “orientals”. When did I say that??? Lol!!! For the time period I was referring to, “the orient” was a widely used term. It’s the same as ppl referring to ancient Africa as KMT or ancient Sudanese as Nubians. They are no longer called this and that, but ppl still say KMT or Nubians when referring to that time period, in case you didn’t know. The original post you made indicated that there were ENTIRE SOCIETIES… Read more »

clever_moniker
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

“The entire post you made indicated there ENTIRE SOCIETIES of trans people…” It’s. Asia. Asia. ASIA. For a time Negro was a widely used term and now it’s not. It’s okay. Just say Asia then specify the time period. Makes you sound less backward. What an intentionally obtuse way to view my comments. An entire society of trans people? Does that even make sense? Couples who can’t or decide not to have babies are still validated in their love. Procreating is not a reason to get married and we out our prejudice to LGBTQ communities by continuing to state it. Yes,… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

I’ve have done so much research on this its a shame! I’ve literally read studies on the subject and everything and, like I said, THERE ARE VERY FEW EXCEPTIONS, but normally our DNA determines our gender. Similarly, most ppl have eyes, but not all of us can see. There are always exceptions. Concerning gender issues, there have been problems with determination in South Africa and some say possibly due to continued incest. So you have someone like caster semenya with a vagina and no uterus or Fallopian tubes. It is understandable that she may have gender issues, and even she… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

What are you talking about??? ?

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
5 years ago

I think it’s a beautiful story.

ItIsScience
ItIsScience
5 years ago

Bravo to this mom. It’s great to see a black family whose judgment and compassion is not clouded by the religious dogma that is so common in our community. And based on the comments so far, it seems we have a long way to go in looking beyond the bible and instead, look at the overwhelming evidence that sexuality and gender identity is inate. It’s shocking to see the negative views here. It’s 2015. And also, science.

Lele215
Lele215
5 years ago
Reply to  ItIsScience

May I suggest you look up the work of John Money, a psychologist who was a leader in the field of gender identity. If you can read some of controversies surrounding him and not at least question the “science”, I don’t know what to tell you.

Chevanne
5 years ago

Everyone wants to urge someone to brush gossip or criticism off their shoulders but the onus shouldn’t be on that individual to just tough it out. People should be more sensitive to what has become a growing reality. We have to train people to be better. It’s not okay to spread a child’s business and I would be the first to say so. I expressed my opinion as a hypothetical anyway and I stand by it. You’re confusing gender roles with gender IDENTITY. Washing the dishes versus changing the brakes are gender role concepts not based in reality. They are largely… Read more »

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago
Reply to  Chevanne

Ok. Well I don’t understand people like this mother who say they want to one day have this more open minded society in the future yet in the “here and now” they have a problem with people having open discussions. How are people going to become more accepting of her child being transgender by not talking about it? I don’t think that’s going to work. What is discussed here as in hair length and clothing are arbitrarily masculine or feminine as well depending on your society. In many groups long/short hair are not seen as exclusive to one gender. If… Read more »

Buster Spiller
Buster Spiller
5 years ago

I think it’s beautiful, the right thing to do, and Penel’s mother deserves a medal as a black woman for making that level of commitment to her child’s eventual well-being. The alternative if Penel’s parents took the opposite approach (i.e., forced gender on her based on her anatomical, reproductive parts) is: lifelong depression, alcohol and/or substance abuse, and suicide, which most trans youth in this position succumb to. It doesn’t have to be this way. I’m more sensitive to this because I had an adult cousin growing up who lived in rural Louisiana who was born with both male and female… Read more »

kia
kia
5 years ago

i think this is amazing. it’s so important to let your children express themselves.

Crmy Coco
Crmy Coco
5 years ago

God doesn’t exist, so your point about being a woman is irrelevant.

LusciousDC
LusciousDC
5 years ago
Reply to  Crmy Coco

Apparently not for you. That’s why you’re so accepting of this bull. Believe what you want and I will do the same. Next!

Crmy Coco
Crmy Coco
5 years ago

This is why the world thinks so little of black women. Given any opportunity, snarkiness is the only way you know how to communicate. Why don’t you get your daughter neutered so she doesn’t pass on your genes?

Common Sense
Common Sense
5 years ago
Reply to  Crmy Coco

Actually, a female cat gets spayed, not neutered. And why do you think I’m being snarky???? She’s a cat! You want us to understand that you or your child is transgendered, then you should understand that my child is transspecies. How can you expect people to take you seriously if you can’t offer the same kind of open mindedness? Or did my comment make you clearly see how ridiculous and insane you actually are. By the way… I am an African-American female, and I’m not sure what being transgender has to do with the world thinking little of us. You… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Crmy Coco

But how dare you judge HER for her comment, accusing while doing the same??

Crmy Coco
Crmy Coco
5 years ago

No one is pushing. You have the personal freedom to ignore it all.

Crmy Coco
Crmy Coco
5 years ago

Ask a transgender person.

Crmy Coco
Crmy Coco
5 years ago

So is yours.

Crmy Coco
Crmy Coco
5 years ago

Bravo!!!

Jen
Jen
4 years ago

Sad that kids cannot even be kids anymore. My 2 year old tells me she knows she’s a boy and I say sure sweetheart lemme just go to instagram and let my followers in on our transgender transition. You know it ain’t easy being different. Do your job as a mom mbok she is two. If every 2years old kid in this world were to be indulged, unicorns will be sold by every store!

Justice S
Justice S
5 years ago

That child knows who he is most people don’t let him be.

TWA4now
TWA4now
5 years ago

It can be so VERY hard for a mother, a father, a family to know EXACTLY what to do. Unsure if I would have taken the same course of action, but I am looking forward to part 2 and 3 of the story. All the best to them!

Rachel
Rachel
5 years ago

There are a few things in life that are facts no matter how you feel. Gender, skin complexion and who your biological parents are. You have no choice. Stick to reality and get away from emotions. Bad parenting. We all need Jesus. This is the last days. Just because I feel like a zebra and want to be one does not make it so. This family needs to seek the Lord. Train up that little girl to be a little girl like the bible says. It also says the rod of correction drives foolishness far from the heart of a… Read more »

StraightShooter
StraightShooter
5 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

People do have a choice of their gender. You’re referring to biological sex.

Rayven
Rayven
5 years ago

Penelope wants a penis.….what is going in this world?! I read about this family in Essence, I have mixed feelings about this. Why all of a sudden so many children want to change the body God gave them? it seems like in the past few years this has become so common yet unheard of 10–20 yrs ago, of very young kids wanting a sex change. Being gay and love who u want is one thing but wanting to change sex is a different ball game. I wonder is there something medically happening in the womb that causes this. So many… Read more »

understanding
understanding
5 years ago
Reply to  Rayven

This isn’t just a sudden influx of transgender people. They have always been there but just like gay people they were shamed and told they were unnatural. So they keep it to themselves stop trying to make this seem like a ridiculous trend.

Keda
Keda
5 years ago

So sad. Black people were once hailed for holding onto common sense when the dominant society would not. Kids say all sorts of crazy things when they are young. They will tell you they are puppies and bark at you. Tell you they are cats and lap up milk n refuse. ..If you let them. ..To do it any other way. This is why you have parents. This is why adults raise children. And not the other way around. You simply tell your child I hear you. But you are wrong. You Are The Gender YOU AE anotomically End If… Read more »

MalagasyGirl
MalagasyGirl
5 years ago
Reply to  Keda

you said it!!! parents are here for a reason.

klg
klg
5 years ago

No disrespect to this Mom but this sounds more like a Tomboy than someone with an altered gender identity. She has two older brothers…it happens. We can not let children govern themselves. At least give her til 13 before we entertain something like this. I really hope this is not the Mom’s attempt at garnering attention for exposure or money. That would be a shame.

Dee Hines
Dee Hines
5 years ago

I think it’s always up to a parent to love and protect their child but I do think it’s extreme for their age. People aren’t just being ignorant in saying that it can be a phase. There is documented evidence of children that feel this way that have changed their minds after hitting puberty. There are people that have had the surgeries and are still not happy as well as some that have wanted them reversed. There’s more going on besides societal stigma. I think a therapist would do them both some good in how to proceed.

abbyb_4
abbyb_4
5 years ago

This article title is transphobic. 1.Why is Penel referred to as Jodie’s “daughter”? Jodie never says that Penel is her “daughter”. If you looked at the article that was linked, you can see that Jodie only referred to Penel as her son, which he is. Why can’t you use 2. Why does it say “raising her daughter as a transgender boy”? This implies that Penel was raised to be transgender, as if he isn’t that already. In the article that was linked (which no one clearly read or even looked at), Jodie talks about how Penel was transgender early on. This… Read more »

abbyb_4
abbyb_4
5 years ago

This article title is transphobic. 1.Why is Penel referred to as Jodie’s “daughter”? Jodie never says that Penel is her “daughter”. If you looked at the article that was linked, you can see that Jodie only referred to Penel as her son, which he is. 2. Why does it say “raising her daughter as a transgender boy”? This implies that Penel was raised to be transgender, as if he isn’t that already. In the article that was linked (which no one clearly read or even looked at), Jodie talks about how Penel was transgender early on. This article acts as if… Read more »

clever_moniker
5 years ago

I applaud this mom. She is loving and accepting her son as he is without judgement. It’s beautiful. People can keep their bible verses because they have NO CLUE how hard it is to be Penelope. They have no clue of the internal conflict, shame and detachment people like him can feel from societal and family rejection. They cannot be who they want to be and I say this now to train my heart and mind: if my daughter wants to be a boy, I will let her. It is my job to love her and guide her when the… Read more »

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago
Reply to  clever_moniker

. She didn’t say people were asking were her questions or for an explanation. In that case she can choose not to respond. No one’s business. The problem was with people who know her child has a vagina telling other people who didn’t know hence “outing” and confusing her child. People have been telling other people’s business since the beginning of time and if we were all completely honest we have done it too in some fashion or another. Part of growing up is realizing YOU can’t control what OTHER people say about you. and if it’s TRUE and you… Read more »

Danielle
Danielle
5 years ago

I’m just a little concerned with how BGLH is changing. With this post, the site has moved yet a little more from “accept your natural beauty as a black woman” to, “accept unnatural leftist social agendas.” I’d love to say otherwise, but from the time the site announced its new format to now, we’ve been subject to ads for birth control, political messages and the like. That said, I feel sorry for the child. Here is a mother who asks no questions. No, “What do you mean, you aren’t a girl?” No, “Do you know what it is that makes the difference?… Read more »

MalagasyGirl
MalagasyGirl
5 years ago

To be straight forward, i think this situation is completely unnecessary. Children influence each other a lot, especially at a young age; the younger ones view the actions/features of older children as their aspirations. This child is the youngest among her siblings AND on top of that she is the only girl, of course she’s going to want to copy them. And i think this is beyond mishandled because if the mother simply explained to her that she is different from her brothers because she is born a girl, and and they are born as boys..so they will have some… Read more »

FreeTea
FreeTea
5 years ago
Reply to  MalagasyGirl

Okay…but the boy is clearly not two anymore. Your attempt to equate your story of identity discovery to Penel’s was not successful. I hate when people think that because their experiences are a certain way, others’ experiences must be the same. Really, his experience is probably closer to coming out than just “being a tomboy”. I was a tomboy, but I always knew that I thought girls were pretty the same way that boys were cute–but I knew it was “wrong” to say so, and I kept it quiet. But something was always off until I finally came out as bisexual.… Read more »

LusciousDC
LusciousDC
5 years ago
Reply to  MalagasyGirl

The common sense seed doesn’t grow in everyone’s garden and apparently their garden is barren.

understanding
understanding
5 years ago
Reply to  MalagasyGirl

The difference between your story and his is that you never said you thought you were a boy or you felt like a boy you were just a tomboy. This child told his mother that he not just felt like a boy but is a boy. 9 times out of 10 this isn’t just a childish phase and for you to think that is what’s wrong with society now.

Cassa Blanca
Cassa Blanca
5 years ago

Genuine question, not trying to throw shade. How would trans people “express” themselves if not for hair, makeup, “gender assigned” clothing etc? Because it is not these things that make me a woman…

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Cassa Blanca

Exactly, transgenderedness is all based on stereotypes, which we are all supposed to abhor. Hmmm, beginning to feel like it’s all a conspiracy, ya know? It’s all so ironic.

dajewel
dajewel
5 years ago

Am getting tired of this transgender agenda being pushed on us.

Michelle Swan Graham
Michelle Swan Graham
5 years ago

Jodie, you keep doing what you need to do for Penel and your family. I wish you and your family all the best.

CommonSense
CommonSense
5 years ago

My daughter thinks she is a cat. I am wondering if I should take her out of school and let her use a litter box instead of a rest room. Maybe there are hormones for her to grow hair all over so she can be furry. And I am nervous because as she gets older I wonder if she will be attracted to my neighbor’s male cat. I am so worried, because the cats might not accept her. But I don’t care what the cats say… She IS A CAT! what should I do?

alt-K
alt-K
5 years ago
Reply to  CommonSense

I literally LOL at this one! I used to think I was a cat as a small child, too. I used to sit under the table, and my grandmother would actually give me a bowl of milk. I’d brush against her leg and say “meow.”

Common Sense
Common Sense
5 years ago

I must have made sense since I see you are not posting my comment, lol!

LusciousDC
LusciousDC
5 years ago

Could it be that she just thought she was a boy because she has ALL brothers? Why jump straight to trans-gender? When I was a lil girl I wanted to be a boy too. I played football and other games with the boys. but I also played with dolls and played with girls. At two years old this girl was too damned young to even know what she was feeling. The Devil is alive and creating CHAOS. Seems to me at the age of two you would have started explaining why she is a girl and teach her how to… Read more »

LusciousDC
LusciousDC
5 years ago

STOP THE MADNESS! At 2 yrs old this girl couldn’t even tie her shoe let alone decide she wanted to be a boy. When she told her mother she was a boy, she should have been corrected and taught why she was a girl. Hell even when i was little I wanted to be a boy. I’m still a tomboy, but I am a WOMAN. Why? Because that is the way God wanted it. What kind of parents lets a 2 yr old dictate what’s going on? How do you jump from I’m a boy to trans gendered at 2?… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  LusciousDC

This is such a sick world, and it is very disheartening, but I have to keep reminding myself that God still loves them and He is still on the throne!

Mitta Chestnutt
Mitta Chestnutt
5 years ago

gender and sexuality are two totally different things. i have worked with transgendered adolescence and all knew from their first memory that they were mentally the opposite gender. remember we all start out as females upon conception and gender is not recognized until the 12 week or so of gestational development. we must separate religion from science. i understand people are tired of this subject but lets be clear that its not all about Catlyn Jenner. i have seen parents who shame or beat their children into submission to be how they were born. hence such a high rate of… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

DNA is actually given to us at the first moment of conception and doesn’t change throughout life. For that matter, would it change every few years or so?? It is simply a matter of the DNA being more clearly expressed at a certain point during pregnancy, and even then, of course, Drs get it wrong.

clever_moniker
5 years ago
Reply to  SKEEWEE

Hahahaha!!! Just don’t talk about DNA.

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