'My Daughter Is a Tomboy, Not Transgender. There's a Difference.'

Parents, teachers, as well as other people who frequently interact with children, are more sensitive than ever to gender nonconformity.

But as author and mother Lisa Selin Davis points out in her New York Times op-ed, this new mindset comes with its own slew of issues.

Davis' seven-year-old daughter is a tomboy. She prefers to wear t-shirts and sweatpants, has a short haircut, and her friends are mostly boys. And she is a girl.

She identifies as female, but because of her inclination towards stereotypically male preferences, she is often mistaken for a transgender boy. Davis recalls a time when her daughter's after school teacher, who had been teaching her daughter for six months, asked Davis whether she wanted to be called a boy.

While Davis said she respects the sensitivity of her daughter's caregivers, their refusal to accept her as female because of her appearance is problematic.

She writes:

"When they continue to question her gender identity—and are skeptical of her response—the message they send is that a girl cannot look and act like her and still be a girl. She is not gender nonconforming. She is gender role nonconforming."

It's wonderful that adults are able to see the possibility of a transgender child and accept them, but the definition of what that looks like is still pretty narrow.

Once we can shake our preconceived notions of gender, we can let kids truly be themselves, whoever that may be.

H/t: The New York Times