The elevation of childhood confusion and immature desires into a mental disorder reveals far more about adult society than it does about children. It is the adults – the doctors, the schools, the social workers – who are really screwed up in the GID debate, not the kids. It is normal for kids to want to be all kinds of things – girls, boys, robots, dogs – but it is not normal for the adults around them to scratch their chins and say: “Yes, you clearly have psychological issues. I propose reorienting your whole school and home life around your desire to be a [insert crazy childhood dream here].” What is really motoring the GID bandwagon is modern adult society’s weird combination of not wanting to tell children what to do anymore (it’s too judgemental) and its inability simply to chill out about what children get up to. So on the one hand, adults are increasingly reluctant to tell a boy who announces “I am a girl” that he is being silly, and on the other hand they find it hard to sit back and just accept that some boys like ballet and some girls like to eat worms – instead, thanks to increasingly influential “early years” theorists, every childhood behaviour is interpreted as an outward sign of an inner, identity-based turmoil.
There is no such thing as Gender Identity Disorder. A kid who does seemingly weird things does not have “gender identity issues”; he’s just behaving in a way that many kids always have. It is society that is disordered, to the extent that it is now more willing to tell a toddler that he has a psychological affliction rather than simply saying to him: “You like pink? That’s nice, dear.”