The 3rd Grade Transgender Bus Driver

This blog post originally ran on August 19, 2009.

It’s back to school time, which usually means parents buy school supplies and start waking kids up earlier in the morning. But one elementary school just sent out a letter informing the parents that the school is welcoming a new family with a transgender “3rd grade girl.” 

The letter urges the parents and students to welcome and accept her and treat her the same as any other girl.  Not so subtly, the letter also informed  parents that the school district does not tolerate discrimination in respect to gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability or religion.


My heart absolutely breaks to learn of this. I’m sure the school administrators (and possibly, it’s just one person) are patting themselves on the back for being so progressive and politically correct. I can’t imagine that they are aware of the pressure this puts on this poor confused little boy, as well as an entire school, to engage in this social experiment.

If a third grader decided brushing his teeth is a stupid waste of time and he wasn’t going to do it anymore, responsible parents would never give in to the little tyrant who is completely unable to see the long-term consequences of foolish choices.

If a third grader decided that school itself is a stupid waste of time and he wasn’t going anymore, responsible parents wouldn’t give in to that misguided tantrum, either.

But when a third grader is so consumed by confusion about being a boy, when his whole life is permeated with the hopeless despair of believing It’s not okay to be me, and when his parents capitulate to his fantasy, something bigger than mere confusion is going on. This kid is driving the bus of not only his life, but his parents’ as well.  And just as we would never let third-graders drive a literal bus, it’s equally nuts and scary to let them sit at the controls of anyone’s life.

When my friend Ricky was four, he decided he wanted to be a horse. His mother wisely did not build a stable in their back yard and feed him hay just because her little boy wanted to be something other than who he was. She said, “No, you’re not a horse, you’re a human boy.” And in time, he grew to accept who he was.

It’s politically correct to affirm whatever feelings children have, such as “I’m a boy but I feel like a girl,” as valid. When school administrators try to get a whole school to indulge the fantasy, it’s only a matter of time before things blow up in their faces, because their rhetoric isn’t powerful enough to disable kids’ baloney detectors. At least some kids’.  Telling children to accept a boy as a girl and expecting them to swallow it without thinking is sheer hubris, I think.

“. . . male and female He created them.” Gen. 1:27

Children know that we live in a binary world: boys and girls, male and female. And it is not good, or loving, to indulge the fantasy that one can change the reality God created. Or that He made a mistake in choosing a baby’s gender.

I pray for this confused little boy, that his parents will get him the help for his gender identity disorder now while there’s still lots of hope for help. And I pray for the Christians in that school to be lovingly bold in proclaiming that it’s not in this student’s best interest, or the best interests of the rest of the students, to take make-believe to a scary new level.

And I pray that the Lord will gently pick up this precious, confused little boy from his bus driver’s seat and place him in His lap.

Sue Bohlin is a speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries, a Christian organization that helps people to think biblically. She loves teaching women and laughing, and if those two can be combined, all the better. She also loves speaking for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Clubs) on the topic How to Handle the Things You Hate But Can't Change, based on her lifelong experience as a polio survivor. She has a freelance calligraphy business in her home studio; hand lettering was her "Proverbs 31 job" while her children were young. Sue also serves on the board of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered organization that helps people struggling with unwanted homosexuality and the family members of those with same-sex attractions. Sue never met a cruise ship she didn't like, especially now that God has provided a travel scooter for getting around any ship! She is happily married to Dr. Ray Bohlin, writer and speaker on faith and science with Probe Ministries, and they have two grown sons. You can follow Sue on Twitter @suebohlin.

One Comment

  • SonShine

    re: this confusion

    1 Cor 14: 33 gives us the character of God: for God is not characterized by disorder. As we look at the universe we see His perfect order. What a disoriented society we have become when we allow what God has wrought to become the antithesis of what He has perfectly designed. The lie of the "enemy" is before us and he is becoming bolder with each day. The parents think progression, the "enemy" thinks confusion, but

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