In a recent interview with Yahoo!, author Alex Gino shared strong views on the role of parents in ‘affirming’ their children’s chosen gender identity, voicing anger towards parents who stand in the way of children who identify as trans or non-binary.
Gino, who identifies as non-binary, wrote a 2015 novel titled, "Melissa" that tells the story of a fourth-grader named George, who identifies as a girl named Melissa. The book has faced bans in seven school districts across four states.
In the interview, Gino's expressed a strong opposition to parental rights, “Parental rights really anger me, because what about human rights? People who are under 18 are human.”
And if you are keeping information about the world from young people, you are leaving them less prepared to learn how to be in the world.
I think it is fear that looks like anger. I think it is a fear of adults generally. Adults are not great at knowing what’s in the world. Kids are great at it. Kids are constantly learning what’s in the world and taking on new ideas. They learn who’s in the world, they learn how people are in the world.
Many adults feel like they have already learned who should be in the world, and if someone goes against their notion of that, they are somehow immoral.
And there’s a particular panic about showing that or immorality to young people.
Despite the bans and controversies, Gino sees the existence and accessibility of books like "Melissa" as a sign of progress. He believes the increased resistance is an indirect indication of progress.
Invigorated by the political challenges, Gino revealed plans to write more books focusing on queer and trans children. “If my book is going to get challenged, that to me is a sign that there are more stories that I need to write,” Gino stated.
“And so I’m writing now about queer and trans kids who don’t just exist, but who know each other and who have community and who get to thrive,” Gino said. “If they’re going to say, ‘Don’t do it,’ then I better not tell myself not to do it. I better do it more.”
The broader context indicates that the discussions around transgenderism are intensifying. With an influx of gender ideology in schools, media, and children’s content in the US, more adolescents are identifying as transgender and non-binary.