“Jayden knows nothing about my past. She just knows me as dad.”
A two-generation transgender family revealed last week that the parents have been reported to authorities for allegedly pushing their 5-year-old biological son to transition.
Jody and Greg Rogers were turned in to social services by an anonymous neighbor in their hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, according to the British press. The young couple said they have also been widely shunned locally and harassed online for how they are raising their now-daughter, Jayden.
“We’ve had people saying we’re using Jayden for attention and that she just wants to be a girl because I changed sex,” Greg Rogers, who is a trans man, told the Daily Record.
But Rogers, a 27-year-old IT worker, denied the accusations, saying: “It’s ridiculous. Jayden knows nothing about my past. She just knows me as dad.”
Rogers met Jayden’s mom, Jody Rogers, 21, three years ago, and they have lived together with Jayden for the past nine months. They have been billed as Britain’s first family with a trans parent and trans children.
While some parents won’t let their kids play with Jayden, her teachers and friends have accepted her transition, the couple said, and officials are OK with it, too.
“Social workers can also see Jayden is well looked after and have no concerns,” explained Jody Rogers. “All we want is Jayden to be happy and proud of who she is, whatever that might be.”
The couple insisted it was Jayden who demanded to live as a girl. They said she they bought her both boys’ and girls’ clothes and told her they would love her no matter her gender. She wears Batman shoes and loves dressing up as Princess Anna from the Disney film “Frozen,” they said.
“They say it’s cruel we let her wear a dress but is it not more cruel to do nothing when you’ve got a kid who’s so adamant she’s a girl she’s ripping her hair off and banging her head off the walls?” Greg Rogers said.
According to the couple, Jayden began pleading for a gender change following an operation last February to improve her hearing, which enabled her to clearly express herself for the first time.
“She developed speech and immediately started saying, ‘I hate wearing boys’ clothes and everything about being a boy,'” Greg Rogers said. “At first, we thought it was probably just a phase but it’s been consistent everis adamant she’s a girl.”
Greg Rogers told the Mirror that having transitioned himself at age 16, he knows being trans is not “an easy life.”
“I don’t think there is a single transgender person on the planet who would push that on a child,” he said. “We can’t fix society but we can help Jayden to be happy with who she is.
With less than 1 percent of people estimated to be trans, the odds of a trans person adopting a trans child are low. But while the Rogers may be groundbreaking in the United Kingdom, an Arizona family of four all came out as trans last year.
In both countries and elsewhere, LGBT activists have spearheaded a rapid advance in trans rights in recent years. However, even some supporters of the movement worry that it is overturning gendered social institutions without due consideration, and in ways that could threaten women’s safety.
When it comes to children, a number of experts have warned — including in an Atlantic cover story last June — that many parents, educators, and doctors have become too accommodating. Longterm research on transition outcomes is scant to nonexistent, but the concern is that children may regret the often-irreversible process when they get older.
LGBT activists, for their part, have largely rejected such pushback, claiming that mistaken transitions are exceedingly rare. In many cases, they have sought to paint skeptics with the broad brush of transphobia.
Meanwhile, Greg and Jody Rogers recently put Jayden on a waiting list for counseling at Young People’s Gender Service in Glasgow, where she remains for the moment. She will be eligible to begin hormone therapy as she approaches adolescence.