How much control do you have over your own children, and at what point does the government have the right to intervene? What if the government told you you had to start treating your daughter like a boy? It may sound far fetched, but it’s really not.
Humans have been concerned about government overreach as long as democracies have existed, remaining ever-cognizant of the threat dictatorships, some monarchies, and authoritarian regimes pose to human rights and the freedom of speech. And what parent wouldn’t try their hardest to protect their children against the negative impact of a powerful government?
On the other hand, what if it was the state that needed to protect a child against her own parents? That’s exactly what happened to an eleven-year-old in Canada last week. Now, the preteen is in the middle of a bitter fight between two divorced parents and an ongoing identity crisis.
The father doesn’t support who his child wants to be…
Meet the Family
Things haven’t been easy for the family involved in the case. Mom AH and dad NK, as they are being referred to in court, have been married and divorced twice and marking each marriage with the birth of one child.
During their on-again, off-again relationship, AH lived in New Zealand twice, leaving NK to take care of the children in British Columbia, Canada.
Though they were aware that their 11-year-old daughter PK displayed masculine tendencies at an early age, her true situation has come to light more recently, and the girl wishes to begin transitioning into a male, taking on a desired personality referred to as JK.
LGBT Rights Are Widely Protected in Canada
Though transgender people are protected against discrimination at a federal level, their individual rights, specifically regarding changing their gender both pre and post-operation, vary from territory to territory.
According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, gender identity is defined in the following terms:
“Gender identity is linked to an individual’s intrinsic sense of self and, particularly the sense of being male or female. Gender identity may or may not conform to a person’s birth assigned sex. The personal characteristics that are associated with gender identity include self-image, physical and biological appearance, expression, behaviour and conduct, as they relate to gender. … Individuals whose birth-assigned sex does not conform to their gender identity include transsexuals, transgenderists, intersexed persons and cross-dressers. A person’s gender identity is fundamentally different from and not determinative of their sexual orientation.”
So does young PK have the right to choose to transition into JK?