Thursday, February 2, 2012

How times change

When I was a kid, at a posh boarding school in England, the worst possible insult someone could hurl at you was that you were gay. And other yucky words intended to depict the same negativity. Those days, thankfully, are passing and get this:

Recently in court we had a juvenile who has transgender issues and, in fact, the child came in looking like a member of the opposite sex (if that makes sense!). The thing is, no one batted an eye lid. In fact, not only was the judge utterly unfazed when he was told about this, his immediate reaction was, "Do we have services in place to make sure this kid is getting all the help needed?" As the judge recognized, this is an issue that affects a lot of kids, and far too often it's so hard for them to deal with, they commit suicide (the internet tells me it's somewhere between 30-45%, compared to 3% of the population as a whole).

So good for him and good for the probation officer for being so proactive.

Maybe it's not a big deal anywhere any more but for a system as creaky (sometimes) and behind the times (sometimes) as the criminal justice system to kick into high gear for something that until recently would either have been ignored or ridiculed (or attempts made to cure it, I guess) was mightily impressive.

Rereading this I'm wondering whether the probation people here are magical enough to fix that last sentence. . .


  1. This is Austin. Many people have worked for years here to create this atmosphere of tolerance. I don't think there are huge numbers of jurisdictions in this state, let alone this country, where a transgender child could expect this level of acceptance from the juvenile justice system.

  2. "An atmosphere of tolerance" . . . we need this everywhere!!!


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