Dear Grandparenting: I thought I had seen everything before my granddaughter dropped her bombshell. She is “transitioning,” meaning she is in the process of changing her “location on the sexual spectrum” and wants to become “more gender fluid.” That is how she puts it.
I do not care to dig the least bit deeper into exactly what my granddaughter has in her silly mind. People should always keep their sexual preferences to themselves. I don’t know where she gets off with such announcements about sex at a tender age, as if she invented it.
I believe I may have figured this out. My granddaughter is a very social animal. Her friends mean everything to her. Maybe this gender fluid transitioning stuff is a fad going around, something here today and gone tomorrow. If not, it makes me wonder what this world is coming to? Anonymous, Madison, Wisconsin
Dear Anonymous: If the so-called millennial generation of grandchildren (born between 1980 and 2000) represents the future, we’re at the dawning of a sexual sea change, a world where greater numbers of people say they are male, or female, or both, or neither or something in between.
We’ve heard of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) nation, but there are so many more: pansexual, gender nonconforming, bigender, nonbinary, two-spirit and dozens more different stops along the sexual spectrum, neither 100 percent heterosexual nor 100 percent homosexual.
Transitioning from one’s birth gender to a different sexual identity can be a social, legal and/or medical process: telling loved ones and colleagues, using a different name and pronouns (i.e., “they” instead of “he” and “she”), dressing differently, changes to legal documents, hormonal therapy and surgery.
Don’t discount the role of the Internet and social media platforms, where gender fluid grandchildren connect with communities of like-minded individuals. Digital giant Facebook’s more than one billion users can select their gender from a list of more than 60 options.
Good data can be hard to come by. According to a recent survey by GLAAD, a LGBTQ advocacy organization, some 20 percent of millennials self-identify as having nontraditional sexual orientations. Interestingly, millennials say they personally know fewer gays and lesbians than did previous generations. That’s because evermore millennials are found elsewhere on the sexual spectrum.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Theo Banks, of Sidney, weighed in with his “balanced view of grandparenting:
”Let’s be honest. Grandkids can be a great comfort in old age, but they help you reach it sooner too.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.