A lesbian couple in California who say their 11-year-old son Tommy wants to be a girl named Tammy are giving their child hormone blockers that delay the onset of puberty, so that he can have more time to decide if he wants to change his gender. The couple's supporters say the Hormone Blocking Therapy has only minor side effects and is appropriate for a child who is unsure of his gender.
"This is definitely a changing landscape for transgender youth," said Joel Baum, director of education and training for Gender Spectrum, a California-based non-profit group. "This is about giving kids and their families the opportunity to make the right decision." But critics of the treatment say 11-year-olds are not old enough to make life-altering decisions about changing their gender, and parents should not be encouraging them.
"This is child abuse. It's like performing liposuction on an anorexic child," said Dr Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. "It is a disorder of the mind. Not a disorder of the body. Dealing with it in this way is not dealing with the problem that truly exists. We shouldn't be mucking around with nature. We can't assume what the outcome will be," Professor McHugh said.
Tommy's parents, Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel, said they support their child and feel this is the best way for him to find an answer to a question he has been asking all his life. They say Tommy - whom they now call Tammy - began taking GnRH inhibitors over the summer to give him more time to explore the female gender identity with which he associates