We only need to look at the show content to find the onset of a transgender child in the making. It seemed to have started when the parents of Joey, a little boy, adopted an infant girl. This event seemed to have inadvertently telegraphed a message to Joey that he was not as acceptable as a female.A signal that he would have been more loved and acceptable if he were a girl.
So the son, wanting the attention and love of his mom that his new sister was getting, begin a pattern of behavior that mimics the acceptable sister. Perhaps playful at first, but over time forms a message in the boy that is difficult to erase. Such acting out is not unusual but when the acting out gets reinforced and approved by the parent, this starts a brain hard-wiring process that can lead to gender identity confusion.
By acting out as a girl, the boy steals the mom’s attention from the sister and, unfortunately, the development of a narcissistic transgender child evolves.
I became hard-wired as a transgender child when my grandmother repeatedly dressed me up as a female. This started the feelings that I was a female inside a male body. Eventually I was diagnosed as a transgender and underwent the recommended “treatment” –the unfortunate and unnecessary gender surgery, a surgery I regret very much today.
I think things would have been much different for the boy in the Dateline story if the adoption had been of another boy. That might have reinforced in him that he was just fine as he was. Dateline showed a pivotal point when Josie (Joey), sitting at the dining table as mom braided her hair, asked, “Mom, would you like me as a boy?” I saw a vulnerable child reaching out to his mom for affirmation of his male gender, an opportunity which was lost on the mom.
By mom allowing the child to diagnosis his disorder and not working with him to explore and identify with his male gender, his long term outcome is unclear and very troubling to this recovering transgender.