A German dad sounds like he needs a lesson from the princess boy's family — he's apparently threatening to put his 11-year-old daughter in a mental institution because she's transgender.
According to German-language website Taz, the girl, identified as Alexandra, is a happy kid who lives with her mom and likes pink, Harry Potter, and her stuffed unicorn. Since she identifies as a girl, she hopes to get hormone treatments to stop her from going through puberty (a treatment that's available and recommended for some trans kids, at least in the US). But her dad thinks her trans identity is actually a mental illness caused by her mom, and he wants his daughter institutionalized. The Berlin Youth Office apparently agrees, and according to IGLYO, Alexandra is about to be committed. Afterwards, the Youth Office allegedly recommends that Alexandra be forced to go through puberty as a man, and then plied with "football and cars" to make her more masculine. It also wants her placed with a foster family.
Alexandra's story raises a lot of questions, many of which are hard to answer. It hasn't received much coverage in the English-language media (other than this pickup on the Huffington Post), and the Google Translated version of the Taz article may not be completely reliable (for one thing, it refers to a child psychology expert as "Professor Udo smoked meat"). A better (or at least better-looking) translation is available at EssexGirlBecky. A British woman has started a Change.org petition asking the mayor of Berlin to reverse the Youth Office's decision, but I haven't yet been able to find an official statement by the Youth Office that they're actually institutionalizing Alexandra. I contacted an official from the Youth Office, but haven't received a reply.
Germany has made some strides in trans rights in the past few years. In 2009, the German Supreme Court ruled that surgery shouldn't necessarily be a precondition for letting someone legally change gender. And last year, Germany donated $65,000 to a Europe-wide project to defend LGBT rights — a representative of the country said, "There are still numerous areas where violations of human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people take place because of their sexual orientation. Germany is proud to contribute to this project." Hopefully if Alexandra is in danger of being institutionalized for her gender identity, the people in her country who have promised to protect trans rights will step in before it's too late.
Transgender German Girl Faces Being Institutionalized By Father Who Rejects Her Gender Expression [Huffington Post]
IGLYO Calls for 11 Year Old Trans Girl to Remain with Supportive Mother [IGLYO]
Who wanted the pink unicorn? [Taz]
Image via Anke van Wyk/Shutterstock.com