Language is power and shapes our thoughts. It is nevertheless flexible and should be used in a gender-appropriate way, so that all people are included.
Gender-sensitive language is long overdue and, as a linguistic tool, can very well contribute to the visibility and equality of all genders. In an interview with the Lëtzebuerger Journal, Sheila talks about her daughter Charlie. Charlie is a trans* girl. The mother reports both major hurdles and positive experiences and explains what it means to address a child with the so-called dead name.
When Sheila talks about her daughter, it becomes clear how proud the mother is: "Every day I take my hat off to my child". Charlie is eight years old and transgender. From one day to the next, she stood up in front of the class and explained that although her body looked like that of a boy, her soul was that of a girl. At the age of six, Charlie came out publicly – a banal walk as a girl in the village, according to her mother. It has been a long road and even today it is not an easy one for the family. Because outside the protective home, the lack of understanding continues to be big.
At one and a half, Charlie preferred playing with dolls to cars. She liked skirts and asked her mother: "Why am I not a girl? At first, the thought was raised whether the child was homosexual, says Sheila. "Our child has always been different, " but even if it had been so, the parents would never have judged it negatively. Then there were better or worse periods until it became clear that it was not a question of homosexuality. The parents started to inform themselves and that's how they finally came across the term transgender.
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No more speechlessness: trans* people deserve more
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