I have never censored my own letter. I have edited it repeatedly and ultimately went back to the original. I think the tone is crucial: a tone that is non-partisan and focuses on the simple journey we took as parents in accepting our child for who she is. I added photos and then took them out because I thought they were distracting; I tried for deeper explanation in places and decided the letter got too long and burdened.
For a better understanding of transgender issues, check out Katie Couric’s new documentary GENDER REVOLUTION on the national geographic channel. You can also see it on the web.
As far as your comment in a different response about a young child knowing about sexuality, you have put your finger right on the confusion about what it means to be transgender. Being transgender has nothing to do with sexuality. Sexuality refers to who you are attracted to. Heterosexual people are attracted to the opposite sex, homosexuals are attracted to the same sex, bisexuals are attracted to both sexes, etc. Being transgender has to do with primary identity: meaning, WHO YOU ARE — MALE, FEMALE OR SOMEWHERE ON THAT SPECTRUM. There are actually plenty of people who consider themsevles gender fluid; and some who call themselves gender non-conforming.
My husband and I were actually very lucky because our child showed us from such a young age who she really was. We were then able to give our child, simply through a change in pronouns and clothes and hairstyles, the opportunity to have a happy childhood and not one that involved constant, unmitigated misery.
We are fortunate, too, to live in Manhattan, where we had access to the top professionals in this field. Both Sadie, my husband and I, and our extended family recieved support and education.
I hope the time I have taken to respond to your many comments reassures you a bit more. I have no ulterior agenda. I am aiming at compassion.