>> Transgender rights have taken center stage in the American political debate, but rarely surrounding those as young as three years old. Yet that's how old Penelope was when he told his mother he was not a girl, but a boy.>> I'm Daniel Trotter in Brooklyn, New York at the home of the Garde-Patterson family, whose eight year old child Penelope was assigned female at birth.
But the parents noticed Penelope had some behavioral problems, a dark personality the mother says. Finally one day the mother, Jody Patterson, asked her child what was wrong.>> Why are you so angry? And he had a very clear answer to that, which was because everyone thinks I'm a girl.
And I'm not. So I thought, I said sure, Penelope, however you feel inside is fine. It's what inside counts. And then Penelope looked at me and said, no, mama, I don't feel like a boy, I am a boy.>> While far from a consensus, some clinicians who work with transgender children have concluded that when kids persistently identify as the non-conforming gender, the best course is to socially transition or live as the other gender, even at age three.
>> Penelope did not transition. There's not much we did to Penelope. Penelope had a haircut and Penelope wears jeans most of the time. But there's no physical transition that's happened. There's no physical body changes that we've done. I think what was most important was that Penelope be allowed to express himself as he wishes.
>> Yeah.>> I like to art. I like to karate. I like playing basketball. I like playing soccer. I like throwing stuff.>> Like what? Like a ball.>> Okay, I got you.>> In the gym.>> But some experts argue for caution in leading pre-adolescent kids into transitioning to the other gender.
In part because a significant, though undetermined percentage, will revert back to the natal gender. They see potential harm in putting a teenager through a second transition. Jody Patterson, however, did not see any reason to force Penelope to wait.>> I wasn't prepared to say no. I wasn't prepared to tell Penelope that his identity wasn't true and I wasn't prepared to lose my kid.
>> Penelope gets along well at school and with his brothers at home, but knows that some people may not accept him for who he is. Like Cassius.>>
s own brother.>> What do you tell Cassius when he doesn't understand?>> That he looks like an elephant.
That's what mom tells me to say.>>
don't recall saying that, but okay I like that.