“If a government agent has knowledge that a minor under its care or supervision has exhibited symptoms of gender dysphoria, gender nonconformity, or otherwise demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner incongruent with the minor’s sex, the government agent or entity with knowledge of that circumstance shall immediately notify, in writing, each of the minor’s parents, guardians, or custodians. The notice shall describe all of the relevant circumstances with reasonable specificity.”

— North Carolina’s newly proposed S.B. 514

A GENDER REPORT FROM A NORTH CAROLINA KINDERGARTEN:

It’s gender chaos in the kindergartens of North Carolina and no one knows what to report! Gender nonconformity is everywhere and nowhere!

Paul has just seized a mauve crayon — and eaten it! And I don’t know whether to report it or not!

Tim picked up a Barbie doll, but then he smashed it on the ground and began jumping up and down on it? Erica did the same? How do we record this?

Taylor is reading “Pippi Longstocking,” which seems bad.

Luke is playing with G.I. Joes, but when we listened more closely, they were resolving a conflict by talking through it respectfully — do we report?

Helen is sitting quietly and reading, but what she is reading is … Jordan Peterson? How did this get here?

Tanya has knocked over Amos’s block tower and is claiming it was an accident — is this a gender thing?

Leon did graffiti on the wall, but the graffiti was a big heart.

I put some football on and nobody wanted to watch it.

I put on some women’s soccer and everyone is cheering.

Do I report all, some or none of this?

Horace is claiming to be a dinosaur but NOT a T-rex — a brachiosaurus! Report or not?

Tina is playing airplane, on which she is both pilot and flight attendant.

Kyle drew what he claimed was his family but it was just a big orange blob — is this a gender crime?!

Eric says he cares about women’s sports — do I report this, or do I tell him it’s okay to be interested in “the integrity of women’s sports” as long as he isn’t interested in watching or supporting the athletes, just this nebulous idea of integrity, which he can observe from afar and use to hurt kids and deny them opportunities?

Please send help, the gender here is out of control, and I don’t know what standard to apply or what to report.

Conform or not conform to what exactly? Do I pick the earliest standard available or the most recent? Is pink important? How much science should be involved? Is there one culture in particular whose notions of gender I should be looking to? I am rife with questions, and everyone is running around and doesn’t want to nap, which might need to be reported but then again might not.

Amy says she loves Big Brother; is this to be encouraged or not?

Who is the person in this state who understands gender well enough to feel that this was something worth enshrining in law and not just arbitrary and hurtful and a sledgehammer looking for a nail? Who are all these people who want so much to bully trans kids that this is their legislative priority rather than anything else they could possibly be doing with their time? North Carolina’s kids need to return to school safely in the wake of the pandemic, and one might think that element of education would deserve attention, but no, let’s arbitrarily police everyone in service of a nebulous and restrictive concept!

Karl is telling a long-winded story about a time she attended a gender-reveal party with her mom and it destroyed an old-growth forest. Does this need to be phoned in?

Hailey says she wants to be a scientist. Amelia says she wants to be a state legislator. Do I report them? This is exhausting.

Eric is wearing a skirt and Lucy is wielding a sword. Who cares?

The kids in these states who are just trying to be kids are not causing any harm. These bills are. Even the ones not garnished with a bonus layer of Orwellian gender policing, the ones from other states that merely make a point of denying medical care and sports to trans kids — they’re just trying to hurt children. They have to be stopped. Not because they are absurd, but because they are cruel.

Hold on, I think I saw some kids being themselves and hurting no one. That seems like something I need to report.

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