We are assured that "one of the first things Thomas [Lobel] told [his adoptive
guardians] when he learned sign language aged three - because of a speech impediment - was, 'I am a girl.'"
This odd claim of his is lovingly cited by those who favor his pre-adolescent gender reassignment - as if it were some sort of clincher.
But what are we to make of that claim?
If what he meant was that he's got two X chromosomes, or that he's physiologically female, then wouldn't we just conclude that he was straightforwardly mistaken? and that there's no more reason to cater to his mistake then if he claimed to be Napoleon, or a hobbit, or a Klingon, and wanted plastic surgery to assist in his masquerade?
If what he meant was that he has typically feminine tastes and interests (dollies instead of tin soldiers, dresses instead of dirty jeans, primping instead of fighting, etc.), then wouldn't we conclude that he was the victim of musty old stereotypes? and that he needed to reject those sterotypes and to affirm his identity as an "effeminate" boy?
Or is there something deeper going on, here? Is there some sort of Female Essence, transcending biology and culture alike, in which he claims to participate, as a triangle crudely scrawled on an uneven surface participates in the Platonic Form of Triangularity?
IMHO, if you're not prepared to defend some version of that last "essentialist" claim, then you have no excuse for defending what's currently being done to Thomas Lobel.