Yes, you read that right. Peyton often tells me that he wants to have a penis.
November 2016 was the first time that Peyton uttered those words. I was shocked and speechless. How do you talk to a four year old about the penis that they don’t have and will likely not have for decades to come if at all? I went with an easy answer, “We will see how we can get you one.” I avoided the topic with that answer, but also let him know that it was a goal that we would be working on. I plan to hold true to my word if this is the path our lives take us in.
It was baffling to me that at four years old, Peyton knows that he wants a penis. He has a two year old sister and a very good friend that is three and a boy. All are at some level of being potty-trained and in order to encourage one another, all three are often toileted at the same time. Peyton knows that he and his sister have a vagina (we use proper terminology in our household because I believe that this is what my kids should learn). He also knows that his close friend that is a boy has a penis. Peyton is very aware of his body and knows that at the moment he is not fully a boy because he is missing that part of his anatomy. Part of me dreads the future when he gets his period and grows breasts… So many challenges coming our way. They make his current desire to have a penis seem so small…
I think Peyton asks me for a penis at least once a week. I can see in his face that he is sad because he doesn’t have one. Four year olds are amazing little beings. They seem to know exactly what they want and get so frustrated when they can’t have it. Don’t worry, I will not be running out to get any surgeries done any time soon. But my heart does break every time the penis topic comes up. At four years old Peyton does not feel complete because that part of him is missing. He has so many years ahead of him where he will feel this way on a daily basis. And my heart aches for him. As a mother all I want is for Peyton to be happy, however, I am fully aware that it will be years before he is completely happy.
Every time the penis conversation comes up I feel like it evolves a little bit. I’ve asked Peyton why he wants a penis. He simply states that he wants one because he is a boy and boys have one. He also tells me that he wants to pee standing up. That’s at times comical to me because I don’t see how that makes any difference in the world but I guess to understand that I would need to be a man. A few days ago someone reminded me that Peyton is very young and there is no way to truly know if this is really what Peyton wants or if he is indeed a transgender person. I’ve known all my life that I was a lesbian. Family members knew before I came out. I never wanted to have a penis. I have never heard anyone say that they wanted a penis. I’ve never been asked for a penis before. Peyton is four, but I think he feels like he needs that penis to fully make him a boy. This is a tricky area and one that I’m sure will require therapy. And there really is no good answer here or any good way to talk about this. But the subject of having a penis does come up.