“You are asking questions to serve your own agenda.”
During the week this four year old is dressed and treated as a boy. He plays with trucks and sword, he runs and battles and tumbles and laughs. He is a boy. His mother tells him he a is big boy, a good boy, a wonderful boy and that she loves him.
But on the weekends when the four year old is with Dad the little boy is dressed as a little girl and plays with so called “girl’s toys.” She sleeps in a pink bed, with a Hello Kitty bedspread and has a pram with dolls to push around. She is Daddy’s little girl, and he loves her.
The very idea of this gender confusion is difficult to get your head around as an adult, but imagine being the four year old in question. Imagine being Aubrey.
The parents of Aubrey, who are separated and share custody, are now publicly fighting over what gender their four year old should be.
Aubrey was born an intersex baby with ambiguous genitalia, and her parents Michelle and Kyle along with medical experts decided that Aubrey should live as a girl. As a baby Aubrey underwent surgery and on the birth certificate was listed as a female.
When Aubrey was little they never thought any other way until, Michelle says Aubrey began to identify as a little boy.
Aubrey’s mum Michelle says that she is convinced Aubrey now is a little boy, so much so when Aubrey continued to cry over her long hair and pleaded for “boy’s hair” she had it cut short.
This was the catalyst for Aubrey’s father, Kyle to insist that their child was his daughter. He was furious when he saw his “daughter” dressed and looking like a boy.
The couple have appeared on the US show Dr Phil as they battle it out over what gender they want Aubrey to be raised as.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Aubrey is a little boy,” Michelle said.
“It’s heartbreaking to see Aubrey struggle with having to go to his dad’s house to be a girl, and then he gets to come home to my house and be a boy … I just want Kyle to accept Aubrey for who he wants to be.”
The impetus to appear on the show came from Kyle’s new wife Brittany who contacted Dr Phil with fears over the parents’ war on Aubrey’s identity.
Kyle says that when Aubrey is at his house three weekends a month she wears girl’s clothes and plays with dolls, but his new wife disputes that saying on the whole Aubrey prefers toys and clothing that would normally be associated with boys. Brittany says that however at times Aubrey does like clothing that would more often be associated with girls.
Kyle revealed that when Aubrey is at his house the bedroom Aubrey sleeps in contains a ‘Hello Kitty’ blanket that the child loves, but underneath is a blue Mario blanket he says his ex-wife gave their child.
Michelle is adamant that when Aubrey is with her only boy’s toys are played with, and only boy’s clothes are preferred.
In a video made for the program Michelle asked Aubrey bluntly “Do you want to be a little boy or a little girl Aubrey?”
And the response:
“A little boy.”
Do you want to wear the girl’s clothes or the boy’s clothes?
“You need to tell Daddy that Aubrey. You need to tell Daddy if you want to be a boy.”
Kyle however said that Aubrey told him her mother gets angry and insists she is a boy. Michelle argues that Kyle is the one who gets angry at Aubrey saying Aubrey is a girl.
“I just want Kyle to accept Aubrey for who he wants to be” said Michelle during the appearance on Dr Phil.
According to the Organisation Intersex Australia Limited Intersex people are born with sex characteristics that do not fit stereotypical definitions of male and female. Many different forms of intersex exist; it is an umbrella term, rather than a single variation.
Some common intersex traits are diagnosed prenatally. Intersex variations may be apparent at birth or become apparent at puberty, or when trying to conceive, or through random chance.
Around 1 in 2,000 people are born intersex according to some official statistics, (05% of births) but a more likely figure may be closer to 1.7%. This makes intersex differences about as common as red hair.
The confusing back and forth bickering of the parents of Aubrey culminates with both sides breaking down in tears. Dr Phil intervenes and tells them that the fact is four-year old Aubrey doesn’t understand what was being asked when they say “What do you want to be?”
“You are asking questions to serve your own agenda because you have a belief that child wants to be a boy just like you have a belief that child wants to be a girl” he said addressing Aubrey’s mother and father.
But Kyle, Michelle’s former husband remained firm “Michelle needs to take a look at that birth certificate and see that Aubrey is female. She shouldn’t be trying to change that.”
When Dr Phil asked him what he wanted Aubrey to be Kyle admitted he only ever wanted a daughter.
On the show the couple admitted that at the time of the child’s birth tests showed Aubrey was 70 percent more male than female. It is not clear why the doctor advised the couple to have surgery making Aubrey a girl.
Dr Phil explained that over time Aubrey will self define and will decided what gender to live as, in the meantime he encouraged the parents to just appreciate what a wonderful four-year old they had.
For more information on Intersex Australia Limited go here.