A gay icon at the age of eight? The boy was outed by his grandfather for political gain (Honda was recently caught snoozing during a televised DHS funding debate). Plus, the odds are an eight-year-old child who thinks he likes to dress up like a girl may have a very different feelings in several years when he hits puberty, at which point he can never live down what his scumbag politician grandfather did to him.
Via SF Chronicle:
South Bay Congressman Mike Honda, 73, is no different any other grandparent who brags about their “truly special” grandchild. But the Democratic House member has put himself in the national spotlight by tweeting and talking about his granddaughter Malisa, who is 8 years old — and transgender.
In an opinion piece last week in the Bay Area Reporter, the gay and lesbian newspaper, Honda described in detail the story of his grandchild, whom he said was “assigned male at birth,” but who at 18 months “announced to my daughter’s family: ‘I’m a girl.’”
Honda wrote that “I admit I was not immediately comfortable” with the change, but learned to find “the strength to push my personal fears of a more difficult life for a loved one aside.”
The congressman’s essay, coming after he first revealed Malisa’s decision with a tweet in February, has won him praise from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as a vanguard who has shed welcome new light on transgender issues.
But observers note his actions may also have a political impact: He has begun raising money for his 2016 re-election campaign, and some critics suggest the current stories — seen as positive in nature — distract from a recent embarrassment: Honda fell asleep during a televised Department of Homeland Security funding debate.
“Politicians make their families part of the political debate all the time … but once you thrust the family into the public forum, they are fair game for the debate,” said law Professor Jessica Levinson, who teaches politics, ethics and privacy issues at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. “And in this case, you’re thrusting an 8-year-old into the public debate at a really delicate time.”
Levinson said Honda deserves credit for publicly supporting his granddaughter, but she noted that in doing so, he has exposed her to a harsh limelight, possibly for years, at a time when she may be “really below the threshold for knowing consent.”
Oftentimes, “8-year-olds and 28-year-olds have different understandings of repercussions,” especially with regard to social media, Levinson said.