“How do you tell your kids that mommy is now a daddy? Or that a daddy is now a mommy?” Leave it to ABC to raise these questions on “Good Morning America.” A July 21 segment previewed “Primetime Family Secrets” airing later that night about a transgender woman and the effects of the decision on his family.
Correspondent Juju Chang documented the Prince family for one year. In 2008 Ted Prince became “Chloe” through a sex change and his wife, Rene, stayed with him. The couple has two sons:
Chang addressed the affects the sex change might have on the children. “Now, developmental psychologists will tell you that if you have honest, open, frank and age-appropriate conversations, the boys will be just fine. Now, Rene, their mom, tells us they are doing great socially. Both Chloe and Rene have been remarkably honest about the enormous strains on their marriage. Parenting roles, spousal roles, intimacy have all been called into question. For now, they're sticking it out, staying together because as Rene says, what happened to Chloe shouldn't destroy our family.”
Presumably, the full special will tell viewers how it is that the Princes still have a “marriage,” despite “what happened to Chloe.”
On GMA, the young boys understood that they had another mother instead of a father, but they were only vaguely able to explain why. “She had a girl inside her and so she went on a surgery to get, get it out,” said one, pointing to a family portrait. “And this is our other mom that used to be a dad.” Chang asked if their moms ever fought and one explained how Rene “doesn't like her changing into a girl.” “We don't want them to argue.”
But don't worry – the boys will be just fine.
Chloe, on the other hand, described the surgery as “opening Pandora's box.” He said, “it was magic. The nightmare was over.” Chloe also pointed at a family portrait taken before the surgery and referred to himself as his “twin brother Ted.”
Chang also took the opportunity to normalize gay parenting in flyover country. “In the year 2009 two women living together as a couple, raising their sons, may not be typical, but it's not unheard of, even here in northern
ABC seems to be set on normalizing sex changes. In 2008, Barbara Walters did a special, “What is a Man, What is a Woman? Journey of a Pregnant Man ” about transvestites. CMI wrote, “Walters interviewed three people who have undergone sex change operations, but no relevant medical experts, psychiatrists or students of culture and society. Walters apparently selected the only critics to appear during the special, comedians poking fun and an anonymous caller leaving a hateful telephone message, to suggest that opponents are motivated by bigotry.”