Too Young For Inalienable Rights?

Former NBA player Dwyane Wade and actress Gabrielle Union have recently revealed their 12-year-old child Zaya (known formerly as Zion) as their transgender daughter.

The married couple has received a lot of backlash for this, as many have argued that their daughter is too young to make this type of decision on her own. However, many have also supported the couple, saying that they are doing what’s right by supporting their daughter’s decision.

The Declaration of Independence states that all people are born with certain inalienable rights including life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. However, do you think there should be a certain age limit until people are old enough to be allowed to make these types of decisions for themselves? Or did the parents make the right decision by giving their daughter freedom to find her sexuality on her own at a young age?

4 thoughts on “Too Young For Inalienable Rights?

  1. Shaun, the Constitution states that citizens have the right to express themselves freely which implies that this should be extended to all US citizens regardless of age. Zaya’s right to express her gender identity freely is something that is an inalienable right that doesn’t impose a threat or harm to other people. Gender identity is an avenue that kids can choose to express themselves with, just like kids express themselves with their hobbies and interests. Attempting to restrict these rights just because of age, prohibits kids from being able to just be themselves. A parent’s decision to support their child shouldn’t be a topic for debate if it isn’t threatening other people’s rights. Your overall question of whether or not children are too young to have inalienable rights implies that in any situation they are not allowed the right to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.

  2. It would be very sensible to permit people exercise certain rights once they reach a given age, for exercising one’s right necessitates the agent possessing the capacity to perform the action. For a 12-year-old child there are many responsibilities we simply do not demand he/she to bear, even if they arise from rights the child is entitled to. Affirming that the child has an inalienable right to pursue happiness does not mean we ought to give candy to the child when asked, even if candy can bring the child happiness temporarily. A decision such as gender is a crucial one, and it requires ample knowledge to make the decision such that the outcome will follow one’s expectation. If the agent does not have the knowledge or the capacity to make the choice, then it is not rational to encourage the agent to make the decision.

  3. If we were to follow the constitution to a T, then yes allowing Zaya to openly display her gender preferences is fully within her rights to do so. Like many people, before it became much safer to be open about your gender or sexuality, never came out because they were afraid of the backlash they would receive, and still receive. So thanks to her parents Zaya feels much safer to have her rights not taken away just because someone else does not view it as right.

  4. Hello, I agree with all points made in this post, from both sides of the story. On one hand, I agree that there should not be an age limit for people to form their own identity and I agree that we must protect everyone’s rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness regardless of age. On the other hand, I also agree that not all brains are fully developed and formed at such early ages. However, I would like to propose this solution: what if we just allow her to identify as transgender now and if she changes her mind later on, then she can always change to a different gender? A lot of people nowadays rant and complain about how children should not be able to determine their own sexuality because they barely understand the difference between genders, but no one ever realizes that there is no limit on the amount of times one can change their gender. So why not let her live as who she wants to be now and if she changes later on, then she changes.

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