Puberty is a confusing time for any tween or teen, but one young boy has some additional challenges in store. Besides pressure to fit in and figure out who you are, 11-year-old Tommy, who prefers to be called Tammy, is trying to figure out which gender he identifies with.

The FoxNews website reports that his parents, Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel, have consented to Tommy/Tammy taking hormone blockers to delay puberty. This way, they say, he can have more time to figure out which gender he identifies with.  He began the hormone therapy over the summer, when doctors implanted the medicine in his upper left arm. The procedure will take place once a year until he’s 14 or 15 years old.

Tommy/Tammy was diagnosed with gender identity disorder at 7, but his parents say he expressed dissatisfaction with his male form when he was 3. At the time, he was learning sign language to help with a speech impediment, and he signed “I am a girl” to his parents. They corrected the language, thinking he’d misunderstood the sign for “boy,” but he was insistent.

It’s a controversial move, to be sure. The effects of the hormone blockers are not fully known and the brain is still developing at Tommy/Tammy’s age. Some see it as parents being supportive and trying to allow the child to decide his or her identity while others see it as an unsafe, psychologically damaging decision.

What do you think, readers? Is an 11-year-old child old enough to make these decisions for himself? Are his parents being open-minded or ignoring a larger issue?

- Carly Okyle