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Guest Mother2Many

Supportive and utterly confused.

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Guest Mother2Many

Evelyn is 4 and has been insisting she's a girl for over a year now. (MtF) She's corrected family while talking to them, but really doesn't push it 100% of the time. She's started to ask for dresses and to grow her hair out. We've complied and her hair is now growing out and a 2 days ago we took her out, just by herself and got her some new clothes just for herself.

Now she wears the same size as her one sister J, and we've repeatedly told her she can wear J's clothes whenever she wants, but she NEVER does! SO we thought if she had her own girl clothes she'd wear them.

So the whole time we talked with her about getting new clothes and dresses she talked about getting pink and purple dresses and shirts. We gave her free range of choice and yet she walked away with blue and green girl clothes instead, LOL We seriously thought she'd be more excited about her new clothes, but she's not! The ONLY thing she wanted to wear was green St Patrick's Day Spongebob t-shirt with the blue leggings she got. & the blue leggins goes with the beautiful blue floral shirt, but she didn't want to wear that. We even got a cute blue hair pretty to go with everything (seriously matches all she picked out). So yesterday her sister J, noticing Evelyn wasn't wearing the new dress asked if she could wear it. LOL She wore it all day long. Evelyn hasn't wanted to change out of Spongebob.

***Side note, we went to pick out new shoes to go with her outfits, since the navy blue sneakers and transformer boots don't go well with floral. As we sat down to try some shoes on, it got uncomfortable as a couple of ladies entered the aisle with us and seemingly walked back and forth looking at US the entire time as if to try and figure out why I was putting pink sneakers on a boy. I, for the most part ignored them and tuned them out, but the height of uncomfortablity was certainly felt, but I was ready to defend and fight for my baby. I always wear my rainbow "Ally" pin visibly, so I hope they saw it and understood, but OMG it was just a taste of things to come if Evelyn goes full force with this at any point.***

This child is really driving my DH & I crazy, LOL We're very supportive, and yes she is only 4 and this could all be a phase . . . a really long phase . . . but the fact of the matter is it's putting me through an emotional ringer. I first came here looking for support when Evelyn was at her most insistent, when I seriously started to mourn the loss of my son and began embracing a new daughter, yet there are days where I have no having intercourse clue what to do. I don't want to push this child into any gender role. DH and I have decided to just consider her to be "undecided" at the moment.

Yes, she says she's a girl, and YES she insists her name is Evelyn, but it seems that's the extent of it! I don't know what to do with that. If we could afford a good therapist we'd be there in a heartbeat, but we just finally got our new health insurance and were dumbfounded by the insanely weird and never heard of company and plan. I know we have a local PFLAG and plenty of LGBT support in our church to turn to, but it is still very difficult to gauge at the moment where Evelyn is going with all of this.

I guess I worry too much, but as time wears on and she begins this transformation people will start to notice the longer hair the girlier clothes and questions will begin and so will the judgement, especially the judgement on us parents "allowing" (eye roll) this to "happen". UGH! Especially from the Mormon family. I don't know if I can explain anything considering Evelyn doesn't seem to be 100% into it from time to time.

Currently we are letting her grow her hair out, we've gotten her her own girl clothes which she doesn't wear (yet - and we didn't get many until she showed us she'd really wear them - it's a good thing her sister can wear them if she doesn't), we call her by Evelyn when we remember or when Evan reminds us. Other than that we let her correct us and others, which isn't often so probably 95% of the time we call her Evan. 99.9% of the time she wears her boy clothes and undies and NEVER complains. She plays mainly with the "boy toys", but our family has been really non-gender when it comes to play things. If the girls wanted cars they'd get them & if the boys wanted dolls they got them.

I just needed a place to get this out there. I just hate being this frustrated I guess. Not to many understanding places you can turn to to vent about stuff like this. Too many "Christians" on the 'mommy boards' that wouldn't understand.

I do believe I will start confiding more in with one of my good friends who is a Lesbian and teen advocate . . . she works with troubled kids basically. She was the first one we told told about Evelyn. I think she might be able to help us some.

So any ways that's where we're at at the moment. A transitional limbo is what it feels like. {{{sigh}}}

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Guest Melissa Lissa

She sounds a lot like my 3 year old daughter. Sometimes she wants to wear princess dresses(or LaLaLa dresses as she calls anything princessy) and other times its spongebob, etc and other times she hates everything we try to dress her in and only wants to go naked. Sometimes she wants to play dress up or house or dolls, other times she wants to play with a nerf gun and shoot us(it's scary how good she's gotten at playing dead when we shoot back) or pick up a stick and swordfight or play cars with her cousin.

The insisting on being called Evelyn is probably the biggest sign that she's going through some gender identity issues. Most of us here remember some portion of our younger years and really wish that we had had parents that would have allowed that kind of behavior and would have allowed us to simply be ourselves. Myself, I know that my parents still tease me about playing with purses when I was younger and my father made the statement when I was around the age of 3 or 4 that real men don't eat salads and I didn't start eating salads until I was in those rebellious teen years.

So my advice as a parent and as a ts person, is to let her express herself how she wants, and let her know she's loved no matter what. At the age of 4, forcing her into either gender could be something that both you and/or she could later regret, it takes a long time to come to terms with gender issues, I'm still figuring it out and I'm 27, though to be fair I had a concrete idea of what gender I was supposed to be by the time I was in puberty, which if she has accepting parents, will likely be when she can confidently figure it out. Forcing her into one gender will definitely make her an easier child to raise and to get along with other families, but at the cost of her individuality and love for you(yes, if she's tg or ts she will likely hate you/blame you to some degree if you force her into a specific gender without her full consent, not fully understanding it until she's older, if ever).

These thoughts are from my own personal experiences and everyone is different, so I'm definitely not an expert on the subject; a therapist would probably be a good idea, if you can't afford one now that's probably okay, but by the time she's in puberty if she's still unsure and having trouble a therapist might be a must, I know from my own experience that those years were the worst.

Good luck with everything.

Melissa

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Guest Melanie54

Hmmm, the thing that is hard to separate is gender identity and gender expression. For instance I am a woman there is just no way around it. Granted I'm kinda tomboyish in some aspects. I like darker and scene kind clothing and I am involved with my metal head guy friends and their band. =P I like video games and dungeons and dragons, all the boy things. However I do like some other girl things like fashion and shopping and stuff.

Whether I am into glitter and pink or heavy eyeliner and guitars I am a woman. ^_^

Come and vent anytime! =) We're here to listen.

Madison

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Guest Mother2Many

I'm certainly NOT trying to force her into a gender. As a mom I'd prefer my Evan over Evelyn. I'm just trying to follow her lead which is proving more difficult that I thought it would be, as she doesn't always seem to know herself.

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Guest Mother2Many

Things are getting better. She's started wearing her clothes. She says one of her brothers makes fun of her so we're rectifying THAT problem, which is probably what was keeping her from wearing clothes that make her more comfortable.

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Guest leo

All I can say us good job. There is nothing more you can do. Just let your child express themself.

I have a 5 year old and it's weird me and my wife dont force gender stereotypes on her but she does to her self she will say boys can do this and girls do that ect. So I worry school may be putting this belief into her

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JJ

There was a time I remember when every gender stereotype was forced on children and rigidly enforced at home and at school. Then a time when it became the thing to enforce none-in fact to fight them and buy little girls trucks and boys dolls with frilly clothes regardless of their preferences. At least among the more liberal people-I was in the child development field at the time and getting my degree. Neither worked.

We of all people should know that some gender preferences are inborn due to brain wiring-actually from what I have been reading scientists have been amazed and surprised as new imaging techniques reveal more and more gender behavior is actually hard wired in the brain. Psychology is being turned upside down in some instances as we discover how little really is learned behavior when it comes to gender. How we express it is learned but the basic impulse is not. We ARE very different from one another as men and women. I suspect the sociologists and anthropologists are less surprised because they know that evolution would favor that scenario.

As far as worrying about the influence of school? Sure it will have some impact but it really is the parents who are the determining factor till around 12. As long as you keep your child talking about their lives at school and guide them about what they see and are taught you can counteract negatives and reinforce positives. After 12 you need to maintain guidance and contact and communication but your influence will wane. I was pretty much taught you need to teach them what they need to know as values by 12 pretty much and after that you can just guide them instead because you are no longer as influential as their peers.

What a child is taught about gender roles in society probably won't really influence them much as long as you teach them to follow their heart and have the confidence to be who they are regardless of peer pressure. As a trans person that lesson should be ingrained in their lives by your example. There is no more important lesson than that and no stronger way to teach it than seeing you live it in my opinion

Johnny

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