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I think my Son might be transgender


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Hi, 

 

I joined this group in hopes to get some answers and help.

 

For reasons I don't want to go delve deeply into, but I will specify it was out of concern for his safety I was checking my sons (15yo) text messages.

 

He has been speaking to a number of his friends with regards to being transgender and has asked to be referred to as She/Her. I will still use the he/him pronouns as he has not had this conversation with us so for now he is still our son. He has had a very diverse friendship group for the past 3 years and we have always been supportive of his friends and have had open conversations with him about this. 

 

I will say it comes as a shock that he is talking to his friends about being Trans as there have been no signs that he is questioning his gender. I guess my question is, should there have been signs? Is there something that we have missed or overlooked? 

 

How do we make him feel comfortable enough to talk to us about this? 

 

Thank you 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, MargieK said:

 

He has been speaking to a number of his friends with regards to being transgender and has asked to be referred to as She/Her. I will still use the he/him pronouns as he has not had this conversation with us so for now he is still our son. He has had a very diverse friendship group for the past 3 years and we have always been supportive of his friends and have had open conversations with him about this. 

 

I will say it comes as a shock that he is talking to his friends about being Trans as there have been no signs that he is questioning his gender. I guess my question is, should there have been signs? Is there something that we have missed or overlooked? 

 

How do we make him feel comfortable enough to talk to us about this? 

 

 

Hi @MargieK,

 

I have three children only a little older than yours and can only imagine the anguish you must be feeling at the moment. This is a very difficult thing for a parent to face and I commend you for seeking help.

 

My suggestion would be to seek a professional counselor with experience in gender issues for your child. You may even wish to visit them yourself and ask their advice about how to approach this. The sooner you address this the better.

 

No doubt this is a shock - but don't beat yourself up about not knowing. I knew from early childhood that I was, somehow, different. Without access to things like the internet I had no way of knowing exactly what this difference was  - but I knew, and I was ashamed of these feelings. And so, I got very very good at hiding it. Shame will do that to a child.

 

Your child sharing this with their friends is, obviously, a safe place for them. They may be "trying on" a new personae before accepting it. Maybe in time they will share this with you. Maybe they will decide its not for them.

 

I notice you are also in Australia. I suggest you visit the /r/transgenerau subredit and look through the resouces. You may find a suitable counsellor there.

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/transgenderau/wiki/resources-nsw

 

Good luck and please stay in touch

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4 hours ago, MargieK said:

Hi, 

 

I joined this group in hopes to get some answers and help.

 

For reasons I don't want to go delve deeply into, but I will specify it was out of concern for his safety I was checking my sons (15yo) text messages.

 

He has been speaking to a number of his friends with regards to being transgender and has asked to be referred to as She/Her. I will still use the he/him pronouns as he has not had this conversation with us so for now he is still our son. He has had a very diverse friendship group for the past 3 years and we have always been supportive of his friends and have had open conversations with him about this. 

 

I will say it comes as a shock that he is talking to his friends about being Trans as there have been no signs that he is questioning his gender. I guess my question is, should there have been signs? Is there something that we have missed or overlooked? 

 

How do we make him feel comfortable enough to talk to us about this? 

 

Thank you 

 

 

 

 

OK, good plan. He'll come out to you when she's ready. In the meantime you might want to try and prime the pump by reminding your kid that you're there for them and ready to be supportive. Being trans is a little scary. Kids get disowned and it can be hard to guess how your parents might react. For example, I was completely backwards on how my parents would handle the news. Completely blew me away.

 

You might want to come clean on the text messages if your child doesn't already know you check them. That would be a huge breach of trust for me, no matter how good the intentions were. Especially if I was discussing something sensitive with my friend group.

Of course we communicated by smoke signals back when I was fifteen, but I still wouldn't want my parents listening in on ANYTHING I was saying between close friends.

 

As to the signs? We hide very, very well. When you're little you learn to act in a certain way because that's what your parents expect. Personally, I managed to get that all tangled up with, "What if my parents won't love me if I'm myself?" Especially if you drop things like, "Boys don't..." and "Only girls..." without meaning to.

To be fair, my parents are hot garbage. You're already better because you're actually concerned about your child. So again, make sure your kid knows that you will love and support them no matter what.

 

So yeah, while I don't know your child, I'd sit them down for a real talk. Then I'd apologize all over myself for the text thing. I'd explain that I was concerned about their safety and use that as a segue into, "I'm concerned about you, but I'm your parent and I love and support you no matter what." That's a good point, talk to your child one-on-one. You don't want them to feel like you're ganging up. Your child should be comfortable and in no way threatened. Then I'd say what I found and ask if they would like me to use a different name or pronouns. Open and honest communication no matter what. Don't raise your voice. Don't make them feel like you're disapproving. You might even throw in an apology about not knowing they were so unhappy and ask about what steps they might want to take.

They're a minor, so any medical intervention (Puberty blockers and trips to the gender therapist) are going to be on you. Your kid needs to know that you're willing to help however you can.

 

Best of luck!

 

Hugs!

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MomTGDaughter

I did suspected it and wanted to make her feel at ease telling me. What I did was bought her two girl outfits and put it on her bed. I told her (him that the time) that I thought she would look cute in these. She was very shy at first, but after she tried eac one and kept one on, the rest is history. It's been in since march and nobody can tell she was born a boy unless they know it. 

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ElizabethStar

I agree with the other girl. We are good at hiding it. I even hid it from myself, but it was there. I wish my family would have sat me down and just asked, asked who I felt I was gave a little support. I know I left a lot of signs throughout the past, Some of then so subtle and and yet so meaningful. If I was ale to find and get support back then I wouldn't spent a lifetime living like a train wreck.

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@MargieK I think you let it come organically and I hope you have built trust in your child to be able to talk openly about feeling. When the topic comes but be supportive if the topic doesn't come up perhaps when stories about transgender come up on tv or news or social media make sure you mention that you understand their issue and are empathetic and build confidence in your child you want to listen.

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  • Forum Moderator
15 hours ago, MomTGDaughter said:

I did suspected it and wanted to make her feel at ease telling me. What I did was bought her two girl outfits and put it on her bed. I told her (him that the time) that I thought she would look cute in these. She was very shy at first, but after she tried eac one and kept one on, the rest is history. It's been in since march and nobody can tell she was born a boy unless they know it. 

 

Oh my goodness. That's so sweet, I could die.

 

Hugs!

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I agree with every thing that has been said already. To say that you are an amazing mom is a understatement in my opinion! I would add that she needs to know that you have her back, will support her unconditionally, listen to her without judgement, allow her to speak about anything and let her know that your home is a safe place where she can be herself.

 

Hugs,

Brandi

She, Her, Hers

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Thank you everyone for the support and advice. It means a lot. 

I'm not sure which pronouns to use as s/he, they(?) haven't come out to us yet. I have noted all responses have used the she/her. 

 

His friendship group is very diverse he has two trans friends f2m, non-binary, gay etc. We have always been very open and accepting when speaking with him about his friendship group and have always told him that whatever he or his sister chose with regards to sexuality as long as they are safe and happy, it's all we care about.

 

I just want her to feel comfortable coming out to us and to support whatever the next steps are for her. I feel if I were to ask straight out she will clam up. I have asked questions of her gender and sexuality when talking about her friends and she denies it. 

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9 hours ago, Jackie C. said:
On 9/23/2020 at 7:26 PM, MomTGDaughter said:

I did suspected it and wanted to make her feel at ease telling me. What I did was bought her two girl outfits and put it on her bed. I told her (him that the time) that I thought she would look cute in these. She was very shy at first, but after she tried eac one and kept one on, the rest is history. It's been in since march and nobody can tell she was born a boy unless they know it. 

 

Oh my goodness. That's so sweet, I could die.

Oh yes!

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Heather Nicole
On 9/22/2020 at 5:00 AM, MargieK said:

I guess my question is, should there have been signs? Is there something that we have missed or overlooked? 

 

In short: No.

 

To clarify:

 

I think most good parents in your position would be worrying about the same thing. That's why, if there's one thing I think every caring, understanding parent should know about transgender, it's this:

 

If your kid is even old enough to understand "boys" vs "girls" at all, then chances are they already have more than enough basic socialization under their belt to know full well "This is something I need to be extremely cautious about revealing." And not only is this something people are instinctively good at hiding from others (in our society, it falls under basic survival), but as people here have said, many of us can also be equally adept at hiding it from ourselves. (Which is why I'm actually impressed by your child, considering my own history.)

 

I myself had occasional thoughts of wishing I could become a girl, on and off, since I was in elementary school. This was around the 1980's/90's, and I'm very shy (maybe the feminine part of me?), so naturally I kept it as hidden as anyone could ever hide anything. I'm approaching 40 now and, by my deliberate intention, my parents still have no idea. In fact, literally, nobody I've ever known in person has ever been granted so much as the slightest hint until just yesterday when I finally asked my psychiatrist for help in finding a good gender therapist.

 

So no, you absolutely have no reason to worry about overlooking any signs. If there weren't any signs, it's because your child deliberately chose not to leave any. (This isn't anything like substance abuse where cognitive faculties are being impaired. It's just a natural, though less common and therefore less understood, state of being.)

 

But...one thing, if you'll pardon my advice, that I would recommend being very careful of...Don't let on that you read their texts! It is a fairly big personal privacy violation, but don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to chastise you at all: I can certainly understand a parent's worry for their teenager's safety and your reasons for doing so. Not to applaud it either, of course, but sometimes parenting has gray areas, just as life does, and I absolutely understand that. But a teenager isn't likely to understand parental concerns, and will not likely see it with much understanding.

 

I'm being roundabout, but I guess my point is this: No matter the reason, no matter how justified or not, this is the kind of thing that drives a huge wedge between teens and parents and damages trust (Imagine if you found out as a teenager that your parent read your diary.) And let's face it, parenting a teenager is hard enough without handing them on a silver platter extra reasons to withdraw from you or even hate you. And believe me, teenagers can hold a grudge! Even moreso if it's something as deeply, personally sensitive as being trans. So IMO, now that you have the information you needed (ie, that they aren't in any direct danger), don't do it again, and save revealing that you did so (if ever) for when he/she is old enough to show enough signs of understand parenting concerns themself.

 

Even with trans-ness aside, being a teenager can be a difficult time for anyone. It's all about practicing how to be an independent adult while still having a very subconscious (but still very real) need for invisible parental support, but on their own terms whenever possible (otherwise it wouldn't be useful practice at being an adult!)

 

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Heather Nicole
6 hours ago, Jandi said:
14 hours ago, Jackie C. said:
On 9/23/2020 at 7:26 PM, MomTGDaughter said:

I did suspected it and wanted to make her feel at ease telling me. What I did was bought her two girl outfits and put it on her bed. I told her (him that the time) that I thought she would look cute in these. She was very shy at first, but after she tried eac one and kept one on, the rest is history. It's been in since march and nobody can tell she was born a boy unless they know it. 

 

Oh my goodness. That's so sweet, I could die.

Oh yes!

 

Took the words right out of my mouth! I can't even image how special that moment must have been for her!

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So they left a note for is last night, very simple. It read "I'm trans. Leave me alone for a few hours, talk together and then maybe we can talk"

We had a short conversation, they were unable to explain exactly how they felt or what gender they thought they were. 

Both my husband and I reassured them that we love them no matter what. We are booked in with the GP to get a referral to a psychologist specialised in gender dysphoria.

They have asked that we continue to refer to them as we always have for now. 

I am so proud of them and the courage they showed. Such a big step forward for them and now little steps for us all. 

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  • Forum Moderator
On 9/23/2020 at 4:26 PM, MomTGDaughter said:

I did suspected it and wanted to make her feel at ease telling me. What I did was bought her two girl outfits and put it on her bed. I told her (him that the time) that I thought she would look cute in these. She was very shy at first, but after she tried eac one and kept one on, the rest is history. It's been in since march and nobody can tell she was born a boy unless they know it. 

 

2 hours ago, MargieK said:

Both my husband and I reassured them that we love them no matter what. We are booked in with the GP to get a referral to a psychologist specialised in gender dysphoria.

Wow, Have times changed! I would’ve had my jaw drop to the floor if I had parents like you two!!! I’m feeling a little jealous of your children right now (kidding). If parents of my generation had half the empathy and knowledge you both have, I probably wouldn’t need a therapist these days! Incredible people you both are! You’re both doing the right things for your children. Thanks you for reaching out and being so supportive of your child!

 

Susan R🌷

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  • Forum Moderator
4 hours ago, MargieK said:

So they left a note for is last night, very simple. It read "I'm trans. Leave me alone for a few hours, talk together and then maybe we can talk"

We had a short conversation, they were unable to explain exactly how they felt or what gender they thought they were. 

Both my husband and I reassured them that we love them no matter what. We are booked in with the GP to get a referral to a psychologist specialised in gender dysphoria.

They have asked that we continue to refer to them as we always have for now. 

I am so proud of them and the courage they showed. Such a big step forward for them and now little steps for us all. 

 

Perfect. I hope you and your child continue to have such a lovely relationship. I wish I had felt as loved and supported when I was that age. Or, honestly, ever. I'm so happy for all three of you! May the future bring you joy, happiness and love.

 

Big hugs!

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@MargieK I think the most important thing to remember is to be supportive no matter how the conversations go or start or finish.... keep communication lines open and keep your heart open.....

 

 

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MomTGDaughter
On 9/24/2020 at 1:58 PM, MargieK said:

Thank you everyone for the support and advice. It means a lot. 

I'm not sure which pronouns to use as s/he, they(?) haven't come out to us yet. I have noted all responses have used the she/her. 

 

His friendship group is very diverse he has two trans friends f2m, non-binary, gay etc. We have always been very open and accepting when speaking with him about his friendship group and have always told him that whatever he or his sister chose with regards to sexuality as long as they are safe and happy, it's all we care about.

 

I just want her to feel comfortable coming out to us and to support whatever the next steps are for her. I feel if I were to ask straight out she will clam up. I have asked questions of her gender and sexuality when talking about her friends and she denies it. 

You referred to her by her female pronouns once, thene you want on to use them or they. Why don't you just make it easier for her by referring to her as a girl, she, her and your daughter? 

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3 hours ago, MomTGDaughter said:

You referred to her by her female pronouns once, thene you want on to use them or they. Why don't you just make it easier for her by referring to her as a girl, she, her and your daughter? 

Because they aren't entirely sure themselves. They asked us to refer to them as we normally would He/him/his for now. So on here I will use probably use a mixture of different pronouns. It is helping get my head around it too. 

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