Can they really do this?

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    Topic
  • #32874
    Min Farshaw
    Participant

    I called my parents the other day and told them of my transition into a woman.  Being southern Baptist they were very stand offish.  They yelled at me saying they did not and would not approve of my transition and said I was stupid and crazy for doing so.  They then told me I was not to under any circumstances tell my nearly 13 year old daughter about my transition.  If I do they swore to cut off any contact I could have with her.  I know that I’m truly a woman and can’t live life as a man any longer.  The idea truly sickens me.  I’m so unsatisfied with my body and depressed as a man I’ve contemplated suicide many times.  I can’t hide who I am truly to my daughter.  However, if I do let her know I’ll lose her.  Yet I can’t live as a man just to please my parents and keep my daughter.  I know I probably sound selfish and a terrible parent.  Yet I know if I’m forced to live life as a man I won’t make it.  I’m sure I’ll kill myself because of how unhappy and empty it makes me to do so.  Can they really cut off contact?  If so what are the odds of me winning a court case to getting my daughter back being transgender now?  I’m needing help and advice badly.

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    • #62556

      Since your parents have custody, I believe they have legal advantage in this situation.   I don’t know the circumstances that lead to your surrendering parental rights, but that prior history won’t help.   Given the fact that you live in another state and do not have custody, the wisest course of action would be to wait this out.   Don’t give your parents any basis for obstructing visitation and patiently wait for your daughter to reach 18.  At that point, they will lose control.

      Between now and then, use your energies to be the best absentee parent that you can be.   Make the next 4 years about being connected and caring as a parent….not about yourself.   Time goes by so quickly and your daughter is entering into the turbulent teen years.   Be there for her, and build a foundation for a lifelong relationship once she becomes an adult.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #62500
      Anonymous

      Dear Min, Oh what a dreadful situation! You have articulated my own worst fear here, and your reaction is I think the one I’d have (you teally don’t want to lose your daughter, but feel you simply must go on with your transition anyway). Did you make any progress with your parents, or your daughter? I do hope you are still with us, honey.

      It struck me on reading that you needed immediate legal advice, as all sorts of things might depend on why your daughter was living with your parents in the first place, is her bitth mother in the picture and seeking custody, are there any historical abuse allegations or issues,  or are there any custodial agreements already in place.

      It also struck me that (from their limited perspective) your parents may have been terrified for your life and your soul, terrified for your granddaughter as well, and simply went nuclear: jumped to the worst possible threat they could think of to try to dissuade you from transition because they think that’s best for you. It’s hard that they could hurt you so badly out of love, but it probably feels like tough love to them. And as long as they do still love you, there is hope that they will come around some day xxx

    • #33018

      Hi Min,

      Terrible situation to be in and as a father, feel your pain. I have three daughters. One of 14, 12 and 4. My 14yr old has always known, even before I came out to my wife and loves helping me dress and do makeup. She even had a poll at school to help me choose a name (Still awaiting final outcome) I think we’re down to 5 names now. She’s a lovely person and very understanding. I recently came out to my 12yr old and that didn’t go so well. She thinks I’m disgusting and hasn’t spoken to me in a month. My 4yr old thinks its just a game and Dad enjoys dress-up. I also have a 17 soon to be 18 son. I’m terrified of telling him, and so holding off for now. Once he’s 18, its not really my problem anymore. If he doesn’t like it, he can leave.

      Whats the relationship like with your daughter? Do you think she would understand? I’ve found that when I came out to my eldest daughter, a day of clothes shopping and comparing fashion tastes seemed to help pave the way. I made her feel special and shared my opinion on things whilst listening and respecting hers.

      How about getting your daughter on side (maybe) and then if your parents make you stay out of her life for a while, you atleast stand a chance of being able to reappear later on and it will be less of a shock to your daughter. At that time she can make up her own mind if she wants to know you or not. If you were to commit suicide or leave without telling her, she will never know the truth and your reasons not known to her. She would end up blaming you for every miss-step in her life.

    • #32898
      Kirsten C
      FREE

      Well I live in a much more liberal state, but I won full custody of my child even with being in transition. My ex even tried to bring it up during our court case, and the judge told her that meant we were both moms and would be treated as equals in her eyes. I wasn’t out at the time, but it was the reason for our separation years before.

      Im not too sure how different things are in Tennessee unfortunately, so it’s really a judgement call on your part. I would keep trying to educate yourself parents as well. You just never know.

    • #32892

      I can sympathize with you, my in laws threatened to take my kids away if I did not cease my attempts to transition.  My wife and I are together with our kids and my counselor said she had no such power, but it sounds like your case is different.  I am waiting to ask my counselor how to deal with telling my kids, my in laws want me to wait until they are grown but my issues have affected my entire life and I have to do something.

      I hope you can find a path that works out for you.  I have not been the best father but it would destroy me to be shut out of my kids’ lives.

    • #32884

      Min,

      You don’t mention anything about the current situation or parenting arrangement. If your parents do not have legal custody of your daughter, and if there is no protection order, prohibiting access to her, they can definitely make it difficult for you, but not prevent you legally from seeing her. That having been said, in a community with strong fundamental religious beliefs, the authorities, (i.e. county attorney, social welfare workers, etc) May be strongly influenced by those with whom they share religious views, and can have an unfair impact on your situation. Some other organizations are:

      https://www.lambdalegal.org/know-your-rights/article/trans-immigrants-resources

      http://www.nclrights.org/forms/national-lgbt-legal-aid-forum/

      • #32886

        My parents have power of attorney.  They are conservative and old fashioned.  They live in Hamilton County Tennessee.  I’m pretty sure that I would have trouble in this.  Much of the surrounding area is inside a Bible belt.  I live in Missouri so I’m not sure if I’d have to go through Tennessee State law or Missouri State law.  I’m fairly certain my case is complicated.  I know suicide isn’t the answer but I also know that I’m very unhappy living as a man.  I feel empty and incomplete.  So I think the best course of action is just pretend I’m a man around my folks until my daughter is 18 and out on her own.  At that point I will tell her what I am doing.  At that point it’s her choice to stay in my life or not.  If she accepts me that’s great if not then I did my best.  In the end my happiness and her well being are the most important to me.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #33041

          Hello Min

          Maybe I miss something, but where is her mother and what does she have to say?

          Love,
          Vicki E.

        • #32888

          Min, you have an excellent idea here. In the meantime you could get ready to transition maybe even get your hair removal done. I empathize with you. This sounds like a responsible approach.

    • #32879

      Min,

      I don’t think you should commit suicide. It’s not a healthy idea. Find a counselor today and start talking this stuff out. Transitioning is possible. Thing is that it’s a rough ride. Gotta be ship shape to have a chance at it. I could easily equate it to riding a mechanical bull. It’ll try to throw ya. Just when it feels easy it’s gonna spin you around and ya might land on your head. Nope, it doesn’t stop there, just get basck on and keep going. You are worth everything to yourself and your daughter deserves to have you in her life.

      Here’s a place to begin your family legal research. Yes, your state could possibly effect your family based on your transition and…maybe not. https://transgenderlawcenter.org/legal/family-law

      Chin up, Min, and may you find your way.

      Best,

      Dasia

      she/her/hers

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