- July 20, 2021 at 2:07 pm #114861Kayleigh CharnellParticipant
<p style=”text-align: left;”>My son has told me he wants to identify as female. He is 14. I want to support him but the thought of him being bullied terrifies me. My partner (not my son’s day) does not believe that this is how my son feels and that it is just to fit in. I am truly struggling and not sure the best way to show my support.</p>
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- July 21, 2021 at 12:17 am #115057DeeAnn HopingsAMBASSADOR
Fortunately we have outgrown many of the incorrect notions around gender, but some still persist. MANY people will say that they knew they were different from very young ages, but they didn’t understand it, didn’t have the vocabulary to describe it, etc. What people don’t understand is that our sexuality and gender identity are innate. We can’t ignore it and we can’t change it. This is why conversion therapy doesn’t work. You can’t change something that is a fundamental part of our being.
I’ll suggest a few things…
- The first is search around for support groups for parents of trans kids. That can be a good source of information and to learn how other parents are dealing with the situation.
- Definitely agree with finding a therapist experienced in gender issues. This is important because not every therapist has this understanding or interest. The Psychology Today magazine maintains a searchable database of therapists from all over the world. Each submits a brief write-up as to the types of patients they work with.
- Look for LGBT centers in your area. They can be a wealth of information and may help you connect with transgender resources that can be helpful.
- There is a very well written and researched book: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Trans (but were afraid to ask) by Brynn Tannehill. LOTS of information about being trans, medical health, mental health, religion, politics, social aspects, etc. The religion and political parts are written from a US perspective, but I suspect the thought processes may be similar in the UK.
One thing that is helpful, I think, is that your child trusted you enough to reveal some very deep-seated feelings. Many young people feel that they cannot do that without serious repercussions. To me, that indicates the level of respect and understanding that you are not going to create an upheaval. That sounds like a great starting point!
One final thing that I believe is significant: Allow your child to tell their story. After all, it is the child’s story and not the parents. Everyone should have the privilege of telling their own story in their own way…
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- July 20, 2021 at 11:10 pm #115054Emily AltUNITY
I know several people that feel similar to your partner – that being trans is trendy or a phase that one grows out of. Decades of personal experience tell me they are mistaken.
I knew I was different when I was 4. Deep down, I’ve always wanted to be a girl. Those feelings came and went with cycles of exploration and purging. I’ve lost count of the times I tried to be someone I’m not meant to be. It doesn’t work. 6 years ago I got real and admitted I’m trans. I wish I’d done it 30 years sooner.
I know this is difficult. You have a daughter that needs your acceptance, support, and unconditional love. She is the only person that can decide if she’s following the right path. Allow her to be herself. And be honest about the challenges she will face. Some people may refuse to accept her. She may be bullied. She may face discrimination. Tell her none of that diminishes who she is. Help her build the confidence she will need to thrive.
I wish you and your daughter only the best. Emily
- July 20, 2021 at 2:45 pm #114869Anonymous
Hi Kayleigh ,
It’s not phaze to fit in with others , these feelings run very deep within since birth und fighting these feelings is challenging enough . I understand on the bulling part . I was bullied in my school years every day . Regardless of what age we transition there will always be bullies towards us . It is frightening but the best way to beat a bully is not give in to there power , take their power away and they have nothing left . Easier said then done , names and such do hurt even more when we are at a younger age and look up to the world . I also learen’t self defence and this help me emotionally as well as spiritually .
Is your son seeing a therapist or will be heading down the route ? This is the best place to start and you can also partake in the sessions as well . It will help you both to have a better understanding of each other and supporting each other as well as he continues on his journey .
Take an active part in his transition , help with clothing , hair and makeup , mannerism . Let her explore and choose the style …
- July 20, 2021 at 2:34 pm #114866Krystal GarvenFREE
Well you know I new at 5 years old about who I felt I was early 1960’s but I noticed you use the pronoun ” HE ” for myself I’m insulted if a person can’t gender identify me as ” SHE ” and for a good reason as I’ve totally transitioned everything physically and legally – if you kid is truly M to F transgender you’d have to get a professional gender psychologist to seriously diagnose as having gender dysphoria – it’s a tough road to ho as old friends and family that initially at birth where told the child is a ” Boy ” – if the kid truly feels like a girl then ask the kid what pronoun makes them happy and look for acceptance from the child but ultimately no matter what support the kid – I had no support but was the real deal back in the day when you didn’t even talk about it – you need the psychologists diagnosis pretty soon as permanent male changes will be taking place and I can tell you from my own experience the 2 most important things to function in a biased world is the sound of a persons voice # 1 and facial features # 2 if you have that life will be a lot easier – XO – old transgender at 63 – Krystal
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