What Should My Daughter Call Me?

  • This topic has 27 replies, 25 voices, and was last updated 6 months ago by Anonymous.
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    • #35260

      I haven’t fully transitioned yet. I’m not living as female full time yet but hopefully will be soon. I am having a big dilemma. Once I am living as female full time I don’t know what to tell my 9 year old daughter to call me. If she still calls me “Dad” that’s perfectly fine with me I don’t want to make her call me anything she isn’t comfortable with but at the same time I would like something more feminine. Now, here is my dilemma: her mother, who I am not with but we are friends and communicate a lot, absolutely refuses to let me have any derivative of the word “mom”. No mama. No mommy. No ma. Nothing like that. She said she doesn’t know what to tell our daughter to call me so she just told her to call me by my name. My daughter says she wouldn’t feel right still calling me “Dad” once I am living as female. She doesn’t want to hurt my feelings but at the same time she doesn’t want to upset her mom either by calling me a derivative of “mom”. When I asked her mom about this I said I wanted to respect her and not tell our daughter to call me something related to “mom” without talking to her first and she said “I’m her only mom”. So for now we just decided to have her call me by my name, Faith. But that doesn’t feel right because there is the respect aspect of not calling your parents by their name. Is my daughter’s mother being unreasonable? Since our divorce she has since remarried and my daughter calls her stepdad “Dad”. She has been since long before my transition and coming out and no one ever asked me if it was OK. I am not good with confrontations and when I talk about something important to me I tend to cry a lot and I know when it gets closer to me going full time my ex and I need to talk about this again and I am afraid it will turn bad and I’ll give up just to avoid conflict and say it’s OK for her to call me Faith. Am I less of a woman if my daughter still calls me “Dad”? Is it disrespectful that she calls me by my name? How can I get my ex to let me have a derivative of “mom”? I just thought that maybe by asking these questions on here I could get some helpful feedback. Thank you so much!



    • #35274

      I had this dilemma with my daughter and her toddler.  He only knew me as a woman, but she was still calling me dad.  She did recognize the confusion it was starting to cause and he even once called me grandma.  My heart melted, but hers was hurting.  We considered variants such as p-ma but nothing worked.  Finally we settled on Miss Cloe.  It took him all of about 2 hours to figure out how to even pronounce Cloe, but now they both use it all the time.  The Miss part is respectful and it’s nice to hear my own name.  I’ll never be “mom” to my daughter, well at least in any reasonable expectation, but I do keep up hope she can find a way.  I just no longer dwell on it for my own sense of well being.

      • #35276

        Thank you! That helps me a lot actually.

    • #35281

      Hello Faith and I think Cloe with real world experience on the matter has it right.  But as your daughter is 9 and probably going on 20. Give her the respect and talk to her about it, see what she really wants to do.  Lay the arguments out if she wants them and does not just give you the hand like mine do.  And later on when she changes her mind respect her then too.  It is more about being a parent then any title you can give your self.


      Is you ex being unreasonable? Maybe but not really.  She is only human to and wants to be special and herself just like you do.  So let her be mom, that does not mean you are any less of a parent.




    • #35370

      Just let her decide what she wants to call you


    • #35433

      I’m nowhere near transitioning but do dress as a woman at home some times then my wife is away. My three sons age 19, 17 and 15 call me dad regardless of my presentation and I am ok with that. I’m not sure how we should do in front of others though. Maybe I could go by auntie Marianne not to cause questions.



    • #35700

      Thank you so much for sharing Faith, and what a beautiful name you were given!

      As for your daughter, I have some more ideas to throw in there for your thoughts:

      First some context:

      I’m not fully transitioned to full time, but I’m in that “trying to be full time” with only logistics holding me up at this point, and I’m battling through those.  That being said, I have 3 children; a son 9, and two daughters, 6 and 4.  I had to go no contact with my wife because of how abusive she is, but I did my best to convey my plans and transformation plans to my 9 year old.  I know he understood, because he was confused at first, but once he made the connection of my voice changing (it went like an octave higher and I can’t hide it LOL), he was really excited.  I had the kids a few days earlier, and they noticed how different my voice was, so when my son heard the reason when I had that little sit down with him in private, he looked very relieved to have some understanding, and happy, and said, “oh yeah!…”  They left for a weekend and I came out and they never came back except to hurt me (not the kids).  Anyway, now that I’ve given you some context, this is my plan:

      Sit down with my son, share my ideas with him, but ask him for his input.  I will ask him to take that stuff to the girls, and decide among them what they want to call me.  I want them to call me whatever is in their hearts to call me (assuming we have a mutually respecting relationship). If he comes back with something unreasonable, I’ll tell him why I think it is, and ask him to try again, or it may be, that they want me to pick or help them pick, which I can do as well.  This is the plan now, but ideally I’d like to have the first meeting with all 3!

      Also, I’m going to stay non-op as far as I can reasonably, other than hair removal and maybe some very slight other personal stuff…not even sure about hormones at this point yet, and I plan that appt, but don’t plan to take any per se.  The main reason is I feel pretty comfortable with my female presentation already, and I’ve only really just kind of begun.

      So Anyway, I will get with my kids and let tehm know some ideas to get there brains jogging, such as the following: SuperDad, MAD (Mom & Dad!), SuperMom, Joymommy, Joydaddy.

      I’ll will also let them stick with Daddy, or Dad, at least for the younger ones, but for the 9 yr old, and considering his maturity level, I expect him to be ok with something more creative.  If he isn’t though, I will know I think, and then I’ll change those expectations LOL, and he can keep calling me what he has been, but I’ll ask him to start thinking, and when he is ready with something to let me know.

      I think it is important to keep in mind that names we are called by our children are usually evolving, even if it’s just from Dada to Daddy to Dad or Father, or whatever…we are asking of them something that is typically done naturally, albeit we are asking for a rather extreme version of this process, and asking for it to take place at a certain time, so forcing in a sense, but with gentleness, love, and grace and mercy.

      Finally, I’ll make sure before I give them time to think, that they know my preference.  I’m not sure what mine is right now, but for example, I’d say, “So, the name that I like the best, and I’m secretly-not-so-secretly hoping you might pick, is ‘Supermom’, so think about what you might like or dislike about that one, and then think about the others, and decide what your favorite is, then come tell me!”

      Another thing I’m doing with them is emphasizing that I will play the role of “Dad” whenever they feel like they need “Dad” and don’t have one.  I will do everything in my power to be Dad for them in those moments, and I think I can do a well enough job, even if it’s only in thought, or action, and not look 😀

      I understand this last part might be easier said then done, but I will at least offer that and try.  This is my own personal thing I insist on for myself alone, and I’m only adding it here for additonal context.

      Good luck and much hope forward!

      Joy Hope Scott

    • #35792

      Agree with Cami. Jennifer Boylan has used Maddy as a compromise for a long time with her kids. I suppose when kids become adults, usage of first name can be an option.

    • #52563

      Wow thats something i had not considered myself as I start HRT next week. I have two older daughters that I am not too concerned about their pronouns. But I also have triplet babies that are 20 months old, and dad was the first word they pronounced. Interesting quandary, I dont want to confuse them, but at the same time your all right. Well that was an unthought of pothole in my day. Thanks for bringing it up and i feel your concern. Traci

    • #62498

      Thank you so much for sharing and asking the question. I’ve been agonising about this one for months as well. Perhaps agonising too much.

      I’ll be honest and say that the answer I voted for is “Faith”. This is because I personally really want to hear people using my female name right now, and so I’d suggest “Sophie”. On the other hand, my children are both significantly older than 9.

      Also, I noticed that your daughter has a step-Dad who gets called “Dad”. So my naive thought is that if she can have two Dads and one Mom, then she can certainly have two Moms and one Dad… nothing wrong with that at all.

      In my own case, I’m already getting mixtures of ‘Dad”, ” Daddy”, “Didi” and the occasional “Mum” quickly followed up by an apology. That’s even before I’ve come out as Sophie and tried to explain what “transgender” is, which is a conversation I’m not looking forward to, though am beginning to suspect will go a lot easier than my worst fears. “Maddy” definitely won’t work in our case, as it is already in use for a relative.

      I think the name slips are a bit revealing, because I am – frankly – rather girly even in male form, and the way their birth mum and I care for them is practically indistinguishable. We have equal shared care, and the children live alternately between houses (though it was one hell of a fight getting to that point). We’re both still single, and nursing serious divorce wounds. However at some point in future the kids might well have two mums and two step-dads. Which sounds insanely weird, but would probably be quite comfortable for them socially, as long as they don’t go into too much detail which of us is the step parent and which the birth parent.


    • #82416
      DeeAnn Hopings

      [postquote quote=35792][/postquote]

      As I remember, they used that on TRANSPARENT. Maybe nearing about Borland is where they got it from…

    • #82618

      I declined to vote, because none fitted with my feelings on this matter.
      My daughter and son were both adults when I told them about myself.

      Both call me Dad in private. When out with my daughter, so far has avoid callng me by my name and I’m ok with that. She is coming round to using my name and uses it on cards etc. The most touching was when we dined at a restaurant here in France during a brief visit. They had a wall where people wrote messages and she wrote our names with heart shape beside and dated 2020.

      Perhaps it’s ambitious to think that a child can easily switch to using another name that’s unfamilar. Maybe a softer solution may be an option such as a nickname. Quite acceptable used anywhere. It can  a unisex style or anything else that works with everyone comfortable with it.

      We all have different families with differing points of view. Any answer from above would be a generic one without knowing you or your family. It has to be a solution that sits well with you all. You could try to encourage your family to join you in a discussion, participating and contibuting towards the choice of name.

      Good luck

    • #82619

      Personally I believe that my children should call me what they feel comfotable with. Whether that be Dad. Daddy, or Traci. Mom is taken and i dont wish to make it confusing for them or cause a conflict with their mom. Although I do lean toward Maddie given a choice. A combination of daddy and mommy. Just my opinion.

    • #82949

      I voted for something else.  I think you should discuss this with your daughter.  9 year olds are very perceptive for their age.   Since “mom” may cause too much conflict, it’s up to you and her to figure out a compromise.  This may but likely won’t happen with the first discussion about coming up with a name.  You need to give it a little time but stay with it and make it a daily topic to bring up until the two of you come up with something that is nice and appropriate for her to refer to you as.

    • #88677
      April King

      My daughter called me “dad” the first few times we were out.  Didn’t really bother me, but I told her maybe it would be better to just call me “April” when we are out in public.  In private I don’t care.  Whatever makes her happy and comfortable.

      Of course I haven’t transitioned yet so perhaps I would feel differently if that time comes.  I just don’t ever envision her calling me “mom” however.  She’s 30 and I have never been her mom that entire time.  I’ve always been her dad.


    • #88681

      Good question, I have a soon to be 2 year old grandson. I have decided its okay for him to call me Grand Jace as to grandma. I think its cute.

    • #89098
      Michelle Lawson

      I actually did some online research about similar situations, and the results were as varied as those that dealt with them. My two boys still call me dad (they are 9 & 10), and my daughter (40) calls me whatever comes to mind at the time. I guess the ‘title’ is really just an acknowledgement of my status at the time they entered the world. But I did come up with a cute one; Maddy, a cross between the two. Michelle

      • #112253

        I heard that term Maddy before for some people that works. I believe every situation is different and it is up to everyone to decide themselves.

    • #89519

      My daughter is 13 and calls me DAD. I’ll never be “mum” to my daughter. She had a mum who died when she was just 7 years old. I came out in May 2018 and I label myself as non-binary genderqueer.  I am not on any HRT and neither have I had electrolysis. I have not worn masculine clothes in the last couple of years, other than maybe a couple of t-shirts and shorts. I dress as a woman 99.9% of the time. My daughter doesn’t like me in a dress or a skirt but she doesn’t live with me either. What I do is wear jeans or leggings when I am with her. I still wear makeup and my clothes are still feminine. I respect her wishes to a certain extent. She wants me to look masculine but I don’t want to because I don’t really feel comfortable in masculine clothes. I don’t feel I want to be a cis-man. I’m not comfortable pretending to be what I am not but I am willing to make compromises for my daughter while she is still young.

    • #91286

      Well im going through the same thing my daughter is 18 im a female turning male im still mom to her its hard they called you mom or dad all their lives and thats what they are going to do ik its hard i asked her the same question but my daughter said you are always my mom and always will be i will call you mom as a man or a woman and i allow her to do such that

    • #92034

      I would want my 19 year old son (with an ex) to still call me Dad, and I would tone down my female presentation around him to a more gender neutral look. Nobody but my wife knows about my transition as of right now. Ultimately, the healthiest thing to do is discuss with you child(ren) what is most comfortable for them, and then roll with it. Hopefully that matches up with what your wishes are, but it can be very hard for young minds to deal with, so I’d make it easier for them, first and foremost.

    • #100894

      Thank you for this question its something I need to think about myself, i share custody with my ex and kids are 9 and 11 but dont know about me being trans, their mother knows and is supportive but has asked that I dont tell them until if and when I go female full time, i think in that regard I’d rather they still called me dad but I’d go with what they were comfortable with, hope you have a good resolution to this issue i can feel your pain x

    • #100969

      My son whom is 15 and daughter whom is 13 call me dad most of the time and sometimes Allison.I am cool with that and no problems with that

      • #112250

        I don’t mind if my kids still call me dad or Amanda. It will always be their choice.

    • #103302
      Denise R

      Hello Faith, thank you for this question, I have another alternative if I may.  I agree that it is a bit disrespectful for the children to call you by name.  Having mine call me mom or any other form is just out of the question.  That would be totally improper in my book.   I have a dear friend who provided me with the  answer I was looking for.   She has her children and now grandchildren refer to her as Aunt.  Still a very respectful way of address, that I personally prefer to the option of dad, or mom.  XXXOO Denise

    • #140214

      She should call you whatever she wants.  If she’s comfortable with that, and you yourself are the same, what else matter?  Like you I have a daughter who will ask me that same question.  My guess is that her response will probably be quite telling.   I envy you, I’m years away from being me. And every year waiting seems to get longer and longer.

    • #140236

      Let her decide that. Do not try to sway her decision. You can ask her why she chooses to c@ll you whatever but respect her decision. It’s her right.

    • #141155

      This is a matter between you and your daughter, your ex should not be part of this, she should stay silent and encourage your daughter to talk to you if sge has any questions. Remember sheis youe “ex” for a reason.

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