Transsexual

[deleted account] ( 26 moms have responded )

My daughter is 8 years old and since she was three years old, she's talked about being a boy. She wears all boy clothes, wants to wear a suit and tie for nice occastions, and wants to have an operation to make her a boy. I've basically decided that what ever she wants to do she can do when she's 18. Were very supportive with her choice, but it's getting harder for her to be at school. When she goes into the bathroom, they say "Why is there a boy in the girls bathroom?" I don't think she uses the bathroom much at school anymore because she comes home with wet pants sometimes. This has taken such a toll on our family for so many years. She now wants a buzz cut and I just can't decide whether I will kill her spirit by not letting her do it or if I'm making the right decision on not letting her do it. She has such a kind heart and is very sensitive. I'm so confused, so if anyone has any ideas or thoughts, please help. If you have something negative to say about this, save your fingers, I've heard it all and that is not why I'm writing this.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Kimberly-Jo - posted on 02/18/2009

1

24

0

I see through brief review that others have posted about your daughter being in therapy and seeing doctors and I must agree, but maybe for a different reason. I am not a doctor but the persistence your daughter is showing could be because of something that may have happened to her at the hands of a boy. She may not want to be a girl because she may be feeling her femininity has been removed.

Malinda - posted on 02/17/2009

385

4

41

In addition to counseling I would take her to see a medical doctor to get her endocrine system checked out. It is possible that she has a significant hormone imbalance or that perhaps she has hermaphroditic characteristics (such as an ovary that is actually formed as a testical) that have never been discovered before. Barring this being a medical issue (and keep in mind that I am in no way implying that your daughter needs to be altered or "cured" of anything here, it's just a possibility that could explain her behavior) I really think that you need to find a good counsilor that has experience with gender confusion to help guide you and your family. I'm sure this is an extremely difficult situation for your family and I have nothing but hope and good thoughts for you.



If your doctors determine that there are no medical implications and she choses to go ahead with a gender altering proceedure (and I agree with your desicion to have her wait until she is 18, though puberty may be very challenging for her and require a great deal of support from your family as well as trained professionals), please become very educated about the different kinds of proceedures out there. While the concept is truly in it's medical infancy, there is a great deal of support and information out there that can help you and your daughter make the best desicions to support her choices and feelings.



Good Luck to you!!

Torri - posted on 02/17/2009

29

6

4

My sister in law had a similar experience with her son and took him to a counselor who helped him with his diagnosis of "gender confusion" I would suggest looking into that first and then proceeding day by day. Did you ever ask her why she wants to be a boy? They told my sister in law that many young children who go through this gender confusion have in some way suffered from sexual abuse. It's horrible to think about considering the age that she started asking. Well I hope something i've said helps in some way.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

26 Comments

View replies by

ADJ - posted on 02/18/2009

28

31

0

You seem like a mom who loves her daughter unconditionally, and will always be there for her when she needs support. That is wonderful to see. I would caution you to not take for granted the fact that it could very well be a hormonal issue or physical issue causing these feelings. Just don't rule out the idea that this could very well be something that with the proper diagnosis, could actually be turned around. Please don't take this the wrong way. I am only saying that automatically buying into the idea that this is irreversible could do her more harm than good. What happens if you decide to do the procedure, then find out later that it was actually a hormone imbalance causing this? You will have stepped in and totally reversed the direction of her life, based on a misdiagnosis.



I agree with the advice given: give her love and security at home, but refrain from anything drastic.

Sarah - posted on 02/18/2009

175

0

19

I think it's wonderful that you're so supportive of your child. I agree with what some of the previous posters have said about talking with her school about the bathroom issue. They should be able to work something out with you to address that issue.

I would also suggest looking into counseling. Though I would caution you to choose somebody who is GLBT friendly rather than someone who thinks your child needs to be "fixed"...as that's likely to compound any existing issues. A good counselor will be able to help your daughter sort out her feelings (whatever those are) and help her gain the skills and confidence to deal with the other children in healthy ways.

Michelle - posted on 02/18/2009

193

75

20

I wish I had an easy answer for you! My daughter is 14 and just recently started telling us she wants to be a boy. I ask her why and that she has to have some reason for feeling this way all of a sudden. I tried to explain to her that most kids who want to change their gender know this at a very young age. But now at 14? If what she says it true, then my sistuation is harder to deal with then yours. We have our daughter in therapy for other reasons and this was brought up.



As for your situation, I would seek professional help for your daughter and one just for you. You need to have someone to open up to and talk this out. If you have someone to talk through these thigns with, you are better equipt to help her through this transition.



Talk to the school, of course. I just saw this show last night (Law and Order) it had a transitional boy to girl on there. That child used the nurses bathroom, because the kids teased her for using the other bathrooms. That may help your child.



I wish you the best of luck! Remember, that you will love your child, no matter what the gender. Oh, and when (and if) the changes take place, you will need to talk to someone where you will be able to grieve the loss of your daughter and learn to interact with your new son. Again, my heart is with you!

Ashley - posted on 02/18/2009

36

54

0

I am very pleased to hear that you allow your child to be the way he/she wants to be. Actually when I was younger I never said that I wanted to be a boy but I did dress in boy clothes and I had a boys hair cut (really really short) I did look like a boy but I loved it because my brother was my best friend and i grew up with boys. You should get the councelling. But as a comment to the mohawk one.. Its a buzz cut, she isnt getting a mohawk or dying her hair a crazy colour.. a buzz cut is a perfectly normal hair cut

Leanne - posted on 02/18/2009

4

0

0

Your a great mom, continue to stand by your child. YOU are there only and best advocate she will ever have. As for the bathroon situation, tell the school, and I mean "TELL", don't ask, that they make accomodations for your child. She should be provided special accomodation to use a staff restroom or be allowed a pass while class is in session . The school is not protecting her and she has that right.

Michele - posted on 02/18/2009

7

20

0

Janet, it is wonderful that your children can grow and be secure knowing that you will always support their decisions. I had 3 older brothers, I would not wear a dress/skirt for any amount of bribing, played the roughest sports (mainly to be cool in the eyes of my siblings) and for all intensive purposes wanted to be a boy ... except, I really didn't know what that meant until I was 12 ... then I had crushes on all those boys I played with.
My point is, an 8 year old's reasoning for wanting to be a boy is completely different than a 14 year old's or an 18 year old's ... As many others have stated ... a physical exam, then councilling is a great idea and will do no harm (hopefully you find that it all stems from her big sister telling her repeatedly when she was 3 that she wished she had a little brother ... and she is just trying to make her sister happy).

Go with it, don't dwell on it ... if she wants a buzz cut - give her one, wants to wear a suit ... go for it and add a top-hat in for fun. Clothes and hair cuts will not turn her into one ... so, no harm done ... Give her some options on how to deal with teasing (probably only one or 2 kids that are a part of it), let the school know it is happening and request that she be allowed to leave class to go instead of in between classes when all the other children go.
Good luck and keep supporting her, because in the end... that will make the difference

Leah - posted on 02/17/2009

19

32

5

I applaud you!  It will be tough for quite some time to come, but you should get into counseling as well as your daughter.  I also agree while it may be embarrassing to go to your family doctor, you should make sure that she doesn't have some kind of imbalance. 



As for the issues with school, I would make an appointment with the principal and also the school guidance counselor!  Let them know how she feels, talk with them (with your daughter) and see if they can offer you any kind of support whether it be starting a group where she and others may help each other.  Or maybe they would be able to point you and your family in the right direction for outside help.  I wish you and your family the best of luck and if anything I will say a prayer that guidance comes your way!



We all face times where it feels like there isn't a way out, but with love and support you and your family will make it through the rough waters we call life!  Best wishes to you and your family!

Maraea - posted on 02/17/2009

22

24

3

Quoting Michele:

I was not saying that a mohawk, or a buzz-cut, for that matter is good or bad. There is nothing wrong with either one. I just did not want my son to have one because I think they look ridiculous. Personally, the only time I even let my children have a buzz-cut is in the summer because I don't like the way that they look either... it's just my opinion. My point was that you can say no to your children. It is healthy and important to set rules too. You may think you are doing the best thing for your child to let them switch genders, but how can you see it is the best thing when kids are teasing to the point the poor child is afraid to go to the bathroom and is wetting her pants?



I think you should keep your opinions to yourself

Maraea - posted on 02/17/2009

22

24

3

I think that you being so supportive and loving to you daughter is a great thing and not judging her like some of these post have done. She obviously gets enough of that at school (children can be so cruel!)  I do think that maybe seeing a doctor or phsyciatrist may be a good step in the right direction even if it just lets your daughter know that there is nothing "wrong" with her. You are a very strong woman and I hope that you have the love and support that you need and know that if nothing else there are alot of us here that are willing to lend you a shoulder and an ear.



Good luck and best wishes xxx

[deleted account]

I see a lot of underlying negativity/misunderstanding in some of the posts and that makes me sad. First of all you are strong mother and good person for being so supportive of your child. Second, your daughter's school needs to be more supportive around the bathrooming issues. We have a lot of laws protecting GLBT youth here in Massachusetts. I am not sure about where you live, but I am confident that all students are supposed to feel safe and secure at school. At the very least, the school should offer your daughter use of a private bathroom, like the nurses office so she does not have to be harrassed. I am a middle school guidance counselor so I am encouraging you to pursue this avenue because you have a right as a parent to know that your child is safe at school. Next, some type of counseling would be beneficial but not necessarily to overcome gender confusion but rather to spend the next several years sorting this out. The "gender" issues that are still defined by the psychiatric community are likely going to be redefined or completely thrown out of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual altogether in the next decade. Homosexuality was in there until 1980! The most important thing you can do in this situation is the same as you would do in any situation that would make your child different from the mainstream population in some way and that is to be supportive, understanding, a good listener, and an advocate for your child. Like we all do, almost everyday: pick your battles. Outfits, haircuts, etc. might not be so important in the grand scheme of things. Lastly, there are lots of groups on facebook regarding transgender, sexual identity, etc. Browse and learn. However this comes out in the wash, you will need support too so take care of you. Best of luck to you. I can already tell you are a "mother warrior" as Jenny McCarthy would say and your daughter is lucky to have you as a mom!

Vivian - posted on 02/17/2009

1

0

0

How about a compromise with a short boyish haircut versus a buzz cut?  Counseling helped our son a lot as he became very depressed and suicidal before he accepted that he was gay.  It also took a lot of soul searching for us.  A therapist helped all of us and pointed out what a testament it is to a parents success in making their child feel loved and accepted and unafraid to share who they really are at an early age. My thoughts are with you.  Trust your gut!  

Rachel - posted on 02/17/2009

202

36

5

Hi i dont have any experience with this sort of thing and i just want to say that you are a wonderful person for being so honest about your situation. I really feel for you as this would be a hard thing to deal with as you cant just say no(like you could if she had asked for a $50 pair of shoes or a new t-shirt) so telling her no is'nt an option as it might do more harm than good. I would seek medical advice as she may have the condition were her overies have formed into testicals instead. If it was my daughter i don't know how i would feel personally but i would love and support my daughter no matter what just like you are doing. I wish you and your family all the luck in the world and i hope you find the answers that you need to continue helping your daughter. You sound like a WONDERFUL person and your daughter is very lucky to have a such a WONDERFUL MUM.

Nichole - posted on 02/17/2009

1

0

0

I believe that you should allow your daughter to have her buzz cut.  More importantly, I want you to know that the support you are giving her in her search for what is right for her is more important than anything she is getting from outside your home.  I have friends who didn't have the support you are showing even as adults.  I also agree with one of the other responders that it may help to talk to the school and bring them on board with how your daughter views herself.  I recently heard of a case where the family switched schools in order to allow their child to start school as the boy she wanted to be and enrolled her with a boy's name.  I don't know if that's something that your family would be willing to do, but it's something that worked for a different family.  Good luck to you and thank you for supporting your daughter.

Nicole - posted on 02/17/2009

334

28

28

As far as the bathroom my first thought being a teacher was to tell her to go to the nurses office. I feel for you and your child. Kids can be so cruel/ ignorant. Hang in there. I think you should see if there are support groups that could help. I think she is old enough to discuss this with. Good Luck

April - posted on 02/17/2009

32

10

3

Wow!  I can't imagine what my reaction would be if my 5 year old daughter told me she wanted to be a boy.  I would hope that I would be as strong and supportive as you.  At that age, though, one has to wonder if the child is mature enough to make such a life altering choice.  Some advice our pediatrician gave us when my daughter started asking VERY specific questions about the differences between boys and girls and the wonders of child birth, was to bombard her with specific, technical, information.  Now she will be the first to tell you that Daddy doesn't have boobies because he doesn't have a uterus, but at least now, I know that she was seriously curious, and not just saying sexual words to get a reaction out of people.  If you haven't already, I would present your daughter with as much detailed information as you can about the different options available, the reasons some people have chosen to change their genders, and maybe even to make sure you present both sides, people who chose to change genders, and then regretted it.  If nothing else, it will give her some things to think about and for the two of you to discuss.  Best of luck! 

[deleted account]

I think the situation is heartbreaking all the way around, and I have a lot of sympathy for you and for your daughter, as well as the rest of the family.  It's hearbreaking for me to think of transgender people, not because they're defective or because I disapprove in any way, but because of how horrible it must be to feel trapped in a body that isn't "you."  I can't imagine dealing with that at such a young age.  I have to echo the ladies who have mentioned both a doctor and a therapist, although I am sure that it's something you've heard before, and probably even tried.  I am of the opionion that gender is made up of a lot of things-and that's why it's different than sex.  I don't think it can or should all be "explained" or "fixed," but there could be some medical or psychological reason for this that, once it is known, will make it easier to cope with.  Barring that, I'll suggest reading Stone Butch Blues: A Novel by Leslie Feinberg.   Although it's classified as a novel, I think it's very closely based on much of her own experiences-it's heartbreaking and challenging, but it's also amazing and uplifting.  She's also written several other books, none of which I've been able to get my hands on and read yet, but all of which I really want to.  Mostly, though, just love and acceptance are the key.  I grew up with two girls who looked, for most of our childhoods, like boys-they dressed like boys, didn't have very "feminine" bodies, and cut their hair like boys-each of them has been asked whether she's a "she or a he."  One of them grew out of this and is now a dress-wearing, long-haired, straight woman.  The other now prefers to be called "he" and has changed his (this gets blurry when I'm talking about the past and the present together) name to "Andrew."  So there's no knowing where the road will lead-but I bet you will have an amazing journey, and an amazing child to show for it.  My absolute best wishes to you and your family.

Lynell - posted on 02/17/2009

5

0

0

My sister had a friend whose daughter changed her gender at 8 from a girl to a boy. They went to a behavioral specialist of some kind and decided to let her try it to see if she would out grow it. It has been 6 years and as far as I know Skylar is still Judson. Hormones may be playing a role. I think you should find what works best for your family. There was a reply earlier that made reference to a Mohawk...I let both of my children get Mohawks and they attend a Christian school and everyone thought it was fun. It was ok for our family and may not be for everyone. What does your heart tell you to do? Is anyone else paying for your children’s college? Then who cares what they think.

MaryEllen - posted on 02/17/2009

18

22

2

I have no experience with this I just wanted to write to say I hope everything works out fur you.It must be heartbreaking for you to go through. I honestly wish I could help but I'm willing to listen if you need a sounding board.take care and best of luck.

Beth - posted on 02/17/2009

50

1

2

I think I would be searching for some help from  therapist or Dr. or online even!  Coming from a very small town we don't have access to the resourses that a bigger city has.  Not sure what your situation is.  I think from what I have every heard on this matter that denying them to be who they feel they are is not a good thing, as long as they are not hurting themselves I don't see a problem.  It may not be what you pictured her as being which is hard but I think you have to accept it which it sounds already like you are.   Have you talked to her teachers/ school in the matter?   Maybe they could help with the bathroom situation.  That part is heart breaking as we all know how cruel kids can be at any age!  Sorry I don't have any real info for you but I would be looking for a support group or something that can help your family 5 years is a long time to be dealing with this all.  Please get some Help!  I don't mean help as in trying to CHANGE your daughter just for answers to maybe why.  Maybe Medically?

Kathleen - posted on 02/17/2009

2

7

0

I don't have any experience with this so can't offer any relevant advice. My best recommendation is to find a local organization for gay, lesbian, and trans-gendered people and see if they can offer any help. Even if it's just to find a therapist she can talk with for support.

Christie - posted on 02/17/2009

8

8

0

Seeking a Therapist who deals with gender confusion in children and also letting your daughter's doctor know what is going on and have them refer you to a specialist to see if there is any physical/medical reasons for it should be done first before anything else.

Mindy - posted on 02/17/2009

1

1

0

Is your daughter in therapy? I am not being negative but besides the medical issues the child should have been seeing a psychiatrist when it was understood that this wasn't a passing phase. I am very pro-gay but she is so young to have started this and then kept it up for so long and with so much negativity at school. Coming home with wet pants is a very big deal. And very sad. Please see a doctor immediately.

Kelly - posted on 02/17/2009

184

7

9

Wow, I really feel for you it must be so hard to deal with this. The only advice I can give is to maybe look into some support groups who have gone through what you are dealing with. I do want to say that your support it going to be crucial down the road. Outsiders may not accept her right now but if she has a solid support system at home that is what is going to make her a confident adult. Good Luck with Everything.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms