09-14-2021 11:40 AM - last edited on 09-15-2021 12:26 PM by Philippa-RO
My 16 years old wrote a letter addressed to both of us telling us that she is TRANS. It's a long letter and strong message that she is not stepping back from her journey to this.
My husband is going through multiple chronic illnesses since 3 years and I have another 13 years old son, I also work full time.
Fortunately, I was the one to get that letter, now Idon't know what to do next?
How do I tell my husband about this whil ehe is going thgouh all these?
Also, I am worried about m daughter on her decision, how did she conclude this?
I am feeling like I am betraying my husband and hurting my daughter.
09-14-2021 04:15 PM - edited 09-14-2021 04:19 PM
@mum70 thank you for sharing with us.
I wanted to say how helpful I think it is that your child was able to write you a letter explaining how they're feeling and that they were able to be so clear with you.
It seems like a positive thing that they were able to give that to you, and that you've read it and you're seeking support to process your thoughts and feelings about it.
We have some resources on our website here that might be helpful to read if you'd like to.
Does your child have supportive people they can talk to about exploring their gender? In case it's helpful, services such as Minus18, QLife and Twenty10 are able to offer support, information and resources. QLife also offers a helpline that LGBTQIA+ people and their family and friends can contact.
I'm wondering if they could be helpful people to talk to about your feelings and how to discuss the letter with your husband - what do you think?
Please feel free to post here any time as well - we're here to support you.
09-14-2021 05:04 PM
Hi Mum 70,
I just replied to your previous message. So, I have a bit more background now to respond to this one. As I explained in my previous reply, I have acute medical conditions and I've been fighting these for 15 years. Our kids are 17 and 15. I also had four close friends die within a six week period so I fully understand that sense of being absolutely overloaded and unable to process one more thing. It's like even adding one more piece of paper to the load, is going to cause the whole enormous house of cards tumbling to the ground.
However, I'm also in a situation where our 15 year old daughter has been very quiet lately and says that no one listens to her. She does nothing to help around the house so I'm not entirely sympathetic and I listen more than she gives me credit for. So, while your husband has his issues, ideally your daughter's situation which must be very stressful for her. It's taken a huge about of courage to write you both that letter. It needs your time and attention. That's the first step. To reassure her that you still love her and while you're confused, you're happy to listen. This is something to clear the decks for even though things are already unbelievably overstretched. Maybe tell her that you haven't shown the letter to Dad yet, and wanted to talk about it with her first. Perhaps go for a walk together or a drive. A good setting for a difficult conversation where not looking at each other eye to eye could be advantageous. Also, I'd recommend getting yourself up to speed on the lingo around being trans. Ask her what name she'd like to go by and pronouns could be an issue to. She might like to be known as he or they. I haven't had one of my kids come out, but I used to work in HIV sexual health and it cropped up there.
While news like this is challenging for parents, you didn't mention whether you or your husband have beliefs that are involved here either.
Meanwhile, I really feel for you with all this going on and also having a 13 year old son.
Please keep coming back here if it helps.
09-15-2021 01:29 AM
Hi. Sorry to hear that your husband is having medical issues.
I understand that when your child comes to you and surprises you with a huge decision it can be very scary. Know that most likely they have been thinking about this for a very long time.
I encourage you to sit down with them and ask about their feelings. Ask questions about how they see themselves. Do they have a preferred name and pronoun they would like to use. What about them causes them distressed. I am assuming they were born female. So having a period can be very hard if they identify as male.
So social transitioning can be an option for now where they dress they way the prefer, use preferred name and pronouns and bring them to an OB/GYN for birth control to stop their cycles.
Maybe look for a therapist in your area that specializes in LGBTQ youth.
Talking to your child first to understand where they are coming from then speaking with your husband may be a good idea. Yes this is a shock but like you I'm sure your husband just wants them to be happy and healthy.
A good website is www.transfamilies.org
I work with the transgender population and family support is so important.
3 weeks ago
Hi there, I can hear the distress in your post. I have two girls one 17 and one 15, my 17 year old came to me when she was 15 and told me she was bi-sexual, we didn’t bring too much attention to it, I told her I would support and love her regardless of her sexuality. Now at 17, she has figured out herself it was a phase she was going through, her friend at the time was pan-sexual. Although it is fantastic that we live in a society that is inclusive, children are growing up in this society to be taught in school to be expressive, be who they want to be, not saying all, but some children feel they don’t fit in if they aren’t something different. Let her find her feet, she will figure out who she is, it may be a phase, it could be who she really is, let her figure it out for herself, but most importantly let her know you are there for her. Try to talk to her to find out why she feels this way, give her that open platform for her to talk to you.
My 15 year old is in care with mental health issues, she recently has just told us she wants to be a boy, she is expressing her wishes to change her name to a boys name, we were advised by professionals to go along with it, not draw too much attention, but at the same time be there to listen to her concerns, let her know you are supporting her until professionals in this field can address why she is feeling this way, has she always felt this way?, is this due to trauma?, it has to be explored further.
it may be more harmful for your daughter if you dismiss her feelings, she needs to feel supported by her parents and maybe you can seek professional advise for it to be explored further.