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Daughter wants to be a boy

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Casual scribe
momof2_21

Daughter wants to be a boy

My 13-year old daughter came to me a year ago and said she thinks she wants to be a boy.  She said these feelings started the previous year (the start of the pandemic).  I am being as supportive as I can with her cutting her hair short and wearing boyish clothing.  She is going by a different name and using he/him pronouns with her group of friends and with 2 of her 6 teachers.  She says she is not ready for me to yet because she's not quite comfortable enough.  I worry that this being a different person for different people is going to cause her even more confusion about who she is.  Her friends are starting to pull away from her, bonding more with each other and leaving her out.  She doesn't want to do anything but sit on her ipad and draw or watch movies/shows/tiktok/youtube.  It's all very difficult for me to watch because she is such a sweet, loving, sensitive child and only wants to be accepted.  She is in therapy but we just started so it's too soon to tell.  This is such a tough age already, but I feel this is becoming serious because she is so depressed and withdrawn and we can't seem to get past it.  If anyone has gone through a similar situation, I'd greatly appreciate some advice.  I'm more concerned about her low self-esteem than I am about her gender confusion.  Or is one causing the other?  I'm at a loss!

Community Manager
Philippa-RO

Re: Daughter wants to be a boy

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Welcome to the forums @momof2_21 - we're really glad you joined the community.

I wanted to say that you sound like a parent who is doing your utmost to support and be respectful of your young person's needs. 

 

I'm not sure if you're looking for more information or support options, but if so The Pronoun Lowdown is a great book that you could read yourself or with your young person if you think that would be helpful. Also, the Trevor Project has resources and information on their website, and they offer 24/7 counselling support.

 

I'm so sorry to hear that your young person's friends are excluding them - that must be really hurtful for them and hard for you to see happening too. Would they be interested in joining any groups or activities to try and meet some new friends who might be more supportive - if so, services such as Lambert House run youth programs and might be able to provide opportunities to make new social connections. 

 

It's so positive that you came here for support so you can be there for your young person - we're here to listen and help in any way we can. 

Casual scribe
Cay123

Re: Daughter wants to be a boy

It sounds as tho you want to be supportive but don’t really know how to execute it right?
Casual scribe
momof2_21

Re: Daughter wants to be a boy

Correct.  And more second guessing myself if I'm just worrying unnecessarily.  I don't want to look back and say "I should've done something".  My friends tell me to just let her go through the journey and be there for support, and I'm trying to do that.  But it feels like I should be doing more.

Active scribe
my2kidsrock

Re: Daughter wants to be a boy

Hi, I am new to the group, and our oldest(15) came out as trans this fall.  He was born female, but feels that he is male.  my husband and I are going with the flow, allowing him to explore himself and his sexuality.  We were very scared, worried and confused at the start(all the emotions), and now it;s just natural to call him by his new pronouns and his name he picked out.  He has found a great group of friends who are trans or non-binary, non judgemental, kind and loving.  My husband and I always said to our kids, of all things in life you may become, just always stay a kind, loving and a good person.  He is still who he was as a girl but now he is just a different sex.  I would rather him run to us then away.  Keep communication open, ask a lot of questions.  His school has a gay/straight alliance that meets at lunch to support each other, and to meet like minded friends, not sure if that is an option for your kiddo

Isolation and being alone is the worst thing for my kiddo- they sink into depression and withdrawal, so we try to bring him out to hang with us as much as possible.

It;s hard to watch your child change, but I think life is about change, who he is today may not be who he is next year or in 5 or 10 years.   I hope he can find some like minded friends and a support group.

Our child suffers from High anxiety, OCD, suicidal thoughts, perfectionism and most recently self harm, so being trans is the easiest for my husband and I to be able to support him.  I hope that all makes sense, as I tend to ramble, lol!  

You are doing amazing, I can tell that you are a loving mom and that makes a world of difference.  Keep up the therapy Smiley Happy  

Huge hugs!!

Community Manager
Portia_RO

Re: Daughter wants to be a boy

Hi @my2kidsrock and welcome to the online community!

 

From what you've said, it sounds like you and your partner are incredibly supportive of your son. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself, it's so wonderful to see that you are surrounding him with love and acceptance because that kind of support from parents can make all the difference. 

 

I'm sorry to hear that your teen has struggled with isolation, and that he has started to engage in self-harm, but it sounds like you're doing everything you can to make sure that he stays connected to your family as much as possible. Does your son receive any support from a psychologist or counsellor?

 

Thanks so much for sharing, I'm sure this has given other users a lot of hope Heart

Casual scribe
mum70

Re: Daughter wants to be a boy

Hi,

 

It seems that we both are in similar situation. My 16 years old born famle came out last September while my husband was going trhough chronic illness, frequest trips to emergency and also multiple specialist appointments. 

 

Now, we are at stage that been able to absorb the shock, started supporting every way we can.

 

I am still struggling to find a way to introduce him to our family and freinds. In two weeks, we are supposed to attend my best friend's daughter's maariage.  

 

Can anyone suggest on this?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Mum70

Active scribe
my2kidsrock

Re: Daughter wants to be a boy

Hi Smiley Happy

I know this is a stressful time.  The way we did it was my child wrote up a FB and instagram post, introducing himself, and what name and pronouns that he now goes by, I then shared that post and said my own little thing.   It helped for us, for most of our family and friends to see it.  I have a couple of people who just don't get or understand it, but I let everyone know that I was open to questions.

Overall, I think people have surprised me, and they have been accepting, and take a real effort to use his new name and pronouns,  

 

You got this,!  Best of luck Smiley Happy

Community Manager
Portia_RO

Re: Daughter wants to be a boy

Hi @mum70 , I can completely understand that this would have been quite a shock, particularly if you were trying to manage and process difficulties with your husband's illness at the time. It's wonderful to hear that you have the space and capacity to support your child as much as possible now. As an LGBTQIA+ young person myself, I can say from experience that sometimes a parent's unconditional love can make all of the difference when you're grappling with who you are, so I'm sure that your support means a lot to him. 

 

You mentioned that you've got a wedding coming up with your family and friends, and that this might be a tricky situation to navigate in terms of introducing them to your child's new identity. What options are you considering heading into this event? How is your son feeling about it?

 

@my2kidsrock has offered a great suggestion. Does posting something on social media feel like something that would work for you and your family, or is this a conversation you'd prefer to have in person either during or in the lead up to the wedding?

 

I also wanted to check in and see how you're coping with your child's transition. It can be tough to think of your child in a new way, even if they have your full support, so I hope that you're taking time for yourself to adjust to these changes. It sounds like you've had a lot going on with your husband too. Do you have anyone outside of your family to talk to about what's been going on? 

Community Manager
Portia_RO

Re: Daughter wants to be a boy

Hey @my2kidsrock , I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experience and offering this great suggestion. It's so nice to hear that you were able to come up with a way to re-introduce your son to the people in your life and that this was a process you could share in together. I'm really glad to hear that most people surprised you and were accepting - unfortunately, there's always going to be people that can't quite wrap their heads around different expressions of gender, but it's comforting to know that so many people have made an effort to accept your son for who he is. Again, as I said to @mum70 , I'm confident that your support would have meant a lot to your son, and I really admire your commitment to being there for him as he goes through this journey - you sound like a really supportive parent. Heart

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