How do you know if your child is Transgender?

How do you know if your child is Transgender?

There can be several signs present (or none at all), and the help of a knowledgeable gender therapist would be needed.  A therapist would use the following criteria from the DSM-IV:

“A. A strong and persistent cross-gender identification (not merely a desire for any perceived cultural advantages of being the other sex). In children, the disturbance is manifested by four (or more) of the following: 

(1) repeatedly stated desire to be, or insistence that he or she is, the other sex
(2) in boys, preference for cross-dressing or simulating female attire; in girls, insistence on wearing only stereotypical masculine clothing
(3) strong and persistent preferences for cross-sex roles in make-believe play or persistent fantasies of being the other sex
(4) intense desire to participate in the stereotypical games and pastimes of the other sex
(5) strong preference for playmates of the other sex. In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as a stated desire to be the other sex, frequent passing as the other sex, desire to live or be treated as the other sex, or the conviction that he or she has the typical feelings and reactions of the other sex. 

B. Persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex. In children, the disturbance is manifested by any of the following: in boys, assertion that his penis or testes are disgusting or will disappear or assertion that it would be better not to have a penis, or aversion toward rough-and-tumble play and rejection of male stereotypical toys, games, and activities; in girls, rejection of urinating in a sitting position, assertion that she has or will grow a penis, or assertion that she does not want to grow breasts or menstruate, or marked aversion toward normative feminine clothing. In adolescents and adults, the disturbance is manifested by symptoms such as preoccupation with getting rid of primary and secondary sex characteristics (e.g., request for hormones, surgery, or other procedures to physically alter sexual characteristics to simulate the other sex) or belief that he or she was born the wrong sex. 

C. The disturbance is not concurrent with a physical intersex condition. 

D. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”

I have also seen adults who ‘discover’ their gender issues as adults and those who kept their gender issues hidden as children, so that it is possible that a child may be transgender and never exhibit any of these criteria or keep them hidden.  It’s important to have a relationship with the child where open communication is possible so that they can be comfortable enough to reveal cross-gender feelings if they are having them.  It is also possible that once a child begins school they alter their behavior to be more in keeping with the other children, but the gender variance may persist.

 


59 Responses to How do you know if your child is Transgender?

  1. For the last year, my 5 years old son has felt attracted by princesses outfits, long hair, jewrly, and “girls” toys. His friends are mostly girls and he doesn’t enjoy doing “boys” things much. He’s never said he is a girl or feels uncomfortable with his penis or testicles. When he’s not playing he acts like a boy but we are not sure about what to think. In fact, his mother and I are very worried. We’ve supported him and let him express himself. We’ve boutht him some dolls and other “girls” stuff. We are fine with it. We’ve also asked him if he feels he is a girl, telling him that we would be ok with it. He says he’s a boy but likes to play with “girls” things. We don’t know if he’s lying. He feels free to ask us for dolls and we don’t say anything to upset him. Please!! We need help!!

    • If your son feel he is a boy, then he most likely is, at least right now. I think how you are handling the situation is correct and you should just continue to provide an open and loving environment for him. One in which he is comfortable acting feminine and embracing himself, boy or not, without having to be trans

    • Gender isn’t binary. It takes a lot of exploration to discover if you’re really trans, or just very feminine. There are pseudo-scientific tests that sort of help determine this – although they are not perfect by any means. I haven’t seen a good test.

      I can tell you though, when I was 3, I was a girl. My dad was not supportive, and was even extremely abusive, neglectful, etc. Many times he tried to ‘man me up’ by having my other brother fight with me, which was a 1-sided match where I was pinned down to the bed and was pounced on like crazy while my dad just stood in the room and watched.

      Unfortunately for me, with all of the abuse, I “forgot”. I never made a very good male at all, but instead, I lived in a really depressive, “nothing” state, just trying to do what I can to fit in (and failing horribly at it, in almost every conceivable way).

      On top of this, my mom was really sexually abuse, shaming everything about sex constantly.

      I’m pretty sure if I didn’t have my parents, I would have taken hormones in my teenager years or early twenties. But instead, I had 7+ years of therapy to go through, unrepressing a pile of memories and trying to figure things out. I didn’t have a clear grasp that I was trans until I was 33. I am 34.5 now and I’m finally on hormones, and things are MUCH better.

      Anyway, just thought I’d share.

      • sophie roberts says:

        I feel so sorry for you, it make me sad to read that. My daughter is 4 and wants to be a boy we dress her like one and call her a boy, a lot of my family really disapproves and think it is just stupid and WRONG but i want her to feel excepted and normal, she is a much happier kid any we have removed the negative and unexcepting people in her life, but reading your story has made me more determined to help her transition and save all the heart ach.

  2. Dear Alberto, at least your child is saying he is a boy. I have an almost 5 year old daughter who’s said more than once that she wants to be a boy. He plays with both boy’s and girl’s toys and she LOVES all the Disney princesses, but she plays mostly with boys at school, she’s not crazy about dresses and LOVES super-heroes. None of this would bother me one bit if it weren’t because she says, at least once a week, that she wants to be a boy and that she doesn’t like being a girl. She doesn’t get upset when I tell her she’s a girl and sometimes she says she’s a girl. She hasn’t shown any sings of feeling uncomfortable with her own body, either. I totally understand how you and your wife are feeling, thought. I’m very worried myself and I’ve had moments of deep depression. I’m trying to inform myself as much as I can and be ready to support my child no matter what. At the same time, I’m hoping for the best: that my child grows up to be a normal female. Me, as a child, loved playing with so called boy’s toys and was never crazy about dresses. Even to this day, I don’t wear dresses or skirts. Yet, I don’t remember ever thinking or saying I wanted to be a boy. According to everything I’ve read, there’s no way to predict how our children will grow up. As I see it, with my daughter, it could go either way. Sorry I can’t really help. A big hug for the three of you.

    • To say “at least your child is saying he is a boy” signifies that you are either homophobic or transphobic. It is putting pressure on the fact that you dont think it would be ok if a child were to express the opposite.

      If you “tell her she’s a girl” and she does NOT feel like a girl, than you are doing damage.

      To be “hoping for the best: that my child grows up to be a normal female” Points out that you are NOT ok with trans or gay issues, but also that you think that being trans is not “Normal”. It is.

      You might want to read some books on this subject or get some guidance from a councillor to help you support you child in a better fashion.

  3. Hello Alberto,
    We have 3 sons, aged 12, 9 & 7. At around age 4 or 5 or so, they all enjoyed dressing up in princess outfits when we visited friends’ houses who had them. I think it was just because it seemed glamourous and all kids love sparkly things. The oldest insisted on being called Princess Fiona ( from the film “Shrek”) and took to sitting down on the toilet since girls sit down! We indulged him but never took it too seriously – after all, he still was a typical boy and loved playing with his cars etc. The phase soon wore off and he was back into Thomas the Tank Engine and superheroes and is a typical skateboarding boy now. Our youngest is different though. He never insisted he was a girl but I think he assumed he was. One time when he was about 3 he expressed shock when I contradicted his assumption he would breast feed his baby, as he’d have a body like Daddy’s when he grew up. He loved me to tie his hair in bunches and pose like a girl for photos. Another time his pre-school class wrote their future wishes. Most boys wrote things like wanting to be a trains drivers or astronaut but he wrote, “I want to be a kind mother”. He has always enjoyed girl games and having girl friends rather than boys, though hass both. Recently, we passed a cross-dressing male while shopping so it gave me the chance to talk about how some people feel they are born into the wrong bodies. He then told me that he used to feel likes girl until he was “about 4″ (I would say later than that but time is difficult for kids to place) but feels more like a boys now. He certainly seems more boyish of late but I’m not sure if this is because he is more aware and ttrying to meet the social expectations of his physical gender (not to mention, to live up to the machoness of his 2 older brothers). I suppose time will tell. I don’t want to push him in either direction but would like to feel he/I know for certain before puberty so that he can possibly start a hormone programme to avoid male puberty. I know that sounds like I’m jumping the gun a little but I saw a tv programme last year about a boy who undeerwent gender reassignment surgery and it was so much better to have begun hormones before puberty to avoid a permanent Adam’s apple, low voice, broadened physique etc. In her post-teen, post-surgery years she really looked like a young lady, unlike others who had undergone surgery after puberty. Anyway,I know I sound like I’m rushing ahead – I would obviously prefer him to remain male for no other reason than his own life would be simpler for him, but I want to look ahead in case indications prove to be true. So in your case, I can only say your son may well pass through this stage so quickly you wondered why your worried about it, like my older two. I would also love to hear from anyone with a similar child to help me know what the future might hold.

  4. It’s late – forgive all those typos!

  5. I have an almost 4 year old boy who sounds a lot like Lorna’s boy. I have 3 older daughters so hard to know if he plays with girls stuff because of them or not. But he loves dresses and princess’s. He also loves to put hair extentions in. He wears his sisters swim suits in the hot tub. I thought is was a stage and still could be but it’s been over a year of this. I let him wear dresses until we leave the house, then he has to change into his boys clothes. I guess I’m wondering if there are other mothers out there that have had their son/daughter do these types of things and then grow out of it or if I should be preparing, like Lorna mentioned for some sort of surgery in the future. I guess time will tell.

  6. I’ve been doing A LOT of research ever since my almost five-year-old daughter started saying she wanted to be a boy (about 9 months ago) and this is what I found:

    http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2013-08-when-i-was-a-boy

    http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/articles/gender_confusion_in_children.aspx

    I hope you find these helpful. I know some parents of transgender children won’t like at all the second one. They feel this particular therapist is totally disconnected from reality, but I think (or hope) it might help in certain cases. Not two people are the same and, as in everything, when it comes to gender identity, I feel there’s variety and degrees.

    I hope we all get connected and post updates every now and then to see how our children are doing. My daughter seems to be very aware that she’s a girl, but for some reason, she wishes she were a boy. If she feels she is a boy or if she simply thinks boys are way more fun than girls… I don’t know yet. The bottom line is that she’s happy! She’s a happy and playful little girl, and I’m praying she stays that way because I feel that as long as there are no signs of depression or anxiety, there’s no reason to worry nor to think our children will end up transgender. Amen!

  7. Hello everyone and a happy 2014!

    Nothing to report really but just wanted to say, like Rosa, it would be good to check-in with eachother from time to time. I looked at the websites above and have to say I don’t really go with the idea of pushing kids towards “normality”. As parents, we can only observe what is normal for them and offer our love and support. Especially when gender preference is exhibited at such a young age, it is only common sense that this is not learned, rebelious or deivant behaviour and we just have to accept their reality. Our children mean everything to us and for this reason I would prefer my child not to have to undergo confusion, distress, surgery or prejudice. These are the reasons I would hope he is not transgender. If he is, I will be there every step of the way to make things as easy as possible on, doubtless, a tough journey.
    This said, I am well aware he may not be transgender at all. He has recently said he feels more like a boy and we’ll see where that goes. I have heard many studies of effeminate boys who were thought likely to be transgender who in fact turned out to be simply gay as adults.
    For my part, as a child I remember saying I wished I was a boy several times. I don’t think it caused much worry for my parents and I certainly never felt like a boy. I think there was just a lot of, “Boys are better than girls” competitiveness at school and I thought girlie games of pretend and horses were a bit dull compared to making dens and climbing trees (although I wouldn’t really have said I was a tomboy) and I wanted to prove I could run just as fast! I see gender as a sliding scale I suppose. I’m definitely female but I’ll never be into flowery skirts, sparkly beads, pastel colours or painting my nails.
    I still feel there’s more to my son’s behaviour than can be explained as a “phase”. He’s recently got a “girlfriend” at school whom he secretly kisses (so sweet!) but I think this is less about hetrosexual love (he’s only 7) than an excuse to hang out with the girls at playtime. I just want to be as open as I can be so he does’t feel he needs to hide his feelings as he grows up.

    Good luck with these issues to all and any advice or opinions welcome!

    • I have a 5 year old boy who’s obsessed with girl things hair make up disney princesses are his favourite not intrested in boys toys at all he wears boy clothes as I draw a line under him dressing as a girl not sure if it’s a phase but he’s been into being like a girl for 2 years he plays with dolls all the time talks like a girl says things like when I’m bigger and a girl I’m going to have a dress like that or I’m going to have hair like that

  8. Some think that there’s something wrong with transgenders, child or adult. But there’s not a thing wrong. They call the scientific term Gender Identity Disorder. Imagine how bad it must feel to know that you have a disorder. It used to be classified as a mental condition, I believe.

    I have reason to believe that I too am transgender. I haven’t been to a medical clinic about it. So I’m not so sure.

    Typing from experience, let your kid dress the way they feel. Let your kid call themselves the opposite gender. Let them use an opposite gender or unisex name ( Might want to discuss with the school ). Just because they feel a certain emotion shouldn’t put them to shame. They may be proud. Let them come out to you. ‘Cause a lot of pressure builds up.

    Your kids may –

    Commit Suicide
    Self Harm
    Drink
    Do Drugs
    Have Trouble Sleeping
    Have Depression
    Not Tell You ANYTHING

    • Hi Raptor, hope you are doing well, or as well as you can be. I’m glad you found this website. I have a few tips on terminology. Transgender is an adjective as opposed to a noun. So “transgenders” isn’t the best way to describe a person. Terms used may include (anyone can call me out if any are wrong) a transgender person, a transgender man, a transgender woman, a transgender boy, a transgender girl, a transgender child, a transgender adult, the transgender community, the trans* community, a transgender person of color, etc. I don’t know the language yet for genderqueer individuals, though.

      As well, being transgender is no longer considered a disorder. In 2012, the phrase “gender identity disorder” was renamed “gender dysphoria” to reflect how being transgender is not a mental illness.
      I’m not exactly an expert on trans* issues, so I’ll stop there so I don’t make any mistakes. And if anyone sees something I type that is off, please feel free to call me out! I definitely appreciate constructive criticism.

  9. Hi all,
    Ive been involved with this site (I wrote most of the Q&A series), and I’ve noticed that this comment thread would be better served by a private discussion group. So I invite you to join the new google group
    (its an email list)

    https://groups.google.com/d/forum/parents-of-gender-variant-kids

  10. To Lorna: Hi! and happy 2014 for you, too. As you, I would prefer not to see my daughter confused, distressed, depressed, rejected, etc. etc. All I want for her is to be happy and to have an uncomplicated life if possible. So, I don’t see anything wrong with gently pushing her in the “right” direction, or to guide her towards the easier path, if you wish. So, I’ve told her she IS a girl and that it’s perfectly all right to be a girl who likes blue, superheroes and cars. She doesn’t get mad when I say she’s a girl and right now I think she fully understands that she IS a girl. I’m also aware she wishes she were a boy, in a very similar way I wish I could fly, but knowing that’s simply not possible. The most important thing to me at this point is that she seems happy. She’s eating well, sleeping well and behaving well. If at some point any of this changes and I observe any kind of distress due to gender confusion, of course I’ll make clear she can be who ever she needs to be.

    To Ami B. Kaplan: I went to the link but I’m not sure how that works :-(. Also, if it’s a google doc, any other person who knows my e-mail could access this conversation, and I would rather keep it private from close friends and family.

  11. for the google group – you need a google account to join it. once joined, the emails and posts are private (only accessible to group members). There will be a little bit of screening to see if a person can join, and no moderation for now.

  12. Noodle Kaboodle says:

    What about a 15-year-old girl who has never insisted she was a boy or acted as a boy, and was fairly girly as a young child/tween, but also something of a tomboy. I saw on her tumblr page a few weeks ago where she was talking about being a pansexual who prefer boys. Now today on tumblr (not to me) she says she wants a chest binder because she is trans? She just got a very short haircut and has refused to wear dresses for the last couple of years. On the other hand she does not engage in male activities. But at the same time also hates/refuses makeup, feminine clothes and shopping. She is wanting to cosplay as a male character. However she spent the whole summer crushing on a boy. But once she got him to ask her out she immediately dropped him. She has never had a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

    Is she just trying to get attention or sympathy online? Confused? Pretending? I asked her if she wants to become a boy via surgery and she said no. I don’t know what to think as there are so many mixed messages.

    • Dear Noodle Kabbodle, at 15 years of age, I would think, she must know pretty well what she likes and she should have the words to express what she’s feeling, even if what she’s feeling is LOTS of confusion. Does she still have a good pediatrician you both could go to? In my case, I wish I had gone talked to my daughter’s pediatrician way earlier! I was impressed by how knowledgeable and helpful he was. Even if your daughter’s doctor weren’t, I think a docotr is a good place to start. I wish you all the best.

    • Just as Confused says:

      Dear Noodle Kaboodle,
      I could swear you are describing my 14 yo daughter! She loved the Disney Princess dresses and baby/barbie dolls as a little girl and had her little “boyfriends” as a young child, she loved anything girly but also a sort of tomboy! She had long brown ringlets that hung all the way down her back. She asked to get her hair cut for easier care and she would donate her hair. We agreed. Then like a light switch was flipped about 6-8 months ago she suddenly changed. I thought maybe it was due to homeschooling. She cos plays only male characters, and had friends buy her binders and compression tops but she still crushes on the boys quite often. She does not show any interest in male activities. Only with her, she keeps changing what she is. Pansexual, then the next week she is transgender, then she’s non binary transqueer. I don’t know anymore and not only that, she is also a strong liberal femmenist. If you state your views even in innocent conversation she will almost verbally attack you with women’s rights and female equality, and the sort. She knows I am naive to alot of the LGBT world so when I took her clothes shopping for school, (college prep) I told her I was only buying her girl clothes. She got excited and picked out a bunch of shirts that had heart patterns and the such. Now she’s been at school for two weeks, and tonight I realized that all of them are patterned into the transgender flag colors! She even tricked the school into listing her on the rosters under a gender neutral name! She says she doesn’t want to surgically alter her body and that she loves her body, so I really don’t understand this. I was raised by a baptist preacher and tried to pass on alot of the values I was taught. So I really don’t know how to proceed from here!

    • SupportiveMum says:

      Hi.

      My 15 year old is exactly the same! I’ve done a lot of reading and think I know how to respond when she tells me but I’m not convinced she’s dysphoric . If she is then has 100% support but I don’t want her to make a mistake. I was equally confused at her age so know it’s a tough time.

      Would be really interested to connect with others going/gone through the same thing & how it’s worked out.

      • Concerned mom says:

        My 14 year old daughter is saying the same thing. She says she is a male and pansexual. She has never been a tomboy in anyway. She still wears makeup and spends an hour getting ready for school each day. She has all girls as friends and has never shown interest in typical male activities and still doesn’t. I have asked her why she says she is a boy and all she says is that she is uncomfortable with her body? I have researched transgender and she doesn’t fit any of the description except not being comfortable with her body. I have her set up with a therapist and have told her that I love her no matter what but I am concerned since this just happened in the past 4 months and it seems like it was right after she got her tumblr page. I’m not really sure how to help her other than to just be there for her and support her. I know this is an older thread I was just wondering how it turned out for the other parents in my situation. Any feedback would be helpful. Thanks!

        • My 16 year old daughter is absolutely the same. Not much to add but she has recently wanted binders and says shes asexual but has a boyfriend who she says ‘he’s more like a best friend than anything’ . She just asked one of the girls older than her to the prom and they both want to wear dresses and look pretty….. I think my best bet is to just support her no matter what and be there for her when she needs me. :-)

          • Concerned mom says:

            Could this be some sort of a fad? I’ve never heard of all the pansexual, asexual, non bianary etc…. Until just recently with my daughter. I tell her I love her and support her no matter what but I have to question how much of this is how she feels or is seeing on tumbler bit seems to be a pretty popular theme in there with her age group. If she was the least bit boy like I wouldn’t question it but she is all girl except she hates her boobs. She says they are so obvious? I’m so freakin confused I don’t know what to do. I just want her to be happy and to accept herself. She is very into labeling who she is i.e pansexual he/him she said she gets upset when people just assume she’s a straight girl? I really don’t get it at all. I could care less if people think I’m straight or gay or bisexual. Has anyone seen this resolve itself? We did therapy for a while but nothing has come of it. All I’m doing right now is just trying to support her but I love to hear if anyone has experienced anything like this and what the outcome has been. I basically told her that her dad and I love her no matter what but we want to make sure that this is something that is real and not a trying to fit in with my online friends kind of thing. That being transsexual is a real thing and isn’t something to be taken lightly

          • Confused Mom says:

            I could’ve almost written all of your posts, as well as Patti’s further down the page. I have told my 13 year old that I love her, no matter what; but this literally came as the biggest surprise. We have always been close and very open. To my knowledge at least, I have not pressured her with stereotypical female societal norms. I myself do not wear make-up and spent many years more comfortable in jeans and shorts. I am just shocked that I didn’t see this coming. I am shocked that she now tells me she has had these thoughts, but didn’t research them until after her 13th birthday. I know now she developed a crush on her best girlfriend a few months before her 13th birthday. They started dating a month after her 13th birthday. She revealed to me she is pansexual. She has since decided she’s pan romantic and asexual. While she and her girlfriend dated she became very depressed and started to dress less girly. Eschewing make-up and wearing more jeans and baggy clothes. She developed an eating disorder and finally revealed to me she had thoughts of suicide and couldn’t face school. That’s when therapy started. That was 3 months ago. I have seen positive changes in her since beginning therapy, she is much more social. When she and her girlfriend broke up, she immediately had a crush on a boy and started dressing more like a girl again. Yesterday we had our first appointment with a gender therapist and it knocked me off my feet. I thought we were going to be exploring my daughter’s questioning… instead we were talking about hormones and treatment and binding and books to read and *my* inability to understand. On the one hand I feel as though my daughter has shared things with her regular therapist that I’m completely oblivious to because this referral appointment was just not what I expected. My daughter says she wants to present as male but use neutral pronouns and she has selected a new name. I am aware she had already selected a different gender neutral name and asked her friends to call her that name but she didn’t like it. For what it’s worth, from about 4-7 she wanted to change her given name to an even more girly name and all her user names and nicknames at that time were this other name. After our appointment yesterday we discussed the future. She wants to take hormones, but not for a few years. When I asked her why she wanted to she said, to deepen her voice (she sings and is a soprano and she has been working on extending her range), to lose her body fat and to have a straighter shaped body. She has had issues with her body and I don’t know if the issues are because she is transgender or if she thinks being a boy will solve her body issues. She has written (she is aware I’ve read her journals) that she doesn’t want to be a boy but doesn’t want to be a girl. Her writing confuses me, but perhaps she was just confused. She is so obsessed with gay men that sometimes I think she just wants to be one of them, Kirk from Glee or many you tubers that I’m blanking on their names. There is a transboy at her school and my daughter has expressed distress when he receives more attention than my daughter does.

            At the end of the day, we will walk this road and fight for her and support and love her until our last breath. I just want to make sure this is truly how she feels. So far when she and I talk I do not feel like I am hearing her heart’s desires. I feel like she is regurgitating things she’s read online…sometimes from some of the same websites I’ve read. Her desires seem so superficial and body related. And I get that some of it will be body related. But it seems to be more about being unhappy with her female figure that an innate desire to be a male. She used to be obsessed with having a flat stomach and has written she’ll be happy if she just has a flat stomach and larger breasts. And now she wants a binder.

            I’m so confused I don’t even know if my post made sense.

  13. Speaking as a biological male who is transgendered, the absolute best advice I can give any parent is just to allow your child to be who they are. Listen to them, love them, support them and seek counseling with a therapist who is experienced with gender identity. The counseling should not be sought out to fix them, but to assess them to see if they are transgendered, explore options and to help them prepare for and deal with issues if they are. The consequences of not letting your child be who they are, or making them hide it are very serious. Transgender people are one of the highest suicide risk groups, most of us have thought about it, many have tried and unfortunately too many have succeeded. My parents were great parents aside from the fact that their religious and social paradigms were too rigid to accept who I really was. As a result, they don’t know who I truly am and I have a lot of resentment and am distant to them, but they don’t know or understand why. It is a shame because had I been born a girl, or had a brain that matched my boy body, I would have had all the support and love to allow me to soar through life. Instead, I have never been able to feel loved or secure because I have never been accepted or allowed to express who I was. I guess what I am trying to say, is that I know it must be tough for you all on many levels, but try to appreciate how hard it is for your child and how much harder it will be without your support. It is such a lonely and dark place to have to hide who you are. If they are truly transgendered, I don’t believe that can be changed. I have tried to fix it through counseling, I have tried to push the feelings aside, and have just recently come to the realization that this is the way it is going to be so I need to accept it. This took 35 years of turmoil, resistance and pain to finally start being able to accept who I am. You all sound very supportive and open, and it makes me cry at the thought of what might have been had my parents only had the attitude that many of you do.. Thanks on behalf of your kids for being open and trying to learn, so that they don’t have to go through this alone.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful input. It’s a tough time for parents but I know it must be tougher for the child. I totally support my son and will continue to do so. I try to ensure he knows this too and I think, hope, he feels loved and secure at the moment and can rely on this for the future.
      The tough part for me is simply knowing what to do. I don’t want to confuse him by suggesting he would rather be female but I don’t want him to pretend to accept his birth gender if he’s not comfortable with it. I wish I knew one way or the other which way this will go so I can plan when totall the school, start hormone therapy, look into surgery etc.
      I have a feeling he’s more male these days although he’s talked about marrying a man (it’s so nice that in this day and age he doesn’t even think that might be an unacceptable thing to say). He may simply be gay but at 7yrs old nothing is set in stone!
      Good luck with your own situation. I do hope you can resolve things with your parents and family, it sounds so stressful to feel you don’t have their support. If your relationship is “distant” right now, perhaps coming out wouldnt do any harm and could be a step forward, but only you can know when/if the time is right.
      Thanks again and good luck.

    • Another Confused Mom says:

      Dear Confused Mom,

      I am going through exactly the same process with my daughter who is now 17 who developed an eating disorder 1.5 years ago. The similarity is striking! Everything you described happened to us as well!

      I have difficulty to believe that she is transgender, because she has always been ‘girly girl’, never even a tomboy. Now she insists that she is a boy, totally self-diagnosed using internet. She also insists that a boy’s name is used when we address her. And a new therapist, apparently, ‘understood her’ and encourages her to become ‘who she is’. Knowing her for 16 years it looks like she is running away from a real issue and thinking that being a boy will solve all the problems.

      I do not deny the fact that people may be born in a wrong body, but something like that shows very early, doesn’t it? How can a person turn around over night? Even though she says she felt it for years, but she never ever showed any signs of gender misalignment. She played with girls, loved puffy skirts, dated a boy for 2 years (they broke up just before the ED took over). She then decided that she was pan romantic and asexual and now she is a boy and dates girls. This is really crazy and she makes no progress in recovery from ED because she says she needs it to kill the femininity. I am totally and utterly lost.

      • This is happening in my home as well. Just last night, my daughter told me that she does not want to be herself (a girl) and that she would rather be male. I knew that she had emotional issues. My husband and I discussed sending her to a therapist because it seemed she was depressed. I attributed her mood swings to other factors. A doctor put her on birth control pills for PMDD because she would get almost violently emotional at certain times of the month. The pills did seem to be helping. But yesterday was her 15th birthday. When I went to say goodnight, I found her crying. It took almost two hours of talking and soothing before she told me what she did.

        I, too, have never noticed her acting like a boy during her childhood. In fact, as a young child, she was considered a “girlie girl” by the entire family. I never would have imagined she would have any gender issues. She just finished her first year of high school, and I have had more problems with her in the way of arguments, defiance, secretiveness, but I thought it was just being a teenager.

        She is in her room almost all day on her computer. She doesn’t let me see who she texts with or communicates with on the computer, and I am afraid. What if she is being influenced? I’d hate to think that this is a fad among young people. I know that she is unhappy with the way she looks (she thinks she’s too fat, hates her arms, legs, says she is not thin like me, etc.)

        I don’t know what to do or think. I got very little sleep last night and am a mess today. I suppose I just needed to let it out right now, and I probably don’t make much sense. I, too, feel utterly lost.

        • Childs perspective says:

          Himself or themself. You need to start using the correct pronouns. Stop saying they don’t want to be themself. They don’t want to be what you forced them to be. Step up your game here and treat your child with some respect.
          Sincerely-
          A trans* teen

  14. Cj, I also wanted to say, perhaps we (parents on this forum) are just a product of our generation. The LGBT movement has come so far with my lifetime. In my parents’ generation this was not so and so, like yours, I can’t imagine them being accepting if I were transgender. Even if my son is they may feel it is a product of my “bad-parenting” or “influence of a corrupt society” (they are also religious). if I was born a generation ago, perhaps I would think like this too.
    Do bear in mind that your family have also been exposed to the public change that has seen LGBT rights, same sex-marriage etc accepted as normal. My own parents’ view has mellowed over the years and perhaps your parents’ view has too. Families must have worried about how this news would reflect on them. Certainly, they know society is now more accepting and this may make them feel somewhat secure in the knowledge that your revelation is not the same jaw-dropping new it used to be.
    Again, good luck!

  15. brittany says:

    Hi everyone I just wanna first off say it’s so nice to see and read so many other supportive parents out there :) I’m a mom of 2 boys and the reason I’m writing today is because my youngest son is 7 now and I recently came across this transgender children video and after watching the half hour video of this Lil girl that was born a boy I began to really think about my youngest son. At a really young age he always told us he was a girl on the inside but a boy on the outside!! He loved having his nails done, dressing up in skirts dresses high heals make up all things Little girls love to do. He has never been into boy things at all always girls stuff… After watching this video I started asking him questions about what he dreams about at night how he pictures himself when he gets older and his response was he dreams about being a princess some times and sometimes he just dreams about being a girl on the outside too. He said pictures himself as a girl when he gets older not a man like daddy. So I asked ok what about your wedding? He said well I look like a boy and boys can’t marry boys… I corrected him n said yes actually masyn boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls so what do you picture and think about? He said I see me as a girl with long hair and a beautiful dress and I’m marrying a boy. So I continued asking him questions and thus is where I really felt bad he said it upsets him that he looks like a boy n I asked y? He said cause I can’t wear dresses and skirts and dress up all pretty for school like the other girls do… This is were it pulled at my heartstrings here we always thought it was a phase and never really thought much about it until I read about transgender children and then watched videos… He doesn’t complain about his body at all besides the one thing and he hasn’t had anxiety or depression or anger about it yet but I am really starting to believe he just maybe transgender and I don’t know where to start or go for advice and more info bc I don’t believe my doctor will be as understanding about it

    • Please help my sisters son we believe is transgender. All the signs are there. She meet with his school he’s in 3rd grade and talked about transitioning him over the summer but they said no way. You’d have to get a new birth certificate to call him by different name. And that he may not come school in girl close. How do you handle this with school age kids?!

      • I’m not a professional but I would assume that if he’s adamant that he wants to wear girls’ clothes to school he must be pretty much decided. That’s a big step which (I’m sure he is aware) may cause ridicule, so if he’s prepared to take it he must be serious.
        Forgive me starting with “he” – I will continue with “she”.

        If the school are opposed, I suggest you see a doctor, councellor or other professional who can support you by visiting the school or provide you with a letter explaining the situation better.
        It may be worth considering staring a new school as a girl so she is accepted without question by her peers (the new school may also prefer not having to explain the change to classmates – not that I’m suggesting that is the right approach). However, that does mean losing her network of friends.

        Anyway, as I said, I’m not a professional but I wanted to respond since I was outraged by the school’s cold response.

        Does that seem like sounds advice, folks?

  16. sophie roberts says:

    Hi there i think my 4 year old daughter is transgender, she wants to be a boy will only wear boy clothing and refuses to use the girls bathroom, I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said she wants to be a dad, I have two other daughters and she is defiantly different, I think this goes way beyond being a “tom boy”, her dad and I except her for who she is and will love her no matter what I was just looking for some advise or other peoples options on this.Thanks

  17. I have a sixteen-year-old son who has had gender issues (cross-dressing, interest in feminine things, etc.) most of his life. He has flirted with the idea of transitioning but always pulled back. We’ve even attended trans groups so he can meet with and talk to other kids with similar issues.

    He now states he want to formerly transition to living as a female. However, he has never shown any signs of depression or impairment in social functioning. He has friends (all female), gets good grades, participates in after-school activities and states he’s “uncomfortable” with his gender. Is this enough to warrant undergoing hormone treatment? The diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria states (I’m para-phrasing), “clinically significant impairment in the areas of work, social interaction, etc.” I don’t see any of this in my son.

  18. I have a 23 year old son (very immature) who told me last night he was not a man but a girl (He used these words..it surprised me that he said “girl” not “woman”). He said he has felt this way for years….I am blown away because he has never and I do mean never shown any feminine mannerisms, desires, dressing, etc….I have many gay friends and thought I understood some (obviously not all) of the signs of someone having issues with their sexual orientation. My son has never had a relationship with either a man or a woman and has extreme self-confidence issues. He is heavy and sees himself as a “monster” who nobody would want a relationship with. He is very smart and I think he might be hiding behind this trans gender label so that people won’t expect anything from him as far as any type of relationship. I told him we would be supportive. Someone give me some advice…..

    • Deb, your situation sounds very similar to mine. Our son is 21, never exhibited any feminine characteristics or interests but was very socially awkward and had suffered with depression. He is highly intelligent and had switched college majors to psychology so I was a bit worried about the self-diagnosis when he told us last fall that he is transgender, I wondered if he was just latching onto something he was studying to try to explain his issues. But we consulted his pediatrician who referred us to the local transgender clinic, who accepted him as a patient and also referred him to a therapist experienced with gender issues. I am just trusting the professionals to help him figure out for sure what is right for him or her, and hoping that it does indeed solve his social problems and depressive times. He does seem happier, and is taking the initiative to make all of the appointments and buy new clothes, which he was never good at before, so I take all of that as a positive sign that we are on the right track. Good luck to you!

    • Mary, thank you so very much for your reply to my post. I cannot believe the similarities in our sons journeys ough this time of self realization as well as self acceptance. I am going to look into local resources for him. Again thank you!

  19. Our little boy turned four last month. Before he even turned 2, I remember one night when I was reading him a story, he stopped me and said, “Mom, I don’t want to be a boy. I don’t want a weiner. I just want to be a girl.” He has three older sisters but none of them were ever as feminine as he is. He’s repeated those words to me multiple times over the last 2 years. He’s always wearing girl clothes at home, tells us he is going to work at Disneyland and be a princess, he wishes he was a girl every single day. We talked to his pediatrician at his 2, 3 and 4 year appointment and all we have been told was to just not make a big deal of it and just don’t draw attention to it. Well, we don’t really do that but we do let him wear what he wants when he’s home. We’ve bought dresses for him and shoes that he wants to hear how they sound when he walks, he’s worn his sisters clothes after they’ve grown out of them. He wears a nightgown to bed almost every night. I know it’s not a phase. We just can’t seem to find the help we need to ensure we are doing the right thing as parents. He wants nothing but to leave the house in girl clothes. He has dressed up as a Princess the last two Halloweens and his 4th birthday party he wanted a Frozen party so he could wear his Elsa dress and wig and have all his girlfriends come over to have tea and cupcakes. We did just that and he was sooo happy as he sang and danced for everyone at the party. He is the sweetest little soul and has always been happy until the last 3-4 months. He now seems to have a lot of anxiety, he doesn’t want to leave the house, or is fixated on when we’re going to get back home….because that’s where he gets to wear whatever. He wears high heels better than I do and begs us every day that we make him a girl. I don’t know what to do. We support him, but seem to be lost to the right approach. He’s even told me he doesn’t care if he gets made fun of. He’s only 4 and he’s saying this! He told me a couple weeks ago he can’t wait for summer so he can go swimming….and that he wants to wear a bathing suit so nobody can see his pecks. When I asked him why, he said it makes him feel weird to show his pecks. Something so weird for ANY four year old to say. We feel so torn because we want him to be happy….girl or boy…whatever he needs. But HOW is the right way for us to do this for such a young child? We are both Christians and he attends preschool at our church. Our lil guy is praying to God that He changes him. It just makes me cry. This was not a choice. This is how God made our little boy. And we’re okay with that. As parents, we all want our children to be happy so it is such a struggle to hear him say these things. We are currently waiting for a psych eval (referred by his pediatrician) to see if he is transgender or if it’s something else. Just trying to figure anything out. I really appreciate reading all of your stories too because I know now that I’m not alone in this. Advice is welcome and I pray we all can help our children live happy and peaceful lives!

    • One other thing…he says he wants to marry a girl in his preschool class. They are “both going to wear dresses and veils!” What does that mean?!!

      • Hi Valerie,
        I’m not a professional, just a mum like you – my posts appear (a few years!) earlier. I have been monitoring my son since, like yours, from an early age he seemed like a girl (he’d said he wanted to be a good mother when he grew up, displayed shock (aged 3) when I said he wouldn’t grow breasts to feed his baby, wore his hair in pigtails with ribbons and wanted to be “cute”). I was convinced he was transgender and wanted to know how best to support him, particularly in how to prevent male puberty when the time came (this, to me, seemed the most important for his overall well-being – there is no turning back once boys form an Adam’s apple, broadened physique etc).
        Now, he’s 8 going on 9 and couldn’t be more boyish! The changes happened little by little, starting at around 7yrs old. At first I observed from a distance, slightly concerned that he might be trying to conform to male social expectations, but it seemed a natural, not forced, change. Now he plays ninja more than with his dolls’ house and even has a bit of a male swagger! When I reminded him about him wanting to be a girl he says he doesn’t know why he “was a girl” for a while. He knows he can choose whether to be a boy or girl and that we love him no matter what he prefers but he honestly seems to be very male for now and says he wants to stay a boy.
        I still keep a little eye on the situation just in case things swing the other way. I did read about a long-term study, back when I was doing more reading on this, that showed very effeminate boys who were considered the most likely to be transgender, mostly turned out simply to be gay adults (sorry, no reference but you may be able to google it). So things could also go that way.
        I suppose I’m trying to say, despite all our expectations, being a girl seemed to be a phase after all. I’m surprised – I honestly didn’t expect the change, especially since, as in your case, he was expressing a female identity long before he understood sexuality. I wonder if it was because he spent most of his days/time with me and looked up to me as the “ideal” to grow into? I don’t know. He has 2 older brothers and I did notice your son has older sisters – maybe he just sees being grown up as being like them. I know the expression “just a phase” sounds so dismissive but despite all your expectations, it really could be a phase. Keep an open mind both ways and do continue to seek out help, but without seeing him being transgender as a foregone conclusion.
        Best of luck, Lorna

  20. Kandice O'briain says:

    Hiya everyone! I know its probably far too early to tell but I have a 15 month old who I feel may be transgender. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I wanted my child to wear whatever they felt comfortable in (as long as it’s age appropiate). As my youngest brother was transgender but my mum is very religious and used it as an excuse to tell my brother it was wrong for him to feel that way so he started to tell me to stop buying him girls clothes because mum will shout at him and now he just hides in his room all day every day and even told me he wishes he was dead because no one understand him so I never wanted my child to feel they can’t be themselves. We brought all gender nutural clothing till he was old enough to choose for himself. He only liked drinking out of pink sippie cups then it started to progress to him hiding everything blue and only wanted to play with stereotypical girls toys such as baby dolls. Now he has started refusing to wear boys clothes and will pull them off and throw them or scream and repeatively bang his head off the floor/wall till you take it off him. We wondered if he was just being cranky not wanting to wear clothes at all so we brought second hand pink pjamas and he smiled looking down at the clothes and was happy all day and was giggly and didn’t take them off at all! We’ve brought him some ‘girls’ clothes as he was starting to get really cold due to refusing to wear clothes and since then he has not pulled a single outfit off! He also will only play with girls in his toddler group. Is it too early to tell? I don’t mind at all if he is but I would like to know for sure.

  21. I’ve on,y read a few comments here, but I just wanted to say, before you push you child to become “normal”, read Leelah Alcorn’s suicide note. You’ll find it provides a telling insight into the mind of a child who is pushed in such a manner. If it doesn’t convince you to welcome who they are, it should at least inform you in how NOT to go about pushing them.

    • Thank you April… I am a Christian who believes that people are born the way that they are, gay, straight, trans, etc. I believe that Jesus taught us to love, not hate or judge.

      I just found out about my daughter a couple weeks ago and I know (now more than ever) that I just want her to be happy, she doesn’t want surgery to become a boy, but I will support her in any other way possible and make sure she knows how much I love her and accept her no matter what.

  22. I’m writing because I am trying to understand what is going on with my daughter. She is currently in Richmond University Medical Center Adolescent Psychiatric Unit. She’s been there since Tuesday night when she told her therapist at therapy that she wanted to hurt herself. I was advised to bring her in and have her evaluated. I asked that they admit her because I can’t be sure she wouldn’t hurt herself. For the last two years Lily has claimed that she is transgender. It came out of the blue out of nowhere. I have no understanding as to where this is coming from because Lily, as a child was for all purposes was a happy kid. She did very well in school, she always had friends, she was sociable and participated in school activities. She always liked to draw so I was always buying crayons, markers. Lily from a young age was an artist and continues to be. I never had an issue with her in school, no one ever saw her withdrawn or upset. She always got outstanding comments when I went for parent-teacher conferences. Just before Lily got her period she became very chubby to the point where I had started to worry about her weight. Then she got her period, started puberty and the “baby fat” melted off her immediately. She handled getting her period very maturely. We bought pads and told her what to do, explained what was going on. Eventually she asked to start shaving her legs. So I purchased hair remover for her and showed her how to do her legs and underarms. She did this fine, without question and without hesitation. No problem whatsoever. Upon graduating from elementary school, she wanted to go shopping for her graduation dress. So we did. We went to the mall she picked out a dress and she looked beautiful. That day she wore a pair of my flat shoes and I fixed her hair and applied a little make up. All the while, she seemed excited and never complained about anything.

    Between the ages of 12 to 13 something changed in her. She began wearing baggy shirts, lose fitting jeans. Lily was always a conservative dresser, she was never one of those girls who showed themselves off. But I thought it was just a phase that she would grow out of. Instead in morphed into her wanting to dress like a boy. Actually buying boys jeans and kept asking me to buy her a chest binder. We used to go bra shopping and she never had a problem with it. She did mention once that she was concerned with something, one breast was slightly larger than the other. At the time, there wasn’t much of a difference so I didn’t make a big deal out of it, I didn’t want to upset her or alarm her, and she was young, her body is still changing. About six months after her 13th birthday she told me she was gay. This too, seemed to come out of no where to me, but I said I had no problem with her being gay. About six months after she told me she was gay, she said she believes she was transgender. This was definitely hard to hear and i thought she was fast tracking her way to something she really didn’t know about. She kept telling me how she was looking things up online and watching surgeries of people changing how they look. I told her to stop looking at these things up because if she was transgender she way years away from anything like that.

    There are two things that have always stuck with me regarding Lily. She flat out says she hates having her period. And she hates her breasts. She is now 17, and it is quite visible that one breast is larger than the other. Now I’m left wondering if its body issues that she is having. Maybe my daughter is somewhere between BDD and GID, I don’t know. I just don’t understand how someone goes from being okay with them selves to hating the way they are. It is clear that I am way over my head. I’m doing my best to get educated on everything from Transgender to BDD trying to figure out where Lily fits in.

    My daughter has used the term pansexual as well, first she’s gay, then she’s transgender, and yet she crushes on a boy and then says that gender doesnt matter that she doesnt see people that way. She also chats online, with other transgenders.

    I dont know what to do anymore …

    • Wow… this actually sounds a lot like my daughter, I’m also trying to figure this all out… I think the biggest thing for me is to make sure she knows that I love and support her no matter what, she also goes to counseling and she is pretty open with me. It’s only been a couple weeks since I first found this all out so it’s really fresh.

      I did a little research and learned that there are many types of transgender, some that want the surgery, some that are comfortable with both male and female identities. I think there is a good chance that we both have daughters that are some form of transgender… I think the key is to not get too upset about it… it is what it is (keep reading the Serenity Prayer, that always helps me). I think that they are just as confused as we are and are just trying to figure it all out themselves.

      I wish you all the best and just know that you are not alone in this.

  23. my grandson will turn 4 next month and I’m wondering if he is transgender …he has two best friends that are girls… he’s already made comments that..( oh I want to be the girl )he likes princess stuff .likes to put on his mom shoes once in awhile and walk in them but yet he plays with all boys toys … I never heard him ask for any dolls or any other girl toys ..should I have any concerns

    • Crystal Chauppetta says:

      My 13 year old daughter first came out to me as bisexual 5 days ago and just last night while talking about that and alot of other things she stopped me and showed me The word Transgender she typed she looked so worried then I was kinda shocked but kinda knew already just never actually heard the words from her voice! I’m standing there like an idiot trying to put a finger on what she was trying to say! I’m just learning about all the different types of genders, and she’s been the one teaching me! But before I knew she was trans, she played with boys and girls toys growing up, when it was time for her to dress herself she started wearing things that wouldn’t match she always acted like a boy even though I constantly kept calling my baby girl. She never wanted to do anything with her hair, about 3 yrs ago when she was 10 her shirt styles at that time became everything plaide and slowly mot wearing shorts anymore, And now I’ve been buying her all black Tshirts nothing but dark jeans and dark shoes, when she first came out as bisexual she started begging to have her hair cut which even with what I found out last night we got scheduled to cut her hair to her ears Saturday! It all makes perfect since to me now! She even said she has a boy name she would like me to call her when we’re in private untill she’s ready to come out to rest of the family, which she said will be soon she’s frightened but I can tell this is eating her up inside! Now I noticed I said she the whole time yes I gave birth to a beautiful little girl! But her Gender has always been male! So it is he I will now be referring to nothings changed my child is the same child he has always been it took alot of courage, trust and love to tell me that! Now I owe it to him to do the same!!! But one question do weed need a therapist or doctor to continue to transition at this point?

  24. OK, my daughter just turned 14 years old, she has always worn dresses, played with dolls, had no interest as a child to do anything related to boys (trucks, sports, clothes, etc.). She was very excited when her sister got her period and even more excited when she got hers. She insisted on getting a padded bra so she appeared to have more than she really did. All of her friends are girls and she doesn’t gravitate toward boys, she’s had several crushes on boys (I know that gender identity and sexual preference are separate, but I wanted to mention it).

    Very recently she has viewed TV shows featuring transgender individuals and has also learned about Bruce Jenner. Within the past couple months, I noticed that she’s been researching transgender and has now (on occasion) showed interest in binding her chest, but still wants to wear her padded bra and dresses on special occasions.

    She has a best friend who has always shown signs of possibly being transgender. She told me that her best friend asked her if she thinks she might be transgender and she said that she thinks she is. She is very attached to this friend, also something to note is that in a few weeks they will be moving on to separate schools and she has always been very open about that fact that she does not do well with change AT ALL… she’s had the same color bedroom since she was 3 years old, we just keep painting it over with a fresh coat.

    I’ve told her that I love her and accept her no matter what and I mean it. However internally I can’t help but think that her friend has influenced these thoughts and feelings… I’ll support her no matter what… I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts and also any advice on how to proceed.

    Also, note that both my mom, dad and husband have made comments about Bruce Jenner (and “those people”) being freaks, so I’m nervous for her… the challenging part for me is that I just want her to be happy and I don’t want her to be hurt.

  25. So I know it’s a young age to worry about but while trying to figure what’s bothering my 8 year old nephew I began to realize that my almost 3 year old daughter displays alot of signs of being transgender. She refuses to pee setting down and actually goes standing up. If I put her in a dress she crys until I put her in something else and she is the same way about anything pink. If someone gives her a doll she gives it to her cousin and only wants hot wheels and toy tools. She has asked me more than once when her penis will grow in. She asks me all time to cut her hair like her male cousins I always thought it was because she doesn’t like her curls but I am wondering now. And she always tells people her name is Ace which comes from her initials. I have not cut her hair and I always allow her to dress in what she wants and play with what she wants. And I am wondering if she could be transgender or am I just over worried?

  26. You should never encourage your child into anything, until he/she is a grown up person. how can you put your underage child put on hormones or let a child undergo any surgery?
    When I was about the same age, I wanted to be a boy, because I liked physical activities more than playing with stupid dolls. I even tried once to pee like a boy and peed all over myself (I thought it’s much cooler how boys pee)…But then time went by, I grew up and now I’m as feminine woman as it gets. And I’m a great mommy of a wonderful little girl.
    You should always give it time and never encourage your child into anything.
    And I hate when they call you right away ….phobic. Please! No parent wants her/his child to see trapped in a wrong body or having even having a gay child. accepting is one thing, but being happy about it is another.

    • Another Confused Mom says:

      Dear Marie,

      Thank you very much for sharing your experience, I found it very helpful. My teenager claimed she was a boy about 6-7 months ago, now she is 17. The reason it came out as a shock to me was because she never before showed any signs of gender non-conformity. I tried to discharge it as a phase, but it definitely does not work. As a mother I wish all the best for my child and my biggest paralysing fear is that she will experience even more misunderstanding, rejection and emotional abuse in this judgemental world. On the one hand, I want to at least eliminate the judging in our relationships; on the other hand, I am afraid that this will push her even more to pursue the transition. She has been suffering from serious mental problems associated with eating disorder and it is very difficult to draw a line. She comes across as a person with identity crisis, her confidence is low, she hates herself and self-harms. As I see it, she might be in a transgender spectrum, or fully transgender, or just tries to escape. It is convenient for the eating disorder to make her feel as a transgender because then she is under its full control. She is afraid of putting on weight because she does not want to have period and grow breasts. Therefore, she is enclosed in this binging/purging cycle, which in combination with her diabetes, kills her physically and emotionally. She now refuses to see the therapist about the eating disorder and only wants to go to one who supports her transgender identity. Needless to say, that it has been impossible for us to find a specialist who works with transgender and eating disorders – these disciplines do not seem to overlap. I just wish that once she is in recovery from the eating disorder and becomes stronger emotionally, it will be easier to determine where she is in terms of gender conformity. But how to get there out of this net of issues, is a big question. Guess just take a step at a time and work on improvement of physical and emotional health and then, let’s see in which direction she will go. I totally agree with you that this decision should be taken at a certain level of maturity.

      • Daisydog33 says:

        A good therapist who is familiar with gender issues WILL not just randomly support her being transgender. Well, to re-state that, a good therapist might support her being transgender, but will try to determine whether or not that is what she truly is. IF she will see a gender therapist, set her up with a gender therapist. It won’t push them into being more transgender and a good therapist will also help deal with the eating disorder. I would get her into whatever therapy you can.

        I will say that there are websites for girls trying to “pass” as boys that state the need to be extremely thin. Another reason why a gender therapist would be a good start!

  27. Another Confused Mom says:

    Sorry, it came out wrong in the above post that “On the one hand, I want to at least eliminate the judging in our relationships; on the other hand, I am afraid that this will push her even more to pursue the transition.”. What I try to say if I support and encourage her, will it not push her towards pursuing the transition? Is it not my role as a parent to gently pull her back towards feminity?

  28. Daisydog33 says:

    It is so good to read about others going through the same thing I am. My 15 year old daughter was always a GIRL, not girly-girl, but still clearly a GIRL. When she came to us about 4 months ago stating she was Genderfluid and then 2 months ago, stating she was transgender, my husband and I were floored. We still are! We 100% support her choices and just want her to be happy, but truly, that is the “PC” thing to say. It is true, we do support her…but it is not easy.

    We are still confused, still surprised, still wondering. Like so many similar posts here, a year ago, my daughter was wearing skirts and dresses all the time, wore heels, and was proud of her rather large breasts. Then, she made friends with a group of kids who are all gender questioning, got into Cosplay and Anime, was always on Tumblr, and then, surprise, she is transgender. She wears a binder and only dresses in boys clothes. But, everything else she does is still very feminine. The things she likes and is attracted to are still feminine.

    Does part of me wonder if it is the influence of this new group of friends? Does part of me wonder if this is just the new trend or a phase? Do I mourn the daughter I seem to be losing? Do I sometimes just need to sit down and cry? Absolutely! But I have to respect this process and follow it wherever it may go. This is her journey. Not the one that I would have chosen for her, but still hers.

    She is seeing a gender therapist now. She wants hormones and a name change and male pronouns, but we are talking this slow and steady. We respect and love her and we feel we deserve the same from her and that means not rushing our process as we are not rushing hers.

    This is difficult, it is confusing, it is HARD! But, I must remember that my daughter as a son is better than my daughter as a suicide statistic.

  29. For everyone saying my daughter says she is trans but does not show it it could be because she is worried what other people will think of it if she does

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