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About the Gender Critical Support Board
Hi, Everyone. So grateful for all of you right now. Thank you ahead of time for reading this.

Our story is the same. Beautiful, gifted, 14yo daughter, who I will call, "A," came out before the holidays as non-binary (some days feels like a girl, others a boy) and then a couple of weeks later, said she was a boy. At first, thinking it was a phase, I was really supportive and asked her how I can help her. She wanted to cut off her waist-length hair to an undercut, wear boy's clothing, and change her name to a boy's name. I had discussions like, "Your sisters and I are not very girlie, so perhaps you are just trying to shed your ultra-female image," and "There are a lot of ways to be a girl and not conform to stereotypes," etc. etc. etc. She would just cry, and say, "No, I don't FEEL like a boy, I AM a boy." It was all like a punch in the stomach, but I knew it was a delicate situation. Her dad was thinking we should NOT affirm any of it. I was torn completely. I understood behavioral options as that is literally what I do for a living working with kids on the autism spectrum (one of my daughters is also on the spectrum). 

We saw a VERY GENDER-AFFIRMING therapist and she suggested a psychotherapy group that works with LGTBQ kids and, being a strong ally (my oldest daughter is bisexual), had a gut feeling A would not identify with this group, but considered it as a source of help if she needed it, or a way for her to realize she doesn't fit in and help her grow that awareness. Her dad, also an ally, agreed, but did NOT consider it. One therapist we worked with said, "Social contagion---Several years ago it was cutting, then it was suicide, now it's transgender." I completely agreed, but the question was, "How do I help her?"

A few other facts: 

A is the youngest of three girls. All three gifted, one with Aspergers. Oldest is very strong-willed but struggled with body image issues (overweight) and had a rough tween/teen period of rebellion and was "Emo" and cutting. However, by sophomore year, had completely changed back to her beautiful and confident self. She now considers that culture like a CULT she got wrapped up in because she had trouble fitting in to other peer groups and finds it hard to talk about. A has always idealized and "worshipped" her oldest sister, for better or for worse, lol. When oldest sister moved away to college two years ago, A seemed very lost without her and missed her. Older sister thinks A is going through a very similar situation as she did at that age. 

A has changed schools and names several times and has had trouble finding a peer group. She was at an elementary school and had an emotionally abusive teacher in 4th grade, and there was a mass exodus of kids in that grade to other schools because the school district wouldn't fire the abusive teacher. I moved A to another school and she asked to change to her full name instead of her shortened nickname she had always gone by. When she went to middle school, she applied to get into a special school for gifted (that her oldest sister HAD gotten into) and did not get in. This was a huge blow to her self-esteem. She went to the neighborhood middle school and was so depressed and anxious, she asked if she could go somewhere else the next year. After much consideration, she ended up at a private school on a college campus. THIS is where she met the friend group who has LGTBQ kids. ONE OF THEM COMMITTED SUICIDE - His parents had forced him into conversion therapy at his church and he hung himself in his bedroom Sad. This profoundly impacted by daughter, of course, and also scared the heck out of me because my daughter has been struggling and there are so many stories of suicide in the media.

Another thing that I think is important---She has said, "Boys are cat-calling me and making lewd comments about my breasts and ass." AND, the #MeToo movement, which escalated last year prior to her coming out, scared her about boys and men. 

One more point: She was using my computer a lot to get on tumblr and I happened to see she had created multiple accounts, each one a completely different persona (girl, bisexual; boy, gay; etc.) and they all communicated with each other and created a story about coming out. She was "shipping" characters from movies like Harry Potter, meaning saying two boys were a gay couple, for example. A lot of them were very creative, but also had sexist comments about women. The sexist comments REALLY bothered me. I got a Disney Circle for my house and blocked social media for her phone and laptop, and changed the password on my computer so she can't use it.

ALL of these variables are very important and I feel led to her decision to make this change. Right now, she digs her heels in about being a boy, but we are NOT affirming the name and pronouns. However, she wants to start yet another school in the fall so she can go as 100% a boy. We have forbidden her use of BOYS BATHROOMS. She tried using one at a theme park and it completely freaked her out and she went into the girls restroom the rest of the day.

If the trans community is like a cult, perhaps we look into research on how to help kids out of cults to inform how to deal with this??? One thing that helped my oldest was I pulled her out of school for the last half of 8th grade when the suicide ideations were occurring, took her phone, laptop, all devices, and just spent time with her on getting her through her school work, horseback riding (her passion), and completely isolated her from all influences. I considered it a "hard reset" on her life. Then, over the summer, she went to a 7-week camp that didn't allow devices. All of this WORKED. She stopped all of the behaviors and started back on the path to being herself again.

Thank you, again!

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Messages In This Thread
About the Gender Critical Support Board - by admin - 12-Oct-2017, 09:30 PM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by natsblog30 - 20-Oct-2017, 12:43 AM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Guest - 25-May-2018, 05:43 PM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Guest - 21-Nov-2017, 01:44 AM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Guest - 27-Jan-2019, 03:49 PM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by MelissaB - 03-Jan-2019, 02:39 AM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Kellogmom - 17-Mar-2018, 02:32 PM
RE: Treat them like they are in a cult... - by Mom1977 - 10-Jun-2018, 01:30 PM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Guest - 27-Oct-2018, 09:03 PM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Guest - 11-Dec-2018, 01:54 AM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by MelissaXX - 03-Jan-2019, 02:33 AM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Guest - 21-Dec-2018, 04:41 PM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Guest - 03-Jan-2019, 05:14 PM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by kano - 03-Feb-2019, 08:26 PM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Guest - 28-Feb-2019, 08:08 AM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Guest - 13-May-2019, 10:52 PM
RE: About the Gender Critical Support Board - by Guest - 02-Aug-2019, 07:42 PM

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