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About the Gender Critical Support Board
#62
Hi, I'm new to all of this.  My son announced in January that he's a girl in a boys body and that he's transgender.  He told us in a letter because he was afraid that we would get mad at him.  My son is 13 years old.  He just started puberty.  I believe that he's feeling this way because of social influences and just in general due to puberty.  He watches a lot of YouTube and is in chat rooms for gaming.  I monitor his phone, which he hates.  We just recently had a discussion with his therapist and him and his therapist says that chat rooms and social media are how kids connect with their friends nowadays and that she thinks we shouldn't monitor his usage so much because kids need privacy.  I disagree with that thinking.  He recently told his cousin that he wants hormones and he knows his parents won't allow it.  He's lying and cheating behind our backs.  I don't want to lose him.  He's already becoming distant.  My knee jerk reaction is to take his phone away and all of his internet access, except for what he does for school and give him a chance to reboot.  We keep plugging him into the Youth Group at church and Youth Group activities, but now he's also declaring to friends that he doesn't believe in God.  I'm not sure how to gently move him to better thinking and to get him to open up about how he feels so that I can have discussions with him on my concerns.  Although, I know he hates us and doesn't trust me.  He already thinks that we're against him.  He seems to be heading in a downward spiral of depression and anger.  It seems that some of his influences are 8th Graders that will be graduating in May.  He's in 7th Grade.  Another influence is someone that he chats with that's in High School.  He chats with her online.  Thankfully, the 8th Graders that are influencing him now will be gone next year and he will be going to a different High School than everyone else after next year.  I'm hoping that will help.  But, I'd like to know what to do in the meantime and how to talk to him and get my opinion and concerns across without him resenting me and just shutting down completely.  I've done a lot of research and I want him to see both sides of the coin.  The good and the bad of transitioning.  Because right now, all he sees and believes is what his friends are telling him.  Its "the grass is always greener" scenario.  I would really like to chat with other parents that are going through the same thing, or have been through it so that I can get some ideas.  I feel like if I push him too hard that he will rebel more and just not want to listen to my opinion even more.  I want to find a balance, if there is one.

(04-Jan-2019, 03:56 PM)Ryder\smom Wrote: I feel very fortunate to have found this board today.

My daughter is 14 and shared she feels she is transgender in August, so approximately 5 months ago. She had struggled with body dysmorphia and showed some signs of developing an eating disorder for a few years, has struggled off and on with depression and anxiety since childhood, and had been totally immersed in social media, especially Tumblr, prior to this time. She is an only child, bright, a bit quirky, and has struggled with friendships and fitting in over the years. She never shared that she felt male or showed any signs of wanting to be male as a child. She also has a handful of trans friends and those who identify on the gender spectrum (non-binary, gender fluid, etc.), some of whom she knows online and some in person. Prior to her announcement, she spent 9 months in an online relationship with a girl thinking she might be bisexual, which ended after she was harassed on Tumblr after determining she isn't attracted to girls. She recently reported to me that the former girlfriend (with whom she has no contact, has deleted her Tumblr account) is now also identifying as trans -- she heard this from a mutual trans friend.

In the past five months, we've gotten her on Prozac which has helped with her anxiety and some of her depression, though it still lingers, and she's seeing a therapist (who does not have a specialty in gender identity issues) who has made some headway in stabilizing her moods. However, she is very entrenched in her new identity, obsessed with hormone treatments and begging us to help her get them at 16. We call her by her preferred name at home and have allowed her to get a binder, cut her hair short and wear more masculine clothing -- all concessions we made because she was so anxious and obsessive. She is still struggling with depression and anxiety but says she feels happier now than she has in a while -- we don't know whether to attribute this to meds and therapy, living in her chosen new identity, ending the relationship with the girl that had really stressed her out, or a combination of the above.

A few questions for those of you dealing with these issues:
1. How does one find a therapist who can help explore these issues and provide breathing space to slow down obsessive thinking? We are in the Cleveland, Ohio area. I am concerned that any "gender identity" therapist I find will tell me that I need to support her transition and fulfill her requests as soon as possible. I am convinced there may be more going on here and that she needs time to be more introspective and thoughtful. Her struggles with her changing body have been a huge part of this, so therapy addressing that issue will be crucial, I think.


2. Does anyone have suggestions for cutting down social media use (which I'm certain is a culprit) without alienating her or giving her panic attacks? She seems to think social media is her lifeline and even admits it helped to "educate" her on what it means to be trans.

3. I want to find other activities that help develop her as a full person and get her mind on other things. Outdoor activities have been suggested but any others are welcome. I do think her anxiety prevents her from trying new things and has served to isolate her over the years, so I'm looking for things that get her out and active.

Thank you for any help you can offer! I am comforted knowing I'm not alone in this.

This sounds like my story.  Only mine is with my 13 year old son.  I too am looking for ways to get him away from social media more and interested in other things.  I'm hoping that not being on it so much and the influences at school that will be graduating 8th Grade soon not being around will help him to explore other things.
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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
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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
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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
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