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#41
Hi Cal1520, welcome. Your membership has been activated. Please join us in the members-only forum.
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#42
Also just wanted to let you know, Cal1520, I deleted your above post for your privacy, since it is also posted in the members-only forum.
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#43
I'm in a bit of shock reading these stories that are so similar to what has happened with our daughter, who is 12 1/2. She has not told us she is having gender issues, but it is clear that she is and she is deeply secretive about it. She started pulling away from me (not so much her father) when she started puberty when she was 10. It was way too early for her, as she was never a girly girl and I felt it would have been better if she had started puberty much later. At that time, she started wearing baggy clothes and only androgynous tennis shoes. She won't wear or carry anything feminine (no purses and gender-neutral backpack). She won't shave her legs, or do any other regular middle school girl stuff like consider makeup, or pluck her eyebrows or get a pedicure or even wear cute clothes gender neutral or not. She wears a hoodie literally every day. 

She is also highly/profoundly gifted and had been in the gifted program in elementary school, and in advanced classes in middle school. She is a wonderful writer and artist, and like so many others I'm reading about here, is into anime. 

She has been part of an online writing group since she was about 8 1/2, and she considers those girls to be her best friends. They write and play role playing games. I found out about a year ago-- actually it was two summers ago-- that many of the girls are non-binary, a couple are transgender and many are gay, as is the woman who runs the writing group. I think all of the girls are extremely gifted and amazing writers and very supportive of each other. But they are 1-4 years older than my daughter. I think social contagion could be an explanation for why so many of these particular girls identify the way they do, but of course I don't know.

We're a very liberal family and want to support and accept our daughter however she is, and honestly, since she isn't letting on about these issues, I can't be positive that this is what her issue is. She doesn't reveal her personal thoughts to me at all. She is in counseling right now for anxiety. I told her counselor that I'm wondering whether part of her anxiety might revolve around gender issues and she agreed with me and will try exploring it with her. Of course the counselor won't tell me what they talk about.

I'm interested to see how others are dealing with this. I'm afraid of the path we're going down and don't know how to turn it around.
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#44
I was glad that I found this site for support for parents. There's a little bit of guilt associated with going to a site like this as well. I'll start right out by saying that I am on the fence about how I feel and since my husband is taking more of a hard line approach it does may me want to go a little more in the "accept/embrace the situation" camp. But I will be the 1st to admit that I don't know what to think or feel about the situation There seems to be such strong camps at the ends of the spectrum. On one hand it feels like there is the this is wrong or not a real thing camp. Then there's the camp where it feels like as soon as someone hints that they may be trans they are 100% on board and feel that parents need to be educated on proper pronouns and the risks of suicide if you show any signs of being unsupportive or questioning. Based on this forum it appears that there are a lot of parents out there that may be like me and are not quite sure what we are supposed to do. It feels like you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. It would almost be easier if I had these strong religious beliefs that would tell me that being trans is not really a thing. But I don't have these black and white, right versus wrong ideas. I am very accepting of gay relationships and have a few relatives who are gay. I am not gay but I have always held the belief that although it is not my own personal experience, people can be attracted to members of the same sex. I have always had a similar thought process when I have thought about people who are trans. I never questioned it. I thought that a person who came out as being trans just knew that was who they were. Now that my 15 year old daughter has recently told me that she is a boy, I started to question how is this possible. In the stories that I had read in the past it would talk about how a boy at a very young age wanted to wear dresses and play with dolls. There always appeared to be some signs along the way. In my situation I did not see any signs. There were no fights over wearing dresses and tights. She painted her nails and made necklaces. She picked out bikini bathing suits to wear in the summer. I did not see her play with trucks or any interest in sports. I did not see her trying to bond with her younger brother. If anything she acted repulsed at times when he was doing typical boy things. So what happened or changed. I really don't know. I would love to understand but my daughter is not willing to talk about the details with us. If she could just give me some examples about how she feels or make some attempt to help me understand. I am open to listening to what she has to say. But in my search to try to understand I am also thinking about other things that may be contributing to this. It is interesting the notion that the internet and YouTube can be a possible influence. You sit back and hear about all of these kids sucking on Tide pods just because they saw it on YouTube and you can't help but think about the power social media has to influence teens and young adults. Then you also feel guilty because you are considering a theory that is not supportive at least by the LGBTQ community. Part of me feels terrible because I am questioning my own thought processes. Am I thinking about a trans person the way that people used to think about gay people? At this point I still believe that some people really are or feel the need to be trans but I am wondering if there are more people especially teens and young adults that are declaring that they are without really having some independent self-reflection thinking going on. I found it interesting how may parents on this blog have a similar experience where their daughter starts puberty at around the age of 13/14 and within a few months they are thinking that they are a boy. I do wonder if the unpleasantness that comes along with being a woman and the feeling of not being like the girls who embrace the stereotypical traits of being a woman can be enough to make girls question their gender. Can part of this be associated with the rejection of the traits that society place on what a woman should be? If I feel like I am not pretty and hate getting my period is there something gong on? Are they looking for answers on YouTube? Maybe this should be some grad student's thesis for getting their PHD but it would be interesting to see the differences between 2 populations of girls one with exposure to the internet and the other without and what the outcome would be.

The bottom line is that we love our kids and we want to protect them. We don't want to have our kids kill themselves and we don't want to have them do that because of something that we did. But the hard part is we really do not know what is the right thing to do. We really do not know what is causing the thoughts that our child is thinking. The therapist don't know either and unfortunately maybe our kids don't know. There's lots of opinions out there and many times the statements made by different camps sound reasonable. There are stories galore about successful transitions and happy people and other stories about people who changed their minds and are happy as well. Its the stories where things don't work out that have me scared. We are told the best thing to do is to support your child but I am not sure what that means anymore. Am I being supportive by letting them experiment and express a different gender or is it supportive to help them further explore and question why they think they are a different gender?

(22-Jun-2018, 03:35 PM)AtALoss Wrote: I'm in a bit of shock reading these stories that are so similar to what has happened with our daughter, who is 12 1/2. She has not told us she is having gender issues, but it is clear that she is and she is deeply secretive about it. She started pulling away from me (not so much her father) when she started puberty when she was 10. It was way too early for her, as she was never a girly girl and I felt it would have been better if she had started puberty much later. At that time, she started wearing baggy clothes and only androgynous tennis shoes. She won't wear or carry anything feminine (no purses and gender-neutral backpack). She won't shave her legs, or do any other regular middle school girl stuff like consider makeup, or pluck her eyebrows or get a pedicure or even wear cute clothes gender neutral or not. She wears a hoodie literally every day. 

She is also highly/profoundly gifted and had been in the gifted program in elementary school, and in advanced classes in middle school. She is a wonderful writer and artist, and like so many others I'm reading about here, is into anime. 

She has been part of an online writing group since she was about 8 1/2, and she considers those girls to be her best friends. They write and play role playing games. I found out about a year ago-- actually it was two summers ago-- that many of the girls are non-binary, a couple are transgender and many are gay, as is the woman who runs the writing group. I think all of the girls are extremely gifted and amazing writers and very supportive of each other. But they are 1-4 years older than my daughter. I think social contagion could be an explanation for why so many of these particular girls identify the way they do, but of course I don't know.

We're a very liberal family and want to support and accept our daughter however she is, and honestly, since she isn't letting on about these issues, I can't be positive that this is what her issue is. She doesn't reveal her personal thoughts to me at all. She is in counseling right now for anxiety. I told her counselor that I'm wondering whether part of her anxiety might revolve around gender issues and she agreed with me and will try exploring it with her. Of course the counselor won't tell me what they talk about.

I'm interested to see how others are dealing with this. I'm afraid of the path we're going down and don't know how to turn it around.

Today if my 1st day on the blog so I have not had a chance to read all of the posts yet but something caught my eye in your post that is similar to my daughter.  Role playing, hoodies, interest in animation and on line writing group.  How strange/interesting that this is something in common.  My daughter is 15 and she told me about 5 months ago that she is a boy.  She has not done much yet as far as acting upon this or declaring this to the world.  She told me that she has felt this way since 7th grade so it has been 2 years.  Probably started when she started puberty.  Back then she stated to only want to wear t-shirts an sweatpants however she wore bikinis in the summer.  She started refusing to take showers or going to the hairdressers.  She started staying in her bedroom and being very short with us.  She developed issues with eating and OCD.  She was given a tablet for her 12th birthday and it started out as playing FNAF (before it became popular) to playing animal jam and 2 years later that turned into role playing and online writing groups.  She has mentioned to me that she writes as a male on these sites.  When she told me that she was a boy thru therapy they suggested letting her experiment with clothing and her hair.  She got her hair cut short and platinum blonde and bought some gender neutral ripped jeans and then we bought the hoodie.  I regret buying that hoodie.  I think she was embarrassed by her hair change in school so from day 1 she wore that hood up all day long in school all the way thru the last day in June.  When she is home she wears a t shirt and shorts but when we go out she grabs that hoodie even if it is 80-90 degrees out. Part of me wonders if it is a security blanket now to hide her hair and I am not sure if she is wearing a bra or not anymore.  she is very petite due to her eating issues so it is hard to tell under the hoodie.  She still resists taking a shower unless we give her an ultimatum.  She still does not know what to do with her hair. Been 7 months since her last haircut.  I was recently told that in June she did talk with her school counselor about wanting to change her name in school to a boy name and her gender listing on school documents. I was surprised that she is pushing for that since she is so hesitant on how to express herself with clothing and hair.
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#45
Mom1211- I would recommend you head over to the members only section of the board and cut/paste your story there. I think you will see that many of the parents on this board have similar feelings and experiences.
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#46
How do you find and navigate the Member’s Only section?
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#47
[quote pid='15537' dateline='1530475523']
How do you find and navigate the Member’s Only section?
[/quote]

You have to register and then log in.
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#48
Same story, different state. Family wrecked, willing to love unconditionally if this had presented as the prior centuries of gender dysphoria have as opposed to going from shopping at Justice to “I am transgender” at age 13, and if my doubts weren’t confirmed by the experience of so many others. I am in the Dallas area and went to ONE parent support group where I was immediately given the name and number of an endocrinologist and a referral to the Genecis Program whose agenda is absolutely to transition these kiddos as fast as possible. I haven’t been able to locate the Resources tab, and am looking for a therapist in the DFW area that is willing to CHALLENGE the issue - not push it forward or condemn or bully her in the name of religion - but can’t find anyone willing to help me help her EXPLORE THIS while I still have some sort of control over these decisions. I am willing to love my kid no matter what, but what’s the harm in making sure it is what it is before we push the agenda of changing the course for the rest of their lives???? I have let my teen know that I will love them NO MATTER WHAT, but it isn’t fair of her to ask me to make a decision like removing breasts and taking away her ability to bear children. What kind of mother would that make me ten years down the line if she were to regret that decision? How could I ever explain why I wasn’t there to protect her from her? I won’t do it, that’s not fair to me and she says she completely understands. But why is it so freaking difficult to simply find a professional willing to assist me in challenging the issue for the sake of being sure for God’s sake? Can someone direct me to the resources tab, or let me know if there are any therapists in the DFW area that can help?
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#49
Hello ajbeth68, your account has been activated and you now have access to the entire forum, including the resources forum. Welcome.
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