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What to do when your child tells you they are transgender?

My 1st child told me she’s transgender… Now what?!!

My oldest child was born a girl and now we have to start getting used to referring to her as a boy. She, I mean he is 16 years old now.

But first let me tell you when she was 11 years old, she started having signs of hostility. She was just angry at everything. Nothing we did seem to make her happy. My husband and I then assumed she just has raging hormones like me when I started getting my period.

About a year later, we noticed her left arm with cuts. My daughter, who is now my son was trying to cut herself to help cope with the pain of not knowing where she belonged. She would force herself to vomit after having dinner with us. She also tried to starve herself to make her die because she thought she doesn’t deserve to live. She didn’t feel good enough to live.

We’ve taken her to therapy and psychiatry and learned that she’s going through so many things in her life. I will not call them changes but rather call them growing pains. It’s hard enough to be a teenager. It’s hard enough to be a teenager in this day and age. How much more difficult it probably was for her to let us know that… She transgender.

At first, my daughter told us she’s gay. Okay. No biggie. My brother is gay. He’s married now after a huge wedding with his husband. They’ve been together for a really long time. I don’t have anything against gayness. And I hope I don’t offend anyone. So, my daughter dated girls. I believe we met her last girl friend and kind of knew her a little more because she came over a lot and my daughter went over to her girls fitness house a lot. Things were good, it’s again, not a big deal. It’s not unique to have gay family or friends anymore.

Then, almost 7 months later my daughter started to date a boy. She broke up with her girlfriend and dated this boy. I thought, oh my… She’s bisexual. Could she be confused? Does she really know she’s dating both sex? Hmm… Later in she tell me her boyfriend is gay! Now this did not make sense to me at all. I’m sorry, but she had to explain things further.

She tells me she’s transgender boy (and a cis- girl). Cis(girl or boy) is the gender you’re born with. Since she’s a boy, her, I mean his boyfriend is gay dating another boy. A transgender boy. Does that make sense? I hope it does because that’s what I thought of initially but did not have a name for it. Now that we’ve affirmed he’s transgender boy, nothing changes in this house. He is still expected to do chores and get good grades!!! The same respect we ask for with him when he was a girl will be the same respect we ask of him now that he’s a boy.

The expectations do not change with our virtues. We love him for who he is. We support him because we care about him. We continue to provide guidance and protection because we are his parents.

Now that the closet is wide open and he’s come out first as lesbian/gay and now as transgender boy… He is much happier. He is back to the happy person we’ve all known when he was a little kid.

 

 

Need Gender Neutral Bathroom At the Movies

It is the beginning of our 2017 spring break season! My husband and I took leave to spend more time with our children. We’re so busy all the time that we have to make sure we take time off and spend it with our kids especially when they are also on their break.

Our oldest daughter, who is now our son, wasn’t going to come with us to the movies because he has “homework” to do (but it’s the beginning of spring break). Blah blah blah, okay… it’s 9:45 am and we are all going together. We said it is early enough that there’s going to be plenty of time to do “homework” after lunch.

We saw he was just online chatting with his friends.  We get real annoyed when he prioritizes other people than us.  We are glad he or she did not take no for an answer when we said, “we are all going to the movie theater as a family.”

The first thing we did during our first day of vacation was watching a movie. We went to the first matinee show at 10:20 am to ensure we do not have to pay for the ridiculously expensive movie ticket. Matinees are the best for a family of 5 because we spend less than $40 for the movie tickets. Now, the concession stands, on the other hand, is still really very expensive. I wish the theaters provide matinee movies concession pricing.

We went and saw this children’s movie called, Boss Baby. It was a funny one! Although it made me think of my oldest child who was our only child for 6 years before we decided to have another one.

Sunflower, my first born is a transman. He was born as my daughter and has been my daughter for 16 years. He came out to us in June 2016 that he is a transman. It made me so confused and worried. I was worried about things that he probably also worries about such as what gender bathroom to use now that he identifies as a male. [Wishing there’s a gender-neutral bathroom available].

Welp, after the movie at the movie theater he decided to use the female bathroom. I turned around and looked at my hubby to check if he noticed he went to the ladies room. My husband noticed that our trans-son went to the female’s bathroom too. We both did not say a word and we did not ask why he did that. We just went along with his choice.

We do not want to ask in public or even in private at this time why he did that, but it sure confuses us. But if this gender identity change confuses us, what about him? He is probably more confused that we are (or not). Is he just playing tricks on us?

Nah. Don’t think so. His siblings and I all went to use the ladies room together. He was in the ladies room and the first thing he did was he looked at himself in the mirror and took off his hat. There he stood with his pink short hair (that looks like a pixie haircut), placed his hat back on and then went along his way.

To my surprise of his choice of which bathroom to use, we all kept quiet about his choice. Why did he do that? It’s not like we do not approve of his gender identity. We do. We love him or her for who he or she is.

Transteens do things like other teens – because they’re human 

My teenager who is a transman is dating someone from his high school who is a transwoman and they’re both 17 years old.
My son (F2M) has been dating this girl (M2F) for almost a year now. They are teenagers who think that they’re adults and old enough to make their own life decisions (which teenager doesn’t at this point-they’re practically 18). They’re just like any other teen who believe they can rule the world and get away with dumb things they think they will get away with. 
This last two weekends were the play weekend for their school. My son and his girlfriend were both part of the stage crew. They build things and paint to make each set look right for the play. 

They do pretty amazing sets. I’m really proud of my son and his girl friend for being able to do these things. 
For each play that has occurred within the last 7 years that my son have been in stage crew there’s always a parent that hosts a party like sleepover. 
This time there’s a sleepover at one of the stage crew member’s home that was three minutes away from school. I checked with that girl’s dad to make sure my son isn’t make it up (and then will be really sleeping over his girlfriend’s house). I worry about co-ed sleep overs where both boys and girls are in the same sleeping quarters because you never know 9 months later there will be a baby. 
After I checked in with the girl’s dad, it was legitimate that they’re hosting a sleepover to allow students to get rest immediately after the play that ends late at night and then recover quickly before they all have to prepare for the next show after lunch. 
My son was given permission from my husband and I to sleepover at his friend’s house that’s only 3 minutes away from school. My son’s girlfriend was also sleeping over. I warned them to behave, no HP (hanky panky), and no sex! It was getting late so I left soon after the show. 
The next morning, I received 10 text messages from my son’s girlfriend’s mom. She was very upset that he didn’t come home. She notified me that apparently my son had picked up her daughter (my son’s girlfriend) from their house without permission to leave the house and worse yet going to a sleepover. 
Now, as a parent I know what she’s going through. I consider myself as pretty liberal parent but I don’t freely allow my kids to go out whenever they want. We have house rules such as doing homework first, cleaning up your own room and helping with light house keeping chores before my kids are allowed to go out. Why? Because, if you love with me in my house then you are part of the team that has to share the load of doing house work. Bottom line up front, we all have to do chores in my house. 
My other rule is ask for permission to go out because I need to know where my kids are. When they ask me for permission to go out, my rules are: 1. I need to know where they’re going 2. I need to know who they’re going with 3. I need to know who will take them there and back (it could be myself or my husband before my son learned how to drive) 4. I need to know how long they’re going to be there 5. I need to know if they will be going somewhere else (so I know where to find them in case there’s an emergency) 6. I need to know one of their friend’s phone numbers so I can call them in case my children’s cell phone runs out of battery (so I have a way of getting a hold of them in case of emergency) and 7. I need to know one of the parents’ number if/when there’s a sleep over to ensure my child is allowed to sleep over if I am allowing them to sleepover and that they’re safe in that home overnight.
And if my rules are broken, I get very upset and the trust is broken. The next time I am asked for permission to go out, the answer to that question will be “no”. If my rules are not followed, things are taken away such as their electronic device or they are not given permission to go out with their friends the next time they want to go out with them. 
Why am I so strict on that? I am strict because I expect my kids to follow our rules. There are rules we follow in many ways. We follow the rules when we drive to have order and structure. We are pulled over and given a speeding ticket if we go over the speed limit. We follow the rules of flying such as shoes off at security check point and no liquids more than 3 ounces. Rules are made to ensure there’s order and structure for hopefully a stress free environment. Chaos happens when these rules are broken. 
Someone who is going to fast on the road and going over the speed limit may be too aggressive and unsafe for the environment. Someone who does not follow the rules at the security checkpoint in the airport will cause a delay in travel which ultimately bring chaos (big or small).
Rules in the house are made to ensure there is order and structure in the house for a stress free work and life balance. Chaos happens when the house rules are broken. When part of the rule is broken and we do not know where our child is, then this causes a high level of stress and brings chaos therefore we created those house rules for our children. 
I understand what my son’s girlfriend’s mom is going through and she will not allow my son to enter their house anymore because of this. There’s chaos in their house. They have no idea where their daughter is. 
The super early morning after when I read my son’s girlfriend’s mom’s text messages, I sent her a reply message back and told her when my son was and that their daughter is also there with my son. 
I knew where my son was and I knew my son will be with his girlfriend. But, these teenagers still took it upon themselves to hold back information from the other parent (who may or may not have the same rules as I do). In return, there’s mistrust created, a parent that is upset with my son and states that my son isn’t welcome in their home. 
What do I do as a parent who’s told my son is not welcome in someone else’s house anymore? I respect that other patient’s decision. I let my son know to respect that other parent’s decision to avoid further chaos in their home. I expect my son to follow my rule that he stays away from that home until her girlfriend’s parents are emotionally calm again. I say to wait because I believe forgiveness will eventually come after emotions calm down.  Transteens are like other teens – because they’re human. 

My feelings… Learning my new son (that has been my daughter for 16 years).

This entry is written to explain what is going on in my home with a transgender child.

The purpose of this entry is to have an outlet for parents of transgender kids who are learning about their transgender kid. This can also be an outlet for transgender kids who may be on the fence on coming out to someone. Parents, if this is you… accept it and move on. These kids are your blood and guts and will need you for support or else no one else will do and they will be left alone. We don’t want that!

Just imagine how hard it is to be a teenager alone… we have to be supportive. So, accept reality and know it’s going to be a bumpy ride at first getting used to the pronouns and transitioning per se, but it’s going to be just fine.

For the teens, please be kind to us, we are getting used to this. If possible, give us lessons, step up and explain situations and give scenarios. And, know that all we want is that you are a good citizen and are a good person.

My son has come out to me for more than 3 months now. I was in an emotional spree a couple of days ago though. Heck, it could have been my period! I cried while taking a shower twice about my oldest daughter, who is now my son, my transgender son.

I was crying because I felt bad and I didn’t know she all along growing up did not feel satisfied with who she was. How did I miss that? I thought I knew her well, but I missed the part when she didn’t feel right being a girl and she feels like a boy inside.

She said her friends have known this transgenderism since middle school.  [What? really?!] Thankfully we stopped moving around and settled down for her to be with the same group of friends from middle school to high-school.

And now it’s time for us [her parents, her step-dad and I to know]. Gee thanks! I wish we had known earlier about her feelings regarding herself this way instead of trying to hurt herself. This was not fair to keep it from us. I don’t know about you – but I want to know what drove her nuts for the last 6 years! It was because she was so uneasy. I don’t think I would have reacted differently then, but I will never know because I didn’t find out until now. Understandably, no one knew how we would react to this, but no one else will be there for her but us, her parents.

[First, my apologies for saying she/her… I am still working on this grammar correction in my head for him. I just have to get used to it, hopefully it doesn’t take too much time to get used to calling her him because truthfully I don’t want to hurt his feelings and I want him to know I care and I accept him for who he is and that I’ll do my best to make him feel accepted in me].

I believe when he came out to let us know he was lesbian/gay earlier this month was a way to transition our minds into what seems to be harder to accept, being transgender. I don’t think it’s hard. I think it’s just a bit of the shock factor and upset factor of “why didn’t you tell me sooner”, “I could have helped you with something as your mom.”

How did he come out to us? So, first he said he was homosexual (a female homosexual, a girl who also likes girls). Gay/Lesbian – I think for this the correct term is being lesbian. No big deal for us – life went on as long as she continues to do well in school, doesn’t forget or fail to do her chores at home, respect others, and doesn’t hurt others – we accept her for who she is now, a boy.

Months later… he broke up with her girlfriend of 3-4 months (as we knew he was being lesbian) and starts seeing a boy. Holy cow, are you bi-sexual? Do you know that? Then he is frantic, emotional, and has a mean bad attitude… he came out and talked to us that he’s transgender.

This was so confusing! We’re just getting used to the idea of her being lesbian and now she mixes being transgender into this whole sexuality-(please forgive me, I am not here to offend anyone). She is a transgender boy who likes boys which makes her gay. Got it? Good, now you’re tracking! I wish there was a book for this so I can educate myself further! (LOL!) Hopefully someone catches this blog and can be a nice support system.

What is going on now? August 7, 2016. My new son finally cut his hair shorter than it was. He is sporting a buzz cut style. He is showing his transformation into boy-hood. I feel relieved about this because his whole demeanor is relaxed, happy and calm.

How do I feel? I feel happy that  he is happy. I don’t see him any different. I love him the same way when he was my daughter. It’s a little strange to have to really start calling him my son and use he/his pronouns. I’m getting there though, because I really want to make it right! He would like a coming out party to let everyone know who he is now which is a good idea. And so I shall write about how that goes later.

With time, even with just a week or so… he seems happier. He is more goofy and appears to be himself again as if he was the happy kid I have always known. I tear as I write this paragraph because I have happy tears. I am very happy to know he is happy and has a will to live again.

It can be frightening or a big relief (or definitely both) for him to show the world he is not a girl anymore. I can only imagine what the mean and horrible people think or say. I can’t protect him forever especially now he will be going to college in less than 9 months. It’s scary and worrisome.

Regardless of how I feel, what matters most is how he feels. He feels renewed and found. He is brave for this is not easy. It’s hard enough to be a teenager,  but my baby is brave! I am proud to be his mom!