seeking advice for my 11 year old son that wants to be a girl - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 11-26-2013, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello ladies i was wondering if someone can help me out with my problem.I am a married happy mom of a great child who wants to be a girl so bad..My son came out to me and his dad and my whole family that he wants to be a girl 6 months ago and with lots of counselling and still a lot he has been living as a girl every since .It has been very hard for my husband because he thinks it is something that he did and i keep telling him no.We had to put him into another school because my child was getting bullied so bad in school so far this school year she has not had any problems .My chlld gets very upset if we do not call him by his female name .She is also a straight A student and she has made a number of nice girls in her class as friends 


It has also been hard for me because this coming friday night he wants to have a girls night out just the 2 of us for dinner and shopping .My parents are also very upset and angry and my mom thinks this is all of my fault and also my dad is taken this so hard.I told my parents this is not my fault and this is what my child wants .


My daughter has also inform me today that she wants me to start looking into Ballet because that is what she really wants to do .I have had some disagreements about the way that she dresses for school just like any teenager girl.I also agree but my husband did not like it but i allow for her to get a female style hairstyle .So after i took her to have her hair done i was like just wow she really wants to do this..I have also have giving her lessons on putting on nylons/tights the correct way


She also told me that she has a number of goals in life and the first is to have the surgery the second to be a bridesmaid in a wedding and number 3 to get married to the man of her dreams in a wedding gown and close to 100 friends and family that would be so many years down the road .


I feel this is starting to her my marriage but my husband keeps telling me believe me honey we are fine .The only thing is my husband thinks this is a Faze that my child is going to threw but i very much doubt it .


So i would appreciated any advice anyone can give me.I have been on the fence but should i go out with my daughter to have a nice girls nights out she has been asking for a long time .Take care and have a happy thanksgiving to everyone out there 

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#2 of 8 Old 11-26-2013, 10:47 PM
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I am on the fence whether people are born that way, people are confused, will grow out of it, etc;  Maybe she will grow out of it, maybe not.  No way to tell, so that huge issue aside:  All our kids want is our unconditional love and to know that no matter what we support them.    Go enjoy your child and everyone else can be damned.  You both need to eat and who won't be shopping Friday?   Keep your head up, if all she wants is to go out and spend time with you, I say you are doing something right.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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#3 of 8 Old 11-26-2013, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the advice i really apprecited 

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#4 of 8 Old 11-29-2013, 05:55 PM
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@ilovemychild13, it is clear that you do love your child. I think that how you have been handling this is wonderful. When I think of my 11 year old daughter, I think that she is old enough to know how she would like to identify (not saying it couldn't change). If your child identifies as a girl, I think the best thing to do is to honor that. I think going out for a girls' night out would be a wonderful way to show her that you truly accept her and EMBRACE her for who she is. There may be family members who struggle with this, but I believe in time they will (hopefully) come around. We have some family members (my wife's grandparents) who are very much against our "lifestyle". They do not think it is okay that we are together, that we are two moms, or that we decided to have a baby together. However, they have accepted that this is the case, and they love their great-granddaughters (including the baby that i carried) and are grateful that I take good care of their granddaughter and great-granddaughters. So my point is, even though they are still close-minded and think our relationship is wrong, when they realized their beliefs weren't going to change anything, they accepted us, and LOVE won out in the end. It may be a struggle for grandparents even who aren't close-minded to accept your daughter's identity, and it may be a struggle for your husband, but YOU can be your daughter's champion. I imagine it can be very hard growing up and discovering that you are transgender (it was hard enough being gay!), and to have a loving and accepting parent who defends your right to be who you are---well, that has got to be the best thing in the world for your child. <3

Also, perhaps there are resources or groups (PFLAG?) that can help you all through this transition, and help family members accept that this may not be a phase. It could also be helpful just to network and find other people in your community who would be accepting of your daughter's transition.

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#5 of 8 Old 12-02-2013, 11:24 AM
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Your daughter has the right to be identified with the gender she feels most comfortable with. The best you can do for her is ... Love her, honor her and respect her choices in name and gender pronouns. Be her advocate when others do not do these things. More than anything else your child needs this from you right now.  You may want to look at

I know there is a book by this title that may be beneficial to you as well.  Living life as a gender that is different from the one you were born with is difficult at any age, but for a child this is particularly difficult. You child's decision to do this is not just about what she wants it's about what she needs. I hope that you have found a good counselor to help with this transition process. There are not many in the country who specialize on helping children through gender identity issues but there are a few. If you have not found a counselor specifically in this area and would like one let me know and I will get you some recommendations. 

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#6 of 8 Old 12-02-2013, 12:08 PM
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There are a few things that I would take up with family:


1.  YES, your daughter has a right to have her gender identity acknowledged and appreciated.  Basically, everything Queermomma said.

2.  There is nothing wrong with anyone of ANY sex or gender expressing needs and desires.  Including, but not limited to:  the desire for a night out with a parent, the desire to take dance classes, the desire to be loved and acknowledged by family, the desire to form and celebrate emotional commitments.


As a mom, I want my kids to be safe, healthy, happy, and prepared for a productive future.  So I might be concerned that a fancy wedding is the apex of my daughter's goals - that's a party, not a life.  And I might bring that up, and I would encourage my child to think more deeply about what she wants in a partner, and how she wants her daily life to look, but I would also acknowledge that she's eleven, and it's easier to see these milestone events then it is to imagine paying the rent.


Have fun shopping on Friday.  My kids are younger then yours (my oldest is six), but these solo expeditions are so fun for both of us.  They're such a sweet time to talk without refereeing arguments or constant distractions.  I'm really looking forward to my kids being old enough to have a nice dinner in restaurants that don't give out plastic toys. 

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#7 of 8 Old 12-09-2013, 09:33 PM
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Good books for kids about being transgender:

(well, probably a bit young for your 11 year old, but I'm 23 and cried when I read Tulip).

This is a good online comic about it as well. It may help you and the adults around her to read to help understand what she's going through (I would read it first before sending it to anyone you know, you know them better and know what they'll respond to)


I wouldn't really suggest Princess Boy because it's about a different situation- it's about a little boy who likes "girl" things, not a transgender girl. The book might upset her if she feels like you're saying "See? You can like girly things, you don't have to ~pretend~ to be a girl" if she's truly a girl.


Check out IMATYFA


Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post

As a mom, I want my kids to be safe, healthy, happy, and prepared for a productive future.  So I might be concerned that a fancy wedding is the apex of my daughter's goals - that's a party, not a life.  And I might bring that up, and I would encourage my child to think more deeply about what she wants in a partner, and how she wants her daily life to look, but I would also acknowledge that she's eleven, and it's easier to see these milestone events then it is to imagine paying the rent.

I agree with you- I think it's especially important with trans kids to monitor the messages they're getting and internalizing. It's fairly common for trans people to feel like they have to go ultra girly or ultra boyish to "prove" their gender, boxing themselves in more than they should. It sounds like the OP's daughter is focused on things that will make her feel like she's been accepted as a real woman, which is understandable, but she'll do well to have goals beyond that. There's nothing wrong with wanting to get married, but there's also no harm in pointing out that there's more to life than a wedding.


To the OP: Have you shown her any transgender women role models that she can look up to? There are a lot in a wide variety of professions. Amanda Simpson is the first transgender woman to be appointed by the president to the federal government, for example. It might help her to see these women who are just like her and who have grown up to do amazing things beyond (and often including) getting married. This site has several galleries of successful trans women meant to offer hope (the author is Lynn Conway, a successful woman in her own right)

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#8 of 8 Old 12-30-2013, 10:43 PM
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I just thought I would jump in on this post and send my support to @ilovemychild13 and your daughter. I have just come out to myself and the world this year as transgender at 38 (FTM), and one of the most important things to me was my mom's support. It is a huge gift you are giving your child and all of the ways that you can love and support her can be deeply meaningful and helpful. 


Not all of my family members are taking my coming out well, but some of my friends who have come out as gay gave me great advice.  When I come out to people, they need time to process and accept how their understanding of our relationship has changed.  It was recommended I give them at least a year.  For example, my brother is losing a little sister but gaining a little brother.  That is a huge shift and a loss for him to grieve, even though I am not lost.  The relationship has shifted and feels strained right now.  I am giving him space and grace to warm up to the new understanding of me and I think it may be helping.  


I have also had many people question whether I am just going through a phase.  I can't speak to your child's experience but for me I get frustrated when people say it is just a phase because I feel that invalidates the dysphoria I feel and my desire to be male.  Phase or not, this is my identity and I want the people I care about to respect that.  I can understand why people say it- gender identity is something few people are familiar with until they meet someone who is trans.  I can understand that it will be hard at first for you, your husband and other family members.  Hopefully your support and love can help your daughter weather some of the storms of transition.


The resources recommended above are great. I don't know as much about MTF specifically as my experience is female to male so I'm not sure if I have other suggestions.  I'm not sure where you live but here in Portland, Oregon, there is a bookstore also online (Powell's - that has a transgender section and I have seen books on parenting a trans child.


Wishing you all the best.  Please know that neither you nor your daughter are alone in this.




Me (38), single parent by choice and transgender, TTC #1 via IVF.  

tried unsuccessfully via BD in '01 and unsuccessfully via ICI in '11. Endometriosis, ovarian cysts, anovulation, oh my... left fallopian tube removed in '12. now on to IVF.  my IVF journey is at

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