Transgender child

Grmnshplvr

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 8, 2014
Tyler turned 13 last weekend. I bought him a happy 1st birthday boyish bday card since its been 1 year since he came out lol He got a kick out of that. We took him and his friends to a local theme park, he had a great day with some great friends. I can't believe how much has changed since he was little. Part of me feels sad, not sure if I'm mourning my daughter, or my baby maybe a bit of both because now both of my kids are teenagers but either way I'll be fine. I am so proud of how he has grown up the last year. He carries himself with confidence, he seems to be genuinely happy right now and I'd never ask for anything more.

He also told me he doesn't want to go to our group meetings any more. The kids and parents groups have gotten so big since we first start (not a bad thing at all) but he feels like he doesn't get a chance to talk much when he's there, and I get that. We're driving 2 hours round trip and most of the time I don't get time to say much more than what my name is. They are discussing having more than one meeting a month or breaking us into groups because its really just gotten so huge, we didn't go to the august meeting but got an email that 4 more new parents came to the meeting too. He does have contact with his friends outside of the group so I'm not going to make him go if he doesn't want to. not sure if I'll continue or not.

In other news, We got his magic band for our upcoming trip a couple weeks ago and he was beaming with pride when he saw Tyler on the back. =D
 

wilkeliza

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Tyler turned 13 last weekend. I bought him a happy 1st birthday boyish bday card since its been 1 year since he came out lol He got a kick out of that. We took him and his friends to a local theme park, he had a great day with some great friends. I can't believe how much has changed since he was little. Part of me feels sad, not sure if I'm mourning my daughter, or my baby maybe a bit of both because now both of my kids are teenagers but either way I'll be fine. I am so proud of how he has grown up the last year. He carries himself with confidence, he seems to be genuinely happy right now and I'd never ask for anything more.

He also told me he doesn't want to go to our group meetings any more. The kids and parents groups have gotten so big since we first start (not a bad thing at all) but he feels like he doesn't get a chance to talk much when he's there, and I get that. We're driving 2 hours round trip and most of the time I don't get time to say much more than what my name is. They are discussing having more than one meeting a month or breaking us into groups because its really just gotten so huge, we didn't go to the august meeting but got an email that 4 more new parents came to the meeting too. He does have contact with his friends outside of the group so I'm not going to make him go if he doesn't want to. not sure if I'll continue or not.

In other news, We got his magic band for our upcoming trip a couple weeks ago and he was beaming with pride when he saw Tyler on the back. =D
So glad it is going so well! Sounds like you are exactly the type of mom who should be blessed with an awesome kid like Tyler. Makes my heart happy that you say Tyler is back to being a happy confident kid. You are probably right that you are mourning both your baby and your daughter. That is totally okay. 2 hours round trip sounds a lot for a group meeting. If Tyler is done and you aren't getting out of it sounds good to let it go. I'm sure there are online based groups anyways that would give the same support.

Thanks for your updates and being so open about your journey.
 

Grmnshplvr

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 8, 2014
So glad it is going so well! Sounds like you are exactly the type of mom who should be blessed with an awesome kid like Tyler. Makes my heart happy that you say Tyler is back to being a happy confident kid. You are probably right that you are mourning both your baby and your daughter. That is totally okay. 2 hours round trip sounds a lot for a group meeting. If Tyler is done and you aren't getting out of it sounds good to let it go. I'm sure there are online based groups anyways that would give the same support.

Thanks for your updates and being so open about your journey.
In the beginning the two hours was worth it, necessary even. I got so much out of those first few months when I was scared, emotional, and confused just by listening to other parents and being about to talk, but our group started off very small so we all had time to kind of work through whatever we needed. Now there has to be over 30 people in the group and its just kind of chaotic. I think we're in a good place right now and I do have a great group on facebook so maybe we'll just take a couple months from group and see if we miss it. We can always go back if we want.
 
  • tarak

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2008
    I read through this thread a year or so ago and have checked back on occasion to see your updates. I read through it again yesterday because I'm now where you were when you first posted. My DD12 came out to me as gay a few months back. I had suspected for a while, so it wasn't a huge surprise. I said I loved her and wouldn't change a thing about her (except maybe the whole personal hygiene thing). Two nights ago, she told me wanted to transition to a male. I asked why she thought that (and made it clear I wasn't questioning the validity of her feelings). She said when she gets mistaken for a boy, it makes her feel good (and she gets mistaken for a boy all the time) and if that person gets corrected, she feels sad. She was so specific about it, I have to think she's correct (the whole pronoun thing is going to be hard to get used to). I immediately started to look into local LGBT groups and she's interested in going to meetings.

    Your post struck me in so many ways - my daughter also went through puberty at age 10 and it was really traumatic for her. She also loves anime and draws all the time :). She also has a 14-year-old sister.

    I'm just scared. We don't live in a particularly progressive area (central PA). I want my kid safe and happy and those two things don't seem very compatible at the moment.
     

    Imaginearing-Disnerd

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2017
    Hey, I just wanted to tell you that you are doing a fantastic job. Especially with how you approached the situation. I know that having your child come to and tell you these things must have been shocking and a little confusing, but how you approached the situation was really good. Having personally been where your child has been, I get it's a difficult time for them as well. I guess my best advice is to support them how ever you can, with what ever they need. I would almost recommend seeing if they would want to go by gender nutural pronouns (they/them) until they find what they are most comfortable with. That wat it's not labeling them anything they are uncomfortable with, and gives them space to explore and figure out what feels most comfortable to them!
     

    cruisehopeful

    Wishing I was taking a nap on a ship.
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2015
    I'm just scared. We don't live in a particularly progressive area (central PA). I want my kid safe and happy and those two things don't seem very compatible at the moment
    Yeah. I think the hardest part as a parent is worrying that our kids will be hurt. In my case, most people have been very supportive - even people who I thought of as ultra conservative. Although, my daughter worries about me being upset and wouldn't tell me if there was an issue.

    The pronouns get easier over time. I'm sure your child will be understanding if you mess up sometimes. It's only when people deliberately say the wrong thing that it hurts. Transitioning is the hardest part. There was a period where I was supposed to use the 2 names/genders in different situations. Once we hit the part where the name and pronouns were permanent, it got a lot easier for me. Surround yourself with people who are compassionate. If you have people in your life who are not supportive, you may want to make the subject off limits or even take a break from those people for a while.
     

    tarak

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2008
    I don't want to completely hijack Grmnshplvr's thread - it's just been so incredibly helpful. We talked last night about the boys locker room and bathrooms at school and that's an absolute no-go. She's still interested in playing field hockey (the middle school girls team), which surprised me. Even wanted me to order a t-shirt. I don't think there's confusion about gender, to be honest. But maybe having come out to me makes it easier to engage in some more gender specific activities? Although boys have played on the high school team before so it's not forbidden or anything.
     
  • Grmnshplvr

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2014
    I don't want to completely hijack Grmnshplvr's thread - it's just been so incredibly helpful. We talked last night about the boys locker room and bathrooms at school and that's an absolute no-go. She's still interested in playing field hockey (the middle school girls team), which surprised me. Even wanted me to order a t-shirt. I don't think there's confusion about gender, to be honest. But maybe having come out to me makes it easier to engage in some more gender specific activities? Although boys have played on the high school team before so it's not forbidden or anything.
    I will send you a private message.
     

    Grmnshplvr

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2014
    I read through this thread a year or so ago and have checked back on occasion to see your updates. I read through it again yesterday because I'm now where you were when you first posted. My DD12 came out to me as gay a few months back. I had suspected for a while, so it wasn't a huge surprise. I said I loved her and wouldn't change a thing about her (except maybe the whole personal hygiene thing). Two nights ago, she told me wanted to transition to a male. I asked why she thought that (and made it clear I wasn't questioning the validity of her feelings). She said when she gets mistaken for a boy, it makes her feel good (and she gets mistaken for a boy all the time) and if that person gets corrected, she feels sad. She was so specific about it, I have to think she's correct (the whole pronoun thing is going to be hard to get used to). I immediately started to look into local LGBT groups and she's interested in going to meetings.

    Your post struck me in so many ways - my daughter also went through puberty at age 10 and it was really traumatic for her. She also loves anime and draws all the time :). She also has a 14-year-old sister.

    I'm just scared. We don't live in a particularly progressive area (central PA). I want my kid safe and happy and those two things don't seem very compatible at the moment.

    I sent a private message but I also wanted to comment that we too are in a very conservative neighborhood, but, our school district is very progressive. they've been amazing at supporting Tyler and changes he needed to feel safe at school. It hasn't been without issue (from other kids) but the staff has been great about it.

    I have some very conservative family members and friends and most have shocked me at how supportive they've been. Even my step dad who I thought was going to absolutely tear aprt this family with his views on transgender people is using the name Tyler...he avoids pronouns at all cost but he's never slipped infront of Tyler and my mom said he's consistent with the name even when Tyler or I are not around. I dont think his opinion has changed at all but I think he realized my line in the sand was not a blurry one and ultimately didn't want to hurt my mom which is fine, he can think and feel how he wants, just don't make things harder for Tyler (or me) than it already is.

    As far as friends go, I had to delete one friend of over 20 years last week after the president announced his ban on transgender soldiers. This "friend" was very vocal on facebook about how he felt about that and I wont get into politics here but it was hurtful and I realized it wasn't someone I wanted around either of my children so I deleted him Other than that my fears mostly have not been realized at all.
     

    Fivers

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 15, 2012
    I came across this thread for the first time today and just read the whole thing, and all I can say is wow, what an amazing story of support and positivity! It is such an uplifting story, and I think really encapsulated a lot of parents' struggles, which you handled so well! I just wanted to say that your story really resonated with me, and thank you for being brave enough to share. I also sent you a PM :)
     
  • Terri_Berri

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 3, 2016
    All you parents of trans kids are handling things pretty cool. My family used to be supportive for a long time, but a lot of things changed and now a brother won’t let his daughter be around me and a sister is really uncomfortable because her started asking what happened to old me and stuff like that

    So, my parents have decided that I am not allowed at family gatherings. The first one I was directly excluded from was Christmas 2016, and it’s continued to this day. I confronted them about going to last Thanksgiving but they made it very clear I was not welcome (spent that day at Disneyland though!). My other sister was the person I thought would defend me the most but she didn’t. Nobody did. My parents chose their grandkids over me and there’s nothing I can do about it. Needless to say, relations are not very good these days.

    Anyways, to all you parents, please don’t stop being parents when your kids grow up. They’re still going to need your support and love and everything no matter how much they grow up.
     

    tarak

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2008
    All you parents of trans kids are handling things pretty cool. My family used to be supportive for a long time, but a lot of things changed and now a brother won’t let his daughter be around me and a sister is really uncomfortable because her started asking what happened to old me and stuff like that

    So, my parents have decided that I am not allowed at family gatherings. The first one I was directly excluded from was Christmas 2016, and it’s continued to this day. I confronted them about going to last Thanksgiving but they made it very clear I was not welcome (spent that day at Disneyland though!). My other sister was the person I thought would defend me the most but she didn’t. Nobody did. My parents chose their grandkids over me and there’s nothing I can do about it. Needless to say, relations are not very good these days.

    Anyways, to all you parents, please don’t stop being parents when your kids grow up. They’re still going to need your support and love and everything no matter how much they grow up.
    This makes me so sad. If you are ever in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you are welcome at my house. I’m so sorry you are going through that. Kids ask questions all the time - you just answer them. A big part of parenting is answering questions that make you uncomfortable. The only reason I haven’t discussed transgender issues yet with my kindergartener is because we live in a less than understanding part of the country. It’s not that I don’t think I could explain it. Rather, she’d tell anyone and everyone that her sister is now her brother and I’m still at the point where I’m worried someone will hurt my trans kid because he’s trans. The little one does know that boys marry boys, girls marry girls, and boys marry girls, and it doesn’t matter to me who she likes as long as that person is kind to her. A co-worker gave me a copy of National Geographic from January that was all about gender. It was fantastic. I’m trying to get extra copies to give to some of our relatives. My mom knows and I think it might be helpful and interesting information for her. She told my son something along the lines of “many people thought Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian and I idolized her. I have her autograph and a picture of her with my father. You can have them when I die.”

    My oldest daughter is struggling with it. She’s convinced it’s more about T not wanting to have breasts and a period. My 10-year-old wrote T a note saying he couldn’t ask for a better big brother. The little one immediately corrected me when I referred to T as a he. My husband is hoping it’s a phase. I don’t care - although the name change is super super hard for me - I just don’t want people to be mean to my kid. So we’re kind of all over the map. But at the end of the day, we love him and he loves us.
     

    cruisehopeful

    Wishing I was taking a nap on a ship.
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2015
    So, my parents have decided that I am not allowed at family gatherings. The first one I was directly excluded from was Christmas 2016, and it’s continued to this day. I confronted them about going to last Thanksgiving but they made it very clear I was not welcome (spent that day at Disneyland though!). My other sister was the person I thought would defend me the most but she didn’t. Nobody did. My parents chose their grandkids over me and there’s nothing I can do about it. Needless to say, relations are not very good these days.
    I'm sorry for their loss. Not being around my kids is the worst thing ever and all my friends feel the same way about their own kids. Families have so much dependence/dysfunction. They will have a lot of regret someday.

    I thought my family would reject my daughter when she came out, but they didn't. I was fully prepared to tell them off and cut them out of my life if they weren't supportive. I think I am too much the opposite of your parents. I get too defensive instead of trying to educate people. I just have a really low tolerance for ignorance if it is coupled with a bad attitude.

    I still deal with the issue of seeing people I haven't seen in years and them asking about my son. Most of the time, I do say she is now a daughter, but there are times when I just don't feel like going into it with someone whom I barely know and don't care if I ever see again.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    All you parents of trans kids are handling things pretty cool. My family used to be supportive for a long time, but a lot of things changed and now a brother won’t let his daughter be around me and a sister is really uncomfortable because her started asking what happened to old me and stuff like that

    So, my parents have decided that I am not allowed at family gatherings. The first one I was directly excluded from was Christmas 2016, and it’s continued to this day. I confronted them about going to last Thanksgiving but they made it very clear I was not welcome (spent that day at Disneyland though!). My other sister was the person I thought would defend me the most but she didn’t. Nobody did. My parents chose their grandkids over me and there’s nothing I can do about it. Needless to say, relations are not very good these days.

    Anyways, to all you parents, please don’t stop being parents when your kids grow up. They’re still going to need your support and love and everything no matter how much they grow up.

    I too am sorry for your family's loss. The older I get, the more I realize that money, fame, politics, religion, gender, sexuality and all of the things that tend to polarize families, communities and our country as a whole don't really mean squat.

    What *is* important is the people in our lives, and in our hearts. What is important is love.

    Sometimes - as you have learned - we have to look externally for the love and support that we expect and desire from our family. It pains me every time I think that someone has to create a new familial group to bring them the love and support that we take for granted that our bio family will provide.

    So, if your bio family can't/won't support you, then create a new family. Identify the people in your world who love you exactly as you are, and with no conditions. Surround yourself with those people - and if someday, your bio family welcomes you to come back to family gatherings, you can be the one who decides whether or not you will go. (For the record, I will urge you to go, because people can, and do change - and that will be my prayer for you.)

    Create a family that is worthy of loving the amazing person you are. Surround yourself with loving, positive people who want to be a part of your world. And never forget that you are perfect just as you are. (((hugs)))
     

    Grmnshplvr

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2014
    Its been so long since I did an update and wanted to share our big news with everyone. Last week we filed the paperwork to legally change Tyler's name!! He is in high school now and has really been looking forward to this step in his journey. Our lawyer said once the paperwork is filed it shouldn't take long at all. Tyler is beyond thrilled of course. Showing his birth certificate at the airport when we go to disney was always a source of anxiety for him and now wont be something he'll have to think about for our next trip.

    Tyler is doing awesome, going to high school from the middle school was a very smooth transition for him. I explained to him last summer he's always been through ALOT of change, anything that happens in his life from now on will probably seem so much easier for him than most kids since he's had to learn to adapt/adjust to major change at such a young age and not only did he do that and survived, but he thrived. He has a great group of friends, found some clubs at school that fit him well and has a zest for life again. His grades are 80/90s consistently. I couldn't be more proud of the young adult he is becoming. I read back on the doubt, fear, and uncertainty we had in the beginning and wish I could have told myself then what the future would look like for him, maybe it wouldn't have taken so long to accept. Either way, we're here now and I wouldn't change a thing about him.
     

    robinb

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 1999
    Great news! Thank you for the update!

    FWIW, I don’t recall my DD ever having to show a birth certificate for Disney. As for the TSA I don’t recall her showing any ID at all until she turned 18. Of course, the official name change will smooth the way for correct name matching state IDs in the future.
     

    DizMinMouse

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 19, 2018
    This is so great to hear. Thanks so much for the update. I’m so happy to hear that Tyler has an awesome support network. You’re all so blessed to have each other. You have a great family :D
     

    Grmnshplvr

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2014
    Great news! Thank you for the update!

    FWIW, I don’t recall my DD ever having to show a birth certificate for Disney. As for the TSA I don’t recall her showing any ID at all until she turned 18. Of course, the official name change will smooth the way for correct name matching state IDs in the future.
    never for disney, but TSA we always take it and the only time we were told we didn't need it was coming back from Orlando, but the TSA in Buffalo always takes it
     



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