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My daughter thinks she is a boy.

(34 Posts)
silverhawkser Sat 22-Jul-17 23:57:45

Hi! I'm new here and hoping to get some help. My 15 year old daughter thinks she is a trans male. She talks about it off and on every few months. Today my mother pulled me aside and showed me a message my daughter sent her about being trans. She wants to come out to the public that she is male. It honestly really scares me that she thinks this way, but I will support her as she is my child. I just told her that I hope she waits till she is older and more mature to make the life changing decision to get any type of surgery.

The thing is though in the last year she has shown no signs of not liking to be a girl. Her 15th birthday was in May and she begged me to take her to get fitted for and buy some really cute and sexy bras. She also had to have have the perfect bikini for summer.

She went shopping yesterday and bought new dresses with her own money and just had to have new makeup to go with it. She posts on her facebook pictures of how she wants her relationship to be and they are pictures of women and men cuddling.

On top of all of that she asks me about being pregnant and what it is like to have a baby because she can't wait to have children with "Johnation" (the boyfriend

When she acts like this I get really confused. I don't know what to think or how to act. She gets really mad that I don't truly think she is transgender.

Heck, two months ago she kept telling me she was lesbian.

I don't care what she is, but I want her to be happy and she isn't since she can't figure out what she is or who she is it seems.

VestalVirgin Mon 24-Jul-17 07:39:31 is a support site for parents whose children identify as trans. Perhaps try looking there.

Personally, I'd say, try to not discuss it with her at all. She's a teenager and trying to find herself. The less invested you get in her gender identity, the better, as she'll be able to change her ideas easier when you aren't involved.

Since she is a heterosexual girl who likes femininity, I'd say the risk that she'll go for surgery is pretty low. Unless she's autistic, which is a risk factor.

Has she been able to explain to you why she thinks she's trans?

As said I don't think you should mention the topic ever again, but do emphasize to her (without mentioning trans) that not wanting to be oppressed in patriarchy is very normal for any woman whatsoever. Perhaps then she'll realize it does not make her exceptional. (I am guessing that's why she thinks she is trans, since she isn't a tomboy or a lesbian)

VestalVirgin Mon 24-Jul-17 07:40:58


StealthPolarBear Mon 24-Jul-17 07:42:15

She sounds very confused. The wanting to have a baby would worry me.

StaciesMom Mon 24-Jul-17 07:49:52

I don't have a lot of experience with gender dysphoria but I think there is a difference between how she identifies internally and externally. I.e she feels make inside but still wants to be expressive in her femininity hence the bras and bikinis.

That said, 15 is a very difficult age and so making any decisions with hormones rampaging round your body (in my experience) is never a good idea.

I agree with other posters, good to get some advice and see what the best way forward is.

Good luck, parenting is not for the feint hearted xxx

StealthPolarBear Mon 24-Jul-17 07:58:22

What does feeling male inside mean then

VulvalHeadMistress Mon 24-Jul-17 08:08:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StaciesMom Mon 24-Jul-17 08:16:43

Well that is impossible to say without assessment and an understanding of the bigger picture. And it is entirely possible to feel inwards different to the female sexual organs you are born with.

StealthPolarBear Mon 24-Jul-17 08:28:54

While still confirming to society's stereotypes of a female?

StealthPolarBear Mon 24-Jul-17 08:29:25

And willingly, proactively, not begrudgingly

StaciesMom Mon 24-Jul-17 09:12:53

Sexuality is a spectrum not a box you can be put in

VestalVirgin Mon 24-Jul-17 09:20:22

She doesn't have gender dysphoria. She is doing the 2017 version of being a goth.

More like the 2017 version of calling herself a goth without even bothering to wear black clothes.

I hope she'll not make permanent changes to her body, but it is unlikely that a girl who shops for bras will bind her breasts. I've heard of girls completely changing themselves from ultrafeminine to tomboy when identifying as trans, but since it is an on off thing with her, she'll probably not want to sacrifice her breasts.

And it is entirely possible to feel inwards different to the female sexual organs you are born with.


Most women I know think that menstruations are a pain in the ass, and many would be happy to be able to outsource the bearing of their own biological children to someone else, male-style. Many women would also like to be able to pee standing up without pulling down their trousers first.

We can imagine what it would feel like to not have this pesky female anatomy all day long, and know what our female bodies feel like when we aren't menstruating (great!) but you don't know what having a penis feels like unless you have one.

My guess is that she would like to be treated as an effeminate gay man by society, i.e. awarded full male privilege / not be treated like crap as women usually are, while still retaining her style of dress and boyfriend.

(Almost) all women would like to be free of patriarchy, that's why we have feminism.

But teenagers often mistakenly think they are the most specialest person ever and no one understands their pain.

I liked it better when they expressed this by becoming goths.

silverhawkser Mon 24-Jul-17 15:42:46

To add to the post from last night. At about four am this morning. (No idea why we were up that early) I found myself having an argument with my daughter. I think it was over her cell phone because she is so addicted she can't go to sleep without 'sleepcalling' her boyfriend.

One thing led to another and I finally just blurted out "Why do you feel your a man?" The only response is "I don't have to tell you." Every question after that was "I don't have to tell you" or "I don't have to do that."

The more she was asked question, the more stubborn she seemed to get. I will admit that I had an ultimate breakdown in front of her and started crying my eyes out. We sat in the room for over an hour with me just crying and her staring at me. I would plead with her to leave the room and she wouldn't.

Sometime after the fight she got to where she would talk to me again. Then she tells me that at times she feels like she wants to look sexy as a woman. The rest of the time she feels like a man. I wanted to ask her what she means, by all of that but I didn't want to start another fight and just went to bed.

The more I read your responses and the more I look back at that argument I feel like she is just seeking attention with this "I am a boy" she says she is feeling.

What should I do?

StealthPolarBear Mon 24-Jul-17 15:58:57

Ask her what she wants the next step to be. Gender reassignment counselling?

ItsAHardKn0ckLife Mon 24-Jul-17 16:04:27

Do you think she may be feeling attracted to girls and is confusing that with feelings of wanting to be male?

BirdBandit Mon 24-Jul-17 16:09:28

I would start by culling the late night phone use, internet and social media.

A bit of space away from Reddit etc might help her evaluate her own thoughts, rather than be led.

Good luck.

BirdBandit Mon 24-Jul-17 16:16:27

She is 15, she doesn't need to "sleep call" her boyfriend. She wants attention, and she is getting it by pushing all your buttons.

Give her the attention she needs by reinforcing your role as her parent. If she knows where she stands in the world with you, it'll help her to feel secure enough to determine her role in the wider world.

I have some experience of internet/porn use spiralling into an identity crisis, with my DH; so I may be projecting. As I said, good luck. get her off the internet and into her school books!

BraveBear Mon 24-Jul-17 17:06:22

OK I know there are genuine transmen out there, but there is also a huge tumblr-led trend for young women to identify as trans or gender neutral if they don't aspire to look like glamour models in teetering 8 inch stripper heels. Very few of them will consider a sex change. My niece and her friendship group have gone from dolls and makeup to short hair, glasses, elbow patch jumpers, and babbling on about gay representation, specifically how Sherlock and John need to be seen shagging each other. It's not normal for multiple teenage girls in every class in a school to decide that they are actually male. It's this decades "I'm cool and unique, just like all my mates" thing. When I was a teenager it was bisexuality. All of us settled down with men, I don't think any of us had any gay relationships. I don't know whether it makes life harder or easier for genuine transmen, but I'd guess at harder...

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 24-Jul-17 17:11:45

I think when she says she feels like a man what she really means is she feels like a human being, but she is stuck in a society where women are constantly telling women they are not people but weird feminine creatures, and your dd not unreasonably finds it impossible to identify with that so she is understandably confused.
I don't envy her, it is a really hard time to be a girl.

silverhawkser Mon 24-Jul-17 18:30:19

StealthPolarBear when I asked her yesterday about what she wanted and why (before the 4am blowup) she says she wants to wait till she is 20 or older to have children and then begin changing physically.

BirdBandit I agree with you that I need to get the phone away from her. We are starting with taking her phone every night at 9 pm until the next morning. I have also suggested that as a family we need to put the devices down more in the evenings and just spend time together.

We have made no mention of her being 'male' or 'female' since she got up this morning. I call her by her female name. I have been using girl pronouns. She answers to them.

She has been acting as if nothing is different. I notice when I walk into a room, before she sees me that she acts how she did two years ago, before all of this started.

I see no struggle to her trying to act 'female' and hide that she is 'male.'

Should I just continue to ignore that she thinks she is 'male?' Give it time to see if things will change. Or should I call and get her into a councilor to talk to? My only fear is that I am going to find out that the person she is talking to will push her to be even more 'male' than female. I don't want to send her to someone who will over the top encourage her to be 'male' because that is 'how she feels.'

I want it to be someone that will be open to her being 'male' but with question it throughly to make sure that is what she is and not just attention seeking as that is what i think it is.

We have seen that every time she says she is gay/bi/trans there is an emotional event that happens right before. Her uncle committing suicide, a major argument between me and her, a major argument with friends. Then there was that fact she joined the schools LGBTQ club last year. That didn't help either. I feel that that is what began the journey to where we are now.

VestalVirgin Mon 24-Jul-17 18:44:55

StealthPolarBear when I asked her yesterday about what she wanted and why (before the 4am blowup) she says she wants to wait till she is 20 or older to have children and then begin changing physically.

Okay, in that case, I'd say, just ignore it. By the time she has had children, there will probably be a new trend. As long as she isn't pushed further by her new friends, she is probably safe.

Should I just continue to ignore that she thinks she is 'male?'

I think that'd be best. That, and gently nudge her toward real feminism. Films and books with decent representation, where women are portrayed as people, not objects. Whenever you encounter gender stereotypes, make it clear to her that you are not like that, that women are not like that, and that being a woman is not about performing femininity.

If she demands male pronouns, quote her: "I don't have to do that."

BraveBear Mon 24-Jul-17 18:54:06

Or should I call and get her into a councilor to talk to? My only fear is that I am going to find out that the person she is talking to will push her to be even more 'male' than female.

That could be a real concern. These are things she's clinging to in times of uncertainty quite possibly because of the camaraderie and emotional support and positive attention to be found in those communities.

tweakii Mon 24-Jul-17 20:29:26

My 16yo DS came out as bi at 13, lesbian at 14 and trans at 15 - just as puberty started changing his body. He'd always been pretty, very much a tomboy but used his feminine wiles at a very early age. Everything came to a head when, after going off the rails a bit because we weren't being supportive, he'd had a few drinks and basically told us we weren't listening. We had listened but said the same as you - wait til you're older etc. Anyway, after that row, we bought him a binder, he cut his hair, and threw away his feminine clothes. It was a massive shock to our systems but in all honesty I have never seen him happier. He has more confidence that he's ever had, the support he's had since coming out publicly has been amazing. As a mum I do worry that it might still be something he'll work through, we thought and might still think on occasion that it's some type of disphoria.

But he's happy. And that to me means more than anything.

It's really difficult as a parent to do the right thing, but even just listening without giving advice can be the best thing to do. They'll choose their own paths in life, we just have to make sure we're there to help if they fall off smile

Stopmakingsense Tue 25-Jul-17 07:39:27

Hello OP, there is no single reason a teenage girl might think she is male, least of all a biological one - that she has a male brain in a female body. Certainly there are young people who thrive on transition, although I have found no research on long term outcomes for this cohort of young people (i.e. no distress until teenage years).
You may find this helpful
Good luck, this will test your parenting skills to the limit. Do also check whether she fits the criteria for autism (often undiagnosed in girls), which might cause difficulties establishing her identity and also delay in emotional maturity compared to her peers.

silverhawkser Tue 25-Jul-17 19:02:58

Thank you for all of the advice and to just listening to what I have to say. It has been an emotional few days with trying to process everything.

Since the day she has come home it has been an emotional rollercoaster.

The thing that confuses me the most is that after the initial "I'm a boy" and the big fight after there has been no mention of it for the last couple of days. I have not said anything to her, but I do watch how she acts.

Just last night she was invited to a pool party. She wore a bikini with a belly shirt over it. It is a shirt I don't often see her wear. I asked her if she liked that shirt or was just wearing it because she found it in the closet. She informed me that she really liked the shirt but she didn't think I would approve because of how short it was. She had a strong reaction when she lost the string to the bikini top and the only other top she had was a tank top style and she only wanted to wear the bikini.

I guess I have been under the impression that if she thinks she is male and whats to be treated that way she would be acting more that way.

Since I have been really watching the way she has been acting lately I am wondering if a mental thing might be a factor in everything. She spent time with me the other day watching movies and laughing and having a good time. When night came and it was late her attitude changed she got very moody. She has been that way all day today. Screaming and cussing at the television because the game she was playing she kept dying. She gets mad anytime she is encouraged that she can complete it.

I have also noticed that her and her friends what to start a youtube channel for art. I have nothing against that. She has come out and said she will not show her face on youtube because she thinks she is very ugly and she will drive people away.

Is is just me or could it be a psychological thing and not just her thinking she is a male? Could she be using being "male" as a way to escape how she is feeling about herself?

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