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I think my son is transgender

(36 Posts)
pumpkinsss Thu 14-Dec-17 16:51:58

My son is 13 and recently came out as “gay” which isn’t an issue. I’ve always suspected he was, I have gay friends and family and couldn’t care less. However I’m so confused by him and don’t have any previous experience with his behaviour to know how to deal with it. A year ago he started wearing makeup which again, not a problem. It started with him wanting to do his eyebrows and wear foundation which progressed into eyeshadow and lipsticks. Lately there’s been two occasions where he bought girls clothes “for a friend’s birthday” and then I’ve discovered he still had the clothes and he started wearing them himself (off the shoulder type tops and one was cropped). He’s started wearing fake nails and wants to get his nails done at a salon and at this point I’m at a loss. I could accept that he’s transgender but I don’t want to suggest anything to him/not sure how to approach the subject. There are a lot of things I’m worried about such as his safety as I know not everyone is as accepting when they see a teenage boy dressed like a girl. If he thinks he’s transgender I just want to know so we can move forward, this period of not knowing and being confused is horrible

pallisers Thu 14-Dec-17 16:55:47

Why not just let him dress as he wants without labeling him? Loads of the boys in my dd's school dress like this, wear make-up etc. Why can't he be male, gay and wear make up and cropped tops? I thought that wasn't that unusual.

Discusting Thu 14-Dec-17 16:56:36

I wouldn’t say anything at the minute. He is 13 and still discovering who he is. Let him experiment, but don’t throw around labels until he is old enough and experienced enough to classify himself.

pumpkinsss Thu 14-Dec-17 17:01:38

Pallisers I completely agree and have thought he might just be androgynous, but this has been a gradual thing for years and the tipping point for me was wanting press on nails. I tend to agree that boys these days are free to express themselves more, but I don’t know any boys in his school who do their makeup like Kylie Jenner while wearing crop tops and long press on nails. PLEASE enlighten me if I’m wrong because I would love to be wrong. I feel like Next it will be heels and wanting to grow his hair I’m just waiting for the bombshell.

Fishfingersandwichnocheese Thu 14-Dec-17 17:01:42

Maybe he just likes wearing the clothes and make up ?

It doesn’t make him a woman.

Do none of your gay friends do drag or anything ??

Blackteadrinker77 Thu 14-Dec-17 17:02:33

Take him for a spa day, get your hair and nails done together and just spend time with him.
The more comfortable you make him feel the more he will be himself around you. Just keep reaffirming that you love him.

You are clearly doing ok as he feels he could tell you he was gay at 13.

PaintingByNumbers Thu 14-Dec-17 17:02:36

1980s fashion has been back in for a while now

Fishfingersandwichnocheese Thu 14-Dec-17 17:04:11

Maybe it’s not common but I’m fairly sure lots of boys/men experiment with style and fashion.

I seem to remember Will smiths son modelling women’s clothes at one point.

ivenoideawhatimdoing Thu 14-Dec-17 17:06:16

OP, I know you're worrying but he doesn't need a label.

He may just be experimenting.

He may be a man who likes wearing womens' clothes.

He could be a myriad of things.

Just let him find out what he is without intervening. He will come to a conclusion himself without your intervention.

EnidColeslaw771 Thu 14-Dec-17 17:07:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kalinkafoxtrot45 Thu 14-Dec-17 17:10:12

Let him do it. Most likely it's just him experimenting, it's much more acceptable for boys to do that these days. It might be nothing more.

MongerTruffle Thu 14-Dec-17 17:12:04

have thought he might just be androgynous
You don't need to label him as anything. He's just experimenting with his personality and how he expresses it.

pumpkinsss Thu 14-Dec-17 17:17:12

This isn’t about what I should label him, it’s about how to support him. I’m fine with him doing his own thing that’s exactly what I have always done I’ve let him buy makeup, I’ve even helped him do his makeup because at one point his eyebrows looked ridiculous. I hope I don’t seem like I’m desperately trying to label him and you can all understand why I might think he’s transgender and IF he is I want to be the first person to be there to help him that’s all

Fishfingersandwichnocheese Thu 14-Dec-17 17:18:59

But what would you do differently to what you are doing ? You love him. You let him express himself and be who he is.

Ashamedandblamed Thu 14-Dec-17 17:22:28

I don't think everyone needs to jump down OPs throats about labels. She's just looking for advice on how to handle things she doesn't want to say anything to make him uncomfortable etc.

OP it sounds like your doing great if he came out to you. Tbh a lot of boys I know and you tubers like to have a full face of makeup and wear clothes from the women's shops. They even get nails done etc.

It's just how they want to look with some people not everyone who does it is trans.

ClareB83 Thu 14-Dec-17 17:33:37

Yes just keep on supporting him the way you are. Then if he wants to tell you he is transgender he will. Otherwise he just is who he is and knows you love him.

SlowlyShrinking Thu 14-Dec-17 19:17:06

Op, if this was my son, I would be reassuring him that he doesn’t need to identify as being trans in order to grow his hair and wear false nails etc. Unfortunately it’s not easy for a boy to do these things in our society, but I hope it’s getting easier. Personally, I would do everything I could to avoid my child starting to identify as trans, because I wouldn’t want him to start down the road towards hormones and surgery. I would concentrate on helping him to think about why we have such rigid gender roles in society, and helping him to build up the confidence to be who he wants to be, and present as he wishes, whilst still being a boy.

RestingGrinchFace Thu 14-Dec-17 19:26:42

Helicopter parenting much? He's exploring his gender. When he figures himself out and he is ready for you to know he will tell you. I know that you want to keep him safe but you really have no right to pry into what is one of the most personal things anyone can experience. If you are concerned that he may get beaten up then maybe consider moving to a safer city/picking him up/dropping him off/moving him into a boarding school. If you are concerned about his mental health or bullying then try to keepblibes of communication so that he knows that he can talk to you with making you anxious, feeling embarrassed or, you making assumptions about him. But don't try to force anything out if him, there is a good chance that he is not sure himself. There is enough pressure on teenagers to conform to stereotypes as it is without getting it from your own mother. I've regularly worn men's clothes in my teenage years and still do. If my mother had jumped to the conclusion that it meant I was a man (I'm not, I'm just too secure in my femininity to pass up clothing that is both more comfortable and better looking) and tried to make me act on her assumptions. I appreciate that it is hard when they start growing up but teenagers really do need space from their parents and they need to feel like you respect whatever privacy they choose to maintain.

pumpkinsss Fri 15-Dec-17 00:54:57

Boarding school? Jesus wept. Your entire post is so presumptive. I won’t be taking any of your advice on board but thanks for contributing.

reallyanotherone Fri 15-Dec-17 01:01:34

Look at the other way.

I don’t wear stick on nails, makeup, off the shoulder tops, or have long hair.

It doesn’t turn me i to a man any more than wearing them is what makes someone female.

Let him wear what he likes. Tell him he is who he is, and actually, gender doesn’t really matter much in the scale of things.

pumpkinsss Fri 15-Dec-17 01:10:09

I completely agree and after reading the great responses here it has made me look at the bigger picture. There arent any boys like him around where we live but when I think about it there are plenty of them I see on Youtube and gay celebrities who wear fabulous makeup and clothes like Boy George and Adam Lambert who aren’t trans. I will keep this in mind and continue to let him live his life and try to be there for him whenever he needs me.

ButterfliesAreWeird Fri 15-Dec-17 01:15:08

What you're describing has nothing to do with gender. Don't start shoving ideas down his throat and confusing the poor kid. He shouldn't be judged for just being him.

starbrightnight Fri 15-Dec-17 01:15:59

Pumpkin I think you are doing a great job. You sound remarkably level headed about this but I agree it's probably best to avoid any kind of 'transgender' suggestions. It's great that your lad feels free to experiment with clothes and hair and make-up while he is growing into himself, and it might turn out to be just that, experimentation. A bit like I tried glitter stars on my cheeks and bright blue eyeshadow and silly shoes and teensy suede hotpants. (what was I thinking, I'm an introvert).

What you describe doesn't seem that unusual these days for young men. Recently at a cosmetics counter in House of Fraser the young male sales assistant looked like he'd just stepped off stage as a drag artist he wore so much make-up / nails etc and tight fitting girly clothes but I didn't think anything other than he was a flamboyant young man with charming manners who might possibly be gay, or might not be.

It's wonderful that your lad can already openly discuss these things with you so I'm sure if transgender thoughts ever do come to him he will share them with you. I'd let him lead you into that conversation if the time ever comes.

Boarding school would be the worst thing, I'm so glad you dismissed that outright!

PinkJeggings Fri 15-Dec-17 01:16:50

It’s absolutely fine for him to be a man who wears lipsticks and get his nails done. Absolutely fine. It does not follow that he is trans.

TammySwansonTwo Fri 15-Dec-17 01:18:39

I saw a wonderful article recently about young men who have amazing make up blogs / vlogs - I can only dream of doing make up as beautifully as they do! It was not about their gender or their sexuality, just about their skill and love of experimenting with make up.

When I was younger it was gradually becoming more acceptable for boys and girls to challenge gender stereotypes in every aspect of their lives. I fear that we may be regressing slightly now as those who don't conform are quickly pigeonholed by some as trans (not saying that's what you're doing by the way - I completely understand that you want to support your son).

I think the absolute best thing you can do as a mum is to reiterate constantly that liking particular things doesn't have any impact on what gender you are - he can enjoy whatever he wants, dress however he likes and still be male. If he later comes to you and says that he is trans then you can be there to guide him in what is currently a very difficult area. Sadly in some corners of the internet there's a lot of pressure for non-conforming boys to transition, and as impressionable young people these things can be quite influential. That would be my only concern - beyond that, let him be who he is as you are doing!

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