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Trans 18yo

(17 Posts)
4sausages Fri 25-Jan-19 10:04:42

Ds 18 has told me he is trans. He's felt something was wrong his whole life, particularly through puberty. I feel so sad that he's only now able to talk to me about it. He has been doing research online and only realised recently that its actually 'a thing'. He's seen the gp and is looking into hormones, and lazer treatment to get rid of his stubble. He's always worn his hair long. I'll love him and support him of course. I just want him to be happy. But I'm so scared for him. He's not great at expressing himself, doesn't have many friends. I worry about family and friends not accepting him as a female- apart from his online friends I'm the only person who knows so far. I worry about hormones messing with his head. And I already miss my son. I feel so confused.

SoloClarinet Fri 25-Jan-19 22:50:18

That's really hard for you, and I am sure for your son too. At 18, our kids are technically adults but we just want to protect them.
This may be the right thing for your child, but it could also be the symptom of something else. I hope the GP and the gender identity clinicians will consider that too.
I'm going through something like this with s family member and it is honestly the hardest thing I have dealt with.
Above all your child needs to know (and hear) that you love them no matter what - and keep a good relationship with lots of non-trans stuff in it if you can - online communities can become a bit cult-like...

allatsea123 Sat 26-Jan-19 12:52:31

I am sorry you are in this position as well. It is such a hard thing to go through. It is difficult with your son being 18, but if you can get him to delay for a while, he may be able to think more clearly as he matures. The teenage brain is still undergoing massive changes at this age and it's well recognised that it doesn't mature until the mid twenties. There is a website called inspiredteentherapy , the therapist sasha Assad has some excellent advice on how to deal with issues as they arise and how to be loving and supportive while trying to maintain an open curiosity so that your child doesn't see this as the only solution to their problems. You can read her blogs etc but to watch the videos you do have to subscribe but could also cancel after a month, it's about 5 dollars for a month. Well worth a watch. Also transgender trend is an excellent site. Maybe counselling might help him if you can find someone who doesn't immediately confirm his feelings but helps him explore them? Good luck and look after yourself, you really need to as it is so difficult.

4sausages Sun 27-Jan-19 08:29:03

Thank you both. The gp gave him details of some online counselling which he did. Apparently they suggested he go back to his gp and ask to be referred which he did. The gp has told him he needs a psychiatric report before starting hormone treatment which is reassuring. But he went to visit a lazer clinic yesterday and intends starting treatment next week. He's adamant he's going ahead. He's using money he's saved from working so I can't stop him. He seems keen to keep me updated which is good and joins the family for walks/boardgame etc but still spends a lot of time on his computer.
Thanks for the suggestions of where to go for info/support. I'll look into them.

allatsea123 Sun 27-Jan-19 09:35:36

The therapist I mentioned is sasha Ayad not Assad as I said, she deals mainly with the topic of girls presenting as transgender as there are so many of them, although the messages would be the same I think for boys. The main message that I have taken is that it is ok to totally affirm your child without affirming the transgender identity immediately. Hopefully there will be a wait while your son sees the psychiatrist before he can have hormones and that might give him time to reflect. There are studies that show that among those who have desisted transition, the average age that they started was 17-18 and they age at which they desisted was around 23. I think this is very telling and suggests that once the brain has matured and they are no longer teenagers they are more able to make decisions which will serve them well for the long term. I really feel for you that he is 18 as this makes it so much harder for you to intervene. My daughter has just turned 17 and we have been going through this for two and a half years already. I am still no nearer accepting it and am terrified that next year she will go ahead with permenant changes and then at 22 or three regret it. Will he listen to you if you say that you understand that it is painful and difficult for him right now but that it is normal to question yourself as a young person, that it is normal to feel emotional and sad, it's part of becoming an adult, tell him about the brain development, that many people make decisions as young people which they later regret, he has his whole life ahead of him. What is the rush? Why not make some changes which are reversible and see how that goes and then wait till he is older before doing anything permenant?

4sausages Sun 27-Jan-19 09:53:54

We've talked about clothes and he's already got some underwear and ordered more. He's not sure about telling other people and obviously people would notice if he wore women's clothes. He wants starting university to be a new start, including changing his name. Even this seems complicated to me- he's applied in one name but wants to start in another! I think we need to tell my partner and kids, but I wouldn't want to ask the kids to hide it so I guess it would soon become common knowledge. It's all so complicated.

SoloClarinet Sun 27-Jan-19 10:27:52

My kid was desperate to start uni in their new "gender" - the universities don't even raise an eyebrow, and their peers just kind of shrug and get on with it. In some ways, that is good - no one wants their child to be ostracised for being different.
In lots of ways, it is bad, however, as we fear regret about permanent irreversible changes, and the unquestioning encouragement of the world at large.

There was a set of articles in the Sunday Times today about that poor family whose 14 year old took her own life, and the role of social media. (E.g. After she had died an email from Pinterest inviting her to look at pins of self-harm she might be interested in). Although what we are going through is light years away from dealing with a suicide, I was profoundly struck by the parallels with the celebration of gender change, and how vulnerable teenagers could be drawn into it as a solution to their other problems. But in the case of gender change, somehow this is a good thing and a means for people to be their "authentic self" - and no one seems to flagging this up (at least not without being shouted down as a right wing bigot).

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/pinterest-emailed-suicide-tips-after-molly-russells-death-8x9t8w6wb?shareToken=a8e142568edb2064071611b5bd6042b5

Italiangreyhound Tue 05-Feb-19 21:22:12

4sausages it's all very hard, you have my sympathy.

We have a trans youth in my wider family and also among my friends.

I've not got any real advice, except keep the lines of communication open.

If your child really wants to start uni as a trans woman then I expect college can handle it.

Are there any real life support groups etc that your child can connect with?

thanks

supermamabear Wed 06-Feb-19 08:57:46

I would be very careful on here as there is a lot of awful “radical feminists” who have the agenda that trans people are the enemy...

Anyway, if I would your I would start gendering your child correctly (she/her pronouns) and supporting her in any way you can. Your kiddo will be much happier when she can be her true self.

Calvinsmam Wed 06-Feb-19 09:04:56

Anyway, if I would your I would start gendering your child correctly (she/her pronouns) and supporting her in any way you can. Your kiddo will be much happier when she can be her true self.

Woah, hold your horses there bear this is all brand new. I think they should explore what’s going on a little bit more before making any rash changes.

Calvinsmam Wed 06-Feb-19 09:07:07

Oh wait I’ve just seen your other thread bear nevermind.

4sausages Sat 16-Feb-19 17:39:13

Only just seen these replies.
Italiangreyhound I hadn't thought of looking for "real life" support groups. That's a great idea, thanks. We live near a big city so I expect there's something.
Supermamabear I can't really use correct pronouns around people that don't know. And although I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'll soon have a daughter instead of a son, at the moment he's still very much my son. He's planning on a few changes over half term, including having asked me to tell close family. However he doesn't want the added confusion of telling people at his college, so will remain somewhat in limbo until he finishes there. This is the way he wants it.
Since telling me he's become a lot happier. He talks to me lots, mostly telling me what's going on but also asking my opinion on some things. I am still feeling scared for him, but I just love seeing him smile and laugh more. I can't even begin to imagine what he's been going through for so long.

Italiangreyhound Tue 19-Feb-19 16:39:16

How are things going Calvinsmam? are you watching the Making of Me on channel 4. Some of it is scary but relatively well presented on Trans issues and family.

www.channel4.com/programmes/the-making-of-me/on-demand/62727-002

thanks

Italiangreyhound Tue 19-Feb-19 16:40:09

SORRY I meant the OP, @4sausages how are things with your child?

4sausages Tue 19-Feb-19 21:41:27

Pretty good thanks. I'm away with my partner and younger kids atm and ds is home alone. He's planning on going out in his new clothes at some point this week to see how he gets on. I already know that he's better at applying makeup than I am and looks good with it on.
We watched The Making of Me last week together and had a good chat about it and will watch yesterday's on catchup when I'm home.

Italiangreyhound Tue 19-Feb-19 21:53:29

4sausages good to hear.

We have a trans youth in our extended family and with trans you people too (either adults or almost adults mostly). I've become more relaxed lately and it has really helped.

Italiangreyhound Tue 19-Feb-19 21:54:30

friends with trans young people... That should say.

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