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Do you think trans parents should tell their children that theyre trans?

(22 Posts)
Jake17 Fri 10-Nov-17 22:06:30

Posting this on behalf of both myself and my gf
Im a female to male transgender guy, we are hoping to have children soon after we get married and im wondering what opinions are on this.
I personally believe that talking to children about my genitals just isnt right and that i am no different than any other father so i dont feel the need to discuss my past with my child.

ParadiseCity Fri 10-Nov-17 22:09:08

I can honestly say I have never thought about this...

JigglyTuff Fri 10-Nov-17 22:16:51

It's not about your genitals though is it? It's about the fact that your children won't be genetically related to you. If you don't tell them, you're not protecting them, you're protecting you. And they have the right to know

Akire Fri 10-Nov-17 22:22:12

I would have thought there’s a risk they will find out. Or find your birth certificate, see baby or childhood pictures or have to register your death at some point. Plus you may well get a female cancer/illness so it will be double shock.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 10-Nov-17 22:22:35

If you start telling your kids as soon as they are born, it won't be some huge massive deal when they are older.

And you need to tell them - as the PP said they won't be genetically yours, and they need to know this.

Battleax Fri 10-Nov-17 22:25:01

Honesty is better in families.

Screepy Fri 10-Nov-17 22:26:45

It won't be an issue for the first few years. After that, I think that honesty would be the best policy.

Good luck

Inig0M0nt0ya Fri 10-Nov-17 22:26:55

Honesty is much better.
As they grow older they may guess anyway if they haven't been told, which could be more hurtful than being honest from the start.

WooWooSister Fri 10-Nov-17 22:27:38

Unless you have cut ties with everyone who knew you previously then it's likely your DCs would find it. It's not fair to ask all your relatives to constantly police any references to your past.
When you tell your DC and how you tell them are trickier questions. Tbh I am not sure MN will be particularly insightful on that as I'm not sure how many of our trans posters have been in that situation.

HirplesWithHaggis Fri 10-Nov-17 22:27:56

Are you planning to never discuss your childhood with your children? Never share memories or experiences? Or do you plan to lie to them forever?

Battleax Fri 10-Nov-17 22:28:01

Turn it around. Why would you consider building a family on deceit?

QueenLaBeefah Fri 10-Nov-17 22:28:28

Yore children will notice. Children aren't exactly great with respecting personal boundaries.

OddBoots Fri 10-Nov-17 22:28:53

It comes naturally to talk to children about our own childhoods and experiences, to change or hide such a big part of your life would be far more harmful to a parent-child relationship than being open and honest. Just how likely do you think it is that your child would go all their lives never speaking to anyone who knew you pre-transition?

MyDcAreMarvel Fri 10-Nov-17 22:29:46

It will be obvious to them, I wouldn't give it much thought.

Sandsnake Fri 10-Nov-17 22:30:15

Be honest, from the beginning. It's just not feasible to expect your children to grow to adulthood not knowing that you were born the opposite sex to how you are now presenting. I think (as pp said) it would be far more difficult for them to have it as a 'bombshell', as opposed to something they've always just known.

YouCantArgueWithStupid Fri 10-Nov-17 22:30:18

It’s your (hypothetical) children’s norm, why wouldn’t you tell them about it?

It's sometimes appropriate to talk about your genitals to children tbh. I remember my mum mentioning once she had a sebaceous cyst she thought was really worrying until she knew what it was and she didn't want me to worry like that.

She also discussed things like episiotomies when I was pregnant. I appreciated that.

It's good to be comfortable talking about penises and vaginas/vulvas to children who possess them.

It's sometimes useful to talk from your own experience about health issues.

It might be worth thinking about how to discuss your relationship with gender and identity so that your child has a framework within which to make sense of those issues. Eg making sure they know they can express themselves however they wish while understanding the facts of life.

BestZebbie Fri 10-Nov-17 22:39:55

Cis parents tell their children their gender all the time, I don't see why trans parents should need to hide it.

Mind you, I'm also not sure how you are planning to conceal your genitals for all eternity once you have a toddler that wants to come into the toilet with you. :-)
(More seriously, talking about genitals does not have to mean talking about sexual arousal! I have a three year old and we've discussed in an age-appropriate way things like being born by c-section, using sanitary towels, and (repeatedly!) the importance of pointing towards the toilet when doing a wee, all of which have come up naturally in conversation and are appropriate topics to discuss with your child.

Children do also go through a stage of being curious about physical difference and making sweeping declarations about genitals, I'd imagine you'll be wanting to step in at that stage to clarify some very binary views with your own life experience then anyway, even if you don't want to make it personal.

CheerfulMuddler Sun 12-Nov-17 10:52:09

It's really important to talk to your children about genitals, if only so they know that someone shouldn't touch them there if they don't want them to and - particularly for girls - so if someone DOES touch them there, they can accurately describe what happened using clear terminology and you know what happened and can deal with it.
If you don't tell your child, the message you will send us that being trans is something to be ashamed of, and they won't know how to deal with it when it does arise. Be honest, be straightforward, and they probably won't even be that interested until they're old enough to realise that it's a bit unusual.

mindutopia Mon 13-Nov-17 12:54:59

Well, I talk with mine about my genitals all the time and I'm not trans, but personally, I don't really think being trans is about your genitals. It's about your identity and your life story and who you are. It may be a complicating thing for a 2 year old to understand, but certainly wouldn't be for a 4 or 5 year old, no more so than lots of other things like sexuality, death, morality, racism, etc. that you have to talk about with children as they grow and are exposed to these things. I think you have to be comfortable about what's age appropriate and be sure in yourself how you want to approach talking about it, but it's not something I could see intentionally keeping from a child because it's something about who you are and not a shameful thing. But there's a time and a place for these kinds of talks and it's not something you're going to do the moment baby pops out either.

reallyanotherone Mon 13-Nov-17 13:00:07

Your children will notice. Children aren't exactly great with respecting personal boundaries

Oh yes.

so they know that someone shouldn't touch them there if they don't want them to and - particularly for girls - so if someone DOES touch them there

Not “particularly for girls”. Cse happens to both sexes, and you should never think just because a child is a boy they won’t be abused. All children should be told about genitals and personal boundaries.

CheerfulMuddler Mon 13-Nov-17 15:29:21

Cse happens to both sexes, and you should never think just because a child is a boy they won’t be abused.

Oh yes. I didn't mean boys can't be abused, I meant it's particularly important for girls to know correct terminology. Because "he touched my willy" is a lot clearer in a police report than "he touched my foofoo", which could mean bloody anything.

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