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ExH Suddenly Transgender

(222 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

theoracleofdelphi Thu 16-Feb-17 09:40:39

My ex husband has a history of cyclothymia, psychotic episodes, substance abuse & alcohol abuse. He had 3 affairs during our marriage and was emotionally abusive. I eventually broke free and divorced him. He moved away to a large city.

We have a 7 yo DD and last weekend she visited him and he was dressed as a woman and took her out for the day with other new transgender friends. While she was there he sent me an email telling me he has changed his name to Jennifer, was having gender reassignment treatment and our DD was "fine with it". He also said he "asserts his right not to hide away to protect his children from discrimination".

DD came home very distressed and crying about "Daddy dressing like a girl" and doesn't want to see him like that.

I texted him and asked him to dress neutrally as many women including me would at the weekend (jeans and t shirt) while she's with him to allow time for me to arrange support for her to come to terms with this and he just replied "stop sending abusive messages".
DD doesn't want to see him unless he dresses like a boy. He won't compromise.

Any advice?

ErrolTheDragon Thu 16-Feb-17 09:45:41

Isn't the basis of contact for non resident parent supposed to be all about what is in the best interest of the child not the parents? The child is the one who has rights - the parents have responsibilities.

abbsisspartacus Thu 16-Feb-17 09:47:38

Is it on record about his psychotic episodes

DJKKSlider Thu 16-Feb-17 09:49:37

He has every right to dress in exactly whatever he chooses, to call himself Queen UmbongoLayzee Of The Planet Nymphonia etc.

Equally, you have every right to refuse him access until his behaviour is such that it doesn't upset your child.

You should also point out, a d it is something worth remembering in every situation, acceptance through fear of the consequence is not acceptance at all, just fear.

BastardGoDarkly Thu 16-Feb-17 09:51:31

Unless he's having an ' episode' he's a selfish bastard. Fancy just dropping that on a 7 year old? Wtf is he thinking?

I'd not make her go if she doesn't want to. If he wants to see her, he'll have to handle this sensitively, with her best interests at the forefront.

Pointeshoes Thu 16-Feb-17 09:55:30

You've posted twice and name changed ....

jayho Thu 16-Feb-17 09:58:08

hmm, my daughter is trans and I'd defend her right to present how she wants to my last breath. I'd also challenge anyone who tried to deny her that right. However, she no longer sees her children because their mother refuses to accept her status despite being aware of it during their relationship and the planned conception of their children.

My daughter's father has other children and he and his partner were very resistant to my daughter meeting the children while she was transitioning but that has improved.

I also have other children and have been open with them about their sister's status from the outset. They haven't had any problems coping with and accepting the change but, I think importantly, they have been involved from the outset. They have witnessed a gradual shift from changing her dress to starting hormone therapy to laser hair removal (face). This has been a 3-4 year process so far.

So what I'm trying to say is you don't have any right to deny your exh's status but equally, children need time to accept change.

How often does your DD see her other parent and have they had a good relationship up to this point?

Maudlinmaud Thu 16-Feb-17 09:59:15

I think you need to have it recorded that this is upsetting and damaging your dd.
Like pp have stated he can choose to be whatever identity he likes but not to the detriment of your childs emotional well being. It needs to handled very sensitively.

Graceful1 Thu 16-Feb-17 10:23:23

At the the risk of playing devil`s advocate, are you sure it was your dd who was upset and not just you. At that age children can usually be very forgiving and accepting.

HarmlessChap Thu 16-Feb-17 10:28:06

Its unlikely that your ex is "suddenly" trans, it may well have been at the root of many of her problems over the years but only now has she accepted it herself publicly.

I think she has acted rather thoughtlessly and I would message back saying that its not an abusive message. Tell him that DD is not as cool with it was she was pretending to be and she needs some support coming to terms with it.

Getting some counselling for DD to help deal with the fact that her father is now a she rather than a he would be a sensible move. Maybe its something that your ex could be involved with too.

ageingrunner Thu 16-Feb-17 10:34:43

Ffs why should a 7 yr old have to have counselling to help her to accept something that's not true? Denial of reality will not be good for the child's mental health. Her father, who FATHERED her, is a man and will remain so whatever he wears.

jayho Thu 16-Feb-17 10:42:39

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

CityMole Thu 16-Feb-17 10:45:37

ageingrunner, seriously? hmm

I think your ex needs to be reminded that the welfare of the child is paramount, and that since this is going to be a very important and permanent change, it needs to be dealt with sensitively, and moreover, there is NO RUSH for the change to be unveiled and accepted.

If your ex cannot agree that the child's welfare trumps her desire to fanfare her new identity, then I would be calling in to question their suitability as a co-parent, and also perhaps questioning their mental health at this point in time.

Is the contact arrangement court-ordered at present?

DelphiniumBlue Thu 16-Feb-17 10:50:31

Parents need to put the interests of their children first. It doesn't sound as if your ex is doing this - asserting his "rights" seems to be taking priority over protecting your DD.
Actually, I can't imagine anything more traumatic for a young child than what ex has done, and without even thinking to prepare DD in any way. And the fact that he's only sending you information about it when DD is actually with him.... wow.
It's all about him, isn't it?
Your DD is quite clear about what she wants, in your circumstances I'd back her to the hilt.
And keep every text, every evidence of this appallingly selfish behaviour, because I think you'll have a fight on your hands.
So sorry your're both having to go through this.
Just wondering, you mentioned substance abuse ... some drugs really affect the ability to think rationally.. I've met coke users who have behaved like your ex, at pre-op stage, who appeared to be not actually transgender but who were having a massive personality crisis because of the drugs.. egging each other on.. is he still a user?

ageingrunner Thu 16-Feb-17 10:53:04

You think it's unreasonable that I question the logic of sending a 7 yr old child to counselling to try and help her to believe that her dad has magically turned into her mum? confused
What kind of grasp on reality will the child have, when she knows that this is untrue, but has been coerced into believing it by the adults in her life? People need to think about what they're advocating here.

user1486956786 Thu 16-Feb-17 10:57:40

OP - do you think your ex is serious or is having an episode and this is temporary?

OddBoots Thu 16-Feb-17 11:00:06

ageingrunner - I didn't read it as intended to make her believe but instead to allow her to have someone to talk to about her own feelings about what her parent is doing.

ageingrunner Thu 16-Feb-17 11:04:10

Getting some counselling to help her deal with the fact that her father is now a she was the post that I objected to. And it also suggested that the father should be involved in the counselling

ageingrunner Thu 16-Feb-17 11:05:10

My contention is that it is not a 'fact' that her father is now a she, and shouldn't be presented to the child as such

CityMole Thu 16-Feb-17 11:07:36

Her father clearly identifies as a she now, regardless of whether she still has all the dangly bits.

CityMole Thu 16-Feb-17 11:08:23

Anyway, can we not derail the thread with pedantry around the gender issue, and actually offer the OP the advice she is seeking?

ageingrunner Thu 16-Feb-17 11:08:25

I get that, but reality still continues to be a thing, regardless

ageingrunner Thu 16-Feb-17 11:09:48

It's hardly pedantry. My advice is not to pander to the father's sudden belief that he is a woman, especially given his history of mh problems and substance abuse

HarmlessChap Thu 16-Feb-17 11:12:15

Her father, who FATHERED her, is a man and will remain so whatever he wears.

Transgender is different from transvestite.

She is undergoing gender realignment, that isn't a spur of the moment thing and she will have had a lot of counselling before embarking on it. It will require hormone treatment and eventually surgery which includes removing the testicles, scooping out the inside of penis and inverted to make an approximation of a vagina.

How much of a "man" will he be in your eyes then? Or will he she simply be an abomination?

ageingrunner Thu 16-Feb-17 11:14:04

About 80% of transwomen don't have any genital surgery, and don't plan to, so 🤷‍♀️

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