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Raising a child with gender dysphoria

(68 Posts)
Buffy76 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:12:51

Its hard to understand what it might be like for a mum listening to her child cry at night about the idea of growing a beard etc, terrified of turning into a man.
Its hard to imagine I know.
But I do know that most people do not hope their child will be trans. They hope its a phase, they hope that the fact the child still likes football etc means they cant really identify as a girl.
There is a HUGE gap between being a tom boy / liking lego or the other way round liking princess stuff etc and actually feeling inside like you were born in the wrong body.
Its so painful to see your child find their gender unbareable.
Please try to imagine, most parents are just doing their best, and most parents would not wish the life of being trans and all the difficulties and discrimination that comes with on their child. All you want is for your child to have as few challenges in life as possible,
But what I know is no matter how much boys clothes, lego, star wars toys etc you throw at a child, you can not MAKE them feel like a boy. Our children are who they are, and most mums are just trying to listen to their children and allow them to feel comfortable.
Its really hard for mums raising children with gender dysphoria. Please try to keep open minded and support them. Thank you xxxx

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LineyReborn Mon 31-Oct-16 22:19:44

I think that gender has endless horizons. Exploring one's possible masculinity or femininity - creating different and valid interpretations whilst not succumbing to irreversible medical interventions which may be regretted in later years - is a huge canvas.

Narrowing those possibilities seems to be what's happening now.

I'm a caring mother, genuinely.

Kropotkinator Mon 31-Oct-16 22:24:49

I was driven to the local GP by my mum when I was 18 because I was threatening to cut out my own Womb.

It took me years but I got over dysphoria.

Studies say that 80%+ of all teenagers get over it.

Thanks God I wasn't growing up today. I would have been transed and mutilated.

What's with all the Mermaids shills on the feminism boards?

Kropotkinator Mon 31-Oct-16 22:27:24

Adding, thank God to my mum for not pandering to my delusion.

CoteDAzur Mon 31-Oct-16 22:27:41

I wonder when this spamming by Mermaids people will end.

Welcome to MN, OP. Stick around a bit and you might learn that we are not ignorant dummies, and that rational debate is valued much more on here than tugging at heartstrings.

FlapsTie Mon 31-Oct-16 22:28:42

You lost me at Lego and Star Wars. I'm a huge fan of both. I'm a woman.

I hated the idea of puberty, didn't want to grow breasts or have periods. The whole thing sickened me. But guess what? I grew out of it.

Let's let children be children and stop all this nonsense.

Kropotkinator Mon 31-Oct-16 22:31:54

Exactly *Flaps.

I haven't grown out of it completely and I still feel pangs of disgust. But it's part of growing up female, and from what I hear it's completely normal to not be happy with your female body to a greater or lesser extent.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 31-Oct-16 22:36:10

Buffy it must be hard, I have a teen in torment ( different issues to transgender).
I sought help from mental health services.
Please do the same for your teen.

itsbetterthanabox Mon 31-Oct-16 22:37:12

Nearly all children hate their bodies at some point of growing up. Puberty is terrifying.
My best friend when she was a teen desperately wanted to be a boy. She bound her breasts down, shaved her face, cut all her hair off very short and trained herself to speak in a lower voice. She said she was certain she wanted to transition.
She's sooo glad no one took her too seriously because it wasn't as trendy back then. Now As a mother of 2 she's incredibly glad no one let her remove her breasts and take hormones that would make her infertile.
Telling children to change their body to be happy is very wrong. We must change our ways of thinking in order to be happy with what we are as we are. Children need to learn to feel at peace with their physical being not surgically or hormonal may change it.

FranticalFidget Mon 31-Oct-16 22:38:12

But what I know is no matter how much boys clothes, lego, star wars toys etc you throw at a child, you can not MAKE them feel like a boy.

Da fuck?

Maybe they don't like Lego? Maybe not liking Lego doesn't mean they 'don't feel' like a boy.

HardcoreLadyType Mon 31-Oct-16 22:49:17

Kropot, one of my DDs is gender dysphoric. (She has not asked us to call her a different name, or use masculine pronouns, so I'm not misgendering.)
I am a gender critical feminist, so I find it hard.

She likes to wear masculine clothing, and has a very masculine haircut. I go along with all this. Clothes are clothes.

She has been assessed by CAMHS as being not dysphoric enough for any therapy. (I'm actually pleased by this, as I am a bit concerned about what the therapy might be.)

I honestly believe it is a phase. She has a friend at school who is also gender dysphoric, and I believe they egg each other on. (That is, I think my DD influences this person as much as they influence DD.) Yesterday, she went on a course at a boys school, but girls were also able to attend. She said, "there were two other girls there" before quickly amending it to "there were two girls there", as if she forgot she is supposed to be a boy.

I'm interested in your experience, and wonder what I should be doing that will help my DD.

I truly want her to be herself, but this situation is hard.

Datun Mon 31-Oct-16 22:49:51

What's with all the Mermaids shills on the feminism boards?

Damage limitation. Failing by the looks of the comments.

HillaryFTW Mon 31-Oct-16 22:53:22

Ah, mermaids. Got it.

Datun Mon 31-Oct-16 22:58:08

Out in force tonight Hilary. 3 threads and counting...

LineyReborn Mon 31-Oct-16 22:59:12

Why is it 'gender dysphoric' for someone to want to wear certain clothing and hair styles (which vary hugely through time and across cultures anyway)?

Shouldn't we just expand the worlds of 'gender' for our DC, not arbitrarily narrow them?

ShowMeTheElf Mon 31-Oct-16 23:07:26

My child is currently identifying as non-binary and considering top surgery.
I consider myself a gender critical feminist. I am struggling, However, having found my child on the bathroom floor with slit wrists I am minded to go with whatever they want.
I would rather a confused living breathing teen than a dead teen who has engaged with me on my understanding of the issues. Right now we are going with what they believe they need. I do not understand it.....but trying to explain causes them pain and therefore we just embrace the pronouns and see how it goes.
It is really not easy, but my child perceives that they are in pain, so we accept whatever alleviates that.

Heratnumber7 Mon 31-Oct-16 23:15:33

I used to sleep on my front in the hope it would stop my breasts from growing. I hated being a girl, mostly because boys got to do all the fun stuff, and women in films used to fall over a !ot when they were running.

I'm glad I was able to marry DH and have love!y kids though.

almondpudding Mon 31-Oct-16 23:25:16

OP, what do you think feminism has to do with your situation?

ReallyTired Mon 31-Oct-16 23:30:33

Surely if a child is suicidal then the last thing they should do is have life changing non essential surgery. Child mental health services need better funding rather than CHILDREN having surgery.

Plenty of trans people are suicidal after surgery. The surgery has not resolved their issues. It's created more issues.

Nathan Verhelst might still be alive today if he had not had surgery.

I also think there is a danger of homosexuals being pressurised into thinking they are trans. Kids need to know that their genitals does not define what they can't or can do in life.

GreenMouse Mon 31-Oct-16 23:38:43

Buffy, thank you for saying this so eloquently. It's tough. flowers

tubasinthemoonlight Tue 01-Nov-16 00:06:47

I wish the current climate and discussion about young trans children had happened before my child presented as transgender. Although he may well have continued and gone on to transition later I now know that it would have been better to slow it all down and spend more time exploring the alternatives. Then I would feel more certain, as the years go by, that it was the right thing to do. I now believe that if I had not joined Mermaids when I did I may have spent more time thinking critically about the situation.

My son himself though is even more certain than ever that this is right. And I do know that he is happier in himself than I had ever thought he would be so I don't regret supporting him. I only hope now that parents facing this in future will not be persuaded by others or by what they see online that they must simply accept that transition is the only way. The training given to schools and other organisations dealing with children should also stop focussing on scaring staff into blind acceptance and support with threats of legal action as a consequence of non-compliance with the instructions of parents and children, unless there is an actual professional opinion that it is the right thing to do.

HanSolo Tue 01-Nov-16 00:15:59

I utterly love Star Wars.
And Lego- it was the only actual toy I liked as a child.
Amazingly, I'm a woman. A born-female-still-female woman.
I would like to know buffy76 how your child feels female.

Because, despite being female all my life, I've no idea how to feel female. I only know what it's like to be me.

almondpudding Tue 01-Nov-16 00:21:27

The main character in Star Wars for the current generation of kids is a woman anyway. Why would Star Wars be a boy thing? Or Lego? All kids like Lego.

FloraFox Tue 01-Nov-16 00:48:44

But what I know is no matter how much boys clothes, lego, star wars toys etc you throw at a child, you can not MAKE them feel like a boy.

This is the opposite of what people are saying here! If you tell a boy X is for girls and Y is for boys but he likes X and does not like Y, no wonder he'll be confused. If he is told he is a boy because he has a willy, how would that make him feel about being a boy or having a willy?

I want to know from the Mermaids cheerleaders whether any of you were told the likelihood is that your children will grow up to be lesbian or gay and not trans? Did anyone talk to you about how lesbians and gay men come to terms with their sexuality quite late (average age 20 and 17)? What about the impact of homophobia on girls growing up to be butch lesbians?

What about the health risks of osteoporosis and vaginal atrophy (and associated incontinence) and increased risk of stroke from using cross sectional hormones? Did 'Mermaids talk about that?

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