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as a feminist, how do you deal with this?

(46 Posts)
whatalicedidnext Fri 23-Feb-18 10:51:15

I probably got to peak TRA some time ago - not so much peak trans as I don't have a problem with the majority of trans individuals.

Then this happened. My daughter let me know that her long standing, accepted and liked by us all, boyfriend is transgender. She's also told me that it is OK by her and that she's never been bothered by whether a person is male or female (I'm not sure if she's telling me that she is bisexual or not, it's not an issue either way if she is - not for me anyway)

IamNotDarling Fri 23-Feb-18 10:58:59

Look at the Trans widows threads and ask yourself if you want that for your daughter.

flowers

PaperdollCartoon Fri 23-Feb-18 11:00:40

I would just be happy my child had a loving and supportive partner. Wouldn’t matter to me what sex or gender that person was, or where in between.

Valentinesfart Fri 23-Feb-18 11:11:12

I'm not sure if she's telling me that she is bisexual or not, it's not an issue either way if she is - not for me anyway)

I'd be curious what that actually meant to both of them. I'd also want to know she was really comfortable with it. But if it just means he's "non binary" or something, I'd ignore as they all are now aren't they. If he's a woman now I would ask her if she's happy with her boyfriend in the women's locker room.

Elendon Fri 23-Feb-18 11:13:46

I don't understand what this has to do with being a feminist. This is a family dynamic that is changing.

It may bring happiness to your daughter and her relationship but it may not turn out as she expected it would.

whatalicedidnext Fri 23-Feb-18 11:40:51

I think it's relevant to discussions that I am a feminist because it gives other posters a guide to my attitudes in general towards women's rights. I don't like to see women's rights being eroded by transactivists for example, I believe in a woman's right to have a space free from men (and for men to have a space free from women for that matter) when necessary.

I am happy that she has a loving and supportive partner but I think it must throw up problems for her with acceptance from others and reactions when he is wearing women's clothes which he does when they are together at her house, though not yet in public as far as I know. According to his family (who I know) he's not yet taken this step but I don't know if they know that he now has.

Iamnotadarling It's not about what I want for my daughter but thanks for the recommendations for those threads; I don't think it would help me with acceptance as my role in this is to deal with my feelings and support my daughter and her boyfriend with whatever problems may crop up. I'll bear them in mind though.

@Valentinesfart (great user name BTW) She assures me that she is comfortable with it but I only know what she has said over the phone/online. I'm seeing her later today and I don't want it to be the elephant in the room. It's difficult for me as I don't have somebody to discuss it with in person - we haven't yet crossed the bridge of telling her (not with me) father as he would be completely the opposite of supportive and we haven't told my elderly parents either. I wonder what she'd think of him in the women's locker room, I might mention it depending on her frame of mind later - it might get her back up. Usually we can have honest 1:1 discussions about issues though.

I'm hoping that I can get some support on here, I thought it might be better than on the trans board and certainly better than AIBU! grin

Elendon Fri 23-Feb-18 12:07:17

If this sits uneasily with you then I do sympathise. My two adult daughters believe firmly that trans women are women and one of them is gay. I try to keep feminism out of it. To me this is a human rights issue, and I am as much human as a male.

Personally, they know my views and still don't despise me. I have given them all the love and support they require.

Sorry if my post came across as snippy. I didn't mean it that way.

whatalicedidnext Fri 23-Feb-18 12:23:56

If I'm honest, some of it does sit awkwardly with me yes.

I've never had a problem with people being gay (as a teen I always went to gay pubs and clubs to avoid male harrassment). Both my children, one and adult and one a teen, see trans women as women and my youngest claims not to have a problem with them in spaces for the opposite gender though I think that might be different in practice.

I'll always offer her support but it's hard, I mean I'm not comfortable with calling him her because to me he is still male. I don't really want to get into a debate about that because this is about how I can best support them both regardless of my views, but I'd like to get support as I can't get it elsewhere - that doesn't mean you have to agree with me, but be nice please! (you have been).

What makes me uneasy is that they had all kinds of plans, marriage and children etc and my daughter is very keen to have children and this, to me, leaves it all up in the air. He says he won't transition medically until after they have children but that throws up all kinds of issues for my daughter and for any children that they might have. If she wants to stay with him then I don't have a problem with that but obviously I am concerned for her about what she is getting into and how she will cope with it.

BarrackerBarmer Fri 23-Feb-18 13:00:53

How old is she?

My concern is this: profoundly unhealthy for a man to tell a woman that being a woman is not biology but ladybrain.

Every man who identifies as a woman requires the woman he is in a relationship with to lie, deny and diminish herself and the truth about her femaleness, in order to validate him.

You have to pretend that femaleness is a state of mind, and you have to deny that having a female body is important.

I think it's impossible to have a healthy relationship under these circumstances.

whatalicedidnext Fri 23-Feb-18 13:07:10

Christ, that's a hard statement to read. I hope she doesn't feel that way.

They are both nearly 20.

Elendon Fri 23-Feb-18 13:20:44

So they are both late teens?

Tricky. I'd be more concerned about them having children now.

Valentinesfart Fri 23-Feb-18 13:24:21

Tricky. I'd be more concerned about them having children now.

Yes will he be pushing to do it earlier for this reason?
If he thinks he would like to medically transition I would suggest she read up on neovaginas. It's not something many lesbians would be interested in.

whatalicedidnext Fri 23-Feb-18 13:31:22

Hmm, if he starts pushing for them to get married earlier and have children earlier then I think I will put my oar in and say something. She's got to finish university yet and has firm career plans which she's not likely to want to change - she's not in his pocket and is going to study abroad next year without him.

As for neovaginas, I'm not sure how I'll mention that but I will see how the land lies tonight. She doesn't identify as lesbian by the way, she was very clear on that when asked directly by her brother.

IamNotDarling Fri 23-Feb-18 13:33:49

Every man who identifies as a woman requires the woman he is in a relationship with to lie, deny and diminish herself and the truth about her femaleness, in order to validate him.

This would be my concern. Your daughter is probably a pawn in his ‘male-lesbian’ validation game.

Please read the trans widow threads. I wouldn’t wish this on any woman.

Valentinesfart Fri 23-Feb-18 13:40:22

As for neovaginas, I'm not sure how I'll mention that but I will see how the land lies tonight. She doesn't identify as lesbian by the way, she was very clear on that when asked directly by her brother.

She may not identify that way but she will be seen as being in a lesbian relationship (depending on how well he passes).

She needs to be comfortable with that. She also needs to realise that if she isn't comfortable with that, she isn't a bad person for not being "pan sexual". I think there is a lot of pressure for young women to just accept this or they're nasty bigots.

whatalicedidnext Fri 23-Feb-18 14:19:33

She needs to be comfortable with that. She also needs to realise that if she isn't comfortable with that, she isn't a bad person for not being "pan sexual". I think there is a lot of pressure for young women to just accept this or they're nasty bigots

That is, I think, part of my concern. I want/need to know that she is genuinely happy with it and all that it entails. She knows that this is a big step out of my comfort zone I expect, or she thinks it is - and she's right to an extent as she knows that I am not in favour of trans-activists at all and knows that I have a problem with them being in female changing rooms; I mean, I want my children to have a safe space to get changed for sports in/try clothes on in. From my own point of view, I couldn't care less who is there if I'm getting ready for swimming.

Because she knows that then I don't know how much she'd say if she wasn't comfortable; she's presenting herself as being fine with it all but I have no way of knowing if she really is; I would if we still shared a house but she's away from home at uni. I know somebody else who has a daughter away from uni who has had masses of issues and has now lost touch with her daughter and the daughter is now living with her boyfriend and her mom has no idea what is going on. I don't want it to end like that as we've always had a good relationship and she has always known I'll support her even if I don't agree with what she is doing - I've always said whatever fine mess (c. C.Chaplin grin she gets into then I'll be there.

As for the trans widow threads - how will it help me if I read them? is it going to stress me even more or will it help me to support her? I'm trying to be there for her and be supportive and I don't want to push her away; I don't know whether to be supportive or whether to tell her the bad side of it all or what. It's a minefield and I so want to do the right thing sad

Valentinesfart Fri 23-Feb-18 14:29:33

What if she reads some transwidow threads? Or maybe blogs etc.

whatalicedidnext Fri 23-Feb-18 14:36:26

I'll suggest it to her, or at least mention it in discussion. Thanks.

GeorgeTheHippo Fri 23-Feb-18 14:54:52

So she's supposed never to have a fulfilling sex life as well as never conceive children? She's entitled to want to sleep with a man. As she presumably has been doing.

whatalicedidnext Fri 23-Feb-18 15:25:15

I'm not discussing my daughter's sex life with anybody, online or otherwise! shock

We've had a long chat on the phone and have discussed the issue, what has been said here has been a great help. Thank you.

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 23-Feb-18 15:56:18

"What makes me uneasy is that they had all kinds of plans, marriage and children etc and my daughter is very keen to have children and this, to me, leaves it all up in the air. He says he won't transition medically until after they have children"

"They are both nearly 20."

Very different situation, but I'd just like to bring in the experience of a relative of mine. Similar ages, the rest of the family didn't view it as a particularly serious relationship for her, I genuinely don't think it really was. But boyfriend got sick, hospitalised for months, and you can't really chuck someone in those circumstances, can you? Kick a man when he's down etc. So, the relationship limped on, and he never fully recovered, and she continued to not chuck him, and got into the habit of being his support. I think circumstances bounced her into marrying him, and nobody was surprised when the marriage lasted less than a year.

This sprang to mind because I could see a young woman being bounced into being her wannabe-trans boyfriend's support system and all-round skivvy. Because she wants to be a good person, and just like my relative, a factor has been introduced that will make it difficult for her to chuck him and not feel like a bad person. Because at 19, relationships do fizzle out naturally. If he hadn't brought this into the mix, who's to say they would still be together by the time they graduated?

I'd be concerned that this could form a glue that keeps her with him beyond the natural limit of the relationship.

Gacapa Fri 23-Feb-18 16:17:24

I'll be very honest here, if it was my daughter (who is 10, so I don't have experience of being a mum to teens yet) I'd hope the relationship fizzled out. I just wouldn't want all this in her life. And at 19 I'd be terrified for her. The trans widow threads are heartbreaking and horrifying and who wants to risk all that at 19 years old?

Up to her of course. But I'd find it impossible to be all gung ho supportive. Best of luck to you both.

waterlego Fri 23-Feb-18 16:50:16

Agree with Gacapa.

They are so young and there’s such a lot to get their heads round. Not only the question of how his transition will change their relationship, but also just the sheer stress (and cost?) of the necessary surgeries and treatments. I think it would be incredibly selfish of him to transition after they have had children. Having kids is stressful enough without this on top. I’d be pretty hacked off if I had to do the majority of childcare and housework while my partner was taking time to have unnecessary operations and all the recovery time involved.

whatalicedidnext Fri 23-Feb-18 17:20:21

Up to her of course. But I'd find it impossible to be all gung ho supportive. Best of luck to you both.

Thank you. Yes, I'm not being gung-ho supportive, I've said to DD that she has to expect some frank conversations; we've had one this afternoon and I expect there will be more. What's most important to me is that she knows she has my support no matter what.

Having kids is stressful enough without this on top. I’d be pretty hacked off if I had to do the majority of childcare and housework while my partner was taking time to have unnecessary operations and all the recovery time involved.

Better after than before! They have spoken about it and have made that decision together.

When we had our chat this afternoon DD has explained that right now, this relationship is what she wants and when she found out she was thinking that they would have to break up but she's found a way for her that can make it work. She's decided that for now it is right for her and if that changes then she can and will walk away. I'm feeling reassured.

LassWiADelicateAir Fri 23-Feb-18 17:27:39

Agree with Gacapa
If it were my daughter I would hope it fizzled out.

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