This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
12 yr old DD. Gender Dysphoria, sudden announcement(117 Posts)
Title says it all really
Dd has just announced she is gender Dysphoric
We're all at sea
Not even sure where to begin.
Our reluctance to accept this carte blanche has been accusing of being transphobic. We're not but we are asking for time and open mindedness from ourselves and her.
It's clear there's been a lot of external social influence. Especially since lockdown, she's struggled to engage with school in any meaningful way and has been highly anxious.
She decided to break the news on the day of a family funeral where due to social distancing and travel etc only my husband attended when we would normally have all been there. Maximum impact
She came out in December as a lesbian we didn't skip a beat, sexuall preference is a non issue for us.
But now this...
We simply don't know where to begin
Sounds like she is having difficulty accepting her sexuality and has been conditioned to think that in order to fancy girls she must be a boy. Knock it on the head and don’t let her entertain the fact she is not a young woman.
If you're concerned about your child's sudden trans identification you could find support and advice from Transgender Trend, Our Duty Group, Bayswater Support or Parents of ROGD kids.
Please try not to panic op. It’s good that she’s talking to you. Have you read literature from transgender trend? First thing is to educate yourself and try to understand how difficult it is being a lesbian for young people right now. It is not unusual for young women to seek out a label that provides them with more protections.
We are here for you and your dd
I have applied to be part of Mermaids parent support group.
But having read a bit more I'm sceptical of the programs rhetoric.
There's another local group called new road
I will look at transgender trend. Never heard of that til now.
I'm too old tired for this shit
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
This thread is probably worth a read www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3943022-Newsnight-Tonight-Tavistock-Clinic-concerns and I’m another one who strongly recommends bayswatersupport.org.uk or
transgendertrend.com. Make sure you get the right site though - there’s a fake site called transgender-trend running Google ads.
having read a bit more I'm sceptical of the programs rhetoric
Listen to your instincts op.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
You can’t push back against it OP. The online forces are too strong. In your position I’d keep the dialogue going and get as educated as you can as to where she’s hanging out online. Transgender Trend is an excellent resource.
Try and get ahead of it as to what she/he’s going to start requesting. Binders for example, potentially hormones to disrupt puberty. Really find out where this is heading and see what you can do to ease her anxiety around her changing body.
This lockdown time has been pernicious for our kids. Online life is nothing like real life and they’ve spent far too much time on screens (including my own).
Mermaids push affirmation as the only acceptable path. Watchful waiting remains a valid option, and even the Tavistock don’t recommend social transition before a child is seen by them- I’d be very wary of Mermaids. Bayswater Support Group have kept me sane over the past 9 months: www.bayswatersupport.org.uk/ or @BayswaterSG on Twitter
It's quite normal, and in some ways compared to many years ago it's easier to talk about, it's just that most people don't want to talk to people who have been through it can come out the other end
I a, only putting this here now to remind me to get back to you about my experiences growing up, as I am working today
Lily Maynard is a brilliant writer who went through this with her daughter. Her account of it might help you:
OP, you should also be aware that there are a group of misogynists who make it their mission to trawl these threads & report as many posts as they can, so I wouldn’t depend on all this information still being here in a few hours.
I’d want to know which websites and social media sites she’s been on and how much time is spent on them.
And stay well away from Mermaids.
Avoid Mermaids like the plague.
I think Susie Greens Mermaids devotion is purely to justify to herself that the horrendous harm she did to her child was ok. Affirmation of all other children is part of this.
Who both her and her husband thought was gay.
I feel for your situation op. Lots of great advice above, I would also suggest that you carefully find out what she has been told about the various support groups as a number of the positive resources listed above have been characterised as 'hate groups' by the people who are pushing the affirmation agenda so if you mention them by name, she might have a preconceived resistance to any information from them. When you read them yourself you will categorically not find anything other than support, advice based on facts and helpful information.
Look up Sasha Ayad and Lisa Marchiano. Both are professional therapists with lots of sensitive and thoughtful ideas about how to both support a child through this distress whilst not accepting their assertion without question.
Gender dysphoria is a diagnosis that can be legitimately made by only a handful of registered professionals on the UK’s gender specialist list, so in our family we have chosen to refer these sincere feelings as ‘gender distress’, rather than reinforce the idea that you can diagnose yourself.
This phase has lasted most of a year for my DsD (from just turned 13 to almost 14, aka year 9) but she seems to be coming through it now.
Ask questions (‘but how DO boys feel? And how do you KNOW you feel like a boy?’) and delay decision making (‘this is a big change and we need to consider it carefully. Let me do some research and we will talk about it again in x months time’)
Don’t make it a battleground and don’t let it become the focus of the whole family. Keep doing other stuff, especially outside, active things.
For children to be be considered as trans they have to be consistent, insistent and persistent for a number of years. Coming out with it for the first time age 12 does not meet that criteria.
Oh, and limit what she can do online/how long she spends online (with parental controls, don’t completely remove her access to the internet).
I agree with a PP. Be very careful making disparaging remarks about organisations on here.
Where are you based OP? If in the south Allsorts is a lovely charity helping LGBT young people and their families.
If she is being influenced by TRAs online, try and steer her towards some positive lesbian role models. Rose and Rosie are brilliant, young lesbian YouTubers:
Buy her Diva magazine, it's trans friendly so she won't consider it transphobic but the content is very much written for lesbians and bisexual women.
You can also let her watch some TV with positive lesbian role models in it. L word generation q is good, it does have quite graphic lesbian sex scenes so you might think she's a bit young. Depends how mature she is in general. Also shows a younger lesbian of 16 starting a relationship with her female best friend.
Buy her some books by Sarah Waters. They are affirming of lesbian sexuality and also great stories.
Let her read and watch Tipping the Velvet - it shows a lesbian experimenting with her gender expression without actually thinking she's male (granted it's set in the past).
If she genuinely has gender dysphoria then none of the above will make any difference, but it sounds like she's young and confused and figuring out who she is. And could do with finding out more about lesbian culture.
Check what she is up to on the internet, who she is watching/following. Be aware that organisations like Mermaids have buttons to take you away from their page, tell children they may not be ‘safe’ talking to their parents, and have set up chat rooms away from the eyes of parents. Most lobby groups tell you that you need to affirm her NOW or she will DIE. This is NOT true - the suicide stats they post are fictitious but repeated often enough to plant the idea in children’s heads that trans = feeling suicidal. The NHS (Tavi) say you should do ‘watchful waiting’ until you see them and not socially transition first.
The Allsorts trans guidance is currently being pulled from Local Education Authorities up and down the country, so I most definitely would not recommend them as a source of accurate advice!
Aww bless her. So she feels at odd with her gender but not her body? If so, I think it can be turned around. The main thing is that she doesn't get sucked into wanting horomes and an op.
I had this situation with my dd at exactly the same age. Same thing, said she was a lesbian at 11, then a teary announcement that she was transgender. I was shocked. We are very close and it was a complete bolt from the blue. It fit with all the 'rapid onset gender dysmorphia' symptoms. She had been spending a lot of time online looking at gender transformation stories and was going through an incredibly hormonal time. She wanted me to buy a binder for her. My dh and I discussed it with her in depth and told her we empathised with how she was feeling but that we wanted her to sit with her feelings, talking with us and being open for six months. She was fairy reasonable and agreed however whenever we bought clothes, she wanted to buy from the male sections. That was fine by me. As the weeks passed, I checked in with her often and we tried to keep talking. Her feelings changed and she decided she wasn't transgender. It took about 8 months. She is also now, at 14 not sure she is a lesbian but she can work that out as she begins making her way in the world of relationships and it isn't causing her angst.
I hope it's helpful to hear my experiences. We had to be so careful with our words to try to ensure she felt understood and not alienated but we were firm in making her wait and think before making any big moves to changing her appearance drastically. I wish you and her well. It's such a difficult time for parents and children navigating this situation.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.