Feel like I'm losing my DD

(93 Posts)
RichardOsmansShinySuitcase Tue 08-Jun-21 10:46:47

Regular lurker here. I just wanted to ask for any advice and understanding because it is so difficult to talk about IRL. Basically DD2 is 19, she is gay and now in a relationship with a trans woman. Before this she was very GC along with me and we could talk about everything, we had some great conversations and she was so sensible about it all, she felt women's spaces were being eroded and thought it was very wrong that lesbians were being told they should be in relationships with trans women who were intact males. But somehow she has fallen down a rabbit hole since getting involved with her partner a few months ago, she's also turned from a lovely sunny natured girl into a really angry young woman. And it is breaking my heart.

I can only describe it as if she has joined a cult. Suddenly she changed and put up this wall between us, and when I try and talk about it she shrieks at me and tells me I am a terf bigot. I tried to gently challenge her, talking about how she is gay but now in a relationship with an intact male identifying as a woman, but she got so angry at me and told me her girlfriend is a woman and always has been, that she is a lesbian just like her and how dare I say anything else. She's changed her mind on everything including women's sports which before she was up in arms about. It's like she's fallen into this great dark void and I can't reach her.

I know this sounds extreme but it's like I am losing her, like she is in a cult and can't hear truth any more. She was always so sensible, so what the fuck happened to her? Her partner is very involved in campaigning for trans rights etc. I've always been for trans rights but not when they erode women's rights and so has dd2. Her older sister also thinks she has fallen down a rabbit hole and she herself is not TWAW though very pro people identifying as they wish and respecting pronouns etc (which I am too).

I'm not sure why I am sharing this, except to reach out and ask if anyone is going through similar with their teens, and how on earth can you talk about it when it's like they are an immovable rock on the subject? It's like she's fully deluded and won't listen to science, she keeps quoting dodgy science and stats about suicide etc, and just won't listen when I try to send links etc. she thinks JK rowling is the devil.

I'm just at my wits end I guess and needed to reach out. I am heartbroken that i no longer seem to be able to speak to my daughter who I love so much. I want her to be happy but she just seems angry. If anyone has any advice on how I can break down barriers I would be so grateful.

OP’s posts: |
CrazyNeighbour Tue 08-Jun-21 11:00:37

Maybe you need to go down the route of all parents whose child is in a tricky relationship. Welcome them in, give them nothing to “rebel” against!

Perhaps her sisters can remind her that she is also allowed to end a relationship for any reason, if she is unhappy. The could observe whether or not their sister is happy, and create a space where TW or not, the relationship itself has to be healthy and happy, not just a front.

Where is her Dad in all this (plus what other support might she have)

CardinalLolzy Tue 08-Jun-21 11:18:05

That does sound difficult. I'm not an expert but it would seem fairly unusual to go from agreeing with some of the touchstone GC positions to changing her mind on absolutely everything? I think give it space and time and she'll start becoming more clear about what her beliefs are.

Agree on the things you can agree on and just nod along with the rest... Is she happy if/when you do this? Is it all about winning arguments against nasty old mum rather than what she actually thinks?

I wouldn't try and label her 'gay' or talk about labels as it's not massively important whether she wants to call herself gay or not.

Totallyrandomname Tue 08-Jun-21 11:21:20

I agree with the above sentiment.
Personally I’d avoid discussing issues related to trans and women’s rights for the moment. It may be important to you and her but it doesn’t sound like the right time for discussion. I’d focus on maintaining a relationship with her (that doesn’t mean agreeing with all her views BTW) in the hope that this difficult period passes with your relationship in tact.

As above maybe make sure she’s know you’re there, or her sister is there if she needs to talk and try to be a safe space in case there are any issues in her relationship.

Branleuse Tue 08-Jun-21 11:25:31

I would not argue with her about it. Tell her that its ok to disagree, that you support her and her partner to live their best lives and if she would prefer it if we just didnt discuss anything to do with trans then thats fine and they are both welcome in your home. That youre sure that it isnt the first thing youve disagreed on and probably wont be the last, but that doesnt change your love and support for her

NonnyMouse1337 Tue 08-Jun-21 11:25:59

Very sorry to hear how things with your daughter have developed. I'm sure others will have much better advice than me, but her anger and flying off the handle sounds like she knows deep down that she's probably made a bad decision but doesn't want to come to terms with it.

I would back off from getting into any sort of GC related conversation with her. She sounds deeply unhappy and angry, so at the end of the day it's less about whether you are right but rather that it's important you maintain a relationship with her at any cost. Her partner may try to draw her away from your family, but keep things neutral and loving. Be very accepting of her choices but also let her know that it's important to be happy and content in any relationship and it's always ok to leave if you find yourself being angry / unhappy all the time or stifled and unfulfilled.

Accept her choices, bite your tongue when she regurgitates the usual stuff and let her know that you love her and will always be there for her. All you care about is her happiness. Focus on bonding in other ways - go for walks, take up a new hobby together, watch films and laugh together etc. Keep her close like this even if she feels like drawing away. Maybe some day she might decide to leave her partner. You will be there with open arms and no judgement. She needs to know you and the rest of the family have her back no matter what. It will make any walking back from her decisions a bit easier in the future.

Foobydoo Tue 08-Jun-21 11:28:45

Try and take all the emotions out of this. She is seeing things from the other side and there are always two points of view, not necessarily one right and one wrong either.
As a women can see the glaring issues with the trans/self id thing. I can also see how a genuine trans person may have difficulty understanding why so many women are worried. It is not the genuine trans women we fear it is men, some men who will use this to attack women.

I would draw a line under all this. Tell your daughter to bear with you and that you are trying to understand the difference perspective and welcome your dds partner. Otherwise you risk driving her away. You need to be there so that if the relationship does go wrong dd can come to you without worrying she will get 'I told you so'


Bonheurdupasse Tue 08-Jun-21 11:29:00

She could have been “woke manipulated “ / guilted into this relationship.
So really she could be in an abusive relationship, angry because she can partially see that, and taking it out on you.
Do not discuss GC subjects with her as that would drive her further away.

Stanleysaysyes Tue 08-Jun-21 11:30:41

Op I don't have any experience with gay/trans offspring but I do have teens and I would treat this situation as you would any other DC relationship whether you like them or not; so do not offer any advice, unless your DC is in some sort of immediate danger, and do not express any opinions unless asked for. Take a step back, do not get involved, let your DD work it out for herself. I know it is hard but you risk her becoming even more entrenched in the relationship if you don't. Invite them to dinner. Be polite and friendly.

As an aside, I was watching Bold Type on Netflix with my 17 year old DD the other day. It's a light, witty show. But I was shocked at how casually "gender/sex is a social construct" is put out there as absolute fact. I started to open my mouth to say something to DD about being born with vulvas and penises but closed it in the end. She knows my views. And I know it would have caused a massive row. In that instant I thought it was better to put the relationship ahead of my principles.

Triffid1 Tue 08-Jun-21 11:32:17

God, this sounds awful. You have my sympathies.

But agree with an earlier poster. At this point, I think you have to just welcome the new partner, act as if it's all fine, be supportive and be ready to deal with whatever comes. It may well be that your daughter is bi, not lesbian, in which case it's easy to understand how a male partner presenting as female isn't a problem for her.

My sister had a LOT of inappropriate boyfriends. It was only years later that I (or her) found out how worried my parents had been at the time. They treated them all 100% the same, the rules for my sister were the same no matter the boyfriend etc. Those boys came to our house, ate with us, were around etc all the same.

It worked out as over time she moved away from the "bad boys" and had much healthier relationships.

yeahbutnaw Tue 08-Jun-21 11:32:40

Your daughter is an adult - meaning she's free to make her own choices and to form her own opinions.

You need to do some introspection and figure out why it's important to you that she shares your trans-exclusionary views.

You need to stop trying to define her sexuality. That's not your place and is frankly disgusting.

GNCQ Tue 08-Jun-21 11:35:23

At 19 you're still forming yourself, your views and your place in the world.

A 19 yr old is extremely vulnerable to the influence of peer group pressure, tribal thinking and social media presence.

All of these influences will be taking hold right now, you can't pin in onto one thing eg a new boyfriend.

As PP have said it's best to avoid all political conversations right now, just agree to disagree.

Melitza Tue 08-Jun-21 11:35:28

When someone is in a relationship they will often be in thrall of their dp especially if the dp is more assertive.
Nod, smile and wait.
My dsis was the same with her first dh, took her 10 years to realise he wasn't a god!

MrsOvertonsWindow Tue 08-Jun-21 11:42:53

Sympathies OP. Most parents will empathise with how hard this is. I'm with the majority in that I'd remove all the angst. Reassure your daughter that you love her and respect her and it's up to her who she choses for a relationship and then not have any further discussions with her about different views.
When my dd got caught up with a dreadful partner I kept completely silent about my reservations. Then when she finally extricated herself ( and she had to do it herself) she turned to me. It was easy as she didn't have to think I might say "I told you so"

CrazyNeighbour Tue 08-Jun-21 11:43:08


Your daughter is an adult - meaning she's free to make her own choices and to form her own opinions.

You need to do some introspection and figure out why it's important to you that she shares your trans-exclusionary views.

You need to stop trying to define her sexuality. That's not your place and is frankly disgusting.

The daughter has said herself she is a lesbian. OP is affirming that.

CardinalLolzy Tue 08-Jun-21 11:47:26

Let's not get the thread derailed by people "helpfully" pointing out the OP's DD's age, which clearly the OP already knows, in order to start a fight.

notalwaysalondoner Tue 08-Jun-21 11:48:21

Agree with the above - trying to 'fix' your daughter's views will just wind up pushing her away. I would ensure she feels welcome, her partner feels welcome, and you focus on supporting her through the relationship if you have concerns about it, just as you would with a non-trans partner. Ignore the trans thing for now (hard as it is) and focus on making sure she knows she has your support if things go wrong in the relationship (without explicitly saying so as then you'll look like you're hoping things will go wrong). You have to let her make her own choices even if they disagree with what she has said previously, otherwise you risk her going no contact and then you can't help her if the relationship does turn out to be unhappy.

RichardOsmansShinySuitcase Tue 08-Jun-21 11:57:54

Thank you so much for these helpful (mostly!) replies. DD definitely knows we welcome her girlfriend and that we love and support her whatever happens - we keep making that clear (her dad is also of a GC position but doesn't talk about it much and doesn't with dd at all which is probably for the best) - I just keep saying I want her to be happy and fulfilled, and acknowledge she is an adult and free to make her own choices. The reason I'm so worried really is that it is like she's in a cult and can't see outside it, and it has changed her as a person. She says she is happy but she talks so angrily a lot of the time.

I will continue to love and support and affirm her in who she is as I have always done. I just grieve for what we had, and feel like however much I offer love and support there is now a wall between us and it feels too high to climb. It scares me.

@yeahbutnaw I've never tried to define her sexuality, I would not dream of that! She is adamant she is lesbian and I have never done anything but affirm her and love her in that. I don't believe my views are trans exclusionary, merely woman-centric, and I miss my dd in a lot of ways that are hard to define.

Thanks for understanding, people. I just want her to thrive, and I don't feel she is sad

OP’s posts: |
334bu Tue 08-Jun-21 12:00:07

How old is her partner?

RichardOsmansShinySuitcase Tue 08-Jun-21 12:01:41


How old is her partner?

She's 21.

OP’s posts: |
DdraigGoch Tue 08-Jun-21 12:03:00

Trans issue and U-turn on previously held views aside, are there any other red flags with the relationship?

You're just going to have to treat it as you would any other relationship. 19 year olds might legally be adults but they aren't yet fully mature and are still inclined to rebel against their parents. So you need to avoid giving her something to rebel against.

Quaggars Tue 08-Jun-21 12:09:31


Your daughter is an adult - meaning she's free to make her own choices and to form her own opinions.

You need to do some introspection and figure out why it's important to you that she shares your trans-exclusionary views.

You need to stop trying to define her sexuality. That's not your place and is frankly disgusting.

Why is she '' down a rabbit hole'' etc etc, maybe she's upset because she's fallen in love and she doesn't share your views anymore?
No wonder she's upset knowing the views you hold about her partner.

2bazookas Tue 08-Jun-21 12:16:30

Time for you to learn the facts of life, as all mothers must. We know nothing at all about sex, which was very recently invented by teenagers. If we ever did it at all , we probably did it all wrong (like parenting) and didn't even enjoy it properly. Ones vagina has probably healed over from disuse.

Your DD is growing up and needs to cut loose to become her own woman. . So just gently untie those apron strings and assume your rightful position somewhere in the background ( not TOO far from a kitchen and a chequebook) while your DD grows her wings. She has to fall off the nest to learn to fly.

Keep a box of tissues handy and practice buttoning your lip and not saying " I tried to warn you" / "I told you so".

In a few years time, you will outgrow this very trying stage of your development and become quite socially acceptable, even admired. . Just hang in there.

1975776qe0u Tue 08-Jun-21 12:21:53

Well to be honest - you really dont have to spend your time discussing all these issues. Just talk about something else. She hasnt joined a cult - you just have different points of view.

I teach in a university and often have to put together lectures on feminism etc. Having now taught for 20odd years, I keep having to keep up to date with the latest debate, etc - and relate it to what the kids are thinking today (and not 20years ago when I was young). They dont call it different waves for nothing - you happen to come from different waves of feminisms/gender studies.

If you do have to discuss these issues - you both need to listen to each other. You are older and therefore clearly more old-fashioned - she is younger, more cutting edge and 'woke' ( I hate that term). What can I say - intellectual thought evolves over time - it's only natural. If you take a more liberal perspective, we hope the world gets better as a result but we never know.

There is no point trying to cover her back. Back to what - feminism from 20-30 years ago? That won't happen. But you can listen, learn from her and in turn, she may also listen to you.

As I always tell my students - you dont have to agree but you do have to understand where different intellectual traditions are coming from. If discussing gender issues is important to both of you - why dont you see it as a series of conversations.....you each get a turn to tell the other person about your views on gender. The other person is allowed to ask questions but not contradict. In both cases - focus not only what the main principles of your beliefs but also on where they've come from and the context. For example, for you - the context of the 1980s/90s was the tail end of militant feminism, spice girls, having it all etc etc etc., mainstreaming of LGB rights, the rise of metro masculinity. Her feminism of the 2010s/2020s - comes on the back of all these developments plus the disregard of transrights within this wider conversation etc etc etc

Try it and it might just work

MishyJDI Tue 08-Jun-21 12:25:40

Perhaps take it as an opportunity to challenge your own beliefs? Are we really being eroded giving trans people human rights? I don't think so.

There is the exemption in the Equality Act for where there is a legitimate purpose. But day to day, there really isnt much impact of trans people just trying their best to exist.

Your daughter is being exposed to new ideas. Which is a positive. Thinking of it as a cult is not helpful thinking IMHO. Perhaps explore it all with her and you may determine it's not as bad as some of the echo chamber on here promotes.

Otherwise being so anti her partner is just going to push her away I would think. Sunday roasts must be fun! (not!)

She is probably angry as the environment for trans people in the UK is just so hostile it now seems and now that she knows someone who is trans she can truly see it. Perhaps you can take the opportunity to explore it yourself, which would be a gift.

Ultimately, our kids I think find their own way. Try to be open, listen and understand, and see if your daughter's girlfriend really is a scary trans person determined to take away CIS women's rights.

Ive spent time with trans and non confirming people and I find them quite different to how often portrayed on here, so I keep a very open mind.

Plus may help you get closer to your daughter. Don't panic she will find her way and truth.

Good luck.

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