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This board exists primarily for parents of LGBT children to swap support and advice. Others are welcome to post but please be supportive.

14yo Dd now wants to be called Blake
23

Madcatladyofmaroc · 11/12/2019 12:58

Ok so I'm at a bit of a loss here. About 12 months ago, Dd said she thought she was a boy. She has previously said she was bisexual and we were supportive of that saying she could be whatever she wanted and as long as she was happy in life that we would support her.

About 3 months ago she wanted her hair cut short, and we agreed. We have kind of taken the wait and see approach with her saying she wanted to be a boy as we felt that it was probably just a phase as she explored who she was as a teen. Certainly she hasnt shown any of what I would consider to be typical behaviour of someone who felt trapped in the wrong body, and has been a tomboy yet a girly girl growing up, into unicorns make up and the like.

Today however she has left me a letter saying she wants to be called him, and be known as Blake from now on.

This is a step up and the wait and see approach now seems a little redundant. Fwiw I really dont think she is transgender and I am at a loss as to how to move forward. Any advice, help etc welcomed please as this appears to be an absolute minefield and I have no clue what my next steps should be.

Fwiw she has been bullied at school quite badly, and her closest friend is quite a toxic and manipulative character, either being all nicely nicely or holding her at arms length depending on her mood. I have tried to encourage other friendships but this one seems to endure regardless, not sure if any of that is relevant but wanted to mention it in case.

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BillywilliamV · 11/12/2019 13:02

I would quietly go with it as long as she doesn’t do anything irrevocable like hormones or breast binding.
Being a teenage girl is hard and confusing, I know a number of teenage girls that have tried out being boys for a bit. They have all gone back to being female as they got older.

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Madcatladyofmaroc · 11/12/2019 13:17

That's the approach we have taken so far. Just wait and see. I'm just concerned now that she has said she wishes to be called Blake and known by him/he, especially with the previous bullying. I've made her a GP appt for a referral to CAMHS but this isnt until January and then I understand there will be a long wait.

That was the only route I could think of going down atm, as I'm aware it's such a.minefield out there and I didnt want to start googling stuff for fear of not knowing what's good or bad advice!

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BillywilliamV · 11/12/2019 17:33

Keep things as low key as possible, you don’t want to make it you against her. And watch CAMHS, they tend to be too keen on encouraging this sort of thing on my opinion!

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archery2 · 11/12/2019 21:23

Usually children are following a programme of social transition that they've seen online - it has progressive steps and the name and pronouns is the biggy. People find this difficult but cutting access to the endless youtube and tumblr material that adolescents in this situation consume is a necessary part of the solution.

Both sides of the argument agree that social transition tends to increase the chances of 'persistence' - ie that an adolescent won't come to accept their body & that their transgender identification will endure into adulthood.

It is good to think what might be behind your child's decision to reinvent themselves in this way. What do they feel it will achieve? Why does it feel right?

If you adopt the male name and pronouns, then it's likely that other adults will, including school teachers, and then it can take on a life of its own. The GIDS (as also the Dutch clinicians who innovated the 'puberty blocker' treatment) write about how hard it can be for adolescents to reconsider, or to go back to a former identity, if adults have made such an investment in their trans one, if they've advocated for the child to be accepted as trans.

It can get complicated and your child's transition playbook will already tell them that their parents are likely transphobic, won't accept you etc etc. If you find yourself asking to limit others' use of the male name, this can play into that (which then reinforces in the child's mind that the playbook is reliable).

Is there any way you could compromise on a neutral name that isn't her existing name, eg a nick name? Also worth being clear where this name will be used, eg be clear on whether it's for use by adults outside the home. Suggest also putting anything with the school writing so it can't be wriggled out of.

Unfortunately the caution around CAMHS is necessary (we are currently experiencing this with our child). Again, being clear up-front is the key; putting things in writing if necessary. They are trying their best but the world has gone slightly crazy about all this.

Finally, there is a support group called //www.bayswatersupport.org.uk for parents in your situation (of which I'm a member).

There is no right answer but that also means that authorities like the GP, CAMHS and even GIDS don't know. Always ask for the evidence.

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archery2 · 11/12/2019 21:24

Sorry, worth also acknowledging that for some patients at GIDS, trying out the opposite social role helped them work through their feelings about their bodies and gender roles.

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Madcatladyofmaroc · 12/12/2019 03:52

Thanks. So much info and I thought I was doing the right things it appears not. Such a minefield, and I've supported her but tried to just be non commital.

The asking of change of name and she to he has thrown me. Really unsure how to go fwd. I made the GP appt and said I was more than happy to discuss it and take it from there, but I would prefer that we made no decision, as a family, until after Xmas.

Sorry if i am drip feeding here, my H and I split up last year, are very much of the opinion that it's a SM fad, but accepted a long while ago that she was poss bi. Our eldest DD, 19, went through a very openly bi and L phase, and we just accepted and went ok, as long as you are good it's ok. She has now admitted it was rebellion and we shocked her by saying oh ok.

Still young, and what will be is ok, but currently happy with her bf.

I emphasised that I supported youngest
DD, today, but that it wasnt a quick decision, I hadnt had chance to speak to her Dad, and wasnt about to address this in a 5.min phone call to him.

The fact that I asked her to just stay patient a bit, and that I had made GP appt, and wasnt going to just say yes blithely was met with a sullen, snappy teen who was insistent that she didnt want to talk about it to ANYONE.

5 mins later, she was discussing bowling with mates, left happily to do so.

Hug, done.

I am sooo confused. Hurt. Baffled. And quite honestly no clue where to go.

Appreciate the help above, will read in the morning.

Its literally like a tap with her,....school and trans, and for ages after. Weekends and if I manage to get a few days away, totally diff teen.

And yes I've tried to ban YouTube, but it's all minecraft and fortnight crap and then I get the strop. If I cut off her data she piggyback off mates, so idk.

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LongLiveThePenis · 12/12/2019 04:36

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Madcatladyofmaroc · 12/12/2019 05:54

Thanks for the links.

See that's what's so hard. What's good advice or not?

I'm baffled.

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ahumanfemale · 12/12/2019 06:37

Good advice is the one that leads to the least possible physical harm of a healthy body and aims to have both body and mind intact throughout life.

Transgender Trend supports that.

Have a look on YouTube for detransitioners so you can see what situations it is you're trying to avoid.

I'd also want to know what the difference is between a boy and a girl. How she knows you're a woman. Do you only wear pink dresses? Are women with short hair men? Is someone like Hannah Gadsby a man because she dresses in masculine clothes and has short hair and doesn't wear makeup?

Expand her life outside the computer and get involved in meeting lots of different types of people. Can you volunteer somewhere with her? The trouble with being 12 and unhappy is that your experience is so very limited and cognitively your brain hasn't developed enough so see how things could be different (both positively and negatively).

Also worth being open about how much fun teenage years can be but also how hard it is to deal with your body and EVERYBODY has problems with it. She's neither alone more special because of it (but be nicer than how I'm saying it to you here!). For that reason no breast binding should be done (but if she's large enough minimiser bras do exist..).

I was very like your daughter aged 12 although I didn't change my name. I am so incredibly thankful that I escaped without the additional harm that is caused from girls like me being told they're boys wrapped in a pink body.

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ahumanfemale · 12/12/2019 06:38

*nor special

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LongLiveThePenis · 12/12/2019 07:09

Building on what @ahumanfemale said, do you know any gender non conforming women who could be good role models to her? If she's questioning her sexuality, does she know of any lesbian women who can model a happy lifestyle?

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JequesWhite · 13/12/2019 12:45

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Prawnofthepatriarchy · 26/12/2019 23:45

Transgender Trend is good. There's also 4th Wave Now which is "a community of parents & others questioning the medicalization of gender-atypical youth". You'll find lots of resources in both places.

There's also a Mumsnet support thread for parents of children with ROGD (rapid onset gender dysphoria - which is what your child - well your whole family - are suffering from) on the Feminism Chat board.

I know some parents in your position have found Feminism Chat a very supportive and knowledgeable place, with plenty of relevant threads and an understanding of the issues.

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Italiangreyhound · 28/12/2019 00:31

@Madcatladyofmaroc we have a trans identifying young person in family, very tough.

Just wanted to say that I hope all will be well.

Personally, I would also look at the bullying and consider if moving schools may help.

You may have done this.

The danger may be that your child chooses to enter the school as the new gender and this makes it more permanent, however, it may also mean an end to the bullying and removal from the toxic friend; but not necessarily. It's something to consider fully, it may make things worse! Good luck. Lots of other parents going through all this, so you are not alone.

Thanks

@BillywilliamV re "I know a number of teenage girls that have tried out being boys for a bit. They have all gone back to being female as they got older." Can you say how that has worked out, did they just desist, or did something spark the desisting/de-transitioning?

Thanks

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Geraniumblue · 02/01/2020 23:18

I think we are tiptoeing out the other side of a rollercoaster few years of this. Dd seems to have been through all the phases of labelling herself as lesbian/trans/bi. It’s been exhausting. She dressed as mostly as a boy from ages 3 -10 or so (totally her choice) - didn’t bother me particularly. Hated (and still does hate) her bust. I’m not sure tbh why or how she is out the other side. I resisted calling her ‘he’ or buying her a binder-sports bras are good. I refused to buy into any suggestion whatsoever of permanent changes-‘wait until your brain has stopped developing’ ‘don’t label yourself’. She’s slightly more at peace with herself now- not happy, exactly, but more open, less rigid, more experimental with clothes and make-up.

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BecauseReasons · 02/01/2020 23:25

Is there any way you could compromise on a neutral name that isn't her existing name, eg a nick name?

Blake is a unisex name anyway.

www.google.com/amp/s/www.thebump.com/b/blake-baby-name/amp

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Italiangreyhound · 03/01/2020 01:22

Geraniumblue that's great news.

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hannahfaith · 22/02/2020 21:11

I went through a similar thing.
At 12-14 came out to friends as bisexual, queer other terminology along those lines
At 16 cut my hair short and asked my friends at school to call me Harley; realized after a year that wasn't what I wanted and that wasn't who I was. Asked my friends to again call me Hannah (my birth given name)
At 17 figured out what and who I truly was.
Give DD some time to sort it out and just support her all the way. It may be a phase to her figuring out who she truly is or it may be who she is.

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hannahfaith · 22/02/2020 21:17

Figuring out who you are as a young adult/teenager is complicated but having support of family is what can make it easier.
Sit down with DD and talk and have them explain why they feel this way & what prompted it. Figure out what they want and I would go with it. In the next few months DD may come to you and say something totally different.

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