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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.

11yo coming out as trans or non-binary - that was a surprise.
36

AnotherReluctantSupporter · 22/12/2020 16:27

...to say the least.

I have 11 year old son (in biological sense, not sure what lingo I should use here), he has always been a typical boy (I have a daughter who is very girly and another son so I do have something to compare).

In toddlerhood he was a whirlwind bundle of energy, cars and trucks, turn every stick to guns kind of boy. At school friends with boys, running around playing tribes with them in parks. His friends are also leaning bookish/PlayStation boys rather than anyone v sporty. No close female friends.

Over the past few months he has been testing waters with me over a few things and was reassured I was safe person for him to open up to. Now he is trying on my skirts and hair accessories.

I am not stopping him exploring, but I thought I'd ask you. I don't know anyone trans.

  • it seems rather out of blue - none of signs were there previously (he said he has been thinking about it for the past 8 months)
  • he has a friend from primary school he has recently become close to who came out as non-binary (girl to non-binary), supporting her with her emotionally abusive family (and also dark TW kind of abuse that happened to this kid at young age).
  • he has been secretly watching Contrapoints videos on YouTube due to history left by me- he is obsessed with politics and social sciences, precocious for his age - but glad he isn't 21 with access to Twitter!). He is now familiar with terms like gender critical and TERFs.
  • he can't answer my question what is it about feminity that he desires. He only keeps saying how repulsive masculinity is and he dreads his voice breaking, he doesn't want to be like those d*k-swinging lumberjacks at his secondary school.

    His best friends are supportive of his identity and his school is very liberal too.

    What is the likelihood of this being a real thing? Is this a very common phase? We'll see I guess.
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LuciaLemon · 22/12/2020 16:32

I'd stop his free access to YouTube. I'd not be letting him try on my clothing. I'd be paying it very little attention.

He's 11. He's a boy. Does he have any additional needs? That may be something to explore

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stroopwafelgirl · 22/12/2020 16:38

I think the key is to be accepting without embracing the change. That way, regardless of the what the future holds, your child will not feel that you are so fixed to the “new” them that they are unable to take a few steps back and re-evaluate. I would also really encourage any gender-neutral activities with a good balance of girls and boys his age. That way, your child is more likely to encounter peers who do not necessarily conform to neat gender stereotypes. Maybe karate, drama, archery, horse riding? Obviously hard at the moment with COVID but something to think about. I would probably try and find a way of restricting internet access without seeming too overbearing, because gender identity is such a huge thing on the internet. It’s easy to become wrapped up in it.

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SpudulikaSlob · 22/12/2020 16:42

What the above posters said, and also who are his male role models? Any uncles or cousins who can model that this does not mean being a "dick swinging lumberjack"?

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AnotherReluctantSupporter · 22/12/2020 16:44

Not much ASD-like about him. I have seen far quirkier kids than him.

He is now stressed about dad (my husband) and his Christian family, turning them into far bigger anti-trans bigots than they are. This needs to stop.

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TragedyHands · 22/12/2020 16:46

A lot of kids go through this especially now it's fashionable.
Mine decided she was a lesbian at 12, she has had several boyfriends since being 14.
Tell him to tell you again when he's 18.

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AnotherReluctantSupporter · 22/12/2020 16:53

I agree with you all - I really don't want gender questioning to be a huge deal and be about embracing the changes that is harder to step back from. Internet is a bit intense on gender thing. It doesn't help he has a friend who is non-binary whose school already embraced their new name and their drama with family.

And his obsession with Karl Marx and social justice....a bit black/white which I hope he grows out of.

About male role models - that is a surprise actually. No beer swinging males whatsoever - you'll see scientists, teachers, IT bookish types and he likes them. He only complains about rowdiest boys at school even though his friends are the kid parents would approve of.

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AnotherReluctantSupporter · 22/12/2020 17:02

@TragedyHands - hope so. I have absolutely no idea what modern teenagers are like, except all disgruntled propaganda about transtrending. He is the oldest kid in the extended family.

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ScrapThatThen · 22/12/2020 17:06

I think your child is anxious about puberty and what manhood means and entails. He is also conforming to his peers! And on a darker note likely being influenced directly or indirectly by a kind of internet grooming process. I would focus on making him feel confident about the body and brain changes ahead (normal puberty) and stop him from black and white thinking about people being in support of or against him. They can have their beliefs and he can relate to them and their beliefs as he wishes (if it comes up make sure he knows sexuality isn't settled for many people until their twenties and he shouldn't worry about dating until 16+.)

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AnotherReluctantSupporter · 22/12/2020 17:22

@ScrapThatThen - thank you, nodded word for word. There is definitely too much anxiety about puberty then over-identifying with the persecuted minorities which us easy to get wrapped up into. I don't really see actual desire to be the other gender, but who knows...

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Newpuppymummy · 22/12/2020 17:29

My dd was like this at 14. She was in awe of other non binary/trans gender students at the school and decided she wanted to be a boy. I let her dress however she wanted to but drew the line at binding her boobs. She grew out of it. She now claims she is lesbian. But had a boyfriend in the summer. I think she’s a teenager and trying on different personas and very confused. It is very fashionable at her school to be trams/non binary

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ChristmasBubble · 22/12/2020 17:30

Did he really say dick swinging about his peers? At 11?

If so, please put parental controls on YouTube. Kids are very easily influenced.

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Heartlantern2 · 22/12/2020 17:36

I was very Tom boy when I was a kid, at one stage I wanted to be a boy. Now I’m am a adult looking back it was a stage and I’m glad by parents didn’t encourage it really. They didn’t discourage me either though, I was just me. Hate to think some kids are pressured nowadays because it’s the in thing.

I do wonder how 1% of the population get so much attention and rights when 51% of the women population still struggle with a pay gap.

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AnotherReluctantSupporter · 22/12/2020 17:38

@ChristmasBubble - Yes, I was shocked to hear the language used in secondary schools according to him. Faggots, lesbos are still a common slur...and more unmentionables than we'd like to think. And this is a 'naice' grammar school.

@Newpuppymummy - glad to hear your teenager didn't go too far but sad to hear how common it is, must have been intense at times for you! Mine declared he's "pansexual" (wtf) - I know he crushed on one girl a bit before. I told him no labels allowed until he's older.

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Newpuppymummy · 22/12/2020 17:40

Yes we have had pan sexual too. I think she just likes the labels

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AnotherReluctantSupporter · 22/12/2020 17:45

@Heartlantern2 - lots of girls go through this, sadly, it seems. Not me but certainly 1 of my friends strongly did.

It scares me how there are now too many narratives of trans coming out late in life blaming parents for completely suppressing it in them until they are too old to transition nicely and "pass".

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Emeeno1 · 22/12/2020 18:05

Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery Dostoevsky

A parents job is not to flatter but to speak the truth.

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AnotherReluctantSupporter · 22/12/2020 18:51

OP here again, is it possible for child to be completely normally gender-conforming until puberty triggers intense gender dysphoria that is hard to resolve even in adulthood?

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ScrapThatThen · 22/12/2020 18:58

Hard to untangle the impacts of hormones and trauma. And social influence on gender conforming behaviours pre and post puberty.

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FrippEnos · 22/12/2020 18:59

You need to find out where the language is coming from.

The "dick swinging lumberjacks" is this from his friends or from the internet, is this a site or person that his friends have recommended?

The same needs to be done about the slurs that he says are happening, are they actually from the boys/people at school or are his friends or the internet saying that they are happening?

Either way neither are conducive to a health mind set where this is concerned.

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HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime · 22/12/2020 19:00

It's as common at my school as emos, goths and indie groups were when I was younger. It seems to come in ebbs and flows of friend groups deciding they are trans as does some of the more attention seeking and superficial self harmers (those with real MH difficulties tend to keep it to themselves. The Internet and social media access often goes hand in hand with the determination that they are this new identity. Also their peers seem much more accepting of 'being in the wrong body' than individuals who are 'same sex attracted'.

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PaperScissorsRock · 22/12/2020 19:00

Check and limit his internet usage, block reddit if necessary, it’s a groomer’s paradise, things like sissy porn and something called hypno porn, which is heavily pushed to young teens ☹️

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AnotherReluctantSupporter · 22/12/2020 19:27

@FrippEnos - good question about language used in schools, the only intel I have is 11yo) I guess best to ask secondary school teachers.

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AnotherReluctantSupporter · 22/12/2020 19:32

While I am mindful of Internet usage, actually my much bigger concern is his non-binary friend leaning heavily on support group (of 5 friends incl my son) about family drama and gender dysphoria. Some dark stuff was there. I would not be surprised if some links were included like some of you say.

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LuciaLemon · 22/12/2020 19:56

You sound a bit ... right on and woke.

Honestly, I'd be telling my son to stop being silly and to come and talk to me when he's a grown up.

He's 11. He's little. Limit all access to this shit for now. You can be nice and kind without feeding it and inadvertently giving it the stamp of approval you know

My eldest is 22 now and I can remember her telling me she was gay aged 16. I know you're not allowed to be a parent from the dark ages but I just said ' no you're not, don't be daft.' - not because I don't want a gay daughter but because I know it was a nonsense

And it was. A few weeks later and she was past that little phase.

The more you say about him though, the more 'quirky' he sounds so I wouldn't discount other stuff going on.

But just stop feeding him with it all and just change the subject

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LuciaLemon · 22/12/2020 19:57

How can 11 year olds lean on other 11 year olds about 'dark stuff' unless you facilitate this?

Sorry but you sound a bit woolly.

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