When it comes to having a baby, you have a baby girl or a baby boy. You would in all seriousness think that is where the question of your child’s gender ends. You know what you have. In these times however, many parents are finding themselves with children who feel like they are not the gender they were born into. These are the children that come home, after talking to everyone else that will listen to them such as friends and siblings, and finally tell you, “hey mom, I’m transgender. I’m not really feeling like a girl/boy, I identify as a boy/girl. I want you to know but I was afraid you wouldn’t accept me anymore if I told you. I’m telling you now.”
What the hell? As a parent of 4 kids myself, I think about this a lot. I know about my 2 oldest ones. They are past the rebellious years and on to more productive college years. My youngest? Well, he has had girlfriends since before kindergarten, so I am fairly certain he shows no signs of this happening to him. The issue arises when I look at my 14 year old daughter. I see a stunningly, beautiful girl with tendencies to have low self esteem and a tendency to like dressing like a boy. She’s always been a bit of a tomboy. Well, not always, but probably since she was about 5 or 6. She stopped wearing dresses unless she had to then. She prefers jeans, leggings or shorts. She used to have the most gorgeous long wavy blond hair. Now, it’s cut very short and dyed deep auburn.
She came to me the other day, after my surgery, and announced that she is, in fact, transgender. I’m bewildered and my heart hurts. What do I do with this information? I do what I do best. I research and I write while I support my baby who is obviously going through some pretty big stuff inside that pretty head of hers. If she truly is transgender, meaning that she has an issue with her identity. Actually, transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth according to one source. I need to know, as her mom, if she has a true Gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder (GID) which is the basis for a true transgender. Usually the signs can be seen from early childhood. I have scoured my brain looking for those memories and I can’t come up with any other than puberty and the dislike of her breasts and periods.
Let’s face it ladies, who among us didn’t think at least once, how much easier it would be to be a guy if we didn’t have to deal with periods. I never liked puberty either at that age, but I never actually thought of myself as a boy. I may have wished it a few times though. This is where I feel a good therapist for myself, my husband and my daughter might help. I’m sure she won’t be happy about it, but if brought about in the right way, they way I see it, I just want to make sure she wants this for the right reasons and understands truly what she will be undertaking.
Transgenders are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Guess what my daughter already has! Yes, indeed she does. Is this just another aspect of that or is the depression and anxiety caused from the GID that she is suffering? I need to investigate and figure out the best way to move forward with this information that has been vomited in my face. It isn’t what a parent wants to hear. It certainly isn’t what I expected. I can tell you my heart is aching right now. Is this a phase? When praying, I’m the one crying and asking God to forgive whatever I’ve done to warrant this. I hate my daughter suffering from any problems. She always has marched to her own drummer, but the possibility of her being ridiculed and called a freak because she truly suffers from this breaks my heart more than I can bear.
I’ve had a few days to think about all this and still it isn’t any easier. Her timing was terrible, just after my surgery and just home to recover. How are we to cope and move forward? This isn’t in my mom handbook. I was blindsided by it all. I’m trying my best, but I fear my best isn’t going to be good enough and I will push her away somehow. I just keep praying for God to guide her and for Him to guide my husband and I, especially in our words. We are fairly conservative people, but I accept everyone as they are. God doesn’t make mistakes. She isn’t a mistake. So, now what?