My Penis Girl

Well, I suppose it’s time I started blogging about all of this.

Where to begin?

Just over five years ago, I had my first (and only) child.  A boy!  Cool!  Boys love their moms, right?  He’d be a hip, feminist guy like his dad, who loved Legos and martial arts and sci-fi but could cook, too.  And I’d also be able to avoid all those icky Disney Princesses.

My son was barely three years old when he informed me that I’d got it wrong.  Silly me: I’d been fooled, as so many of us are, by the whole penis/vagina thing.  My child set me straight:

“Mom, I think something went wrong when I was in your tummy, because I was supposed to be born a girl, but I was born a boy instead.”  He wanted me to put him back in the womb to right the wrong. He was sobbing.

You know that sinking feeling you get when something isn’t right with your kid, like your insides are caving in and squeezing all the air out of your lungs?

That feeling brought me to my knees that day, down on the floor at eye-level with my child, pulling him/her into my arms.  “There’s nothing wrong with you,” I said, hoping this was true.  “Nothing! You can be a girl! You can be a girl!” Could he?

And what I was saying to myself was, Oh my God oh my God oh my God oh my God, what am I going to do and how am I going to make this OK?

Two very eventful years have passed since then.  My child’s father and I split up (that’s unrelated, but relevant).  I got help from a psychologist who specializes in gender-nonconforming kids. I joined a local support group for parents with kids like mine.  We’ve made friends with other young children and adults who are gender-nonconforming and transgender.  I’ve read the books, watched the movies, and I’ve worried and second-guessed myself.  A lot.

For the first year, I hesitated, letting my child grow her hair long and wear dresses everyday, but pushing back when she wanted to switch pronouns and change her name.  I tried hard to present alternative scenarios:  I bought her a cool T-shirt that said “Boys Can Wear Pink.” I showed her paintings on the Internet of Medieval nobles dressed in tights and lace.  I told her that pink had actually been seen as a BOY color until really really recently, while blue was for girls (true!). I bought her the cool new children’s book, My Princess Boy, about a little boy who  loves “girl stuff” and his parents love him anyway.  Man, I tried. But the kid was unmoved.


I finally gave in when I realized I was the only one still clinging to the idea that I had a boy.  Everyone else – grandparents, neighbors, preschool teachers, our friends, her father – had begun to welcome her with open arms into the girl world, and I was almost the last hold-out.  I realized what a betrayal that was, for her Mom – the person who was supposed to be her biggest supporter and protector – to not get on board.  So… I let my little boy go.  It was really hard at the time, and I grieved.  I missed my baby boy.  I’m not quite sure why.  She had barely left her toddler years, so it’s not like we’d had years of boyhood behind us.  In what way had this androgynous baby ever really been a boy except as a creation of my own mind?  And yet, I grieved the loss of that creation.  Apparently that’s a standard part of the process for us parents with kids like this: grieving the boy or the girl who is gone but still there, differently.

I don’t grieve anymore.  My child, M., now lives full-time as a girl (she calls herself “a girl with a penis”), and she is happy and confident.  Unless she’s naked, you’d never guess she’s got what my dad calls “boy plumbing.”

These days, I read every trans-related newspaper article, blog, and memoir I can get my hands on.  Anything to help me understand what it might be like inside my young child’s head, anything that might help me keep her safe, and anticipate what lies ahead – emotionally, socially, medically.  I’ve learned a lot about gender identity but I know I have a ton more to learn.  When I’m frustrated with how clueless people are about this (“No, my 5-year-old has not had a ‘sex change operation.’  She’s five!”), I try to remember that I was just as clueless two years ago.

I now know that transgender people can live wonderful (if perhaps not simple) lives if they have the loving support of their families.  And you have mine, M., always.

But I am still terrified for you.

138 thoughts on “My Penis Girl

  1. So beautifully written. You, my dear, are a wonderful person. As a mother of an almost 3 year old daughter, I hope I am at least half the mother you are to sweet M. You and your words are such an inspiration and I have so enjoyed reading every post you’ve written thus far. I’m so happy I stumbled across your blog. You have a loyal follower in me from here on out. You’ve opened my mind and taught me so many things in just the past hour or two upon reading through your posts. You are solid proof that there is still lots of ‘good’ here on this earth. Thank you, gendermom.

  2. Yes, mom, you’re very brave, and smart, and a marvellous, intelligent, eloquent role model for others, especially other parents who may deal with gender nonconforming kids. Above all, the love you’ll gain through the approach to this challenging unexpected circumstance, for lack of better words, will be a blessing you’ll enjoy, a pleasure, privilege, astounding reward you’ll derive over and over and over

  3. This brought me to tears. You are a truly incredible woman and your daughter is so lucky to have you in her life. Her life will be hard and that will be hard for you of course but she is yours because you have the strength and love to be okay with it and to show her how to be okay with it. Love. Xx

  4. Congratulations to you! It’s definitely a difficult task that you’ve got in your hands but my hat goes off to you for the amazing way that you’ve informed yourself to guide and protect your girl the best possible way. I’ve got two sons and a gay brother. To me, my gay brother has never been a issue. If he’s happy, I’m happy for him. If my kids decide to be anything different from what society thinks, that’s OK! It’s the XXI century and thank God there’s more acceptance every day. I know it is not an easy job, specially with the narrow minded people but keep up the good work! You’re doing the best you can, you have a confident little girl and that’s what matter most!

    • So, that level of aggression in your response means that you’re really unhappy with this parenting situation, or further, that you’d like to clean the world of “nutcases”, is that right? What do you recommend: incarceration in a psychiatric ward; or perhaps the child should be taken from its mother and placed elsewhere? Where does your aggression lead to in terms of fixing such a ‘problem’? Or are you actually OK with leaving the child with the mother? Did you really need to post an insult regarding someone you don’t even know? We all now certainly understand that you consider this gender question reflective of deep psychological aberration, because you called the way this mother has addressed her child’s gender asynchronicity “disgusting”, and you really did imply she might not be worthy of having a child in her care! That is a very serious accusation and implication. So, will that be the way it is here: hurtful insults that diminish every aspect of the mother’s being, but – due to your compassion or distance from this very real issue – no inflammatory physical action or calls to authorities will be made by you? Well, even further as we caress this issue: would you go out of your way to report a mother you didn’t know at all as being unfit to have a child because she is actually (bravely) addressing an issue that you have demonstrated complete ignorance in? Would you put a mother through the horror of a child services type of nightmare in order to gain some notion of satisfaction that you carry with you? Your opinion leads horrendously in that direction. Is your demand for your kind of satisfaction or, by extension, for a larger sociologically and clinically desirable regime of “normal” parenting, based on actual physical evidence and genuine understanding? Please note:

      1. “The overwhelming evidence in favor of an internal gender identity that may be at odds with genetics or anatomy and that resists change has been abundantly spelled out elsewhere. However, for those who may be new to the study of gender, I will outline some of the highlights here:

      [1] “Differences in brain structure between cis- and transgender, where transgender brains have been found more closely to resemble brains corresponding to their identified gender [actual brain structure can intrinsically demonstrate what the true core (mind) gender identity of the person is, while the biological and physical presentation – the physical body – can be the total opposite].

      [2] “Decades of doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors of all varieties trying and completely failing to change gender identity [presumptuous psychological manipulation working against deep reality].

      [3] “Experience with people whose bodies were altered in infancy unbeknownst to them but who clung to the gender identity associated with the body sex they were born with [presumptuous biological/physical manipulation working against deep reality].

      [4] “Research showing that certain drugs taken during pregnancy appear to increase the chance of the offspring being transgender, even if the offspring is not aware that drug was used [powerful evidence that metabolic/physiological chemical/drug poisoning/contamination interferes catastrophically with human sexual development].” (Suzi Chase 2016, “Flat-Earth Transphobia”; Source:; accessed: 2 June 2016)

    • WOW! Seriously dude? Your obvious ignorance is only surpassed by the apparent misplaced belief your perception should be EVERYONE’s reality. I wish you all the joy and happiness such a hateful, bigoted mindset deserves.

  5. I am sorry, I don’t understand how a 3 year old would know they are the wrong sex. Boys can like girl toys and not be trans, or gay. Girls can like boy toys and not be trans or gay. I can understand if something went wrong in the womb. Like down syndrome something went wrong with the cells or dna or chromosomes. I get that. But at 3 you know you were the wrong sex? I find that hard to believe or understand.

    • It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. I knew when I was very young that i was not who my body said I was. Pretending that I was a girl was normal than living as a boy. I had feminine characteristics from a very early age, and even female bodily characteristics (small stature, small hands, arms that bend out like a woman’s arms, etc. (I even had boobs when I was 10! Sure, I was fat then, but they never went away, even after I lost all the weight (still had them when I began HRT at 51 – they just got bigger))). Talk about awkward! I grew up in the South in the 1970s-’80s, so there was no way in hell that this would ever be discussed without some form of punishment, either parental or societal. That story will have to be told in a blog or a book, since it’s way too long for this venue. But suffice to say, it is not uncommon at all for transgender child to know that something is up when they are very young.

  6. Sad Sad Sad…. you will be judged by the Almighty God for what you are endorsing God gave you a boy and M or whatever the child’s name was before will be a boy until he dies… I pray you find Christ.. you were just weak and allowed a silly thought to erode your will…. I warn you Jesus Christ is real and he will judge you just like he will judge me if i don’t warn u… whatever God makes is perfectly done and biologically a sex change hormones etc will never make M WHO IS BORN A BOY AND IS A BOY BECOME A GIRL….. I pray you will make right this wrong… God give you strength and I pray you will find Jesus through this experience. God Bless you and your son who is fearfully and wonderfully made.

    • The following note refers to the article: NO, GOD ISN’T TRANSGENDER, TIMES OP-ED PIECE IS HISTORICAL REVISIONISM AT ITS WORST, by Robert A. J. Gagnon (

      The important foundational line in the above article: ““transgender”—which refers to a person’s abandoning his or her birth sex for a self-constructed and distorted self-image”, is completely wrong.

      Transgender is a genuine medical and biological problem caused by endocrine (hormone) disruptor chemicals from pesticides, food additives and the like interfering with the normally integrated (synchronous) assignment of brain and body gender in the developing embryo. As such, an “asynchronicity” develops where the biological body does not match the brain gender of the unfortunate individual. In more and more studies now, trans-gender children then clearly and consistently demonstrate (without coaching) the clarity and truth of their gender asynchronicity by demanding that they be accepted as identifying with a brain/mind core gender that does not match their biological gender. These kids are not lying. They tell the truth. See:

      It is industrial pollution, or technological pollution that causes the bulk of transgender.

      What the fight against trans reveals, however, just like the perennial fight of the hyped-up righteous religious against homosexuality (which, when caused by massive pre-birth psyche trauma in the mother is yet another example of an individual genuinely being “born that way”), is a very subtle and powerfully convincing obsession with deep conflict [2] (there must always be someone they are identifying as going to hell). One could validly assert that lies [1] are, perhaps, the demonic realm’s most important prime directive if you believe in the demon realm. And this corporate lying (based in insatiable greed for money and power) is especially relevant today with the nuclear expansion of the realisation that everything we’ve been taught (by the world’s ruling families and, hence, their sponsored industries and governments) is wrong. The Bosnian pyramids and a host of other discoveries show us now that all our historical data are grossly in error. The great lie is that there is something intrinsically wrong with sex, and this broad avenue of thorns hooks many people into a permanent war against (always) “other” people with sexual issues.

      In this critical and perverse spiritual dynamic souped up to maximize conflict, the enemies of righteousness become your own people: your brother, your sister, uncle, and anyone that appears to confirm that we are in the disgustingly distorted End Times. Sexuality and gender [3] are typically used and abused by all who participate in the immortally persistent shaming and defaming of sex (the greatest gift of God to humanity) on all levels, to doggedly confirm the existence of a great well of pre Return perversion. With this strategy duplicated each generation, you could characterise the demon realm as sitting back and laughing at all the “good” humans righteously rampaging (on their behalf), gasping and suspecting all the “other” (again) filthy humans “over there” of being notoriously evil and recalcitrant perverts worthy of destruction, ad infinitum.

      This is a sexualized demonizing and conflictual negative spiritual orthodoxy that no-one with any reasonable intelligence should believe from the perspectives of:
      1. the above noted permanent conflict dynamic that challenges — by virtue of the obscene levels of religious venom generated — the very core teaching of God’s unassailable compassion and Love;
      2. our now more advanced understanding of Environmental Health and the impact of pollution on embryos (I didn’t graduate top of my Degree in Environmental Health at the University of Western Sydney for no reason).

      What I have noticed lately online is that the ingrained, negatively discriminatory opinions of the religious in terms of sexual subject matter will not accept information and understanding. There you find the real recalcitrance of a blind form of presumption, one that is identified as sheer ignorance, blindly accepted, and a personal sexual belief system never really questioned. This speaks of a lack of spiritual meta systemic self analyses: thinking about our thinking that is negatively spiritually influenced. A personal demand for sexy enemies to attack describes a lack of awareness of corporate demonic influence and a shift from a wise, firm, framing and core appreciation of God’s Love over to particular and delusional issues.

      I suggest [1], [2], and [3] as notions of critically important directives within the demonic realm and/or human nature, in terms of their pathological influence on humanity.

  7. Its so amazing to know that there are parents out there who are not only willing to understand their child, but who put in the work to do so when they come across what they *don’t* understand.

    It warms my heart to know that there are trans kids today with parents supporting them, not turning them away. Thank you, truly.

  8. Truly inspiring and eloquent post. I found your blog by way of Runaway Nuns and Leprechauns and I am so happy that I did. I look forward to following your blog and getting to know you and M. #loveisloveisloveislove and the world could be such a better place if we all just accepted that.

  9. For some people it is hard to accept that we do not get to choose our DNA. We have to play the cards we were dealt. We cannot control what the world does to us, but we can control our response.
    I was lucky enough to be born into an all female household, so I was raised as a girl too. Except for certain anatomical features, I did not realize that girls and boys were really different until much later.

  10. I love knowing about your support thats just too great but trans-not a good word instead use our kids much better.
    Even i am an incest loving my sister we both love each other and care of each other.we are married too and due to god she is d “onth pregnent (she is actually my cousin but our love is beyond compare.)

    superb work gendermommy i like your supportive nature may god be with you and your daughter thank you


  11. I wonder what’s going to happen.. when this ‘girl’ . . gains a set of testicles… and all that testosterone coursing through their veins.

    • In most cases, they will postpone puberty by prescribing blockers of the appropriate hormone until hrt can take place. The author is a wonderfully enlightened person. I am older and have recently come to terms with my own gender incompatibility and living the lie my life has been. He’ll would be an easier world to navigate than life in the wrong body. I only wish there would have been this understanding when I was secretly dressing and playing as a girl in my childhood.

  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Beautiful post. I am the mother of two transgender children – a 13 year old son and 7 year old girl (who also has a twin brother). Our 7 year old had a very similar conversation at three with us. Our teenager took a little longer. I adore my children and I feel blessed that I was chosen to be their mum. Thanks for sharing this blog with us

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