gendermom FAQ

I get a lot of people asking me the same questions, generally with the tone of, “But have you thought of this?” 

Yes, believe me, I’ve thought of it.  And it was probably keeping me awake last night.

But I want you to know that I’m not a terrible mother, so let’s run through a few of your concerns.

Q: What if I this is just a phase and I’m setting her on a path in which she’ll feel stuck ? 

A:  According to my therapist (who specializes in working with kids like mine and parents like me), there’s nothing I can do that will make my child turn out transgender.  It just doesn’t work that way.  If she does decide that she wants to have a male identity (which she may do; gender is still somewhat fluid for a few more years, apparently), she knows that’s an option for her.  The kid’s no dummy:  She knows that most people expect her to be a boy because she’s got that penis dangling between her legs, and she knows it would be much easier to be a boy because of that.  She has already had to wage an epic struggle against her mother and the rest of the world in order to get to live as a girl. The kid is seriously stubborn.  Compared to THAT struggle, going back to the boy thing should be a piece of cake for a kid that determined.

Q: What if she just feels like she can’t be a boy and like the things she likes, because there are so few examples in society and in the media of boys who like “girl” things?

A:  I have told her approximately eight thousand times that she can be a boy and still like and do everything that is “just for girls.”  At this point she just rolls her eyes at me, and says, “I know, Mom, I know, but I’m a girl.”  I’ve also introduced her to several penis-possessing kids her age who identify very comfortably as boys, but whose dress and play are just as girlie as my kid’s are.  So she’s been exposed to the “feminine boy” option.  And yet, she is unmoved:  “I’m ALL girl, Mom.”

Q:  What if she’s just being controlling?

A: A neighbor said something to this effect when I first told her that we were switching pronouns.  Yes, my child is… strong-willed.  Yes, she probably did order your child to play the games that she wanted to play.  It’s called moxie!  It doesn’t mean that she’s decided to defy our society’s entrenched binary system of gender just to annoy you!


8 thoughts on “gendermom FAQ

  1. YES!!! THANK YOU!!! I want to give this to every family member/ friend / random person I have to tell about my kid. Glorious. You rock.

  2. Remained hidden for 70 years. Told mother when three and her reply to me showed I should never bring it up again with adults. Nun at school sealed me forever for what she did to another. A Parent as yourself is GOLDEN, cherish your daughter as you both are very special.

  3. Have you heard the expression “go to a cardiologist and they’ll tell you it is your heart, go to a neurologist and the same same symptom is in your head?”. It is very tongue and cheek, please do not read it too flat. I am still trying to get a handle on where I stand on this topic. But there is more than a little truth in that expression. A lot more. And they’re all specialists. And they’re all certain. And they all always have been. It is a problem with anything that boarders the medical. In truth, I’m soothed by a certainty that it really doesn’t matter either way, and applaud the efficacy of self you are giving the child. There is certainly no hand-book. At some point I may have some more “curve ball” questions to benefit from your experience, though I probably would not do that on here. But either way, once again, thank you for writing. Your communication skills are formidable, and I feel lucky to have found them. I very much look forward to your book on the subject.

  4. Keep in mind that a transgender (specifically a transsexual) child will grow and strengthen in the realization and resolve that he or she MUST live their life in the gender they know they are. Quite simply, M just needs your love and support and she will make it all work out. If Gendermom can step in to help her, even more power to M, but nothing is going to stop M. I did not have M’s early start and support, but I stayed strong and by 19 years old I knew what I had to do and stayed focused. It was not easy, but hey, many non-TS folks don’t have it easy either. My point is, it really will work out for M. Just be there, be loving (as you are!), be supportive (as you are!), be her best friend (as you are!) and what in the Hell can stop M from being the most happy and beautiful female and daughter?

  5. This response is really late, so you may have stopped doing it, but please stop telling her she can be a girly boy. She knows this. My mother always tells me I could be tomboy, I don’t have to be a boy. Don’t put a connection between liking “girl” things and feeling like a girl.

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