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Living with your PreOp Child

Living with your Pre-Op Child

Well, the list decided to put together a sort of FAQ for parents on how to deal with the fact that their child has questions about their gender..

If you'd like to add your comments click Here To Write to Me

I'd like you to read this article.
Please keep in mind that this is a not a gentle article.
The Author has been through a lot in her life, and her words reflect these life experiences.

Disowning and Other Abuses of Transchildren Text and Photographs by Suzan Cooke

I asked the list questions on this, and they responded, do what I'm going to is to place their emails below and maybe someday in the future we can do a real FAQ

From: Kelli
1) You've just found out your child thinks he or she may be a transsexual.. Do you?
a) jump off the roof?
b) throw your child off the roof?
c) throw the computer off the roof?
d) sit down and talk with your child?

2) Is it?

a) your fault for being a bad parent
b) their fault for not being masculine / feminine enough
c) their friends' fault for influencing them into itd) television / the mediae) no one's fault, these things happen

3) What do you do next, do you

a) tell them not to be silly and forget about it
b) shout at them till they stop
c) throw them out of the house
d) try to ignore the problem away
e) talk to them, let them see a councellor / shrink, etc., and meanwhile find out the facts.

4) If their mental health professional agrees with them, do you

a) get a second opinion
b) get a second, third, fourth opinion, ad nauseam until you hear what you want to hear
c) decide they're all quacks and charlatans, and only you know what's best for your child
d) accept that the professional might just know what he or she is talking about

5) Is your child?

a) simply confused, and having the right relationship with a member of the opposite sex will straighten them out
b) gay and simply won't admit it (perhaps a relationship with someone of the *same* sex will fix the problem)
c) having a crisis of identity and not sexual orientation, which have little to do with each other

6) If your child makes friends who are transsexuals, do they

a) constitute a further bad influence on your sweet, innocent child
b) just want to recruit more people into their sick twisted world
c) just happen to have something in common with your child, and want to share their experiences

7) If your child has always seemed like they fit in as a member of their birth gender, is it because

a) they're not really transsexual, it's a phase, and they'll get over it
b) you never really noticed or tried to explain away any and all telltale signs that they may be transsexual, because your child is just a sensitive boy / tomboy
c) they learned through peer pressure very early on that little boys / girls don't act that way, and learned how to cover very well

8) If your child is a large, bulky male, or small, thin female, does this mean

a) they will never manage to convincingly be the sex that matches their inner gender
b) they will need expensive cosmetic surgery or dangerous steroids, making the process unfeasible, and they should just forget about it
c) that they will be not much different than other large, bulky women or small, thin men

Okay, I'm exhausted. :) I want to put in some questions about hormones / tblockers, and I want to put in some long-term questions, and I want to put insome questions about SRS... just can't think how I want to phrase them justnow. That's not to say I won't spend the next several hours on IRC talkingaway.

From: Sarah Louise
ok then,
child tells you they're transsexual, is it

a) your fault for being a bad parent
b) they're fault for not being masculine / feminine enough
c) they're friend's fault for influencing them into it
d) television / the mediae) no-one's fault, these things happen

What do you do next, do you

a) tell them not to be silly and forget about it
b) shout at them till they stop
c) throw them out of the house
d) talk to them and take them to see a councellor / shrink etc to find out the facts and what can be done.

Are you gay? (i said no, meaning i'm not into boys, but i am if i'm into girls, all very complicated).If they are gay (eg mtf who's lesbian) why not just stay as you are and have sex as a male. The same can be said for those who are straight and bi.
Sarah Louise

From: Katya
Why those questions? Those obviously are the ones that are far from their minds.
The ones that are truly FAQs are ones like,
"How do you KNOW that you are?"
Or, "Is there some other way, other than surgery?"
Or, "Do you know the impact this will have on [you/your future/us/your siblings/thefamily/etc.]?"
And how about,
"Are your REALLY sure?"
And, "Are you REALLY, REALLY sure?"
Plus, "How can you be SO sure?"

From: Debbie
Four questions your child will be wanting asked are:

a] Are you nuts?
b] How long have you felt that way?
c] Where did you get those clothes?
d] Who made you do this?
e] How come you haven't said this sooner?


From: Siobhan Patricia
yah thats the big one "Are you really sure", thats what I got from my moma few years ago.
And then the great one is "Whatever floats your boat" or"Whatever you have to do to be happy" as an answer.
Siobhan Patricia

From: Sarah
If I was going to write a guide for living with a gender dysphoric child, I'd emphasize that the kid's future largely depends on their response to their child. Sending them to shrink after shrink looking for someone to tell them it's something else is useless.

I'd like it if it emphasized that it's something the kid has to work out for itself, and that kicking them out, or cutting off support only hurts the kids.

I'm sick of hearing the story, "parents kicked me out, now I'm an , and a whore."
I would like it to emphasize that there's a difference between a TS kid and a gay kid.
I'd like it to emphasize that if you force them to do nothing about it long enough, they'll usually either kill themselves or do something behind your backs.

Emphasize that street 'mones are not necessarily safe and that it's probably better to at least give them time on spiro than to have the kid get AIDS from a dirty hormone needle.

I want it to really lay down exactly how bad it can get being TS and young when you loose your parents support, and that it will *NOT* end with the kid deciding to just be a man or whatever.

-Sarah, Feeling Worried About Friends

Julia has had several emails on this topic, so i'll include them below, and keep in the sections needed to understand her responses

From: Julia
At 12:38 AM 08/22/1999 -0400, you wrote:
1) You've just found out your child wants to change their sex.
Do you?
a] jump off the roof?
b] throw your child off the roof?
c] throw the computer off the roof?
d] sit down and talk with your child?

Let's see... my parents would have to answere] throw your child off the roof, THEN throw the computer off, trying to hit him. Don't mind me... I'm actually in a good mood, believe it or not. Seriously, I don't know if "change their sex" is the right term. Perhaps something along the lines of "Your child has just told you he or she has questions about their gender", or something like that. Granted, "questions about gender" can be absolutely unrelated to being TS... but somebody else can edit that.
Personally, I'd want to stay away from terms like "dysphoria" and just clinical words in general.

At 04:41 AM 08/22/1999 -0400, you wrote:
>> When you first told your mom, and asked her if she had any questions
>> what do you wish she had asked.>How long and why hadn't I said something sooner.

Funny... that was one of the first things my parents asked me. Probably so they could nip it in the bud, but I've really become disillusioned about them.
Hmm... I think I'll move on before this becomes another "Dammit, my parents suck" message. Anyway, I can't say that question helps much. Personally, I think plenty of professional materials ("Everything on the Internet is fake, don't you know that?") with general explanations about what's involved psychologically and physically for transition.
Personally, I think the best thing parents can do is accept that we're intelligent people who would not be willing to subject ourselves to all this unless we had a damn good reason.Julia

04:50 AM 08/22/1999 -0400, you wrote
:>On Sun, 22 Aug 1999 xxxxxxx@aol.com wrote:
>> How long and why hadn't I said something sooner.
>okay, and your answer is?

Yeah, it's not directed at me... so what.I basically told them this has been going on in one form or another all my life. I always felt like an outsider in social situations, I never quite fit in with all the other guys. I didn't say anything sooner because I never knew it was weird. I just figured everybody puts up some kind of facade socially, and that I was just seeing through it. I actually was kinda proud of myself for "discovering" that, like I was privy to some big secret.

Of course, it became such an ongoing thing for me that I stopped thinking about it. The truth about what was going on slowly revealed itself when I got into a relationship with a girl. She controlled the entire relationship, I floundered like nobody's business, I just didn't know what I was supposed to do. I found myself being emotionally numb more and more when we'd go out. I never knew what caused it, and it just became "Sorry, I'm just in one of those moods again..." I'd blame it on homework, or whatever, and she got incredibly annoyed, thinking that my schoolwork and such was more important than her (Well, it WAS... but not in the way she was thinking...)

Yadda yadda yadda... it went downhill near the end, and we mutually called it off, not to mention we were both heading for very separate colleges. We haven't spoken since (well, we never spoke before... long story). I think often about what she'd think of me should I ever run into her post-transition.

OK, that's a bit more detail than I went into with Mom and Dad... but you get the gist.Julia

Not too bad.... I just have one point...
At 09:34 AM 08/21/1999 +0000, you wrote:
>what do you do next, do you
>d) talk to them and take them to see a councellor / shrink etc to find out>the facts and what can be done.

Isn't this what Sarah's parents have been doing? How about...d) Let your child explore this with the help of a professional counselor

From: CrystalTo: jenstar@antijen.org Subject: PreOpFaq

You forgot a few questions that really apply:
Your child comes out to you as being transsexual. This affects you how?

A) They're only going to embarass you
B) They're only going to embarass themselves
C) They're going to embarass the entire family
D) It means you now have one less child than you did before.
E) It means you have a new daughter/son to raise and love who is amazingly similar to your old son/daughter.

Your child stops saying anything about their gender issues after very nervously coming out to you, this is because...

A) It was obviously a phase, and they're through it now
B) You sent them to a psychiatrist who quickly cured their problem
C) You don't know, but it doesn't matter, because they're not bringing it up anymore
D) They are afraid that you feel they're an embarassment/failure and are afraid of what you might do if they pursue it

Your transsexual child rarely visits after moving out on their own or going away to college, this is because...
A) They don't love you anymore
B) They're very busy, and just don't have any time to visit
C) You told them you never want to hear from them again
D) You demand that they act like their birth sex, and not the gender they identify as, making them very uncomfortable whenever they visit

Okays, that's it for now.
As I said if you wish to add your comments, please click on the link at the top of the page.
Aunty Jen

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