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NSW, Australia
I'm made it past 50! married for over half my life, have 3 kids all grown and I'm loving this part of my life.I was a nurse in my younger days but an unhealthy dose of rheumatoid arthritis put a damper on my career,so I'm at home with the internet.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

When being a person isn't enough

I belong to a group of parents of transgendered kids.

One topic that came up recently is using the correct pronouns when transitioning.
We all know that this is the identifying gender...........but....sometimes this is not enough.
Several of the young adults are saying to their parents that they are basically talking the talk,but feel it's not real.
Not real meaning the parent is still see them in their birth gender and "you're saying she but you really see he" (or opposite).

Now I think thats nitpicking. These parents are supportive,loving and doing everything they can to help the transition. There are kids out there that have been shown the door and/or the sole of one or several family members boots and worse.Those parents cannot see their child at all ,let alone the child within the new gender.

Are kids today generally too self absorbed about how they look,how they are perceived etc? does this make it even harder to be in transition or is the self absorption a manifestation of gender dysmorphia?.Are they placing more emphasis on the gender recognition than there needs to be?

I know the struggle to hear the correct words Miss (or Mr) and she (he)when in transition and I do think this is harder in public in general for mtf than ftm.

One thing that was pointed out to me recently is that females are constantly looked at and assessed, whether by other men or other women, what they are wearing,carrying, hair colour etc, its just he way it is, and it can be a shock when transitioning from mtf, if you think everyone is looking at you,they are, not necessarily for the reason you think though.It would be equally a shock I think, from being always looked at to no-one taking any notice of you unless you are half naked or speaking(or both)

I digress.....back to seeing the inner child. As a parent myself, I will always see that inner child in my child. Little Ben lived the life, spoke the words and are now a part of who Chloe is. I don't believe she has denied her childhood even though she wishes that it was lived as a girl.She is a person/human first and her gender is second to me.


  1. You're a wonderful mom, seriously. If I was young enough, I'd want you to adopt me!

    That is so true, everyone looks at women. And it's not just men and lesbians (or bisexuals).... women are always looking at other women to see what clothes they're wearing, what makeup they have on, and how they wear their hair. Even though I'm attracted to women, I also look at what they have on. "Oooh, I want that skirt!" "My goodness, I wish my hair was that thick and beautiful." Until you get old and wear frumpy things, you're always in the spotlight as a woman. It took me awhile to get used to it, but now I find it kinda nice. :)

  2. Thanks Amy :)
    since the birthday party photos I am never going out without makeup again where ever there might a photo opportunity lol

  3. I understand the topic because gender isn't just manifested in language but in touch, in attitude, in what parts of a life a person or parent shares. We all know that females are praised or talked to by parents 5 times more than boys, and that they are touched up to 10 times more often. We also know that there is a double standard between what is expected from men/sons and women/daughter and also how that is accepted. I think in the book, "She's not all there" the extremely entitled professor who transitioned realized after playing guitar at a bar until 2 am and was almost sexually attacked that 'Things are different for women' (Gee, you think?). This is just one aspect which runs through parenting, and everything. Our university department had a women's running club because of the number of daytime rapes in the park, we would occasionally meet with the three males who all ran alone to do time trials for 5K. They didn't get why from going to the change rooms or the train station to jogging, women always 'had to be in packs' - well, because with rape as a 1 in 8 occurance at universities, everyone knows someone. If that isn't in a parents concern (particularly as if their daughter is transitioned, they will be raped then murdered statistically, and the person will 'statistically' get away with it), or a universities concern, then there is an open double standard far beyond words.

    At the gym, women are used to being touched more - trainers and instructors touch females MORE when teaching them, and often there are female only courses to get away from the 'ARG!' factor. If an instructor touches all the women EXCEPT the transitioning one in order to help them learn yoga or encourge them to push on through that last bit - then the body and hands say that this person is NOT the same as all the other women.

  4. thanks so much for your comments Beth, you've given me even more to think about. I have made an effort to hug chloe more,though she was always pretty huggy anyway.
    I've never thought about touch in terms of other people though. And yes the worry of a woman alone is forefront for both my daughters,though I must admit ,that I hadn't quite thought of it as much as I should, I must still think in terms of her old self and strengths in this way. Now you've pointed this out I'll definatly adjust my thinking.

  5. I think that what you're writing about is partly to do with teenagers critisizing their parents. (Been there done that; about all sorts of issues)

    Yes, woman are treated very differently to men and for anyone transitioning it takes getting used to.

  6. This is certainly a topic I know little about, but I can certainly identify with teenage girls insecurities and strained relations with parents. Our daughters are in their 40's, and they have only now come to see that we did know what we were talking about. Your situation is bound to make that natural distancing that much more awkward and painful.

  7. You are a dear mom. The others are fine parents. The kids are probably great: but you're talking teenagers here. TEENAGERS! So added to everthing else, they're going through that. I believe it's quite common for teenagers - especially girls - to think that everyone is looking at them.

    Second the comments from Elizabeth, by the way. On target!

    You are so right ot see your child's gender as second. For one thing, you wouldn't be able to do what you are doing if you didn't. For another, if we are all spirit first, then ultimately we have no gender.??!!

    My thoughts for whatever it's worth.

    Hang tough. Blog on ...


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