This is an excellent, active post started by a parent of a 21-year-old who wants to start testosterone. So much good advice and commentary here from several posters. Please take a look if you haven’t already. The original post:
Our almost 21 year child just announced yesterday her/hir intent to start taking T and said that she was considering top surgery eventually as well but “that’s all”. Ze has been wearing men’s clothes for a couple of years now, hates having a period, and appears very butch. Seems most interested in/connected with other butch/lesbian individuals. We have tried to understand and have asked if hir intent is to transition to a male, but she claims not; stating that she’s just tired of being seen as a female, despite the butch clothes etc but does not want to be a “full male”..more like androgynous or “non-binary”.
It’s a long story, like many, but it started when she went to college and found her “place/home” in the LGBTQ community, and then changed her major to “Gender & Women’s Studies”. We are so concerned about whether this T medical treatment and surgery is truly what will make her happy versus being pressured by the environment she is currently in. She wants to change her name legally this summer. She seems attracted to other lesbians from what I can tell which may not be much! I know this may not be PC but what we’ve seen develop in her school experience feels “cultish” to us. Maybe we’re in denial? We are so very concerned about the permanent nature of this “transition” and that it is being done without any in-depth psychological evaluation or counseling. There is a possible history of abuse from a male babysitter when she was 4, but it was never possible to establish exactly what happened..she was examined and no physical evidence of anything was found. We did take her to counseling of course. She was also bullied in both middle and high school. She does suffer from anxiety and has trouble handling “stress” She has done extremely well academically and is very bright. She has always been quite nurturing and wonderful with babies and young children and even thought about becoming a preschool/elementary school teacher up until fairly recently.
What should we say to her about this upcoming transition? Should we give her any advice or information? We have tried to be accepting/loving parents but we are so afraid she is making a mistake that she could seriously regret later in life once the changes are permanent and that her decision to do this is encouraged so much by the community she is now involved with.
Thank you so much for reading this and any suggestions you can make would be very welcome.
One response from a woman who considered transition–but pulled back:
“But mom was too devastated to be anything but perfectly honest. My choice broke her heart and she didn’t try to manipulate or bargain with me, she was just openly sad. Ashen faced, red eyes, trying not to speak so she wouldn’t cry. And she said that she just deeply felt that something was very wrong about all this, and that she wasn’t going to be able to get used to it.
Then I guess she just waited, tolerating the idiocy I was going through.
When I realized I had made a mistake, I knew I could talk to her, because she never “drank the kool aid” but she also hadn’t been aggressive or mean about it. At that point, when I expressed my doubts, she let it all out. She told me how and why she thought it was wrong, what her concerns were, and how it was never too late to turn around. Other people had told me that once I started, I couldn’t go back, because “this is who you are.”
But mom remembered who I REALLY was, and was there to help me remember.”