What the hell are you talking about? Mom weighs in

Regular readers will likely recall the post written a few months back by 25-year-old Charlie Rae entitled “What the hell are you talking about? No. You’re a girl.” Charlie fervently wanted to be a boy growing up, but her mom would have none of it.

Charlie’s mom has written in today with a comment in response to that post, which, with her permission, I am reproducing here. Charlie (commenting under the screen name artistarmy) and her mom are ready to host a  discussion in the comments section of this post, so please join in.

Before you do, though, please first read Charlie’s original post, then her mom’s response below:


Growing up is uncomfortable

by Charlie’s mom

Charlie – I loved reading your history and loved getting to know you even better – its a lifetime effort to develop as a full person and then be open and honest so others can continually get to know you and love you.

I always felt – even before your birth – that first I was a “person” and needed to fully develop as a “person” and not a gender. I grew up seeing signs that said “No women allowed” and I thank my father for bringing me anyway, even when it meant when we got inside he would have to fight to keep me there (and he did). I joined the gyms before women were welcomed, played pool, golfed and loved to talk and listen to business conversations – all labeled “things men do” and I proceeded to live my life to be ALL of me rather than “just the girl me” (that was imposed upon me by society).

When I was growing up I did not think I was a boy. I thought “boys have it better” and I wanted that. Boys had more freedoms, more opportunities, they were taken seriously far more often than girls, they had more support, success and space than girls.  I wanted all of those things. I attribute my ability to be focused on the things I wanted rather than my gender to my father – who – against everyone’s insults  – raised me to be  a FULL PERSON regardless of the fact that I was “a girl” and even though society had a “box” for me he never put me in it.

My father never referenced my gender – ever. He just supported me in whatever I wanted in life. He kept pushing back society-type boundaries that limited and oppressed me (and all women) and never talked to me about it at all….he never said society was wrong, he did not preach, he did not lecture me. He cleared my path sometimes daily but always quietly and when he was loud (even physically fighting) it was never towards me–it was towards what was limiting and oppressing me. So Grampa needs a nod too….and its important to know my mother never agreed and was vocal against him about HOW he raised me  – he ignored her completely. THANKS DAD.

When I started my own business at the tender age of 22, people talked against it and my desires but he did not. He talked business to me all the time and pointed to other “great business people” to follow or listen to. He would give me names of people to contact and that would support me. I ran that business for 3o years and used it to support you and your sister the whole time you grew up. I bought a home alone – not a “normal” thing that women did . I never thought twice about it.

As you know the schools and the pediatrician all worked against me and how I raised you and your sister. I always knew if I were a man and you two were boys, they would be erecting a statue for me. The school system and the doctors  wanted me to behave a certain way and wanted you and your sister to be raised to behave a certain way too, and as you know I rejected what they wanted for us.

When the pediatrician suggested “craziness” I changed your doctors to a doctor who supported “full well rounded holistic health” instead of  “let’s write a prescription for what ails you”  as that pediatrician had. I was not a “popular parent” as you well know…and yes I often said “fuck them” and I have no regrets. My only obligation was to you and your sister and you know that cost me dearly – but I still have no regrets.

I love you Charlie and I believe that childhood brings certain things WE ALL GO THROUGH – and they all pass  – regardless of what we do to stop the process or make ourselves comfortable in the midst of the growing up process. The process will come and go through our lives. GROWING UP IS UNCOMFORTABLE  – and no pill or surgery, clothing or haircut changes that.

For children who believe otherwise, they are mistaken and to parents WHO GIVE INTO THEIR CHILDREN’S BELIEFS THAT there is something to DO that makes growing up less uncomfortable, I am sorry that you have the ADDED discomfort of that.

First we are PEOPLE then we are a gender. Can anyone honestly say they have mastered the PEOPLE part of that equation?  I don’t think so BUT to anyone who believes they HAVE mastered the PEOPLE part then go ahead and mess with the gender part. I think that challenge alone will put this entire subject matter to rest.

PARENTS – Here is your job description: raise your child to be healthy, whole and educated to adulthood. P.S. our kids don’t always like it and don’t THANK US along the way.

BE.

BREATHE.

That is really our only job during the total discomfort of growing up, regardless of our chronological age.

Knowing that “this too shall pass” is what gets us through life – regardless if we are 5, 15, 22, or 56.

I am proud of you Charlie – so proud!

Mom. xox

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43 thoughts on “What the hell are you talking about? Mom weighs in

  1. I can definitely see how Grampa influenced my mom with a non conforming attitude when it came to gender. My Grampa and I were really close when I was little and he did the same to me. He even calls me a name he gave me other than my own (Rachel) and is androgynous– “Sam”.

    Although on a side note it was hard to be dismissed about my dysphoria by my family after they’d told me for so long that I should have been born a boy (to tease me) because I always hung out with the boys side of the family, and it hurt to not feel like I quite fit anywhere in my family.

    But watching my mom with behaviors and mannerisms which mirrored my grandfather’s taught me a lot about the fluidity of behavior which is supposed to assigned and allowed according to sex. I had a real life example that the sex segregated mannerisms were false.

    I also want to give credit where credit is due for the women in my family. We come from a long line of matriarchs. Nanny, mom’s grama, was a really strong woman who traveled and raised kids on her own and left an abusive man even though it was not socially acceptable at the time. On top of being strong she was a fierce nurturer who loved my mother very much and took care of her.

    It was there I think that my mom also learned what sexist society would coin “women’s behaviors”, of sweetness and emotionality and loyalty and tenderness.

    My mom was strong but also loving and emotional. She wasn’t withholding or distant.

    We definitely had an interesting amalgam of occurrences that led us both to radical feminism in our own right. And I think it stands to show that we need strong women and men willing to take heat from society because they choose to break the mold.

    Liked by 9 people

    • Charlie – thank you so much for sharing yourself with me, inviting and welcoming me, my thoughts, my experience and my opinions into this forum. These parents are the best of the best – fighting hard to protect and save their children – it was so generous and supportive of you to share yourself and your message of HOPE with them. I love you Rae..very much! Mom xox

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Charlie’s mom. “GROWING UP IS UNCOMFORTABLE – and no pill or surgery, clothing or haircut changes that.” I love that. I wish my daughter would understand that.

    Charlie, when did you change your name to Charlie from Rachel? Can you explain why you needed to do that. I’m having a hard time accepting my daughter changing her name, maybe you can help me out. Thanks!

    Liked by 5 people

    • I use Charlie (Charles) as a pen name to be taken more seriously and to avoid internet harassment. Although I have several friends who call me Charles/Sam, and a really deep part of me feels pride when they do. It’s definitely a confusing mixture. I think the changes to the body are a lot more dangerous than a name change, although I can’t imagine it being my daughter, having named and raised her. In the original post i talked about my friend who transitioned. To this day I can’t help but call her she and Lindsey instead of he and Dusty. I guess I would be interested in what my mom would have done if I wanted to change my name? Mom?

      Liked by 2 people

      • I would like to address this too…I have not taken the name thing very seriously at all – it does not hurt or confuse me- I call her RAE most of the time and always have and when she started changing her names I jumped on that bandwagon too.

        A rose is still a rose…

        I must confess there were times when Rae/Rachel/Charlie/Sam did some things as a teenager that broke my heart in a million pieces – one day during a time when Rae/Rachel/Charlie/Sam had left the house for a period of time to live elsewhere – I sent my eldest daughter out of the house then went in the cellar and fell to the concrete floor and wept loudly and from my toes for the longest time…THEN got up and threw away all her clothes and what she had left in our house…if this was how it was going to be I would accept that. I did not contact her for months…months and months and one day she emailed me and said..”I miss you Mom can you come get me” and I flew out of the house to go get her…..happier than i had been in a very long time

        Parents you know that we are only as happy as our saddest child.

        Liked by 5 people

      • You do go by so many different names and it does not bother me at all. You change your look just as often – how creative are you!!!!!

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Thank you both for sharing your story! “This too shall pass”….I wish more kids/teens/young adults would hear this message rather than seek instant gratification and be victims to this trend.

    Liked by 7 people

    • I think you made an incredibly accurate point – its instant gratification that drives this trend – no more no less. Delayed gratification is a very hard thing to learn and exercise.

      Liked by 6 people

    • I think you are a very brave man and would like to assure THAT is what will bring your daughter through – both of my daughters often cringed at how vocal I was and I had several blogs too – at some ages that is just what they need – but they don’t know it and they can’t appreciate it YET.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. I really want to elaborate a bit because it sounds – like the Cleavers in a way..that “perfect” family that did it right and that is not how it was. My father – raised old school – may have raised me in the world the way he did but not in my home. In my home I had a younger brother and although my father ignored my mother’s criticisms on how he raised me WHEN MY BROTHER WAS PRESENT – I was then shifted to a second class citizen living in a double standard. My father was flawed – all people are and when my father would “throw me under the bus” in our home because of my brothers presence it was not only confusing to me I always felt deeply betrayed. But I grew to understand and have compassion for my father’s shortcomings – they did not mean I was “less than” it meant….he was. At a very young age I learned it was best for me to spend quality time with my father – OUTSIDE THE HOME – because that is what was healthiest for me.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.

    And parents – this applies to you.

    There are a couple points that I feel are worth mentioning that are overlooked in this “global conversation” about “OUR” children that the government, teachers, medical professionals all want to weigh in on – and get paid for – that don’t get factored in so lets

    KIDS AND TEENS OFTEN USE “SHOCK FACTOR” TO GET ATTENTION.

    Why give it to them…it teaches them to SHOCK YOU AGAIN.

    I ignored so much of what my children said and did I could right a book on that alone – but in my head I was thinking…”god help me if they act on this” but I kept my composure.

    I coped by going to the gym – NO ONE ACTUALLY KNEW WHAT DROVE ME TO BE IN SUCH FANTASTIC SHAPE – MY BODY WAS A BAROMETER FOR HOW MUCH I WENT TO THE GYM TO COPE WITH THE THINGS MY KIDS SAID AND DID

    I can laugh about it now but it was far from funny at the time

    I remember a bunch of parents insulting me in public because I did not agree with ‘dress codes’ at school…put in place to keep the boys from being distracted by the girls (control sexual tension} how insane….MY GIRLS WERE SWIMMERS AND SPENT MOST OF THEIR TIME IN BATHING SUITS ON THE DECKS OF POOLS AND YES BOYS WERE THERE…IN FACT RAE/RACHEL/CHARLIE/SAM SWAM ON THE BOYS TEAMS…”dress codes” were another crazy idea from the ADMINISTRATION AND PTA. (ANYTHING BUT DO YOUR JOB RIGHT}

    Like

  6. This is so good and blunt and down-to-earth. “Growing up is uncomfortable”. That could go on a T-shirt.😄 And it reminds me of a phrase 4th Wave used: everyone’s entitled to an identity crisis. Meaning without being hauled off to the gender doctor. 😖

    Liked by 5 people

    • “blurbs” are very effective – now they put # in front of it and call it a hashtag – I used black board paint in the kitchen – a painted one wall with it and blurbed my kids on a regular basis.

      I used tons of resources to normalize whatever my girls were going through at the time – I went to 12 step meetings CODA to learn how not to get sucked in – one year I went to 365 meetings. I had a great counselor that I saw weekly for ten years, I had clients that already raised their kids so I shared with them openly and took every golden nugget that worked for them and I tried it – one client MRS KAY – my girls loved MRS KAY – she used to say to me “Laurie there is such a thing as healthy neglect – go do something for yourself” I went to the gym daily to work that frustration out of my body…I surrendered my children and these “bombshell” times and all of these issues to my higher power pretty regularly. I blogged my truth daIly – I had 3 blogs.

      I reminded myself that I was a guardian in my kids lives and not their owner – and someday when I have to account for all this what would I say – I certainly was not going to say “I did what the school, doctor, law makers told me to do even when it made no sense to me” My higher power entrusted their care TO ME …not them.

      Sometimes life was ONE DAY AT A TIME – sometimes life was one minute at a time.

      However the kids looked when they walked out of their room I said “You look beautiful – have a great day”

      I did not let people stay in our lives that worked against us – We changed doctors, schools, churches, housing whatever I had to do to keep like minded people near us I did…and there were very few like minded people around so our life was fluid.

      I accepted the fact that the way I approached these and other issues would not bring me popularity on any level.

      To clarify – ignore is such a subjective word with such a negative connotation so I will put it to you this way – DE EMPHASIZE – DE ESCALATE – DISTRACT

      When Rae would come in and drop a “bombshell” on me – I would say – Lets talk about while we pay catch – glove and ball – Lets talk about it at the pool – Lets talk about it over ice cream at Friendlies – THIS IS WHAT ALWAYS HAPPENED – Rae would get brought back to the moment – her spirits would be lifted and those conversations became less of a “bombshell” and more of a bonding time – it brought levity to any situation.

      Simple science tells us what we focus on expands.

      As Rae/Rachel/Charlie/Sam told you I really did let the world talk to them – love them, share with them – but what I did not do was let people who had daily access with my children put their life philosophies on them – because that is not a sharing its brain washing.

      ‘everyone’s entitled to an identity crisis. Meaning without being hauled off to the gender doctor. 😖’ and ain;t that the truth.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I so appreciate so much of your mothering philosophy (there is nothing, indeed, like a sundae at Friendly’s for easing troubled times) but I really, really appreciate this bit:

        “I did not let people stay in our lives that worked against us – We changed doctors, schools, churches, housing whatever I had to do to keep like minded people near us I did…and there were very few like minded people around so our life was fluid.

        I accepted the fact that the way I approached these and other issues would not bring me popularity on any level.”

        I recall reading Charlie’s account here a while back and admiring your parenting, but thinking about the power of all those OUTSIDE influences. Granted, we can’t keep all the messages of the media, etc. out of our lives, but so much harm is done by the general community surrounding us. I just have no words for the work you did to keep your family on the path you saw as right. Little by little my eyes have been opened to how harmful the close-minded, conservative community around me has been, and how different life might have been for me somewhere else – even with just more like-minded people around. But it does take a lot of courage and determination to do what has to be done to find (or create) the most healthy social climate possible, even if (or especially if) that means being less than popular among others.

        Thank you for sharing your side of Charlie’s story here. All the best to you both!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The “deemphasize de-escalate distract” thing you mentioned sounds like exactly what the gender psychologist Ken Zucker did with some of his child patients. And then that was twisted by transgender activists into “he took away the boys Barbie dolls”. Someone even turned it into he BURNED the Barbie dolls! What Zucker actually did was have their parents put away the Barbie dolls etc. and encourage the kids to play with other toys. Deemphasizing the Barbies, and then the Barbies came back a later. Transgender activists in Toronto got him fired this year. Such is their fanaticism.

        Liked by 5 people

  7. There’s a lot of wisdom here, mom. In these recent interviews I’m seeing with Wren and Carmichael of the British transkid bureaucracy, a common theme is “parents want their kids to be happy” and “look at all these wonderful choices we have now.” The idea that there can be VALUE in a struggle, and that these “wonderful choices” come with lifelong medical/psych ramifications, is completely absent (or, at best, breezily glossed over). Like, the advisability of an elective double mastectomy for a 15 year old is glossed over as a positive life choice that contributes to happiness. The notion that removing healthy body parts that serve some function is absent.

    I hear radfems ranting re “munchausen’s by proxy” parents and I’m sure there a few in that category, who’ve sought out strokes (and sometimes even cash) by making their kids internet and broadcast celebrities. But I think it’s mostly just parents who can’t bear to see their kids struggling, and who listen to the noisy voices saying “it’s this or suicide.”

    They aren’t truthful voices, though. That’s a false dichotomy for many, many people. And I think you are also wise in the “distract” and the “keep your kids away from queer-theory-driven adults and groups” modes of action. Problem is, with more directives coming down in public schools, keeping kids away from queer-theory-driven adults is going to get harder and harder, since queer theory is being applied with a lot of pressure from above. In the U.S., at least, this is going to leave parents with choices of only private school or homeschool, which to me is absolutely ridiculous. And all based on … what evidence that this is really beneficial, long term? Pretty much zero evidence.

    We are big on ignore/distract around here. It works great. The folks who get fixated on “your gender/sex are a huge deal and a huge problem and lets go to the clinic and the support group and get blockers” … it’s hard to come back from that. For most, that path goes only one way. We are a couple years into this situation now in my household, with a kid who started saying she might be trans at 15. We let her get the haircut and the clothes but she didn’t push hard for a social transition and we for sure did not suggest that. After a few calls around to therapists and the local big “gender clinic” we opted not to go to those places either. We could see that these paths only were going to lead to more fixation with the issue and more determination to seek a physical “fix.” Instead, we worked to encourage participation in non-gender-driven extracurricular activities and to help our kid facilitate and nourish friendships with her peers.

    People will call us abusive TERFs who are killing our kids but … I really don’t care what these people say. They’re either transactivists (mostly late transitioning natal men) or they’re liberal/progressives who don’t have any skin in the game and are saying what they think they’re supposed to say to be good people. Like Charlie/Rae, my kid’s doing well at the moment. Jury’s still out but … mom, thanks for reinforcing those of us who’ve chosen similar tactics for dealing with the bombshell and the uncomfortableness and the ambiguity and the struggle. Walking with your kid in the ambiguity is hard

    Liked by 7 people

    • An extremely hateful comment just came into the blog, accusing us (as they usually do) of driving our kids to suicide. The people who submit comments like this (the same people who scare the crap out of parents who feel their only option is to offer their kid up for hormones and surgery) are blind to the nuance, thoughtfulness, and genuine caring exemplified by your comment, Puzzled; it’s what this site is about, after all.

      Liked by 7 people

    • I had to come to terms with “suicide” and that was very, very hard but the fact is healthy people don’t threaten suicide because they don’t “get their way.” Suicide is not an option to a healthy mind.

      I remember the day Rae walked into the house after she shaved her head – she was clearly waiting for the “shock value” to take its effect on me but I simply said “what a beautiful face you have – and being bald really makes your eyes look huge”

      Kids really do use “shock value”

      An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
      “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
      The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
      The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

      The fact that there is a profit margin assigned to this “trend” tells me all I need to know.

      I have been a business woman my entire life and this is what I know – when someone has CREATED A CASH FLOW – and I don’t care what the product is – they will defend that CASH FLOW in any way possible and justify that with the same vigor.

      There is absolutely no monetary value to anyone, anywhere in having a healthy kid.

      Liked by 4 people

      • And there is zero proof that medical transition is going to reduce self harm in kids long term anyway. As you have said so well, Charlie’s mom, loving and accepting our kids–so that they KNOW we do–is what reduces their unhappiness. The trans activists like to accuse us of causing suicidal thoughts if we don’t agree to medical transition, but what the data show is that ALL “gender nonconforming” people–whether they are trans-identified or not–can be depressed and self harming. The key is to support gender nonconformity. That’s not the same as setting our kids on a path to being lifelong medical patients. The Williams Institute study that is most misquoted/misused by trans activists to bully parents into medically transitioning their kids does not say what the activists claim it says. It does say that kids need love and support. It does NOT claim that medical transition cures unhappiness. In fact, the suicidality rate was higher for people who had received, or sought, medical transition (vs those who had not). See here.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. I have spent the weekend reading up on this ‘trend” and what children and parents are up against now…and I am overwhelmed.

    The money poured into the industry meant to sway our children’s thinking is staggering, simply staggering. The approaches used to influence parents are downright manipulative.

    I am glad that before now I did not know the magnitude of this and I dealt with Rae on a very personal level with a very simplistic approach. It was about optimum health – nothing more, nothing less. I think moving forward its where I will keep my focus.

    Its been a very enlightening weekend to say the least.

    Rae wrote about her time with “Kate” a man who transitioned into a woman who admitted that was a huge mistake. I am grateful that Rae and Hope (her sister} had time with “Kate” and even I did not know – those conversations with “Kate” could very well have been life altering for both of my children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my opinion, “transition” would not be necessary if people were allowed to just be and behave the way they want.

      Every person is potentially an infinite source of novelty, and *that* is a very, very important, essential, aspect of the individual that society should preserve, nourish, instead of try to change or manipulate.

      Feminine and masculine are just – and *by definition* – what (cis!) women and (cis!) men do, and the way they behave. It’s *not* what society prescribes as “normal” or standard.
      There is no such a thing as standard human behavior.

      What is the point of mutilating you own body, or taking hormones to transform it into something different than what it naturally is?
      Unless it is due to some kind of deformity or physical deficiency, it makes no sense.
      The sexual characteristics of a healthy body should *never* be considered as deformity or deficiency, for the very fact that they are “healthy”.

      The only possible conclusion, in my opinion, is that the dysphoric aspects associated with transsexuality are highly or (possibly) in its totality, caused by social constraints.
      They are more a social problem, than a medical one, and the problem is not caused by the person!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This was such a beautiful, moving post. I wish more families/parents would be like this, actively encouraging non-stereotypical behavior instead of pushing children into boxes erroneously based on what the dominant culture has decided is appropriate for those of a certain biological sex versus the other. I’m eternally grateful my own parents raised me and my little brother as people, not a collection of stereotypes. Since I had that example growing up (as well as a mother who kept her own last name), I never understood why so many people around me acted in such stereotypical, sexist ways, and never challenged the dominant paradigm.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I desperately need some guidance! My daughter is 15. She too was one of those girls who never showed any signs of being anything but just a regular girl.
    I believe she fell upon this trans identity due to all of the information and power of the Internet/media. But for the moment, I don’t want to dwell on what caused it. I need help getting her out of this.
    It has been five months since she came out. I was terrified by that 40% of trans kids commit suicide statement.
    Being fueled by sheer terror I immediately allowed for a social transition. Even allowing a binder. I definitely feel that by me immediately allowing it all has fueled the fire. I am so riddled with guilt, but trying hard just to tell you the facts to fix the problem at hand. I will deal with my guilt later…
    My concern at this point is if I confront her and tell her this is just a teenage identity situation, which I truly believe it is, that she will run the other way and try to prove me wrong.
    I fear the longer she is in this state of believing she is trans, the more time she is spending becoming upset w parts of her body.
    I welcome all of you to chime in..

    Like

    • I’m glad you found 4thwave and welcome to the community of parents. I understand your feeling of guilt, we all have that, so try not to let it get you or you will be sick. I suggest reading as many of 4thwaves’ posts as possible, get educated on the facts and don’t get caught up in the mainstream media. Be very careful of any professional you may want to bring your daughter to. Interview them first to make sure they are not going to try to push the trans agenda. If your daughter doesn’t have any mental health issues, it’s probably better not to take her anywhere. Like the mom in this post said, “DE EMPHASIZE – DE ESCALATE – DISTRACT”. I hope the best for you and your daughter.

      Liked by 1 person

    • As someone who went through a “trans identity crisis” (granted I am much older) I can say that the advice offered by the parents here is solid. Yes, there is a fine line to walk between standing your ground and alienating your child (which you have to feel out yourself) but love, distraction, and encouraging other healthy pursuits goes a long way.

      If you think of this obsession with being trans as a kind of “identity crisis” it follows that there are so many other parts of a person that aren’t in flux, that will be the same before and after – things she loves, things she enjoys doing, hobbies, movies and tv shows, places and pastimes. The sundae at Friendly’s is a great example. Nurturing those things not only gives the person going through the crisis some sense of stability, but also allows for that bonding, as well.

      I think it’s especially difficult with teens, however, as they are in the midst of trying to figure out who they are, what they like, new interests, new people. But if you pick and choose the healthy, encouraging stuff… it’s sort of like trying to focus on the rest of life while letting the trans thing run its course. The more good stable healthy stuff there is surrounding a person, the less they will want to try to change.

      Try not to feel too guilty. Often going through some transition experience is eye-opening for the person involved – there are lessons to be learned from it, definitely, and I’m sure your daughter is working through all kinds of things within herself. It is important to look at the causes behind it, though, so you can love her through them. Just knowing myself, the most important thing has been understanding why transition looked attractive to me, and coming to love myself through that pain. I think all women bear this pain in different levels and it manifests in different ways, a desire to transition just being one of many coping mechanisms. Finding the way to love life as who you are is the answer, but the way to get there is always unique, and often complicated. Sometimes it does just take time, new experiences, and lessons learned.

      I hope you find support and further advice here. There’s lots of helpful blogs and comments and a community that lets you know you’re not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! Did your parents use your “new” name/pronouns and allow for a binder?

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      • My mom went along with things, but I’m way into adulthood so she kind of took my word for it, as she wasn’t familiar at all with trans things. She even tailored shirts so they’d look better over the binder, though I only wore it out a few times. You can read my account, with my mother’s side of the story, too, here: https://4thwavenow.com/2016/01/05/to-crush-every-doubt-just-pronouns-and-a-name/ and the second part here: https://4thwavenow.com/2016/01/11/and-then-i-woke-up-guest-post/

        Maybe because I’m older, my “crisis” thankfully didn’t last long as what many teens go through. There’s been a lot of discussion here about brain maturity and development, and how it’s so important for young adults to have the analytical ability to really know what they are doing. I did a LOT of thinking through it all as I went, and I know that analytical ability was a lifeline for me. Teenagers need more time and, if possible, access to appropriate therapy until the real cognition of what’s happening can settle in. There are so many accounts of “I identified as trans at 14 or 15” that resolve with detransition after 18, 19 or 20. The vital thing is keeping people as whole as possible – and hopefully even healing and reconnecting with their natal sex – in the meantime.

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    • LorenzosOil, my suggestion is to try not to be too confrontational with your daughter (although this is easier said than done). She may dig her heels in if you directly oppose her.

      There is so much good advice from Charlie’s Mom on this post. De-emphasize, de-escalate, distract is great. And the acknowledgement that growing up is uncomfortable. Very wise.

      When you discuss this topic with your daughter, I recommend doing so in short bursts. Try to plant a seed and then get out. Hopefully, it will sprout at a later time. And, with your daughter being 15 yrs old, there is still time for her to have a change of heart.

      Try to keep her close as possible without giving in to medical interventions. It is possible to be supportive of your daughter’s emotional state, while being cautious about hormones/surgeries.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your advice. The “de-escalate” concept seems to be the general consensus. I wish I wasn’t so damn scared in the beginning and had time to think and then respond. Time to read these blogs instead of the crap that is out there for the masses to get sucked into.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I used to remember when there were times…I let the boundary out too far and o my who was I going to reverse that.

      I don’t think I ever figured that out..I just went from where we were.

      Try not to project or speculate that will kill your nervous system and ruin many nights of good sleep – KEEP YOUR MIND WHERE YOU BODY IS.

      I think its perfectly healthy for our children to see us change our minds – gives them permission to as well – and normalizes fluidity and that is what life is fluid- having said that when I would change my mind I knew I was giving my kids a huge platform to fight with me.

      I would not ever confront my kids with “a label” in any way shape or form…I don’t do that now – my kids hate to be analyzed – i don’t blame them for that either.

      I don’t go in big for labels myself – in 12 step meetings the common opening is “My name is and then a list of they believe they are …I always said..”Hi my name is Laurie and I choose not to label myself”

      Forgive yourself….I think that is really what you need to do right now.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This was me in January, when my 16 year old daughter came out to me. I immediately found a counselor familiar with lgbt gender issues. I had no idea about trans-activism and how much of a profit the medical community was earning off the trend. Now I know better but it is hard to find a therapist that doesn’t push the trans agenda and that will treat my daughter for the mental conditions she has. Now I know that my daughter suffers from anxiety and has body dysmorphia. Now I know that there are other solutions to treating gender dysphoria that aren’t as permanent as transitioning. I just hope, like you, that I’m not too late to help her see that. Mom of Charlie gave some GREAT advice here that I’m going to cling to while we are in the middle of this storm. De-empasize is so important.

      I wish you the best LorenzosOil! You’re not alone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Wendi,
        I too found a therapist that questions what is going on with this “trans” epidemic. He told me that he can’t make any promises where she will land, but the goal is to have a healthy landing, male or female.
        I am taking the advice from all of you to de-emphasize.
        Since my daughter came out to us 5 months ago, we have allowed her to socially transition as male. I jumped quickly onboard the “trans train” because all of the “medical professionals” said to. My child knows how much we love her. She knows how we will support her no matter what. What was eating at me while writing the posts you all read is that while my daughter asked us to have an open mind in regards to her news, I never asked her to.
        So finally, two nights ago, I explained how I have immersed myself in trying to find out as much info as I can on the subject…talking to doctors, reading, etc. Reminded her that she is loved and accepted no matter what the final outcome may be. I asked that she now keeps her mind opened to the possibility that it can be something else. She did get a little sad when I said the last part, but I needed to plant the seed. To let her know that just because we allowed for the social transition, doesn’t mean we think that the 15 year-old-self-diagnosis is 100% accurate…
        The seed has been planted…
        Thanks for responding to me. It really is so incredibly hard to deal with. I wish you the best of luck. Let’s keep this dialog going.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I loved that you posted this – just today I talked to my teen about an open mind! No, really! I did! 🙂 Because that’s exactly what we, as parents here, are trying to do. You are so right – they need to understand all sides of what is going on inside them. I’ve been reading so many blogs by people detransitioning and they all say, “If I only knew….:. We don’t want that for our kids.

        Do you send your child links that you find? Or do you encourage her to research on her own? I worry that all mine does is YouTube and Tumblr, looking only for pro-trans.

        Wendi
        mail4wendi@gmail.com if you’d like

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I totally agree with this logic – its not just us listening, agreeing with the kids its a relationship so that goes both ways. I don’t think I remember encouraging Rae to research all this at all…I was more of a “what do you like to do” kind of person and tapped into Rae’s interests if her interests were ever became destructive than I saw that as a job for me to move her away from it…it was job to keep her safe. But yes I agree its a mutual thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The one thing that I keep holding on to is that my kid truly knows how much she is loved. And even as I type that, I know somewhere deep inside myself that it is a cop-out comment. That yeah…great…she knows she is loved…so if I love her so much, why am I letting this continue. That I need to save her. That I need to find the magic potion before it is too late…I can get lost in my internal dialog sometimes.

    I am so confused on how this kind of message could become so ingrained in such relatively intelligent kids. How they could think that they are actually the opposite gender. So strange. She has friends…she was accepted as herself. I really just don’t get it…again…not the issue at hand…

    My daughter doesn’t walk around 24/7 talking about transition, etc. Sometimes I feel like l have a chance to change this. Like when she comes out of her bathroom with a full face of make-up.
    I will mention to her that by wearing the makeup she looks very fem. Of course my intent and hope was that she would tell me that she was changing her mind, or saw the light and is now identifying as herself again.
    Instead, she says things like “who decided who can and can’t wear make-up?” On one hand, she is right. Why can girls and not boys??? Then my adult self rationalizes it and thinks, but doesn’t say to her because I don’t want to exacerbate the situation…”the same freaking society you are cutting off your hair for. The same people you are now shopping in the mens department for!!!” It terrifies me that she does’t get it at all. That her truth is so real to her.
    I love that she is strong in her convictions. For some issues, it makes her a great friend, etc…But this particular set of convictions are stupid!!!

    Is there anyone out there who has de-transitioned or changed their minds before transitioning that can speak up and talk to kids like mine? To tell them to love their bodies as they are, etc???

    Like

  13. So glad I found this blog/gender critical movement in general. l feel less of a ”fake” by reading these experiences as a bisexual woman in her 20s who was quite a GNC, at times gender/sex? dysphoric, growing up. I daydreamed (and spent sleepless nights wishing) l was a bi man and wrote stories of that perspective a lot around 11-14 but thought I’d make too small and ugly of a man to pursue it, but I saw being androgynous a viable option & wished for a top surgery and sterilization to stop periods and risk of pregnancy. Also l wanted to be called Donald (as in Donald Duck, l loved him so much I learnt to from Donald Duck comics…) when l was 3 for a while. Always loved dinosaurs, bugs, playing rough, even fighting, was told had a bit too dominant/ wild/whatever personality for a girl…Had l been born in a different circumstances l could ‘ve easily became fully immersed in this..what to call it even? Scary phenomenon, the trans ideology.

    Thank goddess my Mom is a good ol hairy 2nd wave feminist & my dad very much agrees w/ those views so l always had a strong example of GNC women being able to achieve anything important in life feminine women can & they always tried their best to push against sexist attitudes teachers and relatives had about what a girl is supposed to be. Their attitudes towards me saying stuff like “l can’t be × cus I’m a girl” was always to tell my personality or capabilities aren’t related to my sex and anyone who puts you down for being untypical girl can is not worth your attention.

    Nowadays I’m about to get married & want a kid(s?) in the future, happy with my female body and being a unique representation of my sex. Running into gender critical material coupled with my scientific worldview (which I couldn’t fit together the trans ideology, less the more l read about it) made me finally realize I need not change my body to fit in w/ my brain – my brain is my body, they fit perfectly. l hope this comment isn’t too unrelated, guess what I’m trying to say is parenting style like yours is SO APPRECIATED, when the Only Official Truth seems to be that gender critical parents are just hurting their kids. Will definitely check this blog out weekly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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