Gender identity and parents

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Bebepiggles, May 3, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hi, my name is Eris but my parents call me Isaac. I'm 16 years old and transgender. I've told my parents but they don't seem to care and treat me as though I'm still male. I've made it explicitly clear to them who I am. Now both of my parents are heavily Christian and often times hold their religion above my feelings. I've known that I am trans for as long as I can remember and my parents are still treating me like it's just a phase. Can anyone give me advice on how to talk to them about how they're treating me? I love them a whole lot but they're trying to force me to be someone I'm not and it's hurting me a great deal. I just need some advice on the best thing to do in order to not damage my relationship with them while not putting up with them invalidating my gender.
  2. I should probably highlight at the start that if your parents reasoning for not accepting your Identity is because of their Religion, then there's honestly rather little you can do. Often times knocking such beliefs founded on religion requires shaking one's religious faith, and that in itself is a multiple year endeavor, that is only even possible if they're open to questioning their religion and the possibility of their God being false. Plus if they're the more aggressive religious people, you should honestly be valuing your safety over your parents acceptance. That's not to say don't continue being you, just make sure not to put yourself under religious fire over it while you're still dependent on them. Because people have been thrown out of home over this stuff before.

    However, assuming otherwise?
    This is honestly something really dependent on the specifics of your situation, so I'm going to give some estimate/general scenarios and solutions below but none by any means an exact or precise science.

    It's also important to remember that for 16 years your parents have probably raised you and looked after you as if you're a boy. There is sixteen years of hard wiring with your parents there, that's not something you're going to shake free of over night. So if this is just a case of they're not used to it yet, what you might be able to do is simply continue to live your life as you identify, don't make it a point of rebelling though, just carry on with life normally. Bring it up with your parents where relevant, but take no strong efforts to either hide it or force it on the table either. Overtime your parents might be able to adapt and get more comfortable with it, and eventually grow more curious about it. Which is when you can try to fill them in on the details of such a thing, and overtime have them be accepting.

    If this is more of a scary/intimidation thing, where they've been fed more negative images of the LGBT community but aren't innately hostile you *might* want to get the facts out to them sooner. Explain how you're still you, that you just don't feel, identify like a male. Clarifying that you're still you can reassure your parents worries a lot, especially the image some sheltered parents have of LGBT is the "Dildo hat, rainbow marching band" sort of people. I quoted *might* though because depending on the individuals your parents are, such fear might require more space and time to process the news. Hopefully it's the former, but if it's the latter then giving them more breathing room is important simply so they don't panic or think something vile is being forced on them.

    If they're heavily religious but not aggressive? As in say they really like the Bible, but aren't the kind to hold hostility to the LGBT community (though disapproval might still be there) then once again you should aim to explain to them that you're still you. That this doesn't change the person that you already are. And *depending* on them, you *might* also want to use the Bible. Now if you choose to do this I suggest heavy caution, because most likely they'll see it as their religion being twisted against them. However, if they're the kind who are actually willing to sit down, discuss the Bible and are open to different interpretations (they aren't too common, but they're out there)
    it could act as a very good way to reassure them religiously that everything is fine.

    (EDIT: That last paragraph though mind you is a very specific scenario, I'm merely mentioning it in a the small off chance that your parents are the "sit down and legitimately discuss the Bible" kinds. In the vast majority cases of religious parents, I would avoid getting the Bible involved like the plague).

    And I would cover what to do if they're minor/casual Christians.
    But in all honesty I'm doubting this is the case since you specifically mentioned they value their religion over yourself at times.
    Which seems to suggest your parents religious beliefs are more extreme in nature.
    #2 Gwazi Magnum, May 4, 2015
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
    • Like Like x 2
    • Thank Thank x 1
  3. I've been through a similar issue, and honestly, I really don't think much of what I did worked, so I'm going to try to avoid giving particulars on what to do. Instead, I'll offer you the following big picture advice. You should look for the long-term win rather than the short-term, and you shouldn't try to use shock value to convince your parents for drastic change.

    Suddenly coming out in retrospect is kind of a terrible idea. For an issue as important, shocking, and personal as this, it is usually a lot better if you take it a bit more piecemeal. I can tell you right now, if you just come out to someone who hasn't studied transgenders, you've written a blank check for what that means. Instead, it would be a lot more productive to specifically tell them what that means for you. Things like wanting to dress differently, be called a different name, voice training, dating guys, hormones, and a lot of other things are all tied up in the transgender bundle, and it is a ton to unload. That is honestly just too large a topic to properly tackle, and it likely includes something that you might actually not be interested in. This topic is a lot easier to deal with if you can separate it into pieces, and change the components which are currently in your power. Help your parents and yourself understand why each part is important to you. Remember that the smaller and more specific you can be here, the easier it will be to plan action around it.

    Do heed Gwazi's words however, as you are currently dependent on your parents, and if it looks like they are going to be hostile towards you then you should prioritize safety first. If you want to be able to get what you want, you should look to the things you can control as opposed to what you can't. While you can't control your parents, classmates, or biology; you can get good grades, look for a supportive network, and learn life skills to set yourself up for a future where you are confident and secure in your identity with the means to gain what you need to be happy.

    I hope this helps. Stay beautiful <3
    • Love Love x 3
    • Thank Thank x 1

  4. I'd just like to thank you both befriend anything else. It's nice to have a little bit of advice to go off of. Now I'd like to clarify a little. Religion has been somewhat of an issue regarding how they feel towards my gender identity but in all honesty it's kind of a separate issue. As far as I go about coping with things I like to just look towards the future and what that's gonna look like. I have plans for my life and after a long whole of struggling with this I've come to terms that I'll have to wait until I'm 18 and out of the house to begin transitioning and whatnot. The only thing that still scares me is how my relationships with my friends and family will look once I out myself publicly. I really appreciate your input and I'll definitely mull over what you've suggested in order to try and keep my relationship with my parents strong through these changes. And although my hopes are for them to be accepting of who I am, whatever happens I will love them anyways. So thank you so much guys ^-^
  5. Well, unfortunately that section of other people is totally out of your control. People are going to have their thoughts of you, and only they can decide how to react. I know that it can really suck to lose friends over this, but the alternative is worse. It is better to let them know how you feel much the same way I suggested your parents. Don't try to change everything all at once, and instead focus on what it is you want from them. They might react poorly at first, and it is going to be awkward as hell for everyone involved, but give them the same patience , love, and understanding that you are seeking to receive from them, you'd be surprised how many people come around. Also, if possible, try to prepare yourself to answer questions because curiosity is a very common reaction to this kind of things. Try to be vocal about your feelings, especially if someone starts making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. If someone gets too hostile, you are going to want to exit that situation.

    Last piece of advice, you are 16, and you are totally inexperienced and stupid compared to your future self. Don't even pretend that you have all the answers right now. Since you haven't come out publicly, there is an entire world of experience that you don't have to go on. I don't have a real way to gauge what your personal needs are and how aware of them you've become, but when I look back on my 16 year old self, I was an absolute mess who had no idea what I wanted. For whatever reason, part of my experience involved the belief that if I was going to be a girl, I had to go all the way or something like that. I was changing some of my behaviors simply because it was the girly thing to do. It turns out that my personality really just doesn't fit very well into the gender lines. I really enjoy martial arts and video games, I'm not attracted to guys, and I don't feel a need to transition, yet I'm unmistakably girlish. I like cute things, bright colors, affection, accessories, and I have an affinity for skirts and long-hair. I didn't know all this about me at first. I thought that I had to give things up, and that if I wanted to be a girl I had to start dating guys and transition. Since you are so young, I know that there is a lot of exploration for you to undergo. I want you to embrace that curiosity.
    • Love Love x 1
  6. Hmm, maybe try talking to them, make them see what you want to see, make them see you for who you truly are my friend.
  7. Like Luna said you cannot control other people's opinions.

    You might be able to influence them vary on delivery (such as focusing on one aspect at a time), but in the end one opinions are they're own to decide, not yours.
    Trust me, you can bust your ass off to try to get along with some people if those said people decide there's a dislike or hatred to be had, then that's what's going to happen.

    So by all intents and purposes do try to focus on thing at a time, make it easier for others to understand.
    But if people end up being fearful anyways, that may have just been the unavoidable result and not something that you had any control over to begin with.

    And yes, this does mean going public with your Gender Identity can make you lose those who are close to.
    At that point you do need to decide what's more important, those individuals, or yourself.
    And in my personal opinion, if you're losing friendships and family bonds over being yourself, they probably are not people worth keeping bonds with anyways.
  8. I totally understand the fact that I am only 16, and I will never claim to know everything. But as far as this goes I could not be more certain. I'm a thinker, always have been, and although I don't think about myself all that much my gender has always been important to me. Ever since I was little I recall having feelings that caused great discomfort for me considering my physical state. It brought me some solace though when a year or so ago when I did some research and discovered that it was okay to feel this way and there were a lot of others who did too. So I mean, I sure as hell don't know everything, but I know who I am and that's one of the things I'm confident in.

    I also understand that I cannot change the way people are gonna take this. And I guess I can be in denial about it sometimes. I just try to look for the best ways to explain who I am in order to maybe make people more understanding. But I get that I can't make people do anything and I don't even think I would given the choice. I want real friends not forced ones
  9. Sweetheart, I'm not trying to say that you might not be transgender and that you don't have an understanding of how that affects you. I'm just trying to say that you have so much life in front of you, and you shouldn't get caught in the trap of thinking you need immediate change at any costs. This is your chance to work towards that person you want to be. Take it in baby steps. Write a list of the things that are important to you in detail, write a list of reasonable ways to achieve those goals, and work with the supportive people in you life to achieve them. In doing this, you are going to learn so much, and your choices will be drastically more informed than they are right now. I just don't want you to fall into the trap I did. I was so focused on trying to be accepted and happy, that I didn't stop to think about what it takes to obtain those things in the long run. As a result, I'm a bit less mature than my peers, and I missed out on a lot of opportunities to grow as a person. Just wanting the things you want intensely and asking for them is not enough to receive these things. That is why my advice is always going to be to approach this with a long-term view, and to take it on realistically instead of being at the mercy of the goodwill of others.
  10. I think maybe you misunderstand. I'm not hoping or even wanting to change anything about myself right now. I'm happy with where I am and I have a small circle of friends that I trust and who I know I can rely on for help and emotional support. I have plans for my future, extensive ones at that, and this is just a small part of that. I appreciate your warnings and I'll keep them in mind. The main reason I posted this really wasn't for advice in how to go about expressing my gender identity but more of what people thought was a good way to continue being myself while keeping relations with my parents healthy. I really do appreciate your concern though it means a lot to me
  11. My greatest sympathies my friend. I can understand your problem somewhat, I have the sexuality as the issue rather than gender, so I cannot offer advice on that specifically. I can however tell you that your parents do love you. If the bible comes before their child, then that is their issue not yours. But you've got to love yourself and don't take anything they say to heart. You've got to continue to explain to them who you really are. Ask them if they would still love you if you were born the gender you are now. Maybe get yourself some of Jesus's teachings that teach acceptance and love? Ask them why they won't call you by your name and then help them understand. Try not to shut them off, communication is usually the best way to help a parent/child relationship. Don't ever give up your identity to please them though, be yourself! Do not let a bad religious views stop you from being you.

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    - Galatians 3:28

    Trust me, both me and my brother are both in the LGBT community and have trouble with a slightly problematic father, but we still try our best to help him understand. I know it's frustrating and you just want to walk away from them, but hopefully you can keep a healthy relationship if you can just get them to understand, even if they can't comprehend or fully accept it yet.

    Good luck my friend! I hope this helped a bit!

    Bernard M. Baruch —
    'Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.'
    #11 King, May 4, 2015
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.