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My child told me a year ago that she was transgender. All of this came after my father passed away. Is it coincidental or is it true? A year before that she was shopping for a dress for sixth grade aw

5 Answers
Last Updated: 11/30/2020 at 1:04pm
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Jackie Dross, M.S. Community Counseling


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Top Rated Answers
July 23rd, 2018 9:13am
I guess it can seems odd to you because you didn't see it coming and you wonder what could be "the cause". Thing is, there isn't "a reason" that makes someone be transgender. Some people are just trans, that's all. Since I don't know your child's gender and pronoun, I'll use "them" and won't assume they're either a girl, a boy or a non-binary person. Maybe the loss of their grandfather made your child realize that they would have liked their grandpa to know them as who they really are (and not as they were assigned at birth).. and then it could have been a trigger point to decide to come-out to the family. Or maybe it was already planned and well, your father died just before... that happens.. The important thing to have in mind is that no, nothing makes people "become" trans, so your child is what they say they are. Having bought a dress just a year before doesn't mean anything : lots of trans people try for a long time to fit in the roles assigned to them by society... Maybe they really tried for a long time to be what they were told to be, because they didn't know that it was possible to be of a different gender that the one assigned at birth. You know, when all your life people tell you for instance "you're a girl", but not only people : school, science, movies etc, everything tells you you're "a girl" well, it's difficult to think and accept that it can be wrong, and that you can, in fact, be of an other gender... and that it's ok... So well, if your child has been assigned girl at birth and bought a dress before, they may have done that only to try to fit in, or to convince themselves (there is so much stigma on trans people, it's not always easy to accept that it can concern us).. or just maybe because they like(d) dress : some guys do, and that's ok too ^^ If your child has been assigned boy at birth and bought a dress before your father's death, then well, it's a sign that they knew they were trans before and tried to express their gender as they wanted to. So the point here I guess is : trust your child. And support them :) That's clearly the best you can do. And if, for any reason, they were to change their mind and realize it's not in fact who they are, then it's a part of their self-discovery journey, and that's ok too. People can think and feel something one day and realize after that in fact it's not quite what's right for them. It's reaaaally rare though for trans people, but if it happens, it's not a big deal. All your child needs is your love and support :) Just one last thing : if your child is a transgender boy, the first thing you could do as a way of supporting them, would be to use the pronouns they're using for themselves. Chances are that as a boy the correct pronouns would be "he/him/his". :) You'll see, it's just a change of habits, and the human brain is very good to change habits, with will and practice :)
August 6th, 2018 2:46pm
It's coincidental. Your child probably has had these feelings for longer than you may know, and decided to come out to you after your father passed away. This has nothing to do with your child's gender orientation.
August 12th, 2018 4:40pm
Gender isn't the same as gender expression. Someone could be a male, but wear pink and dresses, it doesn't mean they are not a male. Your child probably wanted to come out for a while, but just thought it is time to come out now.
April 9th, 2019 7:44am
As a FtM trans man, I can reflect upon my days in middle school and how I felt. It took me a while to find my gender identity and how I wanted to express it. It took me longer to come out to my mother. In the time between, I tried to follow a path that was "normal" in order to keep myself safe from judgment and to fit expectations from those around me. Anymore, I am who I am. I still like dolls. I still like glitter and pink. That does not make me any less than a man. Sometimes, it takes a while for a person to decide how / when they wish to openly express themself. Your transgender child may still like traditionally feminine things while identifying as male, too. Give them time to become who they are and shine for you.
November 30th, 2020 1:04pm
This is true. Being transgender is not a choice, and the realization can come at any time. Although your child may have been shopping for a dress a year ago, they could have been dealing with gender dysphoria and trying to please you and those around them by trying to fit the "stereotypical" gender norms of girls wearing dresses. Allow your child to explore who they are and to dress how they want, and maybe talk to a doctor and/or therapist to help your child be more comfortable with being transgender and to gather some much-needed resources for you both.