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Peter is incredibly lucky to have you as a dad.  You're smart, insightful, thoughtful, funny and understanding.  I wish your son all the luck and may he encounter a world that is kind and understanding.  

You guys got this....

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He sounds like a pretty courageous kid, and you sound like the kind of parent that every kid should have.  I'm sure there will be ups and downs for him, but it sounds like you and your family have provided quite a strong support system.  He'll be fine, just let him be himself.

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Good luck to you and your son in this endeavor.  Peter is lucky to have a supportive family as he goes through this very difficult time.  Just remember to be there for him when others in this world refuse to accept him and always let him know he's loved.  I also hope that by the time college comes around he'll be accepted as a man and will be through the hardest part of struggling for his identity.  

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1 minute ago, encaitar said:

Good luck to you and your son in this endeavor.  Peter is lucky to have a supportive family as he goes through this very difficult time.  Just remember to be there for him when others in this world refuse to accept him and always let him know he's loved.  I also hope that by the time college comes around he'll be accepted as a man and will be through the hardest part of struggling for his identity.  

This X 1000 

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I have really zero experience or knowledge on really anything you're going through......that being said?  I think you have some of the battles already won with open lines of communication and a home base of acceptance and love that he can always feel safe in.  I think the world is a cruel, vicious place in parts and keeping those lines of open communication always there and also utilizing professional therapy consistently is probably a must.  Good luck and a peaceful journey to you all.

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As far as college goes. I remember one of the first things our tour guides at schools we visited with my oldest daughter said was their pronouns. I think we have come a long way with trans issues over the last few years. I was surprised yet encouraged that the schools were so forthright and accepting. I live in MA but hope the same progress is present in your hood @fatguyinalittlecoat Best of luck to Peter and the rest of your family. I hope you all find nothing but acceptance and happiness. Thanks for sharing :thumbup:

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Deepster said:

 I think you have some of the battles already won with open lines of communication and a home base of acceptance and love that he can always feel safe in. 

It's a lttle tricky because Peter's mom and I got divorced a couple years ago and we haven't been completely on the same page with all of this.  But I think things are mostly working out.

3 minutes ago, Kraft... said:

As far as college goes. I remember one of the first things our tour guides at schools we visited with my oldest daughter said was their pronouns. I think we have come a long way with trans issues over the last few years. I was surprised yet encouraged that the schools were so forthright and accepting. I live in MA but hope the same progress is present in your hood @fatguyinalittlecoat Best of luck to Peter and the rest of your family. I hope you all find nothing but acceptance and happiness. Thanks for sharing :thumbup:

This is good to know.  We live in a liberal area so things are generally pretty accepting around here.  One of Peter's best friends is also trans and he knows other trans kids at high school.  

Edited by fatguyinalittlecoat
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13 minutes ago, General Malaise said:

Peter is incredibly lucky to have you as a dad.  You're smart, insightful, thoughtful, funny and understanding.  I wish your son all the luck and may he encounter a world that is kind and understanding.  

You guys got this....

I can't say it any better than this. Good luck to Peter and bravo to you, sir. I look forward to this being a thread with great stories over time.

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Proud of you, and Peter.

 

 

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We have a friend whose daughter is in the process of transitioning to male. 

It's been awesome to see them just be great parents throughout the whole process. I have no idea the steps they have gone through or where in the process they are, but love and support is the key. The one thing that struck me was their daughter had the strength and courage to talk to her parents, who in turn supported her through the whole process. 

 

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Seems you've got this covered, but I imagine different colleges have different policies in this area, and I suppose an important aspect of the college search should include detailed research regarding their policies in this area.

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Obviously, awesome for you to be so understanding and supportive. Not everyone would be.

There are multiple trans kids at the same high school? Based on your last post, it seems like at least 3 or 4.   Not sure how big the school is, but that seems very unusual. 

Hard to believe how far we've come. When I graduated high school (New Jersey, 18 years ago. Jesus, that's half my life now....) we only had 1 "out" gay student that I remember. There were a few others that, looking back, were pretty obvious. But they weren't officially out to the point that everyone knew. Certainly no trans students. The world has really changed.

Best of luck. I'm sure there will be bumps in the road, but having your support is obviously an incredibly important first step.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Joe Summer said:

Whoa. Did you see any hints of this when Peter was younger?

That's a tough question.  I guess in hindsight there are probably some things I could point to that now look like they were clues, but the truth is we really had no idea.  Peter himself says he only came to the realization within the last couple years.  When he was 11 and living as a female he came out to my then-wife and I as a lesbian.  I think my ex-wife has struggled with this in part because Peter definitely had a few years where he was interested in "girly" stuff like makeup and dresses.  Peter now says that he took an interest in those things to overcompensate -- he wanted to fit in so he tried to act the way he thought a girl was supposed to act.  

I will say that just in the last month or so I feel like his being out has given him greater permission to just be himself.  And even though I still screw up and use the wrong name or pronoun all the time, I definitely see him in a different way than I used to.  I see him as a male.  It's off-putting to me when I'm talking to my mother and I have to go back to using the wrong name and pronouns. 

Edited by fatguyinalittlecoat
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3 minutes ago, Joe Summer said:

Whoa. Did you see any hints of this when Peter was younger?

A lot of the discomfort well-meaning people have about teens transitioning is the worry that it's just a phase and they'll regret it later. Studies are still pretty scarce but the best evidence seems to suggest that 1% or fewer of teens that transition ever want to rescind. Though of course that 1% makes up a huge amount of the media coverage about these kids.

The reality is that a lot of transgender kids have known or thought about it for a long time. But kids can be pretty easily unisex until puberty hits, at which time there is often a crisis. Kids who have known they're trans for years can't ignore it any more and have to share that information with their parents. What seems like a sudden and shocking change, one that parents and others can attribute to the confusion of adolescence, is more likely the unavoidable expression of a long-known truth.

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35 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

If you have any questions or comments, even if they feel dumb, feel free to post in here.  I know there's likely to be at least a handful of hurtful posts given the subject matter but that's OK, please just let people post stuff and try not to turn this into some sort of combative thread.

:goodposting:

It's always great seeing how often you take the high road. Both here and IRL, there will be plenty of opportunities to be angered by the words and actions of others. You generally show a desire to understand others rather than belittle them despite being the King of Smack.

I don't remember who it is, but another FBG has talked about having a trans child. The poster has been open about it, so I think it would be ok to @ them if someone knows who that is.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, TLEF316 said:

Obviously, awesome for you to be so understanding and supportive. Not everyone would be.

There are multiple trans kids at the same high school? Based on your last post, it seems like at least 3 or 4.   Not sure how big the school is, but that seems very unusual. 

 

Yeah, Peter goes to a big school.  His close friend that's trans actually graduated last year and is a freshman in college this year.  I know of at least one other trans kid that's the grade behind Peter. I think he knows a couple more but I've never met them.

Edited by fatguyinalittlecoat

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Wow man, must be a trip.. a loving dad goes a long way gb

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I don't have kids so I can't even give you advice from that perspective. I can only wish you, Peter and your whole family the best through this all.

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7 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

That's a tough question.  I guess in hindsight there are probably some things I could point to that now look like they were clues, but the truth is we really had no idea.  Peter himself says he only came to the realization withing the last couple years.  When he was 11 and living as a female he came out to my then-wife and I as a lesbian.  I think my ex-wife has struggled with this in part because Peter definitely had a few years where he was interested in "girly" stuff like makeup and dresses.  Peter now says that he took an interest in those things to overcompensate -- he wanted to fit in so he tried to act the way he thought a girl was supposed to act.  

I will say that just in the last month or so I feel like his being out has given him greater permission to just be himself.  And even though I still screw up and use the wrong name or pronoun all the time, I definitely see him in a different way than I used to.  I see him as a male.  It's off-putting to me when I'm talking to my mother and I have to go back to using the wrong name and pronouns. 

First off, you’re an amazing dad. Thanks for sharing Peter’s journey.

Honestly, I’m not sure I would handle this as well as you have. To quote Bobby Baccalà, I’m in awr of you.

Finally, I used to screw the bolded up all the time working with / helping trans friends living on the street. We lobbied the faith based shelters for years to get separate housing for trans people, finally got them to address it last year.

Anyway, you’re doing the best you can for Peter and I have no advice other than keep doing what you’re doing. Hoping you will always be a safe place for him to turn to, and that he’ll continue to know his father believes in him and wants the best for him no matter what. 

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Personally I would not do the hormone thing on a 16 year old. 

Love your children as best you can, 

 

 

 

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@fatguyinalittlecoat I wish you, your son and your family well in navigating what's ahead.

I'm curious, how did you feel at the various points along the way where you became aware of your son's development of his gender identity? How do you feel now? And I don't mean how you feel about your kid, I mean more what (if any) areas within yourself has this challenged you to examine/deal with? I'm curious because I have a son and I have no idea how I would handle this situation emotionally/psychologically should it arise. I have no reason to think it will arise, but I can't really know that for sure.

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28 minutes ago, The_Man said:

A lot of the discomfort well-meaning people have about teens transitioning is the worry that it's just a phase and they'll regret it later. Studies are still pretty scarce but the best evidence seems to suggest that 1% or fewer of teens that transition ever want to rescind. Though of course that 1% makes up a huge amount of the media coverage about these kids.

The reality is that a lot of transgender kids have known or thought about it for a long time. But kids can be pretty easily unisex until puberty hits, at which time there is often a crisis. Kids who have known they're trans for years can't ignore it any more and have to share that information with their parents. What seems like a sudden and shocking change, one that parents and others can attribute to the confusion of adolescence, is more likely the unavoidable expression of a long-known truth.

This is a great post.  The first sentence would certainly be a worry, and parents may wonder for years, if not decades, if this might happen.  If the 1% figure is accurate (I've done no research whatsoever), that would seem to alleviate some of that concern.  Of course, worrying that you've made the right decisions for your child is part of being a parent to begin with, so it will never go away completely.

That said, fgialc is a great poster, and seems to me to be a good person and good parent, and I imagine he will navigate this well.

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Parents should always be there for our kids, as often as we can be. Good for you for being there as Peter is going down this path. 

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How much professional counseling has Peter received about this, if you don't mind my asking?

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When I hear these stories, I think about all the kids that must have been trapped in their own skin when I was a kid, but no societal outlet or explanation to help them get through it.  Peter is lucky to have a dad like you...

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51 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

That's a tough question.  I guess in hindsight there are probably some things I could point to that now look like they were clues, but the truth is we really had no idea.  Peter himself says he only came to the realization within the last couple years.  When he was 11 and living as a female he came out to my then-wife and I as a lesbian.  I think my ex-wife has struggled with this in part because Peter definitely had a few years where he was interested in "girly" stuff like makeup and dresses.  Peter now says that he took an interest in those things to overcompensate -- he wanted to fit in so he tried to act the way he thought a girl was supposed to act.  

I will say that just in the last month or so I feel like his being out has given him greater permission to just be himself.  And even though I still screw up and use the wrong name or pronoun all the time, I definitely see him in a different way than I used to.  I see him as a male.  It's off-putting to me when I'm talking to my mother and I have to go back to using the wrong name and pronouns. 

Just keep the bolded in mind as you go.  The support and love you provide now will only make him stronger.  Kudos to you for  being a great parent, and for Peter to have found his courage in being himself. 

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32 minutes ago, E Street Brat said:

Personally I would not do the hormone thing on a 16 year old. 

Love your children as best you can, 

There are definitely people that take this position, but everything I've read makes clear that there are costs to waiting.  Trans kids that get hormone therapy are less likely to commit suicide and report being happier.  And Peter wants to do it ASAP because the transition just looks better the younger you start.  He wants to be a good looking dude.

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We have some family friends whose son transitioned to a daughter.  One thing that she really struggled with, and it seems petty to many, is improper use of personal pronouns.  I offended her several times, not because I was being cruel or insincere, but because I've camped, coached, shared holidays, and socialized with Derek for 20 years and it's hard for this middle aged man to remember to call her Maxine.  Once she understood there was no malice and that we fully supported her, we were good, but i think part of the transition phase involved being tolerant of others' mistakes, and being willing to answer stupid questions.  

I wish Peter and your family the utmost happiness as you move through this journey, and thanks for sharing your experience.

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I am going to ask a question that will sound insensitive but I don't mean it to be....I have zero experience with this and "don't understand it"....

So why does your son need to change?  Why can't your son be your daughter that dresses and has non traditional female interests?

I apologize if I misused words, I'm sincere with my questions

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28 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

@fatguyinalittlecoat I wish you, your son and your family well in navigating what's ahead.

I'm curious, how did you feel at the various points along the way where you became aware of your son's development of his gender identity? How do you feel now? And I don't mean how you feel about your kid, I mean more what (if any) areas within yourself has this challenged you to examine/deal with? I'm curious because I have a son and I have no idea how I would handle this situation emotionally/psychologically should it arise. I have no reason to think it will arise, but I can't really know that for sure.

Well, this is all really new to me, he only came out to me less than two months ago.  Honestly I feel like I've had a very easy time adjusting, I've read a couple of books and most parents really struggle with it so I'm the weird one there.  I'm actually really so happy for him that he figured this out at 16 and won't need to struggle with it for the rest of his life.  I've never dealt with gender issues but I feel like sometimes I've struggled to fulfill the roles that society expected of me and I can imagine how awful it must be for him to live as a female.

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Interestingly, in the past month, two of my good friends have told me their sons came out to them as gay. The first one handled it very well and was very supportive. The second one is extremely religious and believes it is a sin and has basically disowned his son (I don't want to turn this to a religious thread, just pointing out the facts).

I know trans and gay are different, but seeing how much one family is struggling by not accepting, and one family is at peace, really shows me how important it is to support Peter through this. I think parents forget how difficult these things are for their children. To have supportive, loving parents is just so huge to him. I commend you.

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36 minutes ago, Joe Summer said:

How much professional counseling has Peter received about this, if you don't mind my asking?

Peter's been in therapy since around the time his mom and I got separated, about two years ago.  We initially had the kids see therapists just to be cautious.  We didn't have any specific concerns but thought it was a good idea in case the kids were struggling with the separation.  Peter struggled with some other stuff -- at one time we thought it was depression but then he got on ADHD drugs and that helped with school and consequently brought his stress and anxiety way down.  In hindsight maybe some of this stuff was related to him struggling with gender, I don't know.  Anyway, Peter saw a general therapist until recently.  That therapist told us that she believes Peter is trans and should go to a special gender therapist.  Peter has now seen the gender therapist twice and has another appointment next week.  I'm not sure what the plan is long term.

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22 minutes ago, Mookie said:

We have some family friends whose son transitioned to a daughter.  One thing that she really struggled with, and it seems petty to many, is improper use of personal pronouns.  I offended her several times, not because I was being cruel or insincere, but because I've camped, coached, shared holidays, and socialized with Derek for 20 years and it's hard for this middle aged man to remember to call her Maxine.  Once she understood there was no malice and that we fully supported her, we were good, but i think part of the transition phase involved being tolerant of others' mistakes, and being willing to answer stupid questions.  

I wish Peter and your family the utmost happiness as you move through this journey, and thanks for sharing your experience.

I just started streaming the show Billions in the last month, and there is a character that uses the pronouns "They" and "Them".  I didn't have a problem with the gender, I had a problem with getting used to a plural pronoun to be used for a single individual.  But like two spaces after a period, times and grammar change.

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21 minutes ago, belljr said:

I am going to ask a question that will sound insensitive but I don't mean it to be....I have zero experience with this and "don't understand it"....

So why does your son need to change?  Why can't your son be your daughter that dresses and has non traditional female interests?

I apologize if I misused words, I'm sincere with my questions

It's all good GB.

The way they talk about it in the books is that people are happiest when their gender identity and gender expression are congruent.  People experience the disconnect differently -- some people are happy just being androgynous or gender neutral.  But Peter feels like a dude.  He doesn't want to be a woman pretending to be a guy, he wants to actually be a guy.  That's the best I can explain it, I'm not going through it myself so it's possible he would have more to say about this.

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3 minutes ago, lakerstan said:

I just started streaming the show Billions in the last month, and there is a character that uses the pronouns "They" and "Them".  I didn't have a problem with the gender, I had a problem with getting used to a plural pronoun to be used for a single individual.  But like two spaces after a period, times and grammar change.

I'll support my kid gay, bi, straight, trans.  But if my kid tells me no Oxford comma, I'll disown them.

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As long as it's not harming anyone else*, be who you want to be. 

*"Being uncomfortable" with the choice doesn't count.

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Why Peter?  Is there any wiggle room on the name?  Marcus?  Something with some pizazz. 

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2 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

If you have any questions or comments, even if they feel dumb, feel free to post in here. 

How have his friends reacted? Are his friends mostly in the LGBTQ community?

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Just now, bigmarc27 said:

Why Peter?  Is there any wiggle room on the name?  Marcus?  Something with some pizazz. 

Big fan of the papacy

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10 minutes ago, Long Ball Larry said:

I think @Ilov80s has a trans family member?  But maybe I’m making that up.

somebody has definitely posted about it

That’s me, my niece is trans

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Just now, Ilov80s said:

That’s me, my niece is trans

Ditto though I don't see my bro's family often.. he has carried on with the same name (DELPHI)

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, JZilla said:

Ditto though I don't see my bro's family often.. he has carried on with the same name (DELPHI)

Delphi is pretty ambiguous so I can see that. Mine was more of a traditional move  from Henry to Kate. I’m very close with them though actual visits are limited since they are about 4 hours away. Also Kate came out around 5 or 6 so it’s a much different experience than coming out at as a teen as the OP’s child.

Edited by Ilov80s
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Just now, bigmarc27 said:

Why Peter?  Is there any wiggle room on the name?  Marcus?  Something with some pizazz. 

He and I had like two weeks of discussions about what name he wanted.  Eventually he picked Peter.  Which led to the absolutely greatest discovery by me a few days letter:

Jennifer Lopez (first initial, first syllable of last name) = J-Lo

Alex Rodriguez (first initial, first syllable of last name) = A-Rod

The first syllable of my last name is "Ness."   

 

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2 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Delphi is pretty ambiguous so I can see that. Mine was more of a traditional move  from Henry to Kate. I’m very close with them though actual visits are limited since they are about 4 hours away. 

Delta would be an awesome name for a trans kid.

I’ll see myself out.

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2 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

He and I had like two weeks of discussions about what name he wanted.  Eventually he picked Peter.  Which led to the absolutely greatest discovery by me a few days letter:

Jennifer Lopez (first initial, first syllable of last name) = J-Lo

Alex Rodriguez (first initial, first syllable of last name) = A-Rod

The first syllable of my last name is "Ness."   

 

Oh no!

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2 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

So I'm not sure exactly what I'm hoping for out of this thread, but here goes.  Maybe somebody else has a similar story and will find this helpful.  Or maybe it can just be used to promote acceptance.

Some of you may have seen me mention my 16-year-old daughter Talia in the past, mostly in the Political Subforum.  Most notably here in the Pete Buttigieg thread, where @Sinn Fein managed to get the architect of Pete Buttigieg's campaign to shoot a happy birthday video  in an attempt to dispel the conspiracy theory that Buttigieg was just faking being gay.  

Anyway, in late March, the child I had previously known as Talia came out as trans to me, my ex-wife, and my younger kid.  We now use male pronouns and he has taken the name Peter.  This has all gone on during the pandemic so he's not out at school yet.  Other than my ex wife and daughter and me, I think the only people that know are two or three of Peter's closest friends and some doctors and mental health professionals.

Nothing is set in stone yet but my expectation is that Peter will start hormone replacement therapy in the next few months and will present as male for his senior year of high school.  He desperately wants to start hormones as early as possible.  The process of coming out at school and to grandparents and others isn't something he's looking forward to, but his hope is that he can attend college as a male, and that most people will just see him as male and he won't need to be constantly coming out to people.  I'm actually not sure how colleges assign trans kids to dorms -- I assume there must be some guidance there.  Ideally he would be in a dorm with male roommates, but maybe the roommates are notified in advance that he transitioned?  I guess we'll figure it out.

Anyway, we've had discussions here about transgender military service and transgender bathrooms and all that, but I can't remember anyone ever talking personally about a trans family member.  It feels different when an issue is personal.  I'm incredibly proud of my kid (for lots of reasons) and I guess I felt like sharing this info with the FBG community because I've been here so long a lot of you folks are like family.  And honestly, all that transgender stuff always just seemed like an abstraction back before I had a trans kid, so I'm still in the process of learning and sorting through things myself.

If you have any questions or comments, even if they feel dumb, feel free to post in here.  I know there's likely to be at least a handful of hurtful posts given the subject matter but that's OK, please just let people post stuff and try not to turn this into some sort of combative thread.  This can be a beautiful thread.  I know this place is generally supportive and I expect the vast majority of people to have Peter's best interests at heart.  He's an awesome kid and I'm hoping this thread can also be used to document his transition so I can look back some day and read how I was thinking and feeling at the time. 

Thanks for reading this.

 

Best wishes to Peter (and you) for much happiness.  All that matters. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

If you have any questions or comments, even if they feel dumb, feel free to post in here.  I know there's likely to be at least a handful of hurtful posts given the subject matter but that's OK, please just let people post stuff and try not to turn this into some sort of combative thread.  This can be a beautiful thread.  I know this place is generally supportive and I expect the vast majority of people to have Peter's best interests at heart.  He's an awesome kid and I'm hoping this thread can also be used to document his transition so I can look back some day and read how I was thinking and feeling at the time. 

Thanks for reading this.

 

Probably not. Em (and whatever his various aliases) was the only person I ever encountered be a jerk when I discussed my niece. He was just a straight up richard. 

Edited by Ilov80s

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