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I don’t want to argue but it’s not a JAWM.  Like Quill in the other thread, I’m sorting this out in my own head.

My 6-year-old is convinced he’s really a girl.  He had speech delays, but since he could talk, he has asked when he would die and be reborn as a girl, when he was becoming a girl, how he could cut off his p$nis and become a girl.  This year we finally caved and bought him dresses. In our minds, how people dress is a complete cultural concept and there’s not really any innate boy or girl clothes.  He’s never been happier and if people have talked, they’ve done it behind my back.  He likes his hair in a buzz cut, but he has zero idea that most girls don’t wear buzz cuts because I’ve shaved my head a couple times.  
 

I don’t know where the balance is between letting him be his delightful, joyful, happy self in his dresses and not encouraging a gender dysphoria that may not actually be there.  Even if we don’t, the world at large may(especially the new school community we are moving to that has asked kids in first grade their preferred pronouns before).  Am I overthinking this?

I suspect that if the concept was widely known when I was in my late teens and 20s, I would have considered myself non-binary.  I still don’t like the vocabulary; I am just me.  I have to take meds to shut down an excess of male hormones as it is so that probably plays into how I don’t feel strongly either male or female; I’m just me and perfectly happy that way.  And I just want my DS to be happy in his own skin.

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10 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I suspect that if the concept was widely known when I was in my late teens and 20s, I would have considered myself non-binary.  I still don’t like the vocabulary; I am just me.  I have to take meds to shut down an excess of male hormones as it is so that probably plays into how I don’t feel strongly either male or female; I’m just me and perfectly happy that way.  

No advice on your original question, but this really resonated with me.
I have, in various groups of women, polled my friends whether they feel female, i.e. have a sense of female gender identity, and if so, through what that is transported. It was interesting to see that there was a pretty strict divide between those who had a definite sense of being female and are adamant about having that sensation,  and a surprisingly large number who did not have any sense of gender identity and felt they were just human. I am with you; I don't feel "woman" (I did feel "mother" when I was mothering, but besides this, I have absolutely no feeling of womanhood. I mean, sure, I know that I have boobs and a uterus, but I could happily do without either and don't derive a sense of identity from body parts - but many women do).
I had many discussions with a very good friend who is NB friend and has a trans kid. I wanted to understand what it feels like, and I always hit that block of not having a concept of gender identity at all (so I could not imagine how being misgendered felt) 

Edited by regentrude
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Why do you have to do anything? 

He's a gender non conforming boy. Awesome. Anyone had a problem with that, they'd have a problem with me!

He may grow up to be a gay adult. He may grow up to be a straight adult. A minority of children like him may grow up to be transsexual. 

Either way, he is fine right now.  His body is fine, his behaviour is fine. 

I would gently insist on reality - he won't be reborn as a girl, a penis is just a body part, and we look after all our body parts. But I wouldn't do anything else right now. Don't borrow trouble. 

 

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And yep, I also don't have a 'gender identity'. For me, it's like talk about having a soul. What? Don't understand.

I only know I'm female because I have a female body that does female things. I'm more and less comfortable with it at different times. In current parlance, I could call myself agender non-binary and not be lying, 

Femininity for me is a costume. I wear it most of the time because when I don't, it attracts attention. Some people, both male and female, enjoy the costume of femininity. 

A six year old who enjoys it is totally ok with me. 

 

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If you want you could talk to a therapist about when to discuss pronouns with him. I would suspect that if it’s been going on since he was verbal they would applaud you for letting him wear dresses.  LI’ve always felt female & always loved dresses too.  

I think I would just follow his lead, but I have the benefit of a sibling who’s a therapist that I would definitely be relying on. 

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8 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

And yep, I also don't have a 'gender identity'. For me, it's like talk about having a soul. What? Don't understand.

I only know I'm female because I have a female body that does female things. I'm more and less comfortable with it at different times. In current parlance, I could call myself agender non-binary and not be lying, 

Femininity for me is a costume. I wear it most of the time because when I don't, it attracts attention. Some people, both male and female, enjoy the costume of femininity. 

The bolded: are you talking about presentation?

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16 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Female does not equal love to wear dresses. It does not signify anything at age 6. It is play. 

Normally I would agree, but this is a child who at four was asking to cut off his boy parts to make him a girl and prays every single night that God will make him into a girl.  
 

I have well meaning family(a sister in particular) who are extremely…left leaning maybe?  She has asked him already if he’d like to be referred to as a girl and called “she,” which just completely confused him(my sister is also a therapist).  I think that’s where I’m trying balance affirming however he feels while recognizing that he’s 6 and this isn’t a big deal.  I got the registration forms for his new school which asked for preferred pronouns even at first grade, which sort of made me start considering all of this.

Our stance has always been that with the exceptions of some biological functions, boys and girls can do anything. Girls can shave their heads; boys can wear dresses.  But there’s just some other people who have been asking him about pronouns, and I need to figure out what I think. If he’d rather be called she, that’s fine. But I also don’t want to plant ideas that aren’t there.

And I am someone who doesn’t feel and has never felt that my gender was a big part of my identity, so that plays into my conflicted feelings here.

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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4 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Normally I would agree, but this is a child who at four was asking to cut off his boy parts to make him a girl and prays every single night that God will make him into a girl.  
 

I have well meaning family(a sister in particular) who are extremely…left leaning maybe?  She has asked him already if he’d like to be referred to as a girl and called “she,” which just completely confused him(my sister is also a therapist).  I think that’s where I’m trying balance affirming however he feels while recognizing that he’s 6 and this isn’t a big deal.  I got the registration forms for his new school which asked for preferred pronouns even at first grade, which sort of made me start considering all of this.

Our stance has always been that with some biological functions, boys and girls can do anything. Girls can shave their heads; boys can wear dresses.  But there’s just some other people who have been asking him about pronouns, and I need to figure out what I think. If he’d rather be called she, that’s fine. But I also don’t want to plant ideas that aren’t there.

And I am someone who doesn’t feel and has never felt that my gender was a big part of my identity, so that plays into my conflicted feelings here.

It's not unusual. Listen to some gay and/or GNC adults and they will talk about believing they were the opposite sex, wanting to be/present as the opposite sex.

Puberty was difficult, but generally into late teens, they settled into their gay or straight GNC selves and accepted their sex, while often rejecting associated stereotypes. 

Nobody knows if your child will be part of this cohort, or part of the minority who persist with a cross-sex ID into adulthood. At six, you don't need to know. 

I'm confused why pronouns are bothering you. He's a boy. A boy being raised in a society that still has a lot of covert homophobia. 

If he is distressed in a way that is impacting on daily life function, seek a psychologist. If he is not experiencing dysfunction, just let it be. Watchful waiting. 

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16 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I don't know. I know how to present as female, but I know for some women, femininity is also somehow an inner thing

I don't believe some women are born  feminine. I believe some women are born with personality traits that fit into what any given culture calls 'feminine'. 

Femininity is not a fixed trait. It varies over time and culture. 

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@Mrs Tiggywinkle If you have some time, I would recommend a podcast that I mentioned on the other thread, called Gender: A Wider Lens.  Stella O'Malley is a co host and she talks about her experience growing up with severe gender dysphoria. She was convinced she was a boy, played only with the boys, dressed like the boys... and when puberty hit it sent her to a dark place where she confronted the truth that she wasn't. She talks about the struggle. But because transgenderism wasn't as well known, she just went through the crucible and came out accepting her gender. And she is very thankful.  But she says it was very deepset from 3-10 and took a long time to really resolve. 

There are others that it doesn't resolve and transition does happen later on. BUT there are studies that social transition does tend to influence a child's conception of themselves, and it makes it much harder to resolve their idea of their gender.  And many kids with gender dysphoria at a young age go on to be merely gay or lesbian.

Is this your child with autism? It is interesting, I have a friend who's son as a teenager (diagnosed Asperger's) was convinced he was a rock star. Like, not becoming one, not just liked to play in bands, but literally was a famous rock star. His dad was really befuddled and tried to really talk to him about it, convince him he wasn't. Eventually he gave up and ignored it. And after a few years it just .... went away. Maybe not quite the same thing, but it feels a little similar.

 

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I would just roll with his flow.  (And I don’t have direct experience, just lots of preparation for when we were planning to foster a boy about the same age with the same preferences.)
I’d still consider engaging with a child psychologist because of the earlier talk of body parts and wondering if that was still a thought going on inside, but with the intent of just following wherever his trajectory goes and having someone familiar if it gets complicated.

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16 minutes ago, SanDiegoMom said:

@Mrs Tiggywinkle If you have some time, I would recommend a podcast that I mentioned on the other thread, called Gender: A Wider Lens.  Stella O'Malley is a co host and she talks about her experience growing up with severe gender dysphoria. She was convinced she was a boy, played only with the boys, dressed like the boys... and when puberty hit it sent her to a dark place where she confronted the truth that she wasn't. She talks about the struggle. But because transgenderism wasn't as well known, she just went through the crucible and came out accepting her gender. And she is very thankful.  But she says it was very deepset from 3-10 and took a long time to really resolve. 

There are others that it doesn't resolve and transition does happen later on. BUT there are studies that social transition does tend to influence a child's conception of themselves, and it makes it much harder to resolve their idea of their gender.  And many kids with gender dysphoria at a young age go on to be merely gay or lesbian.

Is this your child with autism? It is interesting, I have a friend who's son as a teenager (diagnosed Asperger's) was convinced he was a rock star. Like, not becoming one, not just liked to play in bands, but literally was a famous rock star. His dad was really befuddled and tried to really talk to him about it, convince him he wasn't. Eventually he gave up and ignored it. And after a few years it just .... went away. Maybe not quite the same thing, but it feels a little similar.

 

Actually no. My autistic child is so black and white that this child wearing dresses is very confusing and upsetting to him. This is the preemie baby that does have some cognitive delays. 
 

My concern with the pronouns is other people are asking if they should say “her/she” and that’s very confusing to a six year old. But if he wants me to call him a she that’s fine.  I’m probably overthinking it.

He still asks daily when he’s going to be a girl and why God didn’t make him a girl.  There is a level of distress about this.

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I don't even understand what it would mean to feel female, except for once a month during shark week and then it mostly sucks. 
 

I've never felt that I was in the wrong body as a straight cisgender female, but growing up I always wished I had a gender-neutral name - though I can't articulate why. I do straddle the line between tomboy and femininity. My sister actually refers to me as her sisterbrother because she is all traditionally feminine in her presentation and interests while I am more all over the map. I'm certainly not one who fits perfectly into the "feminine box" stereotype, so maybe that is why I don't feel this strong feeling. Or maybe I'm just unaware of what it is and if explained to me I would say "oh yeah, I feel that". 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

If your DS is happy in his dresses then let him wear his dresses, and let whatever happens organically happen, but try not to push any idea or construct. If he asks again about getting  rid of his penis or similar,  I would try to keep asking why until I could tease out what the real desire is.  It may be that he wanted to wear a dress and play with dolls and thought he had to be a girl to do that. Or maybe he looks up to you and wants to "be like Mom". Or, it may really be a deeper long term gender dysphoria. There is such a range of possibilities that I couldn't begin to imagine how it might all play out in the long term, but my advice is conversation with lots of listening and acknowledging his perceptions and feelings while also offering your perspectives and more mature and nuanced views.

I don't think you are overthinking it because this is an area fraught with so much uncertainty and possible long term physical, mental, emotional, and social health implications that it requires a thoughtful approach.

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24 minutes ago, SanDiegoMom said:

@Mrs Tiggywinkle If you have some time, I would recommend a podcast that I mentioned on the other thread, called Gender: A Wider Lens.  Stella O'Malley is a co host and she talks about her experience growing up with severe gender dysphoria. She was convinced she was a boy, played only with the boys, dressed like the boys... and when puberty hit it sent her to a dark place where she confronted the truth that she wasn't. She talks about the struggle. But because transgenderism wasn't as well known, she just went through the crucible and came out accepting her gender. And she is very thankful.  But she says it was very deepset from 3-10 and took a long time to really resolve. 

There are others that it doesn't resolve and transition does happen later on. BUT there are studies that social transition does tend to influence a child's conception of themselves, and it makes it much harder to resolve their idea of their gender.  And many kids with gender dysphoria at a young age go on to be merely gay or lesbian.

Is this your child with autism? It is interesting, I have a friend who's son as a teenager (diagnosed Asperger's) was convinced he was a rock star. Like, not becoming one, not just liked to play in bands, but literally was a famous rock star. His dad was really befuddled and tried to really talk to him about it, convince him he wasn't. Eventually he gave up and ignored it. And after a few years it just .... went away. Maybe not quite the same thing, but it feels a little similar.

 

Is it Stella who also runs online support groups for parents ? I feel like I read that somewhere.

A group for watchful waiting parents would be ideal for people like the OP. 

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31 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I don't know. I know how to present as female, but I know for some women, femininity is also somehow an inner thing

Piping in to say, to me femininity always felt like an inner thing. Being mistaken for a boy seemed to me like the absolute worst insult. As a little child, I greatly loved over-the-top feminine things, like ball-gowns and long, beautiful hair. When I saw beautiful women, I wanted to be like them and hoped I would grown up to look like them. I remember I wanted for a long time to look like Jacquelyn Smith (The Charlie’s Angel) and when I played make-believe games, I would say my name was Jacquelyn. 
 

My sister (who is the mother of the child I’ve been speaking of) was the opposite. Never liked the clothes, hair and other very feminine things. Took auto shop classes in high school. Was known to be a “tomboy”. I asked her before if she thinks there is any relationship to having a trans-identifying child. She said, “I have wondered that before, but one big difference was that I never said I *was* a boy, or wanted to be one.” In fact, I do remember once when my mom cut my sister’s hair super short, my sister hated it because people mistook her for a boy. I thought it was horrifying that my mom had cut her hair like that and I emphatically said many times not to do that to MY hair. 
 

Even in adulthood I have only cut my hair very short twice and one of the times was unintentionally. 

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I have no advice really, just some gut instinct. Our 5.5 year old grandson was born with male sex, has a male name, and uses male pronouns. He has never insisted he is a girl, so your little one has much stronger feelings about his gender than our N does. But N really from a super early age felt that it was unfair that boys clothes look boring boys have boring haircuts, girls are prettier,  etc. Ds and her hubby are awesome sauce about it and let him have dresses, rompers, long hair, colorful hair ties, etc. He has always played with a huge variety of toys, and sometimes is one second diapering his baby doll, and setting up his Hot Wheels set next. He likes to sew, he also likes to build things. I think the single biggest issue for him is that gender stereotypes hurt. We don't suspect any sort of gender dysphoria, but who knows. We try to keep an open mind.

I think 6 is young for someone to figure out the pronoun thing. If he does not demonstrate distress with the use of he/him, I would let that go and not offer a change. The thing is, usage can change later if needed. But let him be his true self. So much of gender comes down to societal/cultural pressure to conform to gender stereotypes, and I hate that. A young woman who is very close to our family was terribly scarred and suicidal as a child and teen because she "failed" her very religious family by liking boy things, and hating societal expected girl roles. Thankfully, she was able to find herself in college, and found out it was perfectly acceptable to be herself. She still identifies female, but without a doubt not stereotypically. Unfortunately, her dad is a deacon of a church that considers the violation of 1950's leave it to beaver style gender roles to be a grievous sin, and she has been shunned by her parents paternal grandparents. Maternal grandparents and her two other adult siblings have been great, and we became a default set of parents.

So the only thing I know to do is not assume anything, and zealously guard his right to be himself. I think you and your husband are doing great!!!

Of my four children, one his non binary. He has chosen, just for the ease of dealing with people, to continue with male pronouns as an adult. However, he is now a published author several times over, and in his profile uses they/them. He is bisexual - and that is something I suspected even from his toddler hood - and has dated both men and women. Thankfully, since we left conservative Christianity before he came out, we have not had too much trouble. We were already ostracized for becoming "libs" and lost all our friends anyway. He left for college and found his pack of people, a very diverse bunch of great young folks.

My instinct is to keep on as you have been unless he indicates that it is not enough for him, and then work with a therapist to figure out what would be appropriate for him. None of us armchair coaches can really tell you what to do.

But let me reiterate, again, I think you are doing a wonderful parenting job!

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29 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I don't believe some women are born  feminine. I believe some women are born with personality traits that fit into what any given culture calls 'feminine'. 

Femininity is not a fixed trait. It varies over time and culture. 

I didn't mean "born feminine". I completely agree that what is considered feminine has a lot to do with culture>
I meant that some women seem to have some kind of internal sense of femininity (whether inborn or acquired) that goes beyond external presentation.

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To the OP:  Your story makes me think about all the many books I have read in which a young girl who is a bit of a tomboy discovers that she likes being female once she…

—gets attracted to a young man

or

—gets a good makeover

or

—gets a scholarship to a great university where she can blossom with her whole intellect engaged

 

And yet somehow I have never ever run across an analogous book about a young boy who is … there isn’t even a word for it … a tomasina girl?  There really isn’t a model for this, in our society, is there, except the transgender one.   Girls are a lot more free to dress as boys than boys are to dress as girls, and that makes this harder.

That being so, I would think that there would be a lot more trans girls than trans boys, but that’s not the case anymore, but I digress.

I’m not sure what I would do if I were you.  Something you may already have done is tried to eke out the difference between wanting to be a girl and wanting the costuming and perceived glamour.  I’d probably start there.  I might even help him by stocking up on costuming supplies that are males with a skirt, like those Roman soldier skirt thingies, and kilts, and togas, and also on royal robes and playsilks.  To me, that would not be steering him toward manhood as much as giving him a way to indulge himself in the possible costuming desire without requiring a female presentation.  

And then…kind of adopt a wait and see attitude.  

 

 

 

 

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Just now, regentrude said:

I didn't mean "born feminine". I completely agree that what is considered feminine has a lot to do with culture>
I meant that some women seem to have some kind of internal sense of femininity (whether inborn or acquired) that goes beyond external presentation.

Well, I don't know. I don't have it, so I can't really understand what such claims mean. Seem to come awfully close to pink brain neuro-sexism, but others may feel differently. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Quill said:

Piping in to say, to me femininity always felt like an inner thing. Being mistaken for a boy seemed to me like the absolute worst insult. As a little child, I greatly loved over-the-top feminine things, like ball-gowns and long, beautiful hair. When I saw beautiful women, I wanted to be like them and hoped I would grown up to look like them. I remember I wanted for a long time to look like Jacquelyn Smith (The Charlie’s Angel) and when I played make-believe games, I would say my name was Jacquelyn. 
 

My sister (who is the mother of the child I’ve been speaking of) was the opposite. Never liked the clothes, hair and other very feminine things. Took auto shop classes in high school. Was known to be a “tomboy”. I asked her before if she thinks there is any relationship to having a trans-identifying child. She said, “I have wondered that before, but one big difference was that I never said I *was* a boy, or wanted to be one.” In fact, I do remember once when my mom cut my sister’s hair super short, my sister hated it because people mistook her for a boy. I thought it was horrifying that my mom had cut her hair like that and I emphatically said many times not to do that to MY hair. 

That's so super interesting, thanks for sharing. As a kid, I always wanted to be a boy. I was fully aware that I was a girl, and I hated it. Hated it until I made my peace with it temporarily in my 20s. I periodically had short hair. (I only minded being mistaken for a boy when guy almost assaulted me as I came out of the ladies' restroom because his gf was in there). I never wanted ball gowns, frills, external trimmings of femininity, but I do like to wear dresses in the summer. Go figure.
A couple years ago, I went through a spell where I absolutely could not bear to wear a skirt or dress. It caused me an almost physical sensation of distress and felt like an uncomfortable costume. It was very weird. I also cut my hair extremely short. There was lot going on. Perimenopause messes with the brain in ways I could not have imagined.

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3 minutes ago, regentrude said:


A couple years ago, I went through a spell where I absolutely could not bear to wear a skirt or dress. It caused me an almost physical sensation of distress and felt like an uncomfortable costume. It was very weird. I also cut my hair extremely short. There was lot going on. Perimenopause messes with the brain in ways I could not have imagined.

Off topic completely, but I just wanted to say Regentrude, that I totally get this. Perimenopause wrecks havoc on me. I too went through about a two year period of hating skirts and dresses, not feeling comfortable in them. I also had a feeling of being claustrophobic in shirts that came all the way to my collar bone, and had to stick with v-neck items, tank tops, and camisole type tops with little lightweight cardigans or shrugs. Recently, for whatever reason, I have been able to enjoy a couple of simple sun dresses. Still can't stand things rubbing on my collarbone. I can't remember the last time I wore a necklace. A friend went through two years before menopause when her skin was so sensitive she could only wear linen, cotton, and silk.

I seriously do hate being a woman at this time in my life. Stupid ovaries.

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I’ve never, not once, wanted to not be female and I’ve never felt that I wasn’t. There have been times I’m wasn’t 100% in love with certain parts of my body or being, but I’ve never wished I was anything else.  It’s probably why I immediately was so confused by my ds and felt so bad for him because it was something I just couldn’t imagine. 

I think since he’s been vocal about waiting to become a girl but hasn’t been vocal about a name or pronouns that I wouldn’t push those things at all. I would just keep doing what you’re doing and allow him to wear whatever. If he is in distress like you say when discussing becoming a girl, then I would search out some therapy for him but I would probably try to make sure that therapist is not someone who would push anything on him or you. There are so many times I wish my Ds could have vocalized his feelings younger but there are also just as many times that I think we, as parents, just wouldn’t have been ready for any of it. Hugs to you!

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1 minute ago, Faith-manor said:

Off topic completely, but I just wanted to say Regentrude, that I totally get this. Perimenopause wrecks havoc on me. I too went through about a two year period of hating skirts and dresses, not feeling comfortable in them. I also had a feeling of being claustrophobic in shirts that came all the way to my collar bone, and had to stick with v-neck items, tank tops, and camisole type tops with little lightweight cardigans or shrugs. Recently, for whatever reason, I have been able to enjoy a couple of simple sun dresses. Still can't stand things rubbing on my collarbone. I can't remember the last time I wore a necklace. A friend went through two years before menopause when her skin was so sensitive she could only wear linen, cotton, and silk.

I seriously do hate being a woman at this time in my life. Stupid ovaries.

For me it wasn't a skin thing, or tightness, nothing about the fabric or heaviness of the garment.
It was completely an internal thing, a feeling of being forced into a costume or uniform that my inner self rebelled to. It was very odd. In our women's circle gatherings, we're all wearing flowing dresses/skirts (think tie dye hippie look) which I used to enjoy - and I could.not.bring.myself and had to wear pants. Super weird.
 

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3 minutes ago, regentrude said:

For me it wasn't a skin thing, or tightness, nothing about the fabric or heaviness of the garment.
It was completely an internal thing, a feeling of being forced into a costume or uniform that my inner self rebelled to. It was very odd. In our women's circle gatherings, we're all wearing flowing dresses/skirts (think tie dye hippie look) which I used to enjoy - and I could.not.bring.myself and had to wear pants. Super weird.
 

All I know is perimenopause has absolutely caused me to have a variety of wild thoughts. One was for a period of about six months I thought I didn't ever want to play a piano ever again. This has been my passion my entire life, and I am by no means burned out on this instrument. But for that frame, I was very averse to it, and since my job required me to use the skills, I resented the hell out of that job. Then I had a particularly terrible shark week, skipped shark week the next month, and then was okay, and loved the piano again. I swear I hate my ovaries with the fire of a thousand suns!

So I know my experience is not the same as yours, but want you to know you are not losing your mind. This hormone crap is wretched, and plays games with us.

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5 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

So I know my experience is not the same as yours, but want you to know you are not losing your mind. This hormone crap is wretched, and plays games with us.

Amen. It sure felt like losing my mind. And nobody tells us that. 
(There was more disconcerting stuff I don't want to discuss here)

Edited by regentrude
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2 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Amen. It sure felt like losing my mind. And nobody tells us that. 
(There was more disconcerting stuff I don't want to discuss here)

Yeah, it played no small part in my constant fantasies of stepping under a bus. Women are ill served when it comes to mid life health. 

However, hormones are unlikely to be factoring into a six year olds sense of self - maybe this side convo should be a s/o of a s/O?

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Just now, Melissa Louise said:

Yeah, it played no small part in my constant fantasies of stepping under a bus. Women are ill served when it comes to mid life health. 

However, hormones are unlikely to be factoring into a six year olds sense of self - maybe this side convo should be a s/o of a s/O?

Right!

I think when children present young with these issues, the hardest part is they don't have a complex enough vocabulary to adequately express what they feel about what is happening to them. It makes it so hard for parents to navigate.

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3 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

Right!

I think when children present young with these issues, the hardest part is they don't have a complex enough vocabulary to adequately express what they feel about what is happening to them. It makes it so hard for parents to navigate.

I guess I don't think it's an issue. It's a common- uncommon childhood experience that usually resolves at or after puberty without intervention. 

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3 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I guess I don't think it's an issue. It's a common- uncommon childhood experience that usually resolves at or after puberty without intervention. 

That hasn't been my experience. I have known more than my fair share of kids who had a much harder time than you suggest, much harder, and for some it did not resolve, and the consequences have been severe. I don't brush it off.

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2 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

That hasn't been my experience. I have known more than my fair share of kids who had a much harder time than you suggest, much harder, and for some it did not resolve, and the consequences have been severe. I don't brush it off.

Most children with this presentation do struggle at times, but grow up to be cis gay, lesbian or straight but GNC. That's not really disputed, even in the literature. 

For a small % of children they'll persist. 

There's no reason currently for OP to treat her ds as one of the small %. There's no way to tell. He might be; he probably won't be. 

He doesn't currently need 'treatment'. Just kind, supportive parenting tolerant of being gender non-conforming, tolerant of possible later homosexuality, and a watchful eye in case things change. 

 

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1 hour ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I have well meaning family(a sister in particular) who are extremely…left leaning maybe?  She has asked him already if he’d like to be referred to as a girl and called “she,” which just completely confused him(my sister is also a therapist).

Why on earth would she have done that? I would actually be pretty ticked off as a parent to confuse a kid like that.  There’s no reason he needs to be sent the message that he likes to wear dresses means he is not a boy.  I would I  no uncertain terms tell anyone who did that to cut it out and let my kid be who they are.

1 hour ago, Faith-manor said:

He is bisexual - and that is something I suspected even from his toddler hood

Befuddled on this one. How would someone identify a sexual preference in a toddler? That just seems like a really weird thing to say. I don’t actually want to know an answer, as that seems really personal, I just had to say that that doesn’t make sense to me (and one of my kids isn’t straight, so it’s not because I don’t get the issue overall). 
 

Put me down as another one who has no internal sense of genderedness. I know I’m female because I have a female body, but I’m not very feminine at all and don’t have any internal sense of feminity. (which is why it bothers me when the gender question on many forms now gives my options as masculine, feminine, or other. I feel almost like I should be checking other, but I think what they’re wanting to know is male or female of which I very definitely identify as female. Because I am.)

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1 hour ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

Actually no. My autistic child is so black and white that this child wearing dresses is very confusing and upsetting to him. This is the preemie baby that does have some cognitive delays. 
 

My concern with the pronouns is other people are asking if they should say “her/she” and that’s very confusing to a six year old. But if he wants me to call him a she that’s fine.  I’m probably overthinking it.

He still asks daily when he’s going to be a girl and why God didn’t make him a girl.  There is a level of distress about this.

What do you say to him when he talks about wanting to be a girl? Are you listening to him, but also reminding him of all of the reasons why it’s super-amazingly-great to be a boy? Are you stressing that he can do traditionally girly things, yet still be a boy?

He is still so little, that I would let him do the more feminine things, while also making sure he is aware that he doesn’t have to be a girl to do those things.

Why are other people asking if they should refer to him as a girl? I’m confused about that.

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I do not have any experience with this. So this is just random thoughts in my head. Take it for what it’s worth, which is probably nothing. 
 

If this were happening to me, I would want genetic testing / counseling and also hormone levels. That level of determination and clarity in a small child would make me very suspicious that there was something biological happening. 

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26 minutes ago, KSera said:

Why on earth would she have done that? I would actually be pretty ticked off as a parent to confuse a kid like that.  There’s no reason he needs to be sent the message that he likes to wear dresses means he is not a boy.  I would I  no uncertain terms tell anyone who did that to cut it out and let my kid be who they are.

Befuddled on this one. How would someone identify a sexual preference in a toddler? That just seems like a really weird thing to say. I don’t actually want to know an answer, as that seems really personal, I just had to say that that doesn’t make sense to me (and one of my kids isn’t straight, so it’s not because I don’t get the issue overall). 
 

Put me down as another one who has no internal sense of genderedness. I know I’m female because I have a female body, but I’m not very feminine at all and don’t have any internal sense of feminity. (which is why it bothers me when the gender question on many forms now gives my options as masculine, feminine, or other. I feel almost like I should be checking other, but I think what they’re wanting to know is male or female of which I very definitely identify as female. Because I am.)

I do tick other and write sex - female..

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2 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

Is it Stella who also runs online support groups for parents ? I feel like I read that somewhere.

A group for watchful waiting parents would be ideal for people like the OP. 

Yes, I know she mentions it at the beginning of the podcast episode, though it's not mentioned on her website.  She is in Ireland though, and I am pretty sure everything she runs is full right now.  The group is for both parents and siblings.

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I have known plenty of little boys to want to wear dresses and makeup and play with dolls, etc, and then end up hetero. Today’s society is too hung up on telling boys that they are not a “real boy” if this, that or the other.  Real boys can do anything a girl can do. Interesting how no one would dare tell a girl that she isn’t a real girl if she plays with Legos or wears pants. That may seem like a ridiculous comparison, but it is true.

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2 minutes ago, Janeway said:

I have known plenty of little boys to want to wear dresses and makeup and play with dolls, etc, and then end up hetero. Today’s society is too hung up on telling boys that they are not a “real boy” if this, that or the other.  Real boys can do anything a girl can do. Interesting how no one would dare tell a girl that she isn’t a real girl if she plays with Legos or wears pants. That may seem like a ridiculous comparison, but it is true.

Agree, but this isn’t that. This is a boy praying to be a girl and wanting to have his peni$ cut off. That’s a very different level. 

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1 hour ago, KSera said:

Why on earth would she have done that? I would actually be pretty ticked off as a parent to confuse a kid like that.  There’s no reason he needs to be sent the message that he likes to wear dresses means he is not a boy.  I would I  no uncertain terms tell anyone who did that to cut it out and let my kid be who they are.

Befuddled on this one. How would someone identify a sexual preference in a toddler? That just seems like a really weird thing to say. I don’t actually want to know an answer, as that seems really personal, I just had to say that that doesn’t make sense to me (and one of my kids isn’t straight, so it’s not because I don’t get the issue overall). 
 

Put me down as another one who has no internal sense of genderedness. I know I’m female because I have a female body, but I’m not very feminine at all and don’t have any internal sense of feminity. (which is why it bothers me when the gender question on many forms now gives my options as masculine, feminine, or other. I feel almost like I should be checking other, but I think what they’re wanting to know is male or female of which I very definitely identify as female. Because I am.)

I know this is going to sound crazy, and I am not making it up, but my sister is so far left she is actually disappointed none of her children seem to have any gay or trans tendencies.  Trust me, I am aware how weird that sounds.  She is very affirming, but maybe too affirming.

I truly don’t believe my six year old understands pronouns at all. 

1 hour ago, Catwoman said:

What do you say to him when he talks about wanting to be a girl? Are you listening to him, but also reminding him of all of the reasons why it’s super-amazingly-great to be a boy? Are you stressing that he can do traditionally girly things, yet still be a boy?

He is still so little, that I would let him do the more feminine things, while also making sure he is aware that he doesn’t have to be a girl to do those things.

Why are other people asking if they should refer to him as a girl? I’m confused about that.

I do stress that he can wear dresses and have beautiful purses and jewelry.  He has started to talk about having babies after God turns him into a girl, though, so I have to come up with better than this.

 

1 hour ago, lauraw4321 said:

I do not have any experience with this. So this is just random thoughts in my head. Take it for what it’s worth, which is probably nothing. 
 

If this were happening to me, I would want genetic testing / counseling and also hormone levels. That level of determination and clarity in a small child would make me very suspicious that there was something biological happening. 

I’ve been considering this. I am XX but my body is screwy and I produce four times the testosterone and androgens that I should and less than half the estrogen and progesterone.  I usually treat this medically and it was a delicate balance with my first two, fertility treatment assisted pregnancies. We did lots of blood work, progesterone supplements and a very specific spironolactone regime. With this child I had no idea I was pregnant until around 14 weeks and was on massive amounts of medication to stop testosterone production. Obviously that’s nothing but a theory—but I do wonder.

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7 minutes ago, lauraw4321 said:

Agree, but this isn’t that. This is a boy praying to be a girl and wanting to have his peni$ cut off. That’s a very different level. 

Yes. I also have a daughter who is a complete tomboy. Like she gave her dresses to her brother.  Kept her hair in a pixie cut for years, plays baseball, doesn’t enjoy most typical girl things. But she never prayed to be a boy or wanted to change gender.  She just enjoys what she enjoys. It’s a very different vibe between to the two kids. 

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28 minutes ago, lauraw4321 said:

Agree, but this isn’t that. This is a boy praying to be a girl and wanting to have his peni$ cut off. That’s a very different level. 

The remarks about having his penis cut off are concerning. The trans or even gay adults I have known never spoke that way as kids. I completely support the LGTBQ community, so this is not a rejection of being trans. 

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11 minutes ago, Janeway said:

The remarks about having his penis cut off are concerning. The trans or even gay adults I have known never spoke that way as kids. I completely support the LGTBQ community, so this is not a rejection of being trans. 

This child has some cognitive delays from being a 28 week preemie.  It’s not so much as hurting himself(he’d shy far away from that) as childhood magical thinking that if he can just get rid of it, he’ll be a girl. 
But he definitely wants to get rid of it, even though he isn’t quite sure what girls have lol.  He just knows they don’t have that. 

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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38 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

 

I’ve been considering this. I am XX but my body is screwy and I produce four times the testosterone and androgens that I should and less than half the estrogen and progesterone.  I usually treat this medically and it was a delicate balance with my first two, fertility treatment assisted pregnancies. We did lots of blood work, progesterone supplements and a very specific spironolactone regime. With this child I had no idea I was pregnant until around 14 weeks and was on massive amounts of medication to stop testosterone production. Obviously that’s nothing but a theory—but I do wonder.

I wouldn’t underestimate this. Genetic issues combined with significant in utero hormone changes could help explain and help you develop a real plan for how to address this. 

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16 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

This child has some cognitive delays from being a 28 week preemie.  It’s not so much as hurting himself(he’d shy far away from that) as childhood magical thinking that if he can just get rid of it, he’ll be a girl. 
But he definitely wants to get rid of it, even though he isn’t quite sure what girls have lol.  He just knows they don’t have that. 

Why does he say he wants to be a girl? 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

Why does he say he wants to be a girl? 

At first I thought he just loved beautiful things, but the last few months he insists he actually is a girl and the rest of us just haven’t caught up yet.  So it’s not as much as he wants to be a girl; right now as a 6 year old he believes he is a girl with a mistaken p$nis. He’s legitimately waiting for God to fix this and just turn him completely into the girl he knows he is.

I probably should have some genetics and hormones run to be honest.

 

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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It sounds like genetics would be pretty helpful to clarify at this point.

Elsewhere I recommended a novel that has a character that sounds exactly like this--This Is How It Always Is.

It's well written and you might enjoy it.

An online friend of mine who had similar convictions, although I am not sure that they started so early, ended up transitioning and then experiencing that he didn't feel female anymore and went back to living as a man.  Although he detransitioned, he does not regret the surgeries prior to that as many do.  He thinks that his mother may have taken DES during pregnancy, and that that made male hormones feel 'off' to him, and but they stopped being produced due to the surgery, so he wasn't conflicted anymore.  I don't completely understand this, but I was struck by your question about hormones.

I heard once but have never been able to find confirming evidence for this that trans 'feelings' are more common among IVF people.  

There is so much complexity to in utero gender/sex development, and it's very possible that some of the treatments that we use these days pretty often may effect it.

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