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How do I deal with my transgender son?

My son, age 19, is now dressing in womens clothing. He's felt he was a woman for years now. He does not live at home. As a matter of fact, he's lived in group homes and mental institutions since he was 12 years old; not because of the transgender/gay issues but because he is also bipolar and can be violent. I told him he cannot come home wearing womens clothing nor do I want to see him dressed as such. In the same breath, I tell him I support him in his choices. I guess I don't really, though. I am terrified he will be hurt or killed for his decisions, especially in the area where he lives. I love my son with all my heart. How do I deal with all this? And please don't give flip answers or "just love him" replies. I really need help in supporting him, no matter what my feelings are regarding all this. Thanks.

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robin1953

Asked by robin1953 at 4:37 PM on Feb. 9, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 5 (76 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • The worst hurt he can suffer is if you deny this part of him and refuse to accept him in your home how he is, that by far will hurt him more than any other possible issues. There are support groups out there for moms in your situation. Maybe one of them can help you, do a google search. You can learn more about it and maybe through learning you can accept him in your presence no matter what he is wearing Good luck momma
    sati769leigh

    Answer by sati769leigh at 4:40 PM on Feb. 9, 2010

  • have you googled a support group? I would start there. Maybe you could just use some time before you would feel comfortable seeing him in women's clothing. You may never feel comfortable, but maybe in time you could get used to the idea.
    If he lives in a area where you can bump into him, then you may need to get used to the idea that you may see him dressed as a woman.
    If he lives in a area where you think this could spell that much trouble for him, he may just need to move. I personally don't think I look anything like a man, but there are so many cross dressers in my area that I've been asked what my secret is for looking so feminine- I've been mistaken for a cross dresser many times. I take it as a compliment. Broad shoulders and size 11 feet can be deceiving! Hang in there, it's more harmful for someone to pretend they are something they are not than to be a cross dresser.
    Please call a hot line, you can get support. :)
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:53 PM on Feb. 9, 2010

  • I think the best thing you can do for him is truely support him and try to understand what he is going though. I would find a support group as well as talk to some specialists about transgender so that you can really understand fully what is going on. I would bet that a lot of his past mental problem and violent outbreaks had more to do with his being transgendered and feeling lost, misunderstood and confused. People who are transgender feel as if they are trapped inside the wrong body... they can't help who they are on the inside and not supporting and accepting them for who they really are makes them more alone and depressed often leading to suicide. SO you have to make a choice... you can push HER away and possibly loose a child or you can embrace HER, learn about her, love her and try to understand.
    AmiJanell

    Answer by AmiJanell at 4:59 PM on Feb. 9, 2010

  • http://www.genderadvocates.org/Tyra/TYRALinks.html
    check this site out for help, if you love your son and I can tell you do, please reach out to them, or maybe they can refer you to a local chapter where you are. Best of luck to you, your love and understanding is imperative for his well being.
    older

    Answer by older at 4:59 PM on Feb. 9, 2010

  • Look and see if there is a GLAD chapter near you.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:57 PM on Feb. 9, 2010

  • Wow, I can imagine how hard this must be. I think the above posts are good ones. Does he take his meds daily for bipolar or does he dislike them and skip it? Just wondering if it's part of a mania. You mention he's always felt like he should be a girl. Honestly, I would just try to love him and accept his differences. You may be able to achieve this through a support group and eventually maybe you'll be comfortable acknowledging to the world that he is transgender. It is tough for you but can you imagine how tough it must be for him? Brutal. The good stuff is that he's willing to be who he feels he is, he's obviously alive, he loves you, these are good things. I'm sure it's not what you really wanted but he's your kid so trying to bridge this gap will be best for both of you. Good luck.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:04 PM on Feb. 9, 2010

  • You have to come to grips about it and make a decision, do you support him or not? (that's a rhetorical question so you don't have to answer) I have no clue what I'd do if my son said he wanted to pursue a transgender lifestyle. You are right, people do target them for violence. I'm not as familiar with BiPolar and I am Borderline Personality Disorder, it's cousin. I know there are times those with BPD self injure and behave in dangerous ways that can cause pain bc they think they deserve pain. Maybe this is his way of expressing his inner pain and acting out to find that danger zone adrenalin and to accept the pain it could possible cause from being attacked. The adrenalin rush from the possibility of meeting up with someone who might harm him could be the key. Another thought (don't get mad) is he's dressing up as "you" and hoping they will harm him as you. Lots of ppl with mental illness hate their moms.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 12:36 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • Ladies, I so much appreciate all your comments, thoughts, and advice. Thank you, Robin
    robin1953

    Answer by robin1953 at 2:00 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • You need to support him. That is all I can really say. It is hard to be truthful to yourself about this. If you ever wanna talk just message me. I am transgender too.
    purpleducky

    Answer by purpleducky at 2:40 PM on Feb. 13, 2010

  • Honestly look for PFLAG support groups in your area. He needs you right now and the worst thing you can do is tell him he can't be himself when he is around you. I know it is hard Mama but you can do it. I like what purpleducky suggested, PM her and let her help you.
    pnwmom

    Answer by pnwmom at 1:50 AM on Feb. 17, 2010

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