The Shameful Ego of Parents with Terrified Trans Children

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This post contains a submitted question to Sounds like you need to be educated on transgender individuals but ok The original post has been anonymized, as well as any identifying references in my reply have been removed.

Hi, thank you for accepting me into the group. My Son has recently come out to myself and my ex wife as a transgender women and a couple of friends have recommended I come here for answers to my question. I would like to preface this with genuinely seeking to understand and have absolutely no bad intentions behind this post. If gender is biological, then you must acknowledge there are inherent biological differences between men and women. If gender is a social construct then you must acknowledge that transgenderism isn’t real since it wouldn’t be possible to be born in the wrong body. Thank you for reading, I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Submitted Question

 

Hey there [redacted].

Lemme first start off by saying I am really glad you’re here to learn, your daughter needs you to be better. I hope you’re here in the right spirit for her sake.

Unfortunately what you did here was to not ask a question but to present a statement. It’s a fun little rhetorical trick to say “if it is not this then it must be this.” But your premise was wrong to start with and the confidence with which you’ve projected it is what bothers me the most.

Gender is both biological AND a social construct.

But the biological part isn’t what you think. It’s somewhere in us, we know it’s true. We know that that there is something innate in us that links up with others and says “these are the people that I am like and I understand that at a visceral level.” In the same way that some part of us picks a dominant hand or sexual preferences or favorite feelings or clothes.

But everything built up on top of that? All the rules and ideas about how to be a woman or a man, that big blob of stuff is a social construct.

That I am a woman is somewhere inside of me. That part arrived long before I had advanced thoughts about gender politics. That part saw the other girls and knew I was like them and saw the boys and was PISSED that I was saddled with them.

The stuff I do that helps me project my femininity and my womanhood? That’s all learned. That’s all social construct. You can see microcosms of this in any fan community.

The same part of you learned and grew into YOUR masculinity that looks like Harley Davidson logos and profile pics of holding up a fish and made my father’s masculinity look like bulldozers and WVU football and hunting. And if my experience on Facebook has been any indication that’s a pretty common trope for men. Is it exclusive to them? Nah lots of women enjoy those things but that’s the form your masculinity has taken.

That part is the social construct, yet it’s real to you… Innit? And just like that’s real to you social constructs are real to all of us. Why?

Because when you’re a little girl and you want to be like the other girls you do what you see the other girls doing. And you get older and everyone’s tastes start getting more specific and then you learn this other stuff you like. And you keep trying stuff on and learning what you enjoy and over time you build YOUR womanhood.

You built your manhood the same way. That’s not biological. It is true and right. And that’s why your manhood looks different than the manhood of a man when Jesus walked the earth and the manhood of a man in China or the manhood of a man 4 states away from you. And yet if you were around each other I bet you would both feel that energy and understand “in some way I am like this other man.” And I don’t know about you but my father is a real manly man and he doesn’t go checking for penises to make sure other men have them. The part of you that just understands and intuitively connects with other men, that’s the biological root.

Your daughter has been through a lot, sir. She has endured I don’t even know how long being forced to pretend to be a man. It’s abusive and cruel. And she needs her dad to be there for her. She came out to you because she still wants you in her life. Trust me. I know. Coming out to your father is fucking terrifying. It’d be way easier to disappear and never speak to you again.

She is hoping against all hope that you are going to accept her and give her love. She wants her dad to love HER.

Every part of me hopes you’re here in that spirit because reading what you wrote, the way you wrote it, makes me want to cry for your daughter and to give her a hug and tell her it’s going to be ok and that she’s strong. It breaks my heart that you’re waiting for proof that this person who clearly loves you exists before you’re going to reciprocate.

I know this is hard for you to grok. I know you weren’t prepped for this as a parent. But I hope that you can summon the love even if you don’t understand. I hope you can manifest acceptance even when you need to learn. I hope your need to be “right” and authoritative doesn’t override your relationship with her.

Please stay here. Read the stories. Ask questions. Learn with us. Learn from us. Learn with cisgender people in this group who, just like you, had a child come out to them. Come visit us at this other group:

A group where we learn how to support our trans family and ourselves

We aren’t gonna answer all your questions in one thread. We ARE an amazing resource to answer your questions as they come to you. That other group I linked can help provide you support as you’re learning and working through your feelings.

I hope you take this moment to summon the parts of you that are like Jesus, who I believe embodied love and acceptance.

Also some language notes:

Transgenderism isn’t real because that’s not a word. That was made up by ignorant folks who don’t understand us, to other us. There’s just transgender and being transgender.

Transgender is an adjective. Your daughter is a woman. That she is transgender is extra information. Start there. She’s a woman. Y’all thought she was a guy! Oops. But that’s ok you know better now.

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