I love the name of your new blog…sounds like a great name for a movie someday. What a wonderful thing to do, I’m sure this will help others as they embark on a similar journey. You have always had such a wonderful way of capturing thoughts and ideas on paper….what a wonderful way to share your experience. Love you. Jan
This is an amazing blog….I will definitely follow you and your family on your journey. What a lucky boy Sam is to have such a family. Parents that have embraced who he is inside and an equally compassionate and kind sister, Josie (I love that kid!).
I think sharing your story is an incredible way to spread awareness and also a way to teach others to be open and accepting. Thank you!!
Great reading! Congratulations on the new site!
As a parent, it’s a dizzying array of boys wearing tutus and girls saying they are going to marry their female teachers. So what of that do we take in? Which of those experiences are kids being kids and which are kids telling us something deeply important. It is ultimately about acceptance on our part of who they are, not who we want them to be. Or wish them to be. I don’t want to return to the days when a lifetime was lost in shame and secrecy. Some of my ancestors lived those kinds of lives. We cannot go back. I believe it is a fundamental human right. As Dr. King said, it’s about the content of one’s character..so onward!!!!
It was a pleasure meeting you last weekend at the MTHC Health and Wellness Conference. I am on the MTHC board and was involved in planning the conference. We met after the keynote presentation by the Waterbury’s. In fact, I asked Marcus and David Waterbury to be our speakers for Sunday as I have been friends with them for several years and knew what an incredible story they have to share. I applaud your courage and fortitude for supporting your son. To see your family and several others at the conference being so cohesive and loving was truly an inspiration. It gave us who were involved in the conference such joy to see families like yours. If there is anything we at MTHC or I can do for you in support or just as allies to your families challenges I am only to happy to assist. Feel free to contact me, and I did include a website that a friend of mine started from a idea my daughter suggested about celebrating family in a different way. All the best to you and your family and especially to Sam. Wish him all the best for me.
Each time I read your new blog, I am filled with admiration for your caring love and for Sam’s fortitude in being able to handle the bullying taking place by his peers. Your family members are to be commended for their support and love for Sam. I’ve said it before and now again, I am extremely proud to be a member of this family.
Keep up the good work. We’re all behind you!
Hi there Leslie
I just wanted to say what an inspiration this blog is. We’ll probably never meet (I live in the UK). But I wish we could, because you and your family seem so nice, so balanced.
Please say hi to Sam who is a very brave young man.
I’m transgendered too and at nearly 50 I have a husband and dog and live a very normal and quite boring life thank God.
Tell Sam it will get easier fo him.
Love Jane xxx
Thank you so much for your kind words and your words of encouragement – it means a lot to our entire family! It is nice to know we are not alone!
My best to you and your family!
I wish there were a way to “like” some of your posts for my friends on FB to read who try to understand but don’t necessarily keep up on these blogs. I just love your blog!
I was thinking the same thing–wishing I could “like” the posts and comments on this blog. It gives me hope to read this when I feel like we are bombarded with so much bigotry and close-mindedness. There are more empathetic people out there than we realize.
We are a family starting the GV journey. our 8 yr old boy has shown many female tendencies since age 3 , has been in some kind of therapy since then, with the main goal for him to develop the social and self confidence tools to protect him from a non understanding community. So far he seems to be “happy”.His psychiatrist for the past year just comfirmed to us the GV condition. Over the past weekend we have been at a grieving stage…all feelings have crossed our minds, fear, anger, love, compassion, faith, hope, patience and so on. Can’t say denial because it became obvious there was something going on. We are getting ready to tell our families and live day by day as this unfolds…
Reading your blog has been comforting and provides hope that with our love a happy life is still within our reach.
My soon to be 16 year old daughter told us last year she was attracted to both boys and girls. We accepted this news and moved on. In the last 6 months she is now telling us she feels that she is male, and asked us to call her Jules, not Julia. This is so hard, my heart feels so squeezed. I look at her and see perfection, and I’m really struggling with accepting this. I don’t know any other parent who is in a similar situation. Perhaps you might have some words of advice to share…?
hi there Martha,
my 15 year old son, Cameron (yay for gender neutral names!), came out to me about his long distance boyfriend (he says he is bi) well over a year ago, and last spring, when I came out to him about being lesbian, he took a deep breath and said there was something he needed to tell me and said he wanted a sex change. At that time, he wanted all-or-nothing … he didn’t want to just dress as a girl, he wanted the surgery as soon as possible. I started him in therapy, and now he is making small changes, like wearing panties, growing his (dang it, HER – still getting used to it!) hair out …and seems to be happy with it. She wants to start hormone therapy this summer.
I think my younger son, Ian, grieved losing his brother for a while, but he is in therapy too (he also lost a best friend at the age of 12 to a rare disease). He seems to be taking it all pretty well now.
me? I support her 110%!!! I am proud that she is strong enough to start showing outwardly how she feels inside. I am happy that times have changed to allow her to do so.
my worries are these: (a) she will get teased, bullied, picked on, etc. I do not want ANY problems for her!! and (b) she didn’t show very many signs till her teens… there were signs, but not big blaring ones, you know? I worry that this is a “teen phase” of some sort. but my gut tells me that this is who she is.
so, Martha, it made me feel a LOT better to read your post. and I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. don’t feel squeezed – feel the love for your child, and embrace him. I know, it’s scary. but you aren’t alone!
I would like to express my gratitude for your blog. Our family has begun a transgender journey of our own with our 4 year old son. It often feels like a very lonely journey, and your blog is a beacon of comfort. We are not alone. Thank you!
I am a senior from Eden Prairie High School. Today you came into Ms. Deekens Sociology class and spoke to us about the very relevant topic of transgenders. First off, I want to applaud you for your presentation. I was blown away with how open, comfortable, and (at times) humorous while giving your speech. Second, I would also like to say that I knew close to nothing about this misunderstood community of people who are affected by this and the troubles they embark. I was definitely thrown for a loop when I first heard about it. I am happy to say that after hearing you talk, I feel more understanding and willing to accept transgenders. I am guilty of being someone who puts her head down when dealing with something I don’t understand (or sometimes dot even try to understand), I always felt that if I just didn’t do anything (I was thinking bullying) I would still be a good person. However, when you said that Sam feels so isolated and alone and that the smallest smile from a strange would brighten up his day it made me realize that doing nothing is almost as bad as doing something. I know the feeling about feeling like an outsider, it’s no walk through a candy shop that’s for sure. I am really going to try to be more assertive towards people in general because no one deserves the type of treatment Sam has received and still does receive. I am also amazed at how blessed Sam is to have such a loving and supporting family, and I want to say that your strength is something that should be modeled after from parents and families in general. From your talk, Sam seems like the typically high school kid who is embracing life by the horns and living it to the fullest. I pray that he and your family continue to be strong throughout the rest of your guys’ days and that Sam knows that when one door closes, God opens a window. (I’m sorry if you are not religious and I’m adding all these Christian things. Two reasons I add it is because its who I am and second because I want you to know that even though a majority of religious people would frown upon this I believe that God wants us as people to love everyone just like He loves us. Our judgment doesn’t mean squat, but our love of others is worth more than gold- just what I believe, some might disagree). Thanks again for coming into my classroom today! “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8 NIV)
I saw one of your articles when I was searching for ANYTHING that would help. I have a daughter who was a typical girl who loved pink and dresses etc; however once she hit puberty she changed and wanted to be male. Had I seen any indication when she were younger it would make sense, but I am struggling. I want her/him to be happy, but right now I am grieving the loss of one child and grappling with acceptance of another. Thank you for your transparency. It has helped.
God bless you!
Dee, we must be living parallel lives. I found out on May 22, 2013 that my 15 year old son, who has never shown any signs of feminine behavior but has suffered from social anxiety disorder and depression for several years would like to become a girl. I was completely blind sided! I went straight to the internet to see what I could find and wasn’t able to come up with much, this blog was a comfort to me. I’m scared and I worry for what’s ahead. Like you, I feel I will grieve the loss of one child but pray the arrival of another will be a blessing. My journey is just beginning.
So glad ive found a wonderful site like this. I have a 15yr old born a girl but living as a boy (and if im honest always has) and this pre-transition phase is unbarable. His biggest trauma is the use of pronouns. Nobody else has a problem with it but the school. We even changed schools and even this school wont call him ‘he’. It causes him so much pain which inturn breaks my heart. Hats off to you and your wonderful son. Keep going.
I am nurse in a Pediatric Endocrine clinic and we are starting a Transgender clinic. A couple of our physicians have received many referrals for trans kids and we are excited about continuing to support these kids. I will be submitting an abstract (hopefully) at an upcoming nursing conference about trans kids and the premise, based on some of the relationship I have had with these kids and parents, is a common theme of treating the kids as a whole person. My goal is to present information to fellow nurses about supporting our patients with whatever they need. So far, my work has involved teaching about the various medications that can be used, timing of when therapy is started, submitting for authorizations and writing appeals, to name a few. I would welcome any feedback from you or other parents about how nurses can be supportive.
Just wanted to say thanks to you for this fabulous blog and your willingness to share your family’s journey. I heard you speak at the 8/17 PFLAG meeting, and though my story at current does not involve any transexuality components, it was very enlightening to hear you speak, and I’ll be sure to refer others who may benefit to your site.
Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this feedback – it is much appreciated, Barbara! PFLAG is such an amazing organization – it was so good to be amongst such amazing parents and allies! My best to you!
Hey Leslie, I sent you an email a couple of weeks ago and I just wanted to confirm you got it. I’ve read your entire archive and it has been a great resource for me. Thank you and much love to your family.
Hi Leslie!I am so grateful to have found your blog while searching for resources.
I recently found out the child I’ve know for 26 years as Bethany, is really Benjamin. Looking back over the years there were signs, but I just assumed that she was a lesbian. For the past few years she has presented as male, wearing boys clothing and a binder. Again, I assumed lesbian. She was also angry and moody and very unhappy and unwilling to talk about what was wrong.
His announcement of being transgender came in an exchange about something on TV. At first he said he hated himself and wanted to die. After I assured him that his dad and I loved him no matter who he was, it was like the weight of the world was lifted from his shoulders.
We have started saving for top surgery and are researching the how to’s of legal name and gender changes.
I’m afraid for him because of what he may face, but very proud of how brave he is. I am sad that I have lost a daughter, but am hoping that this will bring Ben and his younger brother closer.
Thank you again for this blog, and for sharing your family’s journey with us.
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