My Transexxual Father
The funny thing about my situation is that I always thought that my family was perfect. I thought that my parents were happily married. I thought that we had all the money in the world. I thought I had the most perfect life. I was so naïve. At the age of 15 I was like all the other preppy cheerleaders in my grade. I was self-centered. I now often wonder how I managed to not notice that my dad and mom were keeping such a HUGE secret from me and my brother. I always knew my dad was more feminine than most dads. But that was just how my dad was. He was a unique guy and I guess I just didn't notice him gradually over a long period of time becoming more and more girly.
I found out in mid October. I have always had a really good and open relationship with my mother and though my father and I didn't have quite as good of a relationship I still always felt that we were pretty close. So when me and my father were having another casual dinner at my favorite food place, Which Wich, and he mentioned that he had been seeing a therapist I was at first baffled. I was wondering why I was just now hearing about this. At the time I still had no clue what his intentions were. during the car ride home I casually asked my dad why he had been seeing a therapist and his hesitation to tell me struck me as odd. We had always been so open with each other. He ended up telling me that I should ask him again when he had more time to explain it. For the time being I accepted that. I had no idea of the extent of what I would find out and how drastically it would change my life.
About a week later I still had not brought up the subject with my father again but I had definatly been thinking about it. I'm the kind of person that hates not knowing things. So I decided to ask my mom because I knew I could get her to tell me since we had and still have a really good and open realtionship. It was nighttime and my dad was out playing poker and my mother and I were laying in her bed watching television when I randomly blurted out, "Why is dad seeing a therapist?" She immediately got that deer caught in the headlights look on her face. At that moment I instantly knew that it was something big and the first thing that popped into my mind was divorce. Divorce was enough to send my heart racing and to get me praying that I was wrong. My mom instantly asked me how I knew that he had been seeing a therapist and I told her that my father had told me and she replied to that that I need to talk to him about it but of course I complained and told her to tell me. When she still refused to tell me I said "Are y'all getting divorced?" All she said to that was, "Julia, sometimes things happen." As she said that the realization hit. I honestly believe that my heart skipped a beat and I instantly burst into tears. Little did I know that that would be the least of my worries.
It wasn't until the next day that I realized that I still didn't know why my parents were getting divorced. So when I got home from school I confronted my mom again and flat out told her that I needed to know because it was all that I could think about. I knew that she understood so she confessed that my dad wants to become a woman and that he has been taking hormones. I admit that at first I laughed. You have to admit that it's a pretty funny situation until you yourself are in it. Then all the questions came to my mind. What's going to happen to our family? that was my biggest question. My mom told me that her and my father were getting divorced because of it and that my father hadn't even told her. That she had found his hormone pills in his bathroom drawer. At this point I wasn't sure how to approach this situation. How should I act around my dad? It hurt me that after 25 years of marriage my dad didn't even trust my mom enough to tell her how he was feeling.
Because I now knew my mom decided to tell my brother who was 17. She then told my dad that I knew and he decided to take me to his therapist's office to explain. When we got there he basically told me that it was not by choice. He told me that he was born that way and that it was kind of like split personality disorder. Part of him was Byron and part of him was Katherine. He told me that he had been feeling this way since January and he also told me that he was depressed as a man and that he had laid awake at night trying to think of ways to kill himself so that we wouldn't know that he killed himself. He said that taking the hormones has made him a lot happier. A part of me was glad that he was happy but the other part of me was wondering, Who is going to walk me down the isle at my wedding? and who am I going to introduce to my future boyfriends? Do I not have a dad anymore? He kept referring to Byron as a completely different person. And what hurt the worst was when I asked him about my wedding he casually replied that maybe my brother can walk me down the isle. Was I so unimportant that he didn't care about being in my wedding?
About a week later my dad moved out. At that point my mom had found out that my dad had lost $70,000 of their retirement funds. My dad also began to dress more feminine. Thats when the divorce began to get nasty. All my mom wanted was for my dad to support me and my brother but my dad began shopping for girl clothes A LOT and he even got his ears pierced, a tattoo, dyed his hair, and began having nail appointments every other week. I don't even get to get my nails done every other week! So basically my dad was blowing all of our money on himself while my mom struggled to pay the bills for our fairly large house. I try to hang out with my dad but I am having trouble adjusting. I have recently found out that my dad is having severe episodes of depression which makes me wonder what is really causing that depression because he had said in the beginning that becoming a woman was what he had needed to be happy and now that he is a woman there must have always been other problems causing his unhappiness. He is no longer anything like the man that raised me and the man that was aways there for me throughout my childhood. He now acts like a 12 year-old girl with a HORRIBLE fashion sense (which is super bad considering that I want to be a fashion editor). I am in no way obligated to see my father but I still feel in a way obligated to see him. I am scared that if I push him out of my life or stop hanging out with him he will begin to think suicidal thoughts again and I can't imagine not having him. But the reality of the situation is that I no longer have a father. I have some strange woman named Katherine that wants to hangout with me and completely creeps me out. Keep in mind that this has all happened over the course of 2 months and that it is still happening. I am still sompletely confused. I don't know if I want to stop seeing my father to protect myself but I also want to in a way protect my father and I know that deep down I am still hoping that he will snap out of it and realize that he is making a HUGE mistake. I'm confused. My dad is being completely immature throughout this whole thing and he is not taking responsibility for anything. I believe that I am grieving the loss of my father because I miss how he used to be. I don't know what to do. I don't know what to think. I am sooo lost. He now dresses completely as a woman and it is quite common that people mistake him for a woman. He is still not paying shild support and the divorce is REALLY nasty which is really hard on me. I havn't been able to concentrate on school, I used to be a straight A student and I am now failing 4 classes and barely passing the others. I am soo mad at my dad but I just don't have the guts to tell him how he is making me feel. If you have any advice please e-mail me at email@example.com
My father and I last summer before I knew but he already did.
PaulaPlaytex on August 25, 2018:
I would love to have a "Sex Change" and become a Woman...Since I am a Male to Female Crossdresser...I am at least half way there already.
JF on March 08, 2016:
Thank you so much for sharing these stories. This is one of the first websites I have found that deals with the mess left behind. Next week I will be telling my 13 year old son about what his father has done. We were married for 15 years and dealt with all kinds of emotional issues, but I found out in September 2015 that he was changing to a woman. 6 months of hormones while he lived in our house and kept telling me our marriage fell apart and it was all my fault - because I didn't give him what he wanted. I discovered he was on hormones he didn't tell me, never in 20 years of knowing him had he ever mentioned that he wanted to be a woman. The day I found out, I threw him out. Told my son we were getting divorced and have never spoken to that man again - nor will I. People want to convince you that you should accept someone's choices. This has nothing to do with my husband wanting to be a woman. This has to do with 20 years of lying to me every single day. If he could treat someone he is supposed to love like that, then I don't want anything to do with a horrible human being like that. And please for all of you trying to justify how terrible his life was - get a grip. We all make choices - and one of those choices should have been not to get married, not to have a child and not to lie to someone every single day. Frankly I am not even sure to this day I believe it. What I believe is that he was lazy and didn't want to function like an adult - and therefore it was easier to call it mental issues. Even though every therapist told him there was nothing wrong with him that getting a job wouldn't fix. I think what happens is they finally find the right therapist who puts this crap notion in their head and they follow along blindly because it is easier then having to deal with reality. And again don't tell me how tough they have it. Our Canadian medical system is lined up to support this transition - there are doctors, therapists, support groups - it's ridiculous. Anyway thank you for allowing me to vent and good luck to you all! Stay strong and don't allow the media to tell you it was okay to be treated like this.
Una-Jane on December 29, 2015:
Today, 29th December 2015, a new law has come into force in the UK, designed to criminalise "controlling and coercive" behaviour in relationships. It is at section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/9/section...
This should be very good news for wives who are victims of transitioning transgender husbands. In the era of video and voice recording on mobile phones it is much easier than it used to be to record evidence of behaviour, and the offence is described in wide terms:
"76Controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship
(1)A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a)A repeatedly or continuously engages in behaviour towards another person (B) that is controlling or coercive,
(b)at the time of the behaviour, A and B are personally connected,
(c)the behaviour has a serious effect on B, and
(d)A knows or ought to know that the behaviour will have a serious effect on B.
(4)A’s behaviour has a “serious effect” on B if—
(a)it causes B to fear, on at least two occasions, that violence will be used against B, or
(b)it causes B serious alarm or distress which has a substantial adverse effect on B’s usual day-to-day activities.
(5)For the purposes of subsection (1)(d) A “ought to know” that which a reasonable person in possession of the same information would know.
(11)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—
(a)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or a fine, or both;
(b)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or a fine, or both."
The behaviour has to be repeated, but each instance does not need to be especially serious in and of itself. The repeated behaviour, including threats, humiliation and intimidation (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35192256), becomes serious because of the fear and control which it actually engenders in the victim. We might also call it psychopathic behaviour by the offender.
Americans have a useful term for behaviour which aims to undermine the victim's sanity: "gaslighting" (US National Domestic Violence Hotline: http://www.thehotline.org/2014/05/what-is-gaslight...
The behaviour includes actually controlling or being coercive about the victim's finances.
The Independent and the Guardian also have useful articles today: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/29/dom...
The real test will be in the next few years as cases are taken up by the Crown Prosecution Service and the scope of the law is tested in court. The CPS say that they have trained their staff and police, and produced guidelines for them.
Polly Neate, the Chief Executive of UK national domestic violence charity Women's Aid explained what constitutes coercive control and where the line falls in any relationship (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/coercive-con...
"....when a victim is frightened of their partner and treads on eggshells out of fear of their reaction, that's a problem".
I certainly know that feeling. I will be using my older posts on this hub and first-hand documentary evidence to try to prosecute my ex-husband. I think that his terrifying repeated attempts to control me financially might be the place to start.
Una-Jane on October 26, 2015:
On 23rd October 2015, which is three days ago, Dr Germaine Greer, the author of the seminal feminist book "The Female Eunuch", was interviewed for Newsnight on BBC2. The link is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06jtj2p/news... The interview by Kirsty Wark starts at 16.02.
Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a glimmer of common sense beginning to glow into the impenetrable debate on one peculiar form of insanity.
Dr Greer is brilliant and laugh-out-loud funny. I watched it and cherish it. It will really cheer us all up!
Una-Jane on April 25, 2015:
You are going through a second "bereavement". Not only did your mother not know who her husband really was, but of course you had no idea who your "father" really was. The worst part is realizing that you were deceived by the exterior appearance of this "dad". But he was mad all his life. And no one can really love those who are mad.
S/he is now visibly insane, detached from reality, and not making any pretence of understanding the affect of his/her actions on those whom s/he should care about. S/he does not care.
The only way to protect yourself, and to protect your brother is for both of you to accept this horrific truth and to leave him/her to his lonely, deluded, utterly pointless life. You both will heal in time. S/he will not.
There is no way to avoid the conclusion that God created some appalling misfits.
Just the process of writing to this hub, and explaining what happened to you is part of the process of healing. I would hug you if I were near you, but I am in London, in England.
We are the survivors. We will survive, with dignity and courage.
With my deepest condolences
S on April 24, 2015:
So much of what you posted could perfectly describe the person I once called my Dad, particularly when you mention how he treated you growing up, you could be describing my brother's experience growing up.
For me, as bad a the 'transition' is, the worst part is the lies and half-truths s/he's been feeding us.
my very traditional, devout catholic mother tragically and very suddenly died shortly before her 60th birthday. I was only i n my 20s and it hit me hard, she was the glue of our family and basically gave everything to raising us. She was always there for us and always put us first. About a year after she died, dad started acting progressively weirder and weirder. We thought it might be grief or something. Except that he never seemed all that upset about losing his wife of over 30 years.
Turns out his weird behavior was because he'd been taking female hormones that he'd ordered off the internet. Eventually he told us he was cross dressing but 'didn't know how far he would take it' I had no idea at the time what that meant. My poor mother would be turning in her grave. On one hand, I am glad she was not around to see all this, but on the other hand i feel so sad for her, he lied to her her whole life, she never had the chance to know what was going on and decide if she wanted to leave him and enjoy her own life. I should mention that they did not really have the happiest of marriages, but being devoutly catholic, i think my mum though that if he wasn't hitting her or cheating on her then she should stay (she said as much to me on occasion).
fast forward a couple of years and dad now goes by a totally different name and continues to act in an incredibly selfish and hurtful way. She is like an out of control teenage who just doesn't understand how what she says and does is incredibly hurts those around her. She has said horrible and inappropriate things to me about my mother and doesn't understand why I'm upset.
It feels like I'm an orphan and the person who killed my dad is strutting around demanding that i love and accept her. It makes me sick.
Una-Jane on March 27, 2015:
You have your own life, thank God. You have recognised that your father is insane, deluded, whatever word you want to use. He is detached from reality.
I am so, so sorry that it hurts so much.....I am particularly sorry that you love your mother and you are so hurt because she cannot bring herself to recognise the same truth as you have accepted. You are stronger than she is. Most women are quite strong, but perhaps she was so in love with him that she cannot recognise even now that she never, ever really knew him. He was mad years ago when she met him but the insanity was invisible. Now he is visibly mad.
Protect your own family, your daughter and anyone who understands, even partly, that your father's behaviour is the result of his anger against himself, against the world, against reality, not actually against you. He doesn't understand affection. He only understands how to control... He is a psychopath but only with his family. To other people he is ridiculous, absurd, pitiable.
I was given advice by the Medical Director for Mental Health Services for North West London (where I live). She is a physician and consultant psychiatrist in the UK. She said: "Distance yourself and your family from him". It was good advice. He left us 9 years ago and things have got better since we challenged every crazy thing he said or did. We have only seen him twice, very briefly, in 9 years and only because of the divorce. By ignoring his childish, immature pleas you will be able to calm down, and you will show others that it is completely unacceptable to bully, threaten and intimidate any member of your family.
You have the strength to calm your own anger - you have described it very well! You can just walk away. And others will follow your example, an example of strength.
With all my sympathy and best wishes for the future,
Jason on March 26, 2015:
I just read your whole story and my heart goes out to you. I am going through the same exact thing but I'm 41. My Dad never even had the courage to tell me or my sister about his change. My mom was too embarrassed to tell us that he had been on Hormones for 5 years when I found out. I honestly had no idea it was even happening. Perhaps I was ignorant or wrapped up in my own life to notice. One day I went to the movies with him where he works and a woman coworker ran up to him and gave him something and said something quietly to him and walked away. Of course the first thing I thought was He's cheating on my mom. I flipped out and questioned him about the woman and the item she had givin him. He didn't say anything until we got in the car to head home. I was driving and he turned to me and said that he was changing and told me I knew. I still had no idea what he was saying. He finally came out and said it " He wanted to be a woman, it's who he's supposed to be." I wanted to throw him out of the car right then and there. I drove him home let him get out of the car and never said a word to him. I drove away. I called my sister and told her what happened and she couldn't believe it but it was in fact true. This was happening to our family and there was no denying it. He doesn't want to leave my mom he says and it has nothing to do with sexual preference. He still loves my mom and wants to be with her. He's made her feel bad for him so she stays. For this I will never forgive him. As a boy he treated me badly. Constantly angry with me and even scared me with his temper that seemed to always be directed towards me. I believe with all my heart that he hated me for being a normal boy. It all made sense to me know. I stopped seeing him all together this year. I hate looking at him and I hate that my mom worked her whole life looking forward to retiring with her husband and now has nothing to look forward to but life with a selfish son of a bitch. I still see my mom as much as I can but it's limited . The last time I saw my dad I threatened him. I did so because my 20 year old daughter came home crying because her grandfather went to an old workplace of hers where she still had friends and they told her that he had come in dressed like a woman and insisted that they knew him because his grand daughter had worked there. Its like he couldn't help himself but to spread the word. He literally told his coworkers but not his family. The only reason I found out was because of a coworker blew it for him. Is it wrong that I can't stand the thought of him. Is it wrong that I let it get to me this badly. I hoped he would come back to normal but he won't. He is nothing like I remembered. He's obviously not who he's supposed to be. Taking hormones has altered him. He may have felt feminine but the pills made him silly. He literally wears cheap plastic bracelets and girls flip flops. I haven't seen him out dressed like a woman but I can only imagine the horror show. A 66 year old side show freak running around the town I grew up in where everyone knows us. I told my mom she was nuts for staying and she agreed but still does. He's controlled her his whole life and telling her he couldn't/wouldn't be able to live without her. I hate him for that. It's always been about him and his mood swings or depression and anger. Now he's happy. Now....he's happy. I can't believe that now, he's happy. My family is falling apart and he's excited to wear plastic jewelry and girls earrings. Is it wrong that i wish he would disappear? He scared me as a child and treated me differently than my older sister. She remembers how mean he was to me. My sixteenth birthday he locked himself in the basement living room for two days. He came out after we were all in bed. My mom bought me a video game to make it better. It didn't work. Anytime I question him about the way he treated me he denies it completely and tells me I'm wrong. Is it possible that he doesn't even remember slapping me. Punching me when I spent the night at a friends house when I knew he didn't allow it but my friends parents put him on the spot the night before..He even kicked me once for the same thing. I remember it like it was yesterday. The look on his face. The fear I felt when he was angry at me yet again. The fact that he denies it drives me crazy. I'm sorry to ramble and I hate that I do. The pain I feel when I think of my mom alone with this thing kills me, and there's nothing I can do to change it. I know someday I will regret blocking him out. When he dies and the last thing I said to him is that I would beat him for putting us through all of this. I will probably hate myself. Again it will be about him. It was always about him....and it always will be
Una-Jane on February 13, 2015:
Dear Mom of 3 boys in Northern Ontario,
You have a solid grasp of your own identity and you have done the best - the only! - job which an honest mom can do: you are helping your children to grow in the sane world which the 99.999% of us who are not transsexuals live in!
I now have a job too! Financial independence for us mothers is the only possible way to put the past behind us.
Well done! Keep going! Your last sentence is SO true!
With very best wishes and a hug for each of you,
Mom of 3 boys on February 02, 2015:
I find it incredibly frustrating that when I google "children with transwomen for fathers" there is a plethora of sites dedicated to transwomen becoming parents and transwomen as fathers. Thank goodness for sites like this one, there are not enough.
Our story, the abbreviated version, is that my ex husband left the house one day in 2012 and never returned. He left me a voicemail to let me know he was transitioning - I didn't know what that meant. He thought he would return as a transwoman and resume living with me and our 3 sons, at that time 10,12 and 14. That never happened. What he did was cruel, absolutely viscerously cruel. The hardest thing I've ever done in my life was to tell my 3 sons that their father was never coming home, that their father had paid cash to have surgery to make himseld appear as a woman - breast implants, brow lift and cheek implants were his first surgery. We cried, they asked me to give them an hour and have Dad call them.
I have searched for information that would help my boys overcome the stigma of having your Dad transition to a female in a small Northern Ontario city. Several of you have mentioned the psychotherapist Stephen Gunther in Australia, I contacted him and the most important thing I got from him was "If you're OK, the boys will be OK". I have worked very hard at being OK, continuing to run a family business in his absence and being the sole caretaker of 3 sometimes angry adolescent boys.
I hope not all transwomen are like her as she is a malignant narcissist who is incapable of having a healthy relationship with anyone. Our family lived through his opiate addiction and withdrawal, severe clinical depression and endless illness. Our home was much more peaceful after he left, we no longer went around on pins and needles trying to make an unhappy person happy. We continue to move through this journey as a tight knit mostly happy family who can joke around with the circumstance we find ourselves in. My main goal in the short term was to keep the boys lives relatively the same, they continue to play competitive hockey, the hockey families are our extended family - my husband use to help coach the boys so they all know us and what we've been through. There are some really great men in our community who have been kinder and more understanding of my sons than their father could ever hope to be. I have wonderful friends and family that have supported the decisions I have made as a mother to my 3 boys, helped when help was needed and helped me when I didn't even know how much help I needed.
The boys all deal with the loss of the father they knew in different ways, but all of them have chosen to have limited access to her. They don't like this new person, they are uncomfortable, they have difficulty having her in their private life and are certainly not comfortable sharing their public time with her.
I have, from the onset, encouraged the boys to continue to be the best people they can be and that this is not about them it is about her.
She continued to spend savings on facial surgeries, a nose job was next, followed by lip surgery. When I freaked that she had used family savings to pay for the surgery, asking how she could possibly do that with money that was for the boys' education she flippantly said " they can get loans like anyone else!"
I want everyone who's life is affected by the choices the transwomen makes to know that they do not have to be supportive of this new life, they can feel hurt, they can feel betrayed, they don't have to make allowances for the craziness, or feel uncomfortable if they do not want to, time may heal all wounds but everyone is on their own timeline.
It seems many transwomen are narcissists, so taken with their euphoria, so happy to have done this thing they have been thinking of for a long time, so confused when everyone is not as euphoric with the situation as they are, and that's OK, the transwoman has to be patient while everyone else catches up - if they ever do. I hope my boys will post on this site, they need to know there are others like them and that their experiences could help others through their journey.
I hope everyone is OK, it is a cruel set of circumstances but what doesn't kill us will make us stronger.
TF73 on November 28, 2014:
When my brother in law (age 29) told us that all of his life, he felt wrong, that he was truly a woman on the inside and that he would be transitioning to become a woman, He also told us that the brother we knew and loved was dead and would never be again. We had no clue and he showed no evidence of his desired womanhood until that day.That was last year, and since then, He has begun his hormone therapy and started femming up, just enough for us to notice yet was not comfortable enough to come completely out as a woman. This threw our family into a confusing spiral of craziness for a while. It is very confusing to have someone you have known since birth tell you that the person you knew and loved was a fake. Because of the society we live in, where we are forced to outwardly accept someone elses choices, be it from a mental illness or a conscious decision, it is difficult for those of us who felt like we were lied to for 30 years to accept this new person. My husband (his/her brother) simply cannot accept this new person and wants NOTHING to do with him/her. A few months ago, we were then informed that this brother, is now living with another TG male becoming a female and they are blissfully happy living as lesbians..WHAT?? I can deal with this situation a lot easier than my husband, kids and other sis in law can, because I am not as deeply affected since i realize this is a mental illness, and choose to see it as so. But unless it is YOUR family, you really cant judge others reactions and emotions as they go through this process of something so horrific to their perceived realities. If our brother is now dead, and becomes a high school girl again, why do we have to sit back and watch that train wreck heading for the cliff? My husband said it would be easier for him to deal with this if his brother was gay, but this mess is CRAZY. I will be doing research to see how I can support my husband and kids through this process, as I will not force them to accept something like this and I am very glad to have happened upon this blog.
me on November 27, 2014:
Show some compassion. The situation is difficult for everyone involved. I do not feel it is right to demonize someone for their gender identity. Don't we all just want to be seen and accepted for who we really are.? Love and humanity transcend gender.
Una-Jane on November 22, 2014:
I can't tell you how sorry I feel for you. Are you in your teens with a transsexual older brother? Or maybe he is younger than you? Do your parents know? If not, they do need to know first.
Your brother has been suicidal in the past. So I assume that he has already had a psychiatric assessment which perhaps did not identify the cause of his deep "anxiety" - or more accurately, torment. Or did it? My husband was increasingly deeply disturbed in his behaviour to his immediate family (especially me), but did not tell anyone of his feelings for 70 years (so he had no psychiatric history!) I would not surprised if your brother has told no one.
You don't say whether you are in the UK or the US. In the UK there is variable NHS psychiatric or psychotherapy care depending on where you live. Some of it is excellent, allowing the youngster to grow in emotional development without expectations or pressure. Presumably in previous suicidal episodes he has had "psychiatric first aid" to help him to not panic about his feelings? I hope so. You mention outrage and suicide in the same episode: the indignation sounds like a genuine dilemma about his identity. Obviously if he is suicidal he is deeply troubled and you need to distance yourself in order not to get hurt. I know that this seems hard, but being too close to him will make you less, not more, able to help.
You or your parents will need to explain, with an appropriate short or longer explanation, to each of your relatives why your brother is feeling suicidal. They deserve some kind of explanation. They will grow with the problem and come to terms with it eventually, each in their own way. Despite the fashionable and completely ignorant interest in transsexuals Gender Dysphoria is a mental disorder and is recognised as such in the American "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM) or the World Health Organisation's "International Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders". Both are available on-line.
Try to live your own life, Justin. Try to merely observe your brother, but do not hold any particular expectations. Support other family members. I am afraid that your love for him will be reduced by his mental problems, which are extremely wearing to normal people. I think that it is unlikely, but not totally impossible, that he will "become normal" again. Maybe you should write to Mr Heyer?
With very best wishes
Justin on November 21, 2014:
Hi everyone, this article has really helped me back up the way I natuarally felt since I became aware of my brother's "secret". I am really sorry to hear how such a surprise can have such a negative effect. I don't know what to say to my brother except there must be something we can do to bring him back to being normal again. At this point I had not heard of anyone being able to do so and bigger questions are coming to mind. For example: how should my nieces and nephews be told of their uncles new identity? Is their a risk factor in doing so? My little sister is 11 and my oldest nephew is 6, should we keep this a secret from them until they're older? How will this make my brother feel? Will he be outraged and become suicidal again? I'm so confused. I hope someone can help.
LilMichelle on August 22, 2014:
My name is Michelle I came across your article on hubpages.com and wanted
to know if you might be interested in sharing your story. I work for a talk
show in NYC - called The Bill Cunningham Show and we are working on new
topics for show ideas for season 5 and would like to do a show based on
children of transgender parents.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in please let me know.
Ali Marton on July 29, 2014:
I am a bit disappointed in reading everyone's feelings. Just like with all other marriages, there are good people and there are bad people. You can revel in all of the statistics that you believe to be true. You can bash people for their feelings. Transgendered people are no different or weaker than anyone else out there.
In fact, in many ways there are a very large number that have remained with their spouses through everything and haven't given into the need because they love their wives and family so much. But what sucks, is that there is a part of a very happy person that is being missed in these people. They go their whole life conforming to what you people think they should be, your father walking them down the aisle, a financial supporter for your kids.
I am one of those people who was hurt for not being selfish. I am transgender and have chosen to not live as a female because people like you exist. I was married for 10 years, while attempting to deal with it and remain a man, my wife left me because of her selfishness. It was difficult every day for me to see her come home and be depressed, watching TV and gaining an unfortunate amount of weight prior to the divorce. Our sex life became a non-existent. She kept asking me what my issues were, not realizing the whole time that she was the one being selfish.
All I wanted her to do, was to dress up once in a while, because it helped reduce my urge to crossdress or want to be a woman. She thought I was selfish because I lived my whole life trying to be someone I wasn't, to fit into society. I would do anything for her, lose weight, earn as much money as she needed, forgo all of my feelings of needing to be a woman, so that she would be happy. Sex life was great, she still admits to that today. The problem, she could always sense that part of me was female. She didn't know it while I was married, but after we divorced, I told her about my feelings. Everything made sense, except she still would have been unable to live with me. All of this because I attempted to make her happy and fight the need to be female. So I do ask, who is weaker here? It wasn't me, I fought harder than her through all of this to remain who I am physically. I still do to this day. I and can almost guarantee there are far more of people like me out there than people that have decided to transition.
Perhaps these people are being a bit selfish, but if you are angry at them for making a decision, you are just as selfish. What really sucks with your fathers/husbands, is that they couldn't get the support early on in their lives to make the changes due to bigots and selfish parents to prevent what happened to you.
I am sorry that a father chooses not to support their children, that is terrible and they are fiscally responsible for them by law. That is why we have laws in place. I am happy that Una got retribution in that sense. I hope that you get a chance to meet someone that making this change in their life has helped everyone around them as well. All I see on this forum, is people being just as selfish as the person making the decision. My wife cheated on me one week after we had sex and was probably cheating on me during our marriage as two of her friends explained.
Una-Jane on January 17, 2014:
Today is the 17th January 2014.
I started divorce proceedings in May 2010 and I finally signed the divorce papers yesterday, 16th January 2014. We did not go to a Third contested Hearing, because I faced down my husband who wanted to walk away and give me and his two children (19 and 17) absolutely nothing. I insisted, on pain of subjecting him to three days in Court costing each of us £30,000 ($45,000) in legal fees, that he has to (1) continue supporting his family with modest maintenance payments as he has done in the past until the children finish University, and (2) he has to repay our son's student debts from his estate on his death. We now have these terms in the divorce settlement. My ex-husband is 77 years old - I now realize that he, aged 56, married me to try to extract money from me to fund a new life "as a transsexual woman", but he ended up paying much, much more than he had bargained for to support his new family! I feel no guilt for this fact: (a) I couldn't work because of his extraordinary behaviour towards me and his children whom he treated as siblings, and (b) the torture and taunting to which he has subjected me for the last 11 years have left me very unsympathetic to his "suffering". He (now legally "Elizabeth" - my mother's name!) is an androgynous individual: cold, controlling, narcissistic and utterly self-centered. He was and is socially awkward and will always be so. Nothing can make these men fully at ease with themselves.
Taking my husband to the wire and insisting on proper financial support was completely contrary to the advice given to me by no less than three divorce lawyers. The lawyers did not understand that transsexuals are basically immature, i.e. children with a particularly self-centered, insecure, disintegrating identity. With firm handling transsexual men can be made to continue supporting their families, at least for a while. I kept on saying to my lawyer: "You do not negotiate with the insane. We will only finally get what we want by insisting on my reasonable demands. And also distraction works, as it does with children...."
So I say to the wives of transsexuals: "Fight, fight, fight these selfish men (they are weak men)!"
I did not get nearly enough to prevent my children falling into debt because of the high cost of University tuition fees in the UK (£9000 pa and living costs on top of that). But that is a problem with the legal basis of divorce calculations in the UK, and is the same for all divorces. Children seem to be ignored - which is totally wrong in the view of many people. I haven't worked for 18 years because my husband's financial position did not lead me to think that I needed to, until the appalling day when he just walked out on us saying: "It's true! I'm a transsexual", and taking all of our joint savings! So now I want to teach science in schools. The turnover of teachers in the UK is 40% in 5 years, so there is a constant need to train new teachers and I have the right qualifications. I hope I'll get there (I am now 58 years old).
Some Gender Dysphoria (correct term for transsexuality) sufferers do have the insight and honesty to regret what they have done and the pain and suffering which they have inflicted on their families. But it is estimated that the "regreters" are only about 10-20% of the total. The rest are subject to continuing physical and mental ill-health, including depression. The suicide rate among transsexuals is much higher than in a comparable normal population. Please see the website of Walt Heyer at www.sexchangeregrets.com. He is a transsexual who lived as a woman for 8 years, and then decided that this wasn't right for him and has been living as a man again, increasingly happily, for the last 15 years. He believes that hormones and surgery do not relieve the more deep-seated problems of these deeply troubled individuals, and that psychiatrists and physicians are basically giving in to their patients' demands, when they should be searching for other psychological, personality problems, and exercising their professional judgement firmly against their patients' clamour for drugs and skin-deep change.
Since the legal recognition of Gender Dysphoria in the UK under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (with one subsequent amendment in the Marriage (Same Sex) Act 2012), there is an unrecognised alliance of psychiatric patients (GD sufferers) and their psychiatrists. These professionally weak psychiatrists seek to advance their careers in a "new" "gender-bender" field. It's "sexy" - pardon the intentional pun! This field has blossomed into a "transsexuality industry", which now has a spurious authority (e.g. the GIRES website: gires.org.uk). Fortunately medicine (including psychiatry) is moving more and more towards "clinically proven outcomes" i.e. treatment validated by proper scientific experiments, not doctors' "hunches". As I mentioned above suicide is very high among GD sufferers (up to 40%), which supports the notion that they are not "cured" at all.
Don't feel sorry for these absurd creatures. Fight these weak men for the support which your children deserve!
Una-Jane on April 15, 2013:
I forgot to mention that the Financial Dispute Resolution will be on 17th May, which is not that far away. I will be ready for it.
Una-Jane on April 15, 2013:
It has been a long time since I posted anything about the progress of my divorce from my transsexual husband. I would like to update you.
This is a contested divorce: despite two years of attempts to negotiate my husband did not offer any proposal which answered the financial needs of our children and myself for our continued maintainance. He was trying to "shake us off" with nothing. There was no option but to fight in court.
On 15th January I went to a "first appointment" (court appearance) at the local divorce court. The purpose of the first appointment is to make a list of questions for the "other side" to answer. Obviously these are almost exclusively about financial matters. If there is disagreement about whether a particular question should be included, then this is referred to the judge. For about two hours I conferred with my legal advisors, with my barrister shuttling back and forth between our little meeting room and the room of the "other side". Then we were shown into the judge's chamber, which was officially the "court".
My heart sank when I learned that my husband was there, but I steeled myself. He came striding into the room, in a full skirt, with an angry look on his face. He tried for the entire duration of the hearing to attract my attention in order to taunt me, but I focussed instead on the judge, and resolutely refused to meet his gaze.
At the end of the hour's meeting, we came away with a list of 24 questions that s/he had to answer and s/he only wanted answers to 6 questions of me. This reflects the fact that I submitted truthful and extensive supporting documents with my divorce papers.
The date for submitting answers was set for 12th February. Of course I replied and was ready to submit my answers on that date. On 2nd April, seven weeks late, my husband finally sent back 5 pages of brief answers. It was like looking into a thick fog: they revealed nothing that we were looking for, but they did reveal some unexpected useful new information. It is now clear that he has no intention of answering any questions about his major items of expenditure nor the source of important parts of his income! He has more bank accounts than he initially revealed. And the answer to another question (which was added almost as an afterthought by my solicitor!) shows that he has defrauded HMRC, the UK tax collector, about the capital gains on a property deal which he made in 2002. And he has not accounted at all for the money which he received in this deal: I am certain that he has not spent it and it is therefore clear that it is hidden away in a separate fund which he has not declared.
My initial reservations about going down the contested route are gradually dissolving: my husband has revealed more and more instances of fraud as the process has gone on. It is now clear that s/he has defrauded (1) the Department for Work and Pensions of £15,000, (2) HMRC about capital gains tax (a substantial amount) and about income tax due on his professional business over many years (3) a local district council about the council tax (property tax) paid on the house s/he lives in and (4) the Valuation Office about the value of this house which represents a substantial part of OUR joint savings from the marriage.
For years my husband frightened me, but I wanted him to account properly for his actions in the divorce. And he has underestimated me: I kept complete accounts of my own expenditure and I do remember his transactions during the marriage. I remember the tales which he told me then. Now s/he is trying to rewrite history in his answers to our questions!! Now I have the evidence which shows that he is lying.
The second appointment is the so-called "Financial Dispute Resolution". But it is only an advisory meeting, and the judge can only advise a settlement, based on the needs of the parties. If my husband refuses to face the fact that, as a single person over 75 years of age, his housing needs do not include a 4-bedroom house with a large garden for which he has insufficient income, then we will have to go to a full, third and final hearing, where I will most certainly make use of every piece of evidence of fraud of both a financial and a psychiatric nature. And the costs of the entire divorce will be born by the losing party....
I have done a huge amount of the investigative work myself. This is how I have saved a lot of legal expenses. But I do have substantial debts now to the solicitor.
I live for the day when this nightmare will be over and the financial mess and the extreme worry will be over. The divorce will certainly be over by Christmas, and perhaps much sooner if my husband's solicitor has any influence on her client. But whatever happens we are on a path to a "solution" and we will finally get there.
Iseult on February 24, 2013:
your marriage sounds like a nightmare. It's not the first time I've come across women saying their husband behaved in this manner, as a bully.
Interesting that you mention he was hoarding money, because I'm starting to suspect that this is quite common. The book by James Barrett that you cite above says that many transsexuals who come to the London clinic have a history of stealing, often women's clothes. There is a woman here on Hub Pages from the States who had divorced her transsexual ex-husband; his addiction to buying women's clothing was sucking up family money, and they were denied health insurance because of his behaviour.
You may be right that the law is fairly realistic and favourable regarding needs, but one of the reasons I raised a concern is that in the last decade or so there have been a few reports of transsexuals being granted either equal/shared parenting rights or child custody.
The fact that increasing numbers of men are going round saying they are 'transgender' but haven't had the genital surgery is partly why I say this, and why 'interim gender recognition' and secretive collusion by the medical profession is so dangerous; if you follow international news stories on these issues, the problem of pre-op male transgenders entering women's toilets and changing rooms (in the US and Canada especially) has become a serious problem, an obvious incentive for sex offenders of various kinds.
But back to marriage and divorce law. I would never wish to be misread as suggesting that the law should try to get women to stay with these men just in order to save the marriage's appearance of normality. I was trying to get at the fact that divorce law is too fuzzy. The fact that the medics could get away with administering hormones to your husband, to make him impotent, essentially, is the direct result of how marriage is treated in the Gender Recognition Act and the Regulation I cited. Thus they are guilty morally of aiding and abetting marriage breakdown. If this were a young couple, they would be guilty of deliberately making a man infertile and preventing his wife from having children. Some men who go through with surgery later report that they were rushed through when their underlying problem was depression, triggering a mid-life crisis. Charles Kane, who became Samantha Kane, then changed back, is a famous case. There was also a case reported in the tablois last autumn in the UK. An elderly man wanted to change back and reconcile with his relatives, but the NHS wouldn't pay for him to have reverse surgery. I found this very sad. I suspect lack of funding for reverse surgery is why we aren't hearing more from regretters.
The NHS is currently conducting an epidemiological study of the prevalence of Gender Identity Disorder among children and adolescents in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. This may be the first such study in the world, if the main researchers in the world are right in their assessment of current knowledge.
What is already known from countries where the statistical studies have been conducted for the total population of children and adolescents who come to GID clinics (Canada, but also the Netherlands), is that these people have lots of different problems from conception and childhood onwards related to poor mothering and poor fathering, and the mother often wanting a child of the opposite sex, or not having grieved a previous girl child who died young through miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth. Very early intervention can probably prevent a child from becoming a teenage or adult transsexual, but brain plasticity is more difficult to 'work' after a certain age, and a lot of research still needs to be done. One thing that is talked about in scientific journals, but not reported in the press, is that a higher than average proportion of transsexuals are on the autistic spectrum. They have in common not a 'female brain', but a brain that has not always become sufficiently male or female in very eary childhood. i.e. they're too androgynous.
The tricky thing here is that some people are willing to come forward for help, others not. The clinicians do say that truly helping children and adolescents with GID only really works when they manage to get the parents positively involved. In this respect, I find it interesting that nobody on here mentions grandparents, who likely have some relationship to the issues.
Una-Jane on February 15, 2013:
You are right that the current law on changing sex offers little hope to the wife (it is usually wife) of "saving" her husband. The proposals for transsexuals in the Marriage (Same Sex) bill will not help her either. My experience is that I lived for 14 years with a "man" who progressively teased and then taunted and vilified me with no explanation until the tension was impossible, conversation was impossible and I just kept my distance with the children. I only learned after he had left us that this was the "transition" process (what a euphemism for totally selfish, mean and repellent behaviour!) He was hoarding money - and starving us of it - until he had what he wanted to "retire" and then he just left us to start on his path to "change sex"! Of course there are exceptions - some transsexuals do behave well towards their wives but most do not, as we have read in the accounts above. I am sure that only a vanishly small number of marriages will be "saved" through the new provisions. For example James/Jan Morris might have wanted to avail himself of these provisions, instead of doing what he actually did, which was to divorce and then enter a "civil partnership" with his ex-wife when CPs were introduced.
I think the law is facing the reality of the situation: most transsexuals are fundamentally flawed, "immature" and weak men who cannot accept biological reality and cannot accept their responsibilities as husbands and fathers. Transsexuals are mad and it is better to let them get on with it! Colette Chiland also came to this conclusion, rather reluctantly. Transsexuals have pulled down the shutters on the outside world. They have mutilated their own bodies. They take powerful drugs to live in a permanent state of (suppressed) anger with the normal world. They are still not at ease with themselves after the surgery (thank you for the lead to Walt Heyer http://www.sexchangeregret.org/). They have to be kept apart from their children to prevent them corrupting the children with their disordered beliefs and lack of moral compass. They are useless to their wives and to their children, and it is better for the wives to accept this so that they can get on with obtaining the best possible divorce settlement. Under UK law the financial settlement is based on an assessment of "needs", which means capacity to lead a normal life. If the transsexual is very disturbed, and has little contact with the outside world, then his needs - as an outcast from society - are few. But the needs of the normal abandoned wife and mother are great!
I can't see many normal women agreeing to be married to another "woman". I would never have agreed to such a perversion of marriage. In the absence of such consent, the transsexual must then start divorce proceedings in order to get the Final Gender Recognition Certificate which he craves - in order to get a new Birth Certificate, etc...
You have to be able to recognise when you are beat! And good riddance to bad rubbish!!
Iseult on February 14, 2013:
like you I initially had a favourable reading of Schedule 5 of the Same-Sex Marriage Bill, largely because of the word 'consent'. However...
the fact that a person can apply for an 'interim gender recognition certificate' while still married has already obtained since the Family Proceedings (Amendment No. 3 Rule) 2005. This is a BIG problem because the very permission to apply is a legal permission to precipitate marriage breakdown in principle. It's like being given legal permission to be allowed to commit adultery and then end a marriage, i.e. commit adultery in order to end a marriage. Think about it - so many wives of transsexuals complain 'my husband had an affair with another woman - himself'. I find it outrageous that the law already allows this.
The language that says that a ‘full gender recognition certificate’ will be given if both spouses wish to remain married gives the misleading impression that the non-transgender spouse’s consent is taken with full seriousness. I doubt it.
If she wants to divorce him, i.e. doesn’t want the current heterosexual marriage to continue, and not change the marriage into a ‘same-sex marriage’, he will be given a ‘gender recognition certification’ of some sort. i.e. He will get what he wants from the state.
If she doesn’t want to continue being married to him in a ‘same-sex marriage’, but wants them both to remain in the real, heterosexual marriage that they already have, and maybe look for help, he will get the certificate. i.e. He will get what he wants from the state. She will get nothing. Her wishes - should she wish to remain married and see them both go to counselling - will be given no legal incentive.
The point is that the non-transsexual spouse does not have an absolute veto over the self-identified transsexual spouse obtaining an 'interim gender recognition certificate' while still married. There is no talk of a need for the non-transsexual spouse's consent for this, or of the need for them to be notified of it. Thus, in reality, they can only consent to exit the marriage, not to prevent their spouse from living as a member of the opposite sex. This sets a dangerous legal precedent.
Then you cite evidence that there is provision to deal with fraudulent fabrication of support. It's really telling that that bit is in there...
I fail to see how the text you quote actively prevents the fraudulent fabrication of support or consent for a gender recognition certificate. The text all deals with what happens afterwards, that the spouse (wife) must be informed that it has been granted. I can't see anything that says that she is to be contacted separately by the authorities in question asking if she wishes to give her consent or not. Surely this means *that is presumed to be done through the transsexual spouse*!!!
As far as I can see, the non-transsexual spouse, probably a woman, is treated as a passive spectator and recipient of this treatment by all this legislation, and there is ample scope for her to be left in the dark and treated effectively as a second-class citizen vis-a-vis her husband.
I will reread the text tomorrow in broad daylight to see whether I again come to this opinion or whether I think more optimistically of it like you did.
Una-Jane on February 13, 2013:
I have read the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbi...
The changes which are relevant to transsexuals are in Schedule 5, p38 of the whole document (or p35 of the text): "Change of gender of married persons or civil partners". The changes are additions or modifications to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/7/pdfs/uk...
Getting a Gender Recognition Certificate is a two-step process for a married transsexual: (1) he applies first for an interim GRC and then he gets divorced or the marriage is annuled by the special provision in the GRA 2004, and (2) he applies with his decree nisi for the full GRC. Then he can get a new Birth Certificate as a female, etc...
On close examination, I conclude that the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) bill does not introduce any presumption that the marriage will continue with the transsexual in his (her) new sex. In fact it reinforces the "blocking" ability of the spouse. In order for the transsexual to obtain the full GRC he will have to supply a statement of consent from his spouse. The relevant clause is:
"(6B) If the applicant is married, and the marriage is a protected marriage [this means "the marriage in question"],
an application under section 1(1) must also include—
(a) a statutory declaration of consent by the applicant’s spouse
(if the spouse has made such a declaration), or
(b) a statutory declaration by the applicant that the applicant’s
spouse has not made a statutory declaration of consent (if
that is the case)."
Section 4 (successful applications): for subsections (2) and (3) substitute—
“(2) The certificate is to be a full gender recognition certificate if—
(a) the applicant is neither a civil partner nor married,
(b) the applicant is a party to a protected marriage and the
applicant’s spouse consents to the marriage continuing after
the issue of a full gender recognition certificate, or
(c) the applicant is a party to a protected civil partnership and
the Panel has decided to issue a full gender recognition
certificate to the other party to the civil partnership."
"(3) The certificate is to be an interim gender recognition certificate if—
(a) the applicant is a party to a protected marriage and the
applicant’s spouse does not consent to the marriage
continuing after the issue of a full gender recognition
There is provision to prevent fraudulent fabrication of support in three ways:
(1) The wife has to be notified that the application for a "full" GRC has been made:
"(6C) If an application includes a statutory declaration of consent by the applicant’s spouse, the Gender Recognition Panel must give the
spouse notice that the application has been made.”.
(2) The wife has to be notified on the grant of the full GRC:
"(3A) If a Gender Recognition Panel issues a full gender recognition
certificate under this section to an applicant who is a party to a
protected marriage, the Panel must give the applicant’s spouse
notice of the issue of the certificate"
(3) And finally there is a third general provision to prevent fraudulent "support":
8 Section 8 (appeals etc)—
(c) after subsection (5) insert—
“(5A) If an application under section 1(1), 4A, 5(2), 5A(2) or 6(1) is
granted, the applicant’s spouse may apply to the High Court
or Court of Session to quash the decision to grant the
application on the grounds that its grant was secured by
There does not appear to be a time limit on this.....
The reason for holding up the ending of a marriage is obviously to ensure that the abandoned wife and family are able to obtain an adequate financial settlement on divorce.
The safeguards look OK to me. I would be delighted to read your comments on this.
Una-Jane on February 12, 2013:
Thank you for your message.
I do live in the UK, and I am watching the progress of the "Same Sex Marriage" bill with alarm. I wrote three times to my local Member of Parliament asking him not to support this legislation, precisely because he cannot possibly suspect, let alone understand the detailed consequences of this (badly drafted!) bill. I am hoping that the House of Lords, which is much, much less impressed with trendy equalities legislation, will either reject the bill or amend it in detail. Then the House of Commons will consider it again. I just hope the bill is held up for a long time in the Lords.
For my divorce I am coming up to the Second Appointment (so called "Financial Dispute Resolution" - I am not sure that it will be!) on 17th May. I am facing a bitter and expensive battle against an old, devious and utterly dishonest "man" - well, he is a man biologically and in his determination to get what he wants, and damn everyone else!
If you follow the British press, please look up the recent case of Vicky Pryce, who has managed to get her adulterous ex-husband Chris Huhne sent to jail for perverting the course of justice over a speeding ticket. It is making all us soon-to-be ex-wives laugh that she REALLY got her revenge!
Iseult on February 11, 2013:
Una-Jane, if you live in the UK, you had better proceed with divorce asap, because the Same-Sex Marriage Bill which is currently going through Parliament is pretty favourable to self-identified spouses who are transgender. Read the text of the Bill online. It allows people to file for 'gender recognition certificates' while they are still married.
The Bill's text assumes that spouses of transgender people would like to remain married to them after their 'transition'. The problem with this is that the Same-Sex Marriage is, effectively, normalising sexless marriage.
The problem with this is that there is no hard statistical evidence to back it up. The psychiatric profession has never conducted random samples of relatives of transsexuals to ask what we think. Anecdotally, one knows that many marriages end in divorce, and the normal spouse gets custody.
Una Hodgkins on December 05, 2012:
A generous financial divorce settlement to the mother and children would help.
EliotNess on December 04, 2012:
On reflection, I wanted to add one additional thought. I just wanted to voice my support, good wishes, and prayers, to those on this hub who have shared their sorrow and trauma that resulted from someone they loved revealing their transgender self. I read the post from Emily, and I was heartbroken and horrified that any parent could inflict such emotional distress on a child. For the life of me, I cannot conceive how a parent, no matter how stressed over transgender issues, could willfully expose a child to the ignorance and hate that our society routinely expresses towards the transgendered. Those who hate those who are different are not right, but why would one not do everything possible to shield a child from the predictable reactions of the great unwashed public?
I just did not wish to leave the impression that I was somehow unsympathetic or naïve about the obviously deep and genuine emotional pain being expressed by the children and spouses of the transgendered who have shared their stories here. I hope the future brings some solace and peace, at the very least, for those who have been wounded by people they loved.
EliotNess on December 04, 2012:
You and I may be both generalizing from a very limited sample, I know, but my friend's experience appears to be different in some important ways. She has delayed full time transition, even though that is personally painful, so she can retire early in a few years with full pension and health insurance, for her and her wife. Her plan is to leave the wife the house and half her pension. So I think my friend is trying to be responsible in these difficult circumstances.
I don't know about the rest of your characterizations--calling these people weak and frightened seems rather spiteful and unfair. I wonder how much strength of character you would be able to display if you had had to deal with such wrenching conflicts within yourself.
But you seem to be generalizing from your own unhappy experiences, and that strikes me as being unfair to transgender people as a group.
As in any group of people, individual responses to extraordinary circumstances will vary greatly. My friend came to her acceptance of her own need to transition late in life also, and has anguished over the pain it has caused her family. She tells me she always felt female inside, from an early age, but the all-too-common powerful pressures exerted by her parents and society generally (she grew up in the 1950s and 1960s) caused her to try and deny those inner feelings, and she tried her damnedest to be the guy everyone told her she had to be. It just didn't take, in spite of honest and earnest effort. She didn't "toy" with marriage, nor did she "toy" with trying to be the male that everyone told her she had to be. I think you discount the tremendous pressure to conform that parents, teachers, and religious figures exerted on young transgender people back then. Even today, it is common for transgender teenagers to be shunned, disowned, and sometimes assaulted and murdered, all for the crime of being themselves. I find nothing weak or frightened about people who survive that kind of abuse, and ultimately find a way to reconcile their gender identity as best they can. There but for the grace of God go any one of us, or our children.
Una-Jane on December 04, 2012:
I see very little "grace" and a great deal of childish "selfishness" in the one transsexual I have known. And every sentence which s/he writes or utters to me is full of anger towards me, his wife! This is extraordinary... and absolutely impossible to deal with. This is not rational behaviour.
Most transsexuals seem to express little compassion or empathy for their family. They are what psychiatrists call "immature", an adjective describing far more serious consequences than when used in a normal context.
There is a lot of wooly thinking in this debate.
I have nothing against transsexuals who recognise their own feelings early in life, decide to take the drugs, have the surgery, and accept the probable consequence that their parents and siblings will reject them. At least that behaviour is open and honest. A few do succeed, such as Jan/James Morris the travel writer, or Victoria/Anthony Cantons, a rather good graphic designer (see http://victoriacantons.livejournal.com/)
I have many reservations about the numerous frightened and weak men who "toy" with marriage, often repeatedly. They leave a trail of chaos behind them. Unfortunately this kind of transsexual is in the majority - see Dr James Barratt: "Transsexual and Other Disorders of Gender Identity" from Radcliffe Publishing, 2007.
The difference is negotiation and understanding, of which most transsexuals know very little.
EliotNess on December 03, 2012:
I am so sorry to see so many people in so much pain and anguish. I'm not transgender, but I know someone who is, and I see very similar emotional distress going on with her wife and daughter. I know that my friend is also devastated by the pain she sees in the wake of her transition--she just doesn't feel like she could go on in her old life, the pain of trying to be someone she really wasn't inside just became overwhelming.
I strongly suspect that no one who has not lived a transgendered existence can ever appreciate the pain endured by them as they try valiantly to live the life that society has told them since infancy they must live, only to find that over time it becomes increasingly impossible to do so.
I have seen the word "selfish" used here a lot to describe these late-transitioning transexuals. Clearly, it looks selfish to many family members, and I would not presume to tell them they are wrong to feel that way.
I would only suggest that it be kept in mind, if possible, that these people often have only surrendered to this inner need after decades of desperately fighting to deny it. Every day, every moment, that these people lived a gender role other than what they felt inside, can be viewed not as a lie, but as a testament to the love and devotion they felt for their families. I suspect that, in many instances, it was only that love and devotion that gave them the strength needed to deny their own internal sense of personhood, to literally put the needs of their families ahead of their own powerful need to have consistency between their internal selves and their external selves.
Yes, clearly, many of these people were unable to fight that fight forever--at some point, I imagine trying to hold back that tide just becomes exhausting--but we should not overlook the fact that many of them fought that impossible fight year after year after year. It is a fight the rest of us should be grateful we are never asked to endure.
I am not seeking to excuse criminal behavior in hiding assets in a divorce, nor to justify the excessive behaviors of some transgender people. Nor am I trying to minimize or dismiss the genuine pain clearly expressed in these posts. I'm just saying that, in many instances, I think the pain is not confined to just the family members of the transitioning transexual, and that maybe, just maybe, not all of the selfishiness is confined to the transexual, either.
Yes, dealing with a transexual parent must be impossibly difficult and disorienting. But if a parent had a debilitating or disfiguring disease, would you similarly seethe at the consequences of that for your future wedding? A transexual no more 'chooses' their situation than Stephen Hawking chose his.
I don't know if transexualism is genetic--and neither does anyone else on earth at the moment. No genetic counselor knows whether or not there is a genetic component to the condition, as we have just barely begun to understand what is and is not dictated by human DNA--not to mention the even newer field of epigenetics.
But it is clear to me that no one would ever "choose" the heartbreak and difficulties inherent in transexualism, that it is clearly a part of the human condition that is just inherent in some people, whether because of some arrangement of DNA, a fluctuation in prenatal hormone levels, exposure to ambient pollutants and pesticides (some of which have documented impacts on gender expression in animals) or something utterly unknown and unexpected.
It doesn't matter why, really. It only matters that people who were needed to be one kind of person by their families found out, over time, that it was impossible for them to be that kind of person. That makes them neither heroes nor villains, just vulnerable and imperfect people struggling to reconcile titanic conflicts with as much grace as they can muster.
Personally, I think many of them are tremendously courageous, dealing with personal pain and overwhelming prejudice of the most fundamental sort. I know that must be small comfort for a daughter trying to deal with her father becoming female late in life, or a wife feeling betrayed and abandoned as the man she loves grows breasts, but it is nonetheless so.
Una-Jane on November 05, 2012:
I am the 57 year-old wife of a transsexual who had surgery sometime before December 2009 and who has been living alone since July 2006 in a house which represents the whole of our joint savings during our 20 year marriage.
My husband (s/he is still legally my husband!) never talked about his mental problems, and he hid as much information as possible. S/he is still hiding and refusing to agree to a sensible settlement to protect the future of our two children who are 16 and 18. My son, the eldest, has only been able to start his studies at Oxford University by taking out the maximum government loan, and faces the prospect of at least £36,000 of debt when he graduates.
I have thought for the last six years about my husband's behaviour and I have concluded that he has (1) a criminal mind because of (2) his inability to resolve his gender identity problems. Fortunately I have kept detailed financial records during our marriage and I can prove that he tried to gain a financial interest in my house by repeated deceptions about planning applications, and that he never paid anything more than a minimum amount for the care and education of his children and a desperately needed allowance to me while he lived with us for 14 years. This extreme meanness will count heavily against him in court. Finally, I have a copy of a statement which he made to a psychiatrist in which he admitted that he knew that that his marriage to me would fail even before he entered it!
I intend to prove in a divorce court that my husband is a calculating criminal, a fraudster in the old-fashioned mould!
Any wives who want to claw back in a divorce the money and property which their transsexual husbands have taken should think carefully about the acts and omissions of these "persons", and assemble all the documents to back their claim in court.
Let battle begin!
Iseult on October 27, 2012:
Hi there, ghosh I am so sad but so relieved to find this hub. I was traumatised growing up by the knowledge of my uncle coming out as a transsexual and transitioning - like the men discussed here he was selfish, narcissistic, abusive and arrogant, and insisted that he was sane and the rest of the family was mad, even though many folks went out of their way to try to help him. (Oh and I reckon he was also into the occult, but I won't go into that.) At 19 I came close to a breakdown, and I suffered other mental health problems as a result. When I tried finding counselling the counsellors seemed incredibly scared and anxious, clearly not trained to deal with this. It wasn't until I was 27 that I found counselling that actually helped me, and it was from a Christian service.
Now...this is what I want to say to all readers who are children of transsexuals - you won't find suitable counselling or therapy from mainstream mental health organisations, because they've all been corrupted into acepting the transgender lie/propaganda that transsexualism is biologically/genetically based. IT IS NOT!
If you want/need counselling from people who haven't bought into all that nonsense, you will have to go private and your best bet might well be to do what I did and find a Christian counselling organisation.
alternatively, psychoanalytic psychotherapists are still more traditional than some other schools of psychology, but you never know these days...Christian organisations don't necessarily ask that you be religious yourself, and won't necessarily preach to you. But...do ask upfront what their values and methods are, and do say upfront what your issues are.
A really good book - one of the few good ones - on this is Colette Chiland's book 'Transsexualism: Illusion and Reality'. She is a very experienced feminist psychotherapist working in France; she has seen tonnes and tonnes of transsexuals and also many children, spouses and parents of transsexuals. Unsurprisingly she has been viciously attacked by some trans activists who want to shut her up precisely because she has actually helped some people get healed through therapy.
I am sparing a thought and prayer for each woman who wrote into this hub.
Lastly, please know that there are men who regret sex-change surgery and change back. For those readers whose dads indicate ambivalence, please please get them to read Walt Heyer's website for transregretters
http://www.sexchangeregret.org He gets lots of emails, and has written a fantastic autobiography on his own journey from living as a male, to transitioning, to transitioning back, and speaks about his difficult relationship with his children too.
Una-Jane on August 22, 2012:
I am the wife of a transsexual man, and I am 57 years old.
I am so sorry. You are so young to be going through the "living death" of the man who used to be your dad. He is mad: none of his awful behaviour is your fault. You have done nothing to deserve it. HE is at fault 100%. You are beautiful, blameless, but best of all: you are SANE. Now all you have to do is push this silly person away if he is really nasty to you and you don't like him. Ignore him forever. You say that he was already wearing girls' knickers when you were young, so I guess you never knew a "normal" dad. Perhaps that is better than having memories of a husband who seemed to be sane, as I do. I now know that he was unstable all of his life, but he was an expert at hiding his problem.
It is normal to cry, it is normal to feel as though a heavy weight sits on your chest every waking moment. This feeling is called "grief". But you will get better. You will find as you grow up that you can be strong for your mum and you can help her. My two children have been such an enormous support to me when I was so angry and so worried about money. I am still fighting about money with my husband, and will be until he recognises that he can't take what he wants without providing for the family which he has abandoned. Your mum should go to the Citizens Advice Bureau and ask them for help in getting your dad to pay for you. And she should be getting some money for you through the Child Support Agency. He must pay a standard amount based on his income. He can be forced by a court to pay. Perhaps your older sister would help your mum with this?
WE will survive.
Please study as hard as you can at school: it opens doors to new opportunities and a better life. Take these opportunities and turn your back that person in your past.
I'll think of you (like Holly and Casey) and pray for you too.
With best wishes
We all use the word "selfish", but they are
Emily on August 21, 2012:
Hello, my name's Emily and I'm 14.
I was born in England and so was my mum and dad but when I was 13 months old my parents decided to move to france. When I was really young I noticed my dad was wearing girls knickers I thought this was normal because I was little. But as I grew up things started changing, first he started just by wearing pink socks, then Onto womens pyjamas. To handbags, nail polish. I knew something wasn't right but he still wore men clothes. One day I saw bras hanging in the bathroom and I knew they were not my mums because she had bigger boobs than these could support. I asked my mum who's they were and she told me my sisters, considering my sister lives in England and was about 27 at the time couldn't be hers. Obviously they were my dads. We tried telling my Dad that my mum and I didn't like what he was doing but he told us it kept alive and if we didn't like it, it was tuff.
In February 2009, when i was 10 years old, my mum told me we were coming back to England for a holiday to see my sisters, we stayed for a couple of weeks and then she told me I would be going to school there. I had to ring my dad and tell him we wouldn't be coming home. For the first few months all I did was cry and cry. I had to leave my home and all my things because of my parents. Because of my mum lying saying we just going on holiday and because of my dad doing what he was doing. My dad came over to see me after a few months and he was completely dressed as a woman. I couldn't believe it, it was very bad before but this was worst. He made me go shopping with him dressed the way he was, he wouldn't dress down to just jeans and a tee-shirt. Girls kept looking at us. Boys stood outside a shop waiting for us to come out so they could have a go at us. Another girl took pictures of us, people pointed and laughed, at The time I was only 10. When ever I tried telling him i didn't like it, he said I didn't love him, was too ashamed of being with him. My mums divorce went through a couple of weeks ago. I feel like he has ruined not only my mums life but mine too. I can never tell any of my friends, If anyone at school found out I would be bullied so much and I wouldn't be able to cope. On my dads birthday a year ago I rung him to wish him a happy birthday and he told me he didn't want to know me anymore. He said a lot of other horrible things which I couldn't cope with. What had I done wrong? That night I slit my wrists. We only speak now only every couple of months. He says he doesn't want to speak to me on the phone so we only e-mail but it takes him about a month to answer. My dad pays nothing for me and my mum has to work from 7 till 8, monday to friday just so we can pay for rent. By the time we pay the rent we hardly have any money left for another things. Yet my mums been told she's allowed no help. We're not allowed benefits or help with rent. My mum has quite a lot of medication that she has to pay all of it. And we've just Been told that I am allowed counselling but she has to pay for it which we can't afford. I think that's wrong, yes iv been having a very horrible time but so has my mum. He has ruined our lifes by chosing to do this. I know its a medical thing, part of me sometimes thinks that he cant help it, but he doesn't care what has happened to us. That is so, so selfish of him.
I found this while looking for people to talk to. I would love to find someone to be able to talk more about this.
Erik on July 29, 2012:
hey. i'm so sorry for what happened. my dad just told me the same thing today. i dont have any advice but i do know we can make it!
Una-Jane on July 16, 2012:
Kel is extremely generous in her love for her son/daughter. Perhaps other mothers also find acceptable the solution offered by psychiatrists for Gender Dysphoria and the desire to "change sex" (more accurately: undergo castration). Most mothers do genuinely want the best for their child, whatever happens. But this mental disturbance is much, much more difficult for wives, sons and daughters. They all wanted and expected from their husbands or fathers socially useful behaviour, not a collapse into narcissism and selfishness. And after years of taking powerful drugs (i.e. female hormones) the "daughter" is not at all mentally "female", but an immature, reduced person, and a shell of the human being they once were.
Kel on July 15, 2012:
I am the mother of a transsexual. Male to female. I will refer to my son from here on out as "she" 7 months ago we found out that our 28 yr old son who had an out of wedlock son was taking hormones and changing into a women. We were devistated. I had a difficult time getting my head around it. My then son was and had been drowning himself in drug and alcohol addiction for 12 yrs. when we found out that he knew from the age of 7 that he was not right and had kept a "secret" from us and all his friends we began to understand the reason for the behavior. Deep depression, over the top behavior and addiction all to escape this thing called "gender Dysphoria" I too thought like all of you that this was selfish and self centered and mental illness. How could he love his son and do this to him? I nearly kicked my son out of the house. Before I did I decided to study gender dysphoria and get help from people that had knowlegde of it. This is a true medical defect it is a birth defect...having said that there are cases of mental illnes but they are easy to detect. My son is a transsexual and was born with this. I would guess that many of your husbands/dads were born with this defect as well. The brain never masulinized. Gender is determined in the brain. Study the David Reimer case. It is a strange and very sad defect. These men or women as the case may be are not trying to mess up your lives they just want to live normal. 50% of all transsexuals will committ suicide before the age of 30. they do not wake up one day and decided they want to be the oposite gender. they suffer mental anqish and shame, depression and suicidal thoughts. Why some wait so long before coming out I can't say. for our son now daughter she suffered to the point of suicide and deep depression, no will to live. She could of killed herself and her son or us would of never understood why she suffered in silence trying to destroy herself but instead faced it and today she is happy, has no use for drugs. lives a happy productive life. Her son is 3.5 yrs old and will be told the truth about this disorder and there will be no secrets. We as parents now knowing what we know would not wish this defect on anyone but we have seen the huge change and are happy to see a productive happy daughter rather then a depressed suicidal druggy. This defect in not what God's plan is for anyone but it is a true birth defect and genetic disorder. A brain transplant is an option but changing the genitals to match the brain is and it is necessary for those that suffer from this disorder. Again I incourge you to study this disorder. These are people that need to be loved and are not trying to hurt you. I hope that I can reach out and help because I have been through all the feelings that you all have. I hated my son I wanted his son taken from him but it was my son that was mentally disturbed but my daughter is the healthy normal one.!
Chloe on May 23, 2012:
I understand you wrote this quite some time ago, and that you may have adjusted. But I'll tell you my story anyway.
My mother and biological father weren't together for long, as he booted her out whilst she was Still pregnant with me. However he was still apart of my life up until I was eight years old. This was when I noticed he was wearing makeup and skirts etc, I was confused but also young an didn't quite understand what it meant, so I continued through my happy and naïve life like normal, until one day he told me to stop calling him dad and start calling him Katie. It broke my heart to lose my dad, despite the fact he wasn't always there he was always my dad. He never really explained it to me and became really selfish. To this day (12 years later) I still don't fully understand, what I do know is, he/she is happy and that's all that matters. I still struggle when it comes to referring to him by his gender as u can tell, but life goes on and I havnt taken a day of my life to worry about this because at the end of the day he's still there for me and cares.
Lyra on May 09, 2012:
My father told me he was transgender, and i hate him, i thought i had a Daddy, i believed i was a daddies girl.
but now i feel disgusting, lied to and manipulated. The bastard said he felt like that way since he was young at age 3-4. Ive told him if he knew about that why would he be so selfish and create me. He hasn't known me for 15 years of my life found me at 18years old and he says a child should love their parents no matter what. i reminded him he hasn't been my father since i was 3 so why should you expect love from me when you are greedy and dont respect what i went through, foster care was Horrible for me had to earn the right to eat had to earn the right to sleep and they would torture me just to have fun for themselves. I dont talk to my birth mother either since she told me (still i have the letter today) that she disowns me. we haven't spoken for nearly 2 years and counting. my father was my last hope so now i have no one, but through out life, iv learned that, you can NEVER count on someone else to honestly care for you out of their hearts, and that only you, yourself, can make it happen. since then ive become a Nurse, and i anticipated in horsemen ship as well im working to become a vegetarian. I live alone with my dogs and i feel happier this way. so advice to you Do what makes you happy. Exactly the same thing that your father did, made himself happy.
Jeanine on April 05, 2012:
interesting read... education of all of these mens parents would have changed everything... I am two spirited... but we would never leave our families nor our families would leave us... so sorry for so much pain... praying for each of you... I will stay out of your way Una Jane... but I did want to say I know this hub is needed... each of you have been abused by the medical system, this includes you men who are now women... I implore you to read the history of our tribe... google "two spirited"
Una-Jane on March 15, 2012:
You are a very brave girl and you are dealing extremely well with a very, very unusual situation. Transsexuality is estimated to affect only 1 in 30,000 men (and even fewer women).
Can you talk about this to your mum or an older brother or sister? If not, perhaps a gran or granpa or someone else?
I think you understand that he is pulling away completely from all of you, and he will never come back. When my husband left us I hoped that the psychiatrists would somehow try to "pull him back" to sanity. But I was devastated to learn that they had been giving him female hormones for four years and helping him to escape! I still don't really understand why this is the only treatment for "gender dysphoria". By the way "dysphoria" means "anxiety" or "discomfort" in ancient Greek. So he was uncomfortable living in his birth gender, as a man, however comfortable you felt being his daughter.
Although his mental change is terrible for you and your family, he isn't responsible for it. And he just doesn't understand the pain that he is causing you and your family. If you don't want to see him you don't have to. If you do want to see him, he will not be the dad you knew but a new person. Remember that it is your choice, not your dad's, whether you want to see him.
You are so much stronger than he or the bullies are. Try to help your mum and work hard at school.
I'll think of you and pray for you.
shh on March 14, 2012:
hi, my name is holly and i was just looking at information about this. my dad is changing into a woman and we were very close, i am 12 now and 13 soon, i know how it feels. i found out at christmas one year, my dad wanted us to play a dressing up game, i was about 6-7 when we did this so i was very confused, he went upstairs and got changed, when he came down, he was in my mums clothes, and he said he was going to dress like this for a while, he did nothing at the time until later on, he moved out and lived in a flat, but he ended up coming back to live with us, but now he is living in another flat dressing like a lady, his name was ian but legaly changed it to jillian.
i was bullied at school and had people saying names about him, but reading all these stories, i dont feel alone, i know that its not just me who is dealing with this situaton.
from holly :)
Una-Jane on March 10, 2012:
My deepest sympathies to you. It is the most bewildering experience that anyone can have to see someone you love just "disappear" and become someone completely different.
But the fact that you recognise that this is happening makes you rational and you will then be strong, even when you are sad. Try to think about your studies or your work, and make yourself more financially independent. You are going to have to stand on your own sooner than you thought.
With very best wishes
casey sanders on March 08, 2012:
I am going through the same thing and it is very confusing to have your guardian and hero change your life so drastically, I am very depressed at seeing him just get up and change into someone so different
Una-Jane on March 07, 2012:
Please ask your mother to see a lawyer (solicitor in the UK) about registering her interest in the ownership of the land. If she has no other option your mother may want to start divorce proceedings and add this piece of land to the list of matrimonial assets. But if your mother already has more assets than her husband she may find it difficult to retain her share of this land, because the law seems to want to divide assets equally between divorcing spouses irrespective of the mental capacity of each... Unless she really, really fights to get a proper settlement, which of course takes money.
Kathy and Tearful,
Re: new "pensioner" (!) transsexuals
My (still!) husband is now 75 years old. He left us 6 years ago and had the operation 2 years ago! I find it abhorent that the psychiatric profession completely ignored the interests of myself as his wife and our two children (and also his son by his previous marriage!). They apparently placed my husband's insane demands to wreck his life above our reasonable requests to remain a "normal" family .... What about the doctors' Hypocratic oath to "do no harm"? Three people were harmed against one person who was arguably "helped"?!
There seems to be a new "fashion" among psychiatrists to treat older and older transsexuals, as if they were competing for some prize.
PS: I am the same person as "Una" in earlier posts
Tearful on February 27, 2012:
I am so sorry to hear about this. Married for 45 years! Your dad must be getting up there in age. My dad was a little over 60 when he decided to go through with the transition, and he was the oldest person I had heard of. I think that age makes things more difficult. I've often said, "It's one thing for a 20-year-old young man to decide to become a woman. It's another for a married man with a few children and/or grandchildren!" The decision at that point seems supremely selfish as it doesn't take into consideration the lives he created and may destroy as a result.
I wish you all the strength in the world as you and your family go through this difficult time. You've got support on here.
Kathy on February 24, 2012:
I recently found out that my dad has been taking estrogen for 5 years. My mother has known that my dad wanted a sex change these 5 years and has been embarrassed to tell anyone. She stayed with him hoping he would change his mind. He is still going through with it. My parents have been married for almost 45 years. My brother never wants to see him again and I don't know if I can face him. My mother is talking divorce. He has even told my brother he was selling a piece of land to pay for the operation. Technically, my mother owns this land too. Why should he have the right to do this? He is a very selfish man. I feel like our whole family will fall apart with his choice.
Tearful on February 01, 2012:
Thank you for this post, Julia (is it?). I am also the daughter of transgendered father. I am in my mid-twenties and my dad transitioned in the early 2000s. Everything you said resonated so much with me. There are so many similarities between your situation and my own. Despite the fact that your post left me in tears, it helped me remember that I am not alone. We share similar feelings about losing our fathers as they left us to become whoever it is they think they were meant to be.
I used to have a strong relationship with my father -- I was very much daddy's little princess. He is completely out of my life today and has been for many years now. I have nightmares of my dad chasing me. In the dreams I can't ever look back at him for fear of what I might see. A lot of the time, I'm running with my eyes closed. I cry about him often (especially during movies with sentimental fauther-daughter scenes) but refuse to let his choice ruin my life. He is just a ghost who comes to visit every so often. I would encourage you to try and stay strong, work hard in school, and find friends and family that will support you.
Also, I wanted to mention that my mother is walking me down the aisle. As I see it, my father already gave me away. He just never cared to meet my groom.
Lots of love.
Kate on January 11, 2012:
I second the above comment please remove Eric's post. We are the children and partners wives and sons and brothers of the transgendered people. We are the forgotten ones left to deal with the devastation, betrayal, confusion and hurt from another's choice.
Una on November 15, 2011:
Please remove Eric / Erikka's post. This blog is not the right place for his comments. It is a blog for normal families who are left behind. I'm sorry for Eric/Erikka, but there are many other places for him. He chose to leave the normal world. We choose to stay in the normal world and we have to suffer the loss of the person we thought we knew, but really didn't.
eric aka: erikka on June 28, 2011:
Hello everyone especially Julia. Although I may get negative feedback from my post, I feel sympathy with the wife's and children that are affected so sadly in this situation.
I myself am a "male" that has been diagnosed with gender identity disorder not by one, but three psychologists. One being a Christian psychologist. I have two children I love dearly and cherish every moment with them. My daughter is almost 12 and my son is almost 7. Presently I am married, not happily, but I still love her deeply as a partner of 14 years..
I'm not looking for sympathy or to change anyone's mind on this subject, but a chance to express I am probably not the stereotypical case like all the other dads in the previous posts......
I love my children more than words could explain. I have always been the "dad" that always has his kids tagging along with him. I'm involved in all there activities such as sports, school, girlscouts, doctor visits, volunteering at the humane society, late night talks, and all ups and Downs. I'm very affectionate with hogs and kisses, holding hands, carrying, or more or less coddling. I involve my children in 99% of my activities and I enjoy it deeply. And my children love that in me and all my friends male or female adore the fact that I hold them so dealt in my life. The last thing I could do is abandon them!!
This is my short story:
Grew up in a semi Christian, semi normal childhood, semi traveled childhood with parents that we self-involved in there careers. Always bonded with my mother and fought for my fathers attention, although he would start to involve me but then instantly loose interstate in me.I was molested numerous times by three different people, one being my friends mom, and I was never given any opportunity to tell my parents or get councling. When I was twelve I felt the same way when my body was changing and wanted to share my feelings with my my parents. I was so scared of being rejected or made a fool by my parents. I knew I would be an imbarrasment.
I tried to hint to them in fads and fashion, activities that other male teens didn't necessarily do, and failed at all male teen activities.
Throughout my life I have been able to step away from my feelings and continue on in a normal male lifestyle ...... joined the marines but was always the singled out closet gay......joined men's groups but always felt inadequate ..... joined the police but was forced to leave after my situation came up polygraph.
I did these in hope my dad would give me a chance to bond.
Yes I got married when I was 21 to a woman because I loved her and still do. I don't want a divorce but its nearing. I don't want my daughter to not understand or hate me but she does. Although she wont give me a chance to talk to her about what is going on, she has it summed up by calling me girly dad.her and I have always been two peas in a pod....a definite tomboy daddy's girl. But now with my changes she is pulling away emotionally towards me. I understand it hurts her that she is loosing her daddy. But what do I do? Wear NASCAR or hunting hats? Grow a beard? Burp at the table? What?
like I said they are totally involved in my life......we camp many times a summer, we fish, go to semi pro sports events, hike, car shows, amusement parks, bike riding, building snow forts, gun shooting, cook outs.....these are all daddy things that I do and plan on doing till the day I die.should I stop the girlscouts thing, shopping with my daughter in the girls section, bring my daughter to the barber instead of the salon.
Yes I have styled feminine hair, pierced ears and naval,waxed eyebrows, and wear mostly female clothes but I'd doesn't make me bad person, just a non typical dad. In fact I'm a better parent than alot of children have. I love them dearly like I said.
I'm on hormones and yes I will eventually become a woman but I'm in no rush at all. My children financial education is coming first before I go get "chopped "
I'm supported by everyone except my dad with my dad, which wont even look at me......my mom which thinks I'm possessed by Satan.....and particularly my wife....she understands what I'm going through but doesn't excuse me from hurting the closest people in my life. And I understand that too.
Anna on March 20, 2011:
I am the ex wife of a now transgendered male. We have an almost 3 year old together.
When we first met he was dressing (occassionally) as a woman but said that he wasn't going to do it anymore as he had realised that it was a mistake. I repeatedly asked him over the course of 10 years whether he was still doing it - he said no. After deciding that there was something amiss in our marriage I asked for a separatin, he then told me that he was going to become a woman. That he had been dressing in my clothes behind my back over the course of our relatinship. But that as I had asked for the separation and then he had told me that I shouldn't be angry. He said that if we had stayed together I would never have known.
We processed the divorce ourselves and I agreed to alternate weekends for him to see our son. He now wants to take him away on holiday with him.
He/she has not conception of how the outside world views this situation. He says that work is fine with it but surely with all the discrimination laws they just dont want to get sued.
I have subsequently met someone else whom my son sees as his daddy. My ex has the issue that he wants to play at being daddy but he isn't anymore. he says that he is his father - which whilst being legal fact is in essence a joke.
My heart goes out to the children whoare being effected by this. As a mother i know/ hope that your mothers are doing theie best to help/protect you from this craziness.
Una on March 13, 2011:
Sorry. I got the ISBN wrong for Dr Barratt's book. It is
1 85775 719 X
Una on March 13, 2011:
I would like you to know about a book written by a consultant psychiatrist in the UK, called Dr James Barratt. He is a specialist in Gender Dysphoria (the medical name for Transsexuality). His book is called "Transsexual and other disorders of gender identity: a practical guide to management" published in UK by Radcliffe Publishing, Oxford, in 2007. ISBN-10 85775 719 X . Dr Barratt describes in short case reports a large number of different cases, and how he and his colleagues assessed these patients in their expressed desire to "change sex" (or "transition"). It is useful because it shows the wide variety of mental weakness or, at the other end of the scale, the clear determination shown by patients. GD is a complex disorder and, on the evidence in this book, patients are often not able to resolve the contradictions implicit in the desire to "change sex". This is the only serious, recent study which I have been able to find.
hannahd123 on February 20, 2011:
This is the first time ive been brave enough to write on one of these... a few months ago I found out my dad wants to be a woman. Im 18 and I have a younger brother and sister who aren't aware. I feel like im carrying the world on my shoulders. I used to be so close to my dad but now i cant even look him in the eyes and it hurts so much. Its feels like he is dying as he wont be my dad anymore... i dont no what he will be. He is being so selfish with everything and its horrible to see my mum crumbling around me and also no that soon we are going to have to break my brother and sisters hearts! I dont really no what else to say other than this is the start of a long and horrible journey for me and its nice to see that im not the only person who has been or is going through this.
good luck to you all and keep strong.
Una on February 10, 2011:
I am the wife of a transsexual who "came out" 5 years ago. We had been married for 14 years and have two children, who were then 10 and 12. I am so glad to find normal people like all of you above. WE are the families who are left behind. WE survive with sadness but also with great courage the confusion and pain inflicted on us by these extremely selfish, mentally disordered men. I am still shocked by my husband's dishonesty over such a long period. Now (s)he is trying to use the law on divorce to keep property which (s)he stole from us. Never mind: we have to get on with life for the sake of our children and ourselves. Perhaps one day Europe and the West will reassess how they protect minorities who are deeply mentally troubled and useless to their old families. They cannot understand that they are not contributing to these families. And some of them are a lot of trouble to normal society. Therefore treating the troublesome ones as citizens with all normal human rights is not right. They should be assessed for their ability to contribute to normal society judging by the standards of normal society, not by their own selfish standards. The pendulum has swung too far. It should swing back in favour of the rights of the majority, straight "heterosexual" population.
Ella on January 08, 2011:
Almost the same thing has happened to me,
Im 16 years old and i never even thought about my dad being a women until we moved to Australia and he turned into an alcholholic and became depressed,
He told me about how he always wanted to be a women and how when he gets the money he will undergo a sex change,
And that he was born a women.
Me and my mum are the only ones who know, and my mum is willing to stay with him.
Im so embrassing, I cant tell anyone, and im so nervous about the future, And when i find a partner, Will he be prepaired to be with me even though my fathers a 'freak'
perwinkle on January 06, 2011:
Thanks so much for your courage. Your post has helped me to understand how my 5 year old may feel in 10 years if her father is in her life. 2 years ago after my divorce was finalized, my husband of 17 years began dressing as a man. He actually came out to me at the closing for our home sale. It was shocking but fortunately, our marriage was long over at that point. He had not seen his daughter for 1 year at that point. It has been a very difficult 2 years, as I mistakenly allowed him to start visitation with my daughter under supervision of her grandmother. Unfortunately, my ex's lifestyle has become to unstable for my daughter and 6 weeks ago under the advice of our therapist, I have decided to stop his visitation. I found out 6 weeks ago that he had been taking hormones, and has changed his name legally First, middle and Last to something new. He left behind the name that is on my daughter's birth certificate. How would I explain this to a precious little baby? My therapist and I couldn't normalize this event in a way that wouldn't damage her. She had already expressed anger and confusion " Mommy, my head feels scrambled when daddy plays dress up, it's not appropriate"! It's just too much. My husband has never paid child support since I left him/her 4 years ago, but apparently has the funds for hormones, therapy, laura mercier cosmetics, prosthetics, new wardrobe, etc. I on the other hand spend all of my disposable income on a nanny, so that I can work 70 hours a week, to make absolutely certain that my little one has a future. We are finally trying to put the past behind us, and be happy and whole, party of two! I am also very fortunate that I have custody of my daughter, and when she is much older (at an age that she can better understand her father's choice), will allow her to see him. I would very much like to hear from anyone in this very unusual situation. There are days that I feel our life is a tabloid novel. peace!
judith on October 11, 2010:
I made a mistake in the website I mentioned, It is the Australian Humanities Review, click on contributors and go to the "g's" and click on Steven Gunther.
Judith on October 11, 2010:
Take care of yourself, and try to be as clear as you can with your father. When you are uncomfortable you have to say that to him. If you need to only speak on the phone because you feel uncomfortable in public, keep it to the phone. If he makes you feel invisible, demanding that you respond to someone you don't see as real, if you feel you are being manipulated, try to make him understand. I know the previous responder said you can't change them, and maybe you can't, but you have the right to be yourself as you are without being 'reeducated to be an uncritical supporter.' It isn't easy. I read something online by an australian psychologist whose father changed sex when he was 67. He is not your age but he describes his own situation and it may be helpful in that you are not alone. Search for the Australian Humanities Journal, then click on 'contributors' and go to Stephen Gunther. I am not good with the computer, and couldn't copy the link. Oh, and even though the transsexual and others say that it is genetic, it isn't. There are such a thing as genetic counselors, and they would tell you it isn't genetic. But transsexuals need to say this, and no psychologist, social worker, etc., should say that it is as they are outside their competance area. Make sure your brother understands that it isn't. genetic.
Nell Rose from England on July 14, 2010:
Hi, I hope things are getting better for you now, I am the ex wife of a transexual man, in fact that is how I got here, izettl wrote on my story comments and I came back over to read hers. The one thing that I want you to know is that it is not your fault how you feel, and you must do everything that you feel is right and comfortable, if this means keeping away from your dad and maybe just phoning him until you are older, then so be it, I have found out that a man who does this is very selfish, not deliberatly, they love you to bits, but it is a pulling towards being like that. in my case my husband said it was because he had always felt that way and wanted to tell me, I of course said 'why marry me then?' but it is much more complicated than that. if you don't feel comfortable going out with him/her now, don't go. And don't be scared to say the reason either, he should always respect your descision and remember that he was the one that hurt you. The trouble is that they get so wrapped up in the exitement of becoming a woman at last that they forget that others aren't feeling it too. I know you still love your dad, but do it your way always. this won't change him, it never will, but it will help you to take it on board slowly. And don't try and change his mind. it will never happen, I tried desperatly to get my husband to forget it, thinking that his love for me and his son would make a difference, it doesn't, he loves you but it is his genetics, if someone is gay they cannot change it, and if a man or woman is a transexual that is a similar genetic thing. I wish you all the best and I hope you can come to some understanding with each other, God bless nell
Georgiakevin from Central Georgia on January 24, 2009:
My deepest sympathy to you and your Dad
Lizett from The Great Northwest on December 24, 2008:
Hi Julia~ Yes we do have a similar situation. Just reading your words brought a lot of memories back to me, especially about how selfish your dad was spending all the money on his wants as a woman. My mom and I struggled too. I know what you mean about the wedding thing- My uncle walked me down the aisle and my dad didn't even show up to the wedding.
You are so young to be going through this and a divorce too. My parents were 10 when they divorced and at that time I was only aware that my dad dressed in women's clothes, secretly though. It wasn't until I was 25 that my dad got his sex reassignment surgery.
I will email you more later at the email address you provided. I can try and help you get through this or just tell you what helped me.