Please note: This was written several years ago, but began an ongoing discussion I'll never forget (before transgender and transsexualism became a high profile topic).
Those who've been affected by a transgender person/loved one in their lives still do not have a voice though.
My parents were married 18 years. Several of those years my mom was a die-hard housewife to the core, even when it meant accepting my father's cross-dressing. She was a traditional woman in that, 'once you marry, you marry for life'. Our life wasn't traditional though.
I was young enough to think it was just a game when my father played 'dress-up'. As a child you look to your parents to define "normal" and if my mom seemed OK about it, then it had to be OK. But in fact I had a feeling it wasn't OK. It was not necessarily because the subject had not been approached by society in a meaningful manner yet.
There were no Bruce Jenner pioneers of course, and everything looks different on the inside. There's what's portrayed in the media, and what's going on inside the houses across America, and the world for that matter.
It wasn't OK for me at such a young age, because I began to associate my father's dressing with the bad times in our lives. After all, he dressed and inhabited a female persona when stress was running high- like another personality. I saw how my mom tried to normalize it just as society tries to today.
Whether it was money issues, work stress, when he was upset with my mom. Dressing for him was more like a coping mechanism than a gender identity.
Growing up with my transvestite/transgender father was confusing. For those of you who remember the movie, 'Tootsie'- popular Dustin Hoffman Movie where he dresses as a woman... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084805/ well, I saw this as a kid and it definitely added to my delusion that it was all fun and games for men to dress up as women.
But the reality was slightly off. Many evenings my dad would sit around the house in frilly stuff and our home life would carry on as casual and usual as the rest of America's. Through a child's view, I could see and sense my mom's loss of dignity as a woman. I could see how this hurt her and her identity.
I learned in families, people sacrifice for each other, but this can lead to members trying to "protect" the most dysfunctional member.
Was my dad's travestism dysfunctional? That's a debatable topic, even today. The way my dad used dressing as an escape as a drug addict does was the disturbing part. He had to dress like a fiend needs money for drugs.
The entire family ends up enabling certain members that actually need help— this applies to anorexics, alcoholics, addicts...you name it.
And the answer? Well, society has its theories. Just like every condition treated in our medical system, it may involve surgery or medication or radical acceptance and reformed laws. Truth is they simply have no answers...and are not moving any closer to having any by passing it as normal.
How many transgender need help? Often times they don’t get it.
Update: Years ago it was a secret. Now it’s political and any insinuation they need help is against the law.
My dad's dressing was an obsession from wigs to purses and clothes. He spent us out of house and home the way a gambler would.
Transsexualism may not be a mental disorder in itself (formerly “Gender Identity Disorder”), but mental disorders may co-mingle with a transgender.
Tell me what the difference is between a gambler who gambles away the family's money, and a man who spends all the money on designer women's clothes to help him feel more like a woman yet interestingly they need more and more clothes to make them feel that way because the "feeling" doesn't last long, even after surgery.
Many women find the same obsession (shopaholic) and we'd say that's not normal based on how much it affects their life; their finances and family, etc.
I didn't know the definition of transvestite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transvestite until after my parents' divorce- I was about 10. That's when I remember overhearing my mom explaining to her closest friends and family about my dad's 'condition', but she didn't directly talk to me about it until I was an adult. At that time there was no discussion on it and today there are only political debates.
Nobody told me if transgender was ok as a kid. It was my normal, but once my dad got in his persona it was thee image of a split personality. And I didn’t like HER.
I look back now and I wasn't really OK with the cross-dressing, but I accepted it- not much choice when it's your own father. Sometimes I even fooled myself into thinking my father didn't continue to dress-up after the divorce, because I never saw him do it after that, but then I remember his locked closet door whenever I visited him as a teen. I remember having no college funds even though my dad made good money. I remember seeing Gucci bags lying around...
My teen years were uncomfortable enough without my father going shopping with me and trying to convince me to dress up more, as in shorter skirts, more make-up, and pink stuff. Yeah, I know what you're thinking 'I wish my father would have bought me those clothes and encouraged wearing make-up prematurely’.
I decided early on that clothes do not make the woman. It's a feeling on the inside.
My dad was trying to be a woman. He wasn't a woman- no matter his thoughts, his gender identity, it was sadly like watching an actor.
I have never, and still don't, find a need to prove my femininity. I think I am a woman in t-shirt and jeans and casual make-up. Yes, I do dress up, but I don't feel anymore feminine than I do in my bathrobe or a cocktail dress. I realize now that my father couldn't comprehend someone who was comfortable in their own skin.
He dressed up to prove something and I didn't have anything to prove. Needless to say, we saw things very differently.
Not So Pretty
Transgender may be the up and coming new category for acceptance but if you've lived with a transgender there's more to it than simply dressing up or simply one gender wanting to be the other- there's elements of obsession and preoccupation with looks that could rival those of a narcissist or an unnatural obsession.
I began studying psychology because, if anyone had a right to be curious, it was me. Also, I still wanted to know why dressing up took precedence over our family life.
At the time there wasn't a lot of quality media, mostly virtual vomit on the Internet, concerning transvestites- graphic images and distasteful words I could have gone my entire life, and the next, without seeing- this was 20 years ago.
Years of immersing myself in psychology, gave me the ability to understand human conditions. All that psychobabble was easy to believe, but it only amounted to a heap of crap the day I found out my dad had sex reassignment surgery. It's easy for the rest of society to say 'I don't care what others do as long as it doesn't affect me'.
Let me back up just a bit: In 2001, before the big news, my father retired from a well-known and respected position in my hometown. He moved south and that was the last I heard from him for two years. Late 2003 he explained over an email that he went to Bangkok, Thailand to get sex reassignment surgery.
I finally had to deal with this. It's like it just blew up in my face all in one day. I had to face my new father- he/she changed his name too. The persona I loathed was permanent.
In the awkward moments of me asking him questions, he seemed to answer in a harsh tone as if I had no right to ask. (I have later learned this is one big issue with the families of trans). I had so many questions, but I knew my dad's tolerance was low for being questioned about anything.
Questions are marked as hate speech. Real family experiences I came to find out, we’re also labeled as hate speech. Reality isn’t pretty, but many family members have suffered— I have witnessed their suffering—- due to transitioning.
Should I be supportive and cover up my true emotions and thoughts? Should I be openly angry and disappointed and be my true self since he was being his "true self"? There's no middle ground- the trans is looking for your full acceptance or a relationship is off the table.
No matter what the trans experience in families is about the transperson. There is no space for our feelings and experienc.
I was initially supportive and hid my true feelings.
I had selfish thoughts though. How could he do this to me? My future kids (this was before my husband and daughter were in the picture), would be without their grandfather. Did this make me more of a woman or less? I couldn't even introduce my future husband to my "father". When people saw my dad’s “female” description on documents, they’d call him my mom. That was devastating to me because my mom should get that credit, not him.
My father legally changed his full name so what did my last name represent now? I felt orphaned. Would he want me in his life because I was literally a reminder he was a man? Who could I talk to about this? Which friends and family do I share this or not share this with?
It was the first time I felt selfish for considering my feelings. This was all about him, right?! How dare I think about myself!
It seemed I was the only one who had to deal with this. The families of transitioned individuals are not well represented. No one openly talks about this unless it's part of a political agenda.
Do they realize this is real life for some of us? I had no siblings or ever knew anyone who went through this.
I had joked with all my friends when watching Jerry Springer shows on this subject matter- now it wasn't a joke! When I saw her in person I wanted to laugh, cry...and run! Where was my daddy who taught me to swim and ride a bike and play cards? Now being a daddy reminded him of someone he wanted to forget.
New and Improved?
The day I met my new father was sickening. Sorry, but that's the way it felt.
Your parents are the people you think you know best and when that rug is pulled from underneath you, there are doubts about yourself that inevitably sneak up too.
They aren't the same person as before. It's truly an idenitity switch. For me, it wasn’t like seeing my dad become who he always was; it was seeing him become someone else I didn’t know or like.
My dad greeted me with, "Hi babe". I'm not sure if I said anything, only listened to a new voice and, well, a new person. I tried not to stare, but only because I exasperatingly hung onto the hope this was all a joke or a nightmare. That was the day I grieved the loss of my father.
All of a sudden I didn't know how to talk to my dad without offending him. And sometimes I did, by accident.
It's been 15 years since I have known my dad as a transsexual, as a woman. I still don’t believe this was always truly who he was. There’s an underlying identity crIsis.
Bruce Jenner states (about his first experience at nine years old dressing in his mother's clothing), "I didn't know what I was doing, but it felt good."
I guess all I was hoping from my dad was... 'how does this make you feel?' or 'I can understand you're confused'. 'Do you want to talk about it'? He had years to get used to himself as a woman, I had a few days, from getting the news to seeing him.
Much of what the family goes through is overshadowed by the trans perspective. When my parents got divorced (my dad’s choice to live a new life), her experience was minimized. When my dad transitioned, it was the death of my father, but my grief was overshadowed by his need to be accepted.
I am the incurable student of life. There is something to be learned from everything- so what did I learn through this experience? I know how it feels to be blindsided, so if I have any major transitions going on in my life, I make sure it's not a surprise to those close to me. Being honest and talking with those closest to you so that they can understand you, is an act of love.
Love is letting people in. Being open and honest, and we shouldn't feel bad for that raw honesty. It heals.
For people who are waiting to unveil a big surprise to family and/or friends, don't wait. In fact, you should have never waited one minute. It's best to talk things over before it becomes big news.
Waiting only makes it easier for yourself, not those you care about. It's your decision, but take others into account, and accept initial emotions even if it's anger or something unpleasant. Take responsibility for the fact that what you do affects others.
For the families, there are too little resources and support for us. Unfortunately, it has become a political issue that establishes a for-or-against mentality. The reality is it's a complex topic.
The reality is it’s a personal topic and families need to be represented more.
Update: I’ve coached and counseled many family members of transgender and transitioning individuals. It has been rewarding, but the need and resources for families is not sufficient.
I want to thank all the people who wrote into me, the emails, etc. You made me realize (after writing this) that I wasn't crazy for all these thoughts. Thank you for making it easier to open up. This was a shot in the dark, but the personal emails of those who know the reality have made it worth it.
I understand them all for reaching out privately as this is still a topic focused on transgenders, not their family.
I have a relationship with my father (on his terms still). My concern is whether we are helping the trans community as much as we could. I see my dad still struggle with identity issues and a lingering unhappiness, even after surgery.
- My Dad wants to be a Transsexual Woman
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 naive. At the...
Transgender/ Transsexuals from the Family's perspective is a must-read. There currently isn't much support for the family members of transitioned and non-transitioned trasgenders.
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on September 27, 2019:
Thank you for your words and a personal experience of a transgender individual, but this article represents the family’s experience. There is plenty of media that portrays the trans perspective...as you said there was an article in the local paper. Has there ever been one on a family member of a transperson? No.
Even though I could give you several personal stories of family members who write in. I think with all the political and media coverage on trans now, many people have a good idea about what trans go through. And that’s great, but I hope to bring awareness to the families and what they go through.
If two people suffer, what makes one more justified? That’s what is happening. Families are told to accept it even though there’s another person who also went through the divorce (spouse of trans) or a girl who lost the person who was her dad(daughter of trans))— that’s grief. It should not be overshadowed by trans because that’s what the public is made aware of.
Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer from Hedgesville, WV on March 29, 2019:
HI Laura I read your story and I'm glad you found a way to repair , or at least, have some form of relationship with your father. Maybe it's not what we consider normal but to him being a woman was how he felt inside. Now I have a story once I worked at one of those do-lunch dating services, and a man came in who had once been a transvestite but had the sex change to a woman. I had to try to match HIM (now HER) to straight men. I had to tell the straight man that SHE (he ) used to be a male. Long story short I found no one who would meet HER (him). From this point on I will call her a her, because now she is. I had to sit and meet with HER and give her a refund telling her I had tried everything but I could not get a straight man to date her, with the open information that she used to be a he. I then saw her bawl and breakdown to me about her problems in life, how she feels so much like a woman inside and wants to be with a man. At this very moment I knew how sensitive she was and that in many ways reminded me of a true woman. She then told me how she had mortaged her home just to get a few surgeries (there were progressions, the only thing that remained was a large adam's apple). However, I felt it sad that she didn't remain a man, and have a gay man relationship , for then, she would a) have a man b) be successful at love and c) not have had to spend over 150000 then on surgeries. To this day I wondered what happened to her, but I didn't have to wonder so long as a few years back she made the cover of my home town's LGBT paper, telling her story of turmoil for years after her sex change and loss of love and fulfillment. I guess what the moral is although it's been so hard on you, it's also been hard on your father. We can't ever put ourselves in THEIR place but we can only see the hurt and suffering that comes with this physical identity crisis and not being who they want to be. I hope that helps in some way. Love the Toostie film or not, he's still the only dad you'll ever have. Life is so short, give him a hug. xo
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 01, 2017:
Thanks for the comments. I think any time a child is left by their parent (my father left when I was ten so he/she could explore a "new Life") there is some resentment. I'm ok with those feelings. You many not be. THe relationship struggles because she is selfish. Any relationship struggles when one person is selfish. I have worked with enough family members of trans that I can tell you, they put that aspect of their lives first. Family is expected to accept or not. ANd you can't blame them for someting that seems as unnatural to them as it seems unnatural to you to remain a man.
THe changes become more important than their spouses (who have little say in it- or time to wrap their heads around it- they married a man- not a woman- and sometime love is enough. MOst guys wouldn't do well with that though if their wife changed to a man). And more important than their children whom very often the trans does not discuss the changes with them. THey are simply selfishly looking for acceptance and approval. I'm not in the business of accepting everything that comes my way just as you did not accept your assigned sex at birth. Inherently I am very discerning and my best friend happens to be a trans. We've had open discussions on this.
It astounds me how "open" people claim to be when this has not personally happened to them. As soon as my dad changed my progressive liberal aunts disowned him. As soon as my friend opened up, his children were mixed about it. I like the idea of blindly accepting, but it's not reality in practice. YOu did not accept your birth sex so please don't lecture me on acceptance. Is it your fault you couldn't accept your sex? NO blame on you, but blame on others right?
My dad didn't come to my wedding (even though invited). I think the family dynamics is a separate issue as the trans thing yet you might be trying to wrap it all up into one. COuld it be other things your children are upset about. I mistakenly believed it was the trans thing I had issues with, but it was my father's narcissism that was the big issue, psychological abuse, etc.
I do hope you find peace with your kids, but let them say what they need. Perhaps they feel they can't be around you until they have accepted it, and it's a tough pill to swallow. Perhaps it is other issues altogether. Your kids were young, and why would they not accept? They need a parents love like food and water. BUt now they understand more, and are using their own discernment. This is often difficult for parents or adult children to accept...when their kids think for themselves.
LoriQ on October 28, 2017:
Lizett....In one of your comments you talked about treating symptoms instead of the cause. You act like being transsexual is a disease which it is not. If transsexuals feel happier after surgery what is the problem? The problem is the way other people perceive it. They act as if being transsexual is a threat or something. So your father is transsexual. You can't accept it. That's your fault. If you treated her in a more positive way maybe your relationship would be a lot better.
LoriQ on October 28, 2017:
I am a m-f transsexual and live full time as a female but I haven't had the surgery. I was married to a wonderful woman and had a set of fraternal twins with her. I told my wife how I felt before we were married. She always told me she loved me for me. I wasn't living as a female at the time we met. I evolved and I told her I wanted to live as a female publicly. She was fine with it. We went to family counseling with the children when they were 8 and they were ok. My daughter told me she always wanted 2 mommies. When my children started 9th grade things changed. My son told me he didn't accept me as a transsexual and didn't want to talk about it. My daughter always said she was fine with it. Little did I know she wasn't ok with it but never told me until years later. My wife and I stayed together all those years because we loved each other. My wife passed away in 2012. I am still grieving her. My son doesn't like me. He didn't even send me an invitation to his wedding and won't let me meet his wife's family. He had a son this past January, on my son's birthday. He lives out of state and he wouldn't let me drive down to see my grandchild. He gave me all kinds of excuses. I am guessing he doesn't want me around her family because I am transsexual but he never said so. Before my son got married I told him I wanted to have his fiance's parents over for Sunday dinner. He gave me excuses not to. He won't even bring his wife to my house. I only got to see my grandson once and I had to meet my son at a park in the parking lot. Before my grandson was born I bought and sent all kinds of furniture and things for the baby and still wasn't allowed to be there when my grandson was born. Neither of my children talk to me now. I am so hurt and depressed over this.
Joaniebnh on July 26, 2016:
No! No! No! The only reason transgender even exists is because of the simple belief, that men shall not possess any amount of femininity. Because in being feminine they are seen as weak! Every woman alive should be appalled at the notion! Feminine does not equal weak. Haven't we been telling our girls that for the last forty years?!
Of course we have, and we have also been promoting "cross gender/dressing" on them to eliviate the oppression women have had to deal with for centuries. Simply saying. We have recognized that women can not be stereotyped into a gender conformity. And thus we need to recognize that men should not be either. Unless you are willing to say women are less then men, you can not say that a feminine man or female expressive man is less then a man. There are tons of butch women that bank on being strong, independent and contrary to the gender normative. So is, are there many men who do not conform to the stereotypical gender normative for men. Just as there are tom boys there are feminine expressive boys. Who turn into feminine gender expressive men. The only problem is the social denial of a fact! And it's intolerance towards that which is not patriarchal. I am transgender, I was open and honest with my two sons about it, they saw it in thier everyday life. They are both good fathers, husbands and human beings. The idea that a person must adhere to a gender stereotype is archaic. Even if that stereotype is of the masculine! It's time we recognized that we are all a gender gradation. We will benifit from it far more then we have benifit idea from the binary!
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 07, 2015:
Thank you peachpurple.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on July 29, 2015:
you had been through a very touch patch but you were strong
Jeanine on April 07, 2014:
so I don't think any woman would ever hurt her child on purpose... but I think almost every man on earth would do that, because of his own life for one, but also, because of his inability to actually know what a real woman feels... each of us say... well I've always thought and felt I was a woman inside... really... tell me how that feels... what we really should be saying is... I don't feel like a man inside... or I don't feel comfortable inside... if one has never been a woman and known what it was like to be ridiculed at the age of 12 or 13... then one can't really say I feel like a woman inside... now... do I feel totally uncomfortable being who I am right now... I can believe that... or I am totally uncomfortable being what society expects me to be because I'm a man... I can understand that... but... I have always felt like a woman inside... obviously not... because a woman would never hurt her children... I know many men who have hurt their children and many who would do it unintentionally... but even the unintentional hurt usually come from a man and not the mother... or the woman...
jeanine on April 07, 2014:
Hi Sara, I am in such agreement with what you have said... I believe for a woman to pass as a gender variant or as a genetic woman is so important in every woman's life... late transition is such a debilitating thing for the family... I just couldn't do it to my children... or lets say I have been successful thus far in avoiding full transition... and I say this because it is a constant battle each day for me...my children know but they are also very thankful that I have considered them in my decision... and for every reason that matters in my life... that thankfulness in them and respect for what I am willing to to for and with them is very important and very much appreciated from me to them... I have taken the pain and suffering that has continued to follow me because I haven't transitioned fully... and tried to use it to my advantage... and now after years of suffering I am sure I am further along than I would have been because I have been able to associate my suffering to that of a real woman... I guess where there's a will there's always a way...for the one thing that I have noticed about genetic woman is... most will suffer even willingly for their children... and I haven't met one genetic female that have actually hurt their children on purpose... I'm not saying that every transsexual willingly hurts their children but what I am saying is... I'm not willing to hurt my own children after reading how wounded this child( Izettl) has expressed in her hubs... and as much as I want to be a woman fully in body as well as in my soul... I am not willing to hurt my children nor my wife for my own pleasure or my own person... Sara I think that you considered that you need to look the part before taking the final step is so important and very mature... in your out look at what it takes to live as a woman in this world... for me to be in help groups for years and ask the same question..."what will your family(wife and children) think about you changing.... and then here the same answer over and over..."well they'll have to get used to it or they'll have to accept it"... it just to much for me some times... the reason it is to much for me is... in all my life living here on earth... the only people I've ever heard say something like that and not really care how long it took for the persons they were discussing to accepted their opinion.... have only been men... so I am suspect of any woman who looks at their children and says... I will hurt them but then they will get over it... because they have no choice... I don't know any woman on earth that would do that to her children... and I think it's because children to genetic woman are human beings that are flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone, so they know if they hurt their children, they are hurting themselves... the only people on earth that don't know this to be a fact of life and of living... are men or males... and I think that is because they didn't carry the children nor have they sacrificed for that child to live... every genetic woman knows because she has given of her very life for these children to live... again I am not judging anyone else... I'm simply saying I can't do it... knowing that they are my children and I have taught them to have faith, have courage, have creative ways about them that will help them cope in life... my conscience mind or my un-conscience mind will not allow it... for a woman is a completed woman in my mind if she can have a child... and if you can't have a child... the next best thing is to be sure to whole a complete awareness than you would literally die for this child...
Sara-NtheMiddle on April 07, 2014:
I do believe that the issue with late in life transition is that there is very little variance like Izettl just mentioned. Look at all the true transsexuals (not crossdressers or drag queens) and you see very few that "pass" without looking literally like a guy in a dress. That was one of my biggest fears for two primary reasons, one being that I didn't want my child to be tormented and ridiculed because of how I look and knowing the difficult aspects of transitioning I didn't want to live the rest of my life being an outcast from society because I didn't fit within the social norm. There are social standards and though they are broadening for the Transgender community, learned personal beliefs and values take time to adjust even in this constantly changing world . Another unfortunate reality of transitioning late in life is that in most cases it can destroy families hurting those involved. There are those extenuating circumstances that everything works out fine but those are the Atypical cases amongst many that have not fared so well. I think every day about how the positive and negative aspects will effect those around me including myself.
Jeanine on April 01, 2014:
I am sure they both exist in your dad because he wore a man's suit for so long...I think we are all in agreement that the earlier one transitions the better for the person and actually for the other folks as well... late transition is an animal unto it's own... in your case, many transsexuals will say... she needs to be thankful her father didn't transition early or she wouldn't have been born... which is true... but I believe once there is a child in the pic, all bets are off on any kind of normalcy trans and non trans alike...each situation becomes unique unto itself...I think at that time communication on a massive scale must take place... otherwise her is hurt and confusion, not only in the transitioner but also in her/his family... as our community becomes stronger and more aware of this... we will grow... and not just as we have grown but will fan out into a bigger and stronger community with a diversity that I think will surprise everyone... no longer will the medical community be pushing us all down one port or one way... there will be millions if not billions of unique individuals that run the gammit of ever beautiful and wonderful creature that we were born to be... no longer out cast but we will take our place of prominence in history once again....
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on March 25, 2014:
Sara and Jeanine,
I think it's apparent in society that variant anything is not acceptable to many. In other words society's reaction is proof there is variance. Many people are confused and of course that reaction entails avoidance or sometimes bully behavior. If there was a few ways to be then society would be fine, but since each transgender may be different that becomes a whole other story. For years my dad was a crossdresser....and there are simply transvestites and then there are transgender or who want to transition. I see the variance clearly in my dad who seems to cling onto many male traits but also feminine as well.Of course I ask myself how much of that is because he waited so long to transition, hence my own confusion about it.
Jeanine on February 23, 2014:
Sorry about the typos... if you can't read it, ask and I'll try and correct as we go...
Jeanine on February 23, 2014:
Sara... I love that ... and I am sure all of us are telling every doctor on earth how it feels... God knows you have and the info I have found out about my own gift is what I have told them about... I have had about 6 therapist, so I have obviously not had a good relationship with any of them or I have had a complete relationship with all of them...lol... not trying to be funny... just trying to see if there is another position in our community besides all of us doing the same thing... that's what irks me a little... there is only one solutions to this gift, challenge, life, whatever we call it.... really.. there is no plumber trans or steer riding cowgirls... or just plain house wives... there are no ordinary girls... who just decided that the clothes were not al there were cracked up to be and a jj is what I have to have in order to feel completely feminine.... what if there are gender variants like me... that fell in love so deeply with the family she has, that she could never even consider hurting them in that way.... and as cowardly as that may appear to some of us, it certainly it very present in my life... and I can't even consider it... I appreciate you Sara... you are an amazing person for sharing and at least talking some of this through... I've gotten to know Izettl and she is so sincere as a person and just an absolutely wonder as a mom and wife to a great man... so I think that's what we should all discuss... not how mad this makes us ... if someone is not considerate but what if we really are just at the cusp of a new type of gender.. and we are to look past being just women alone but a whole community that is brave enough to tell others who we are... like steven tyler... has done... we all know he is gender variant but he and Mick Jagger, Bowie and many others had chosen another way... I'm wondering if there is a way to invite everyone to the party...lol... sorry to put it that way, but think about it.... one of the greatest things that every happened to Christianity, was Paul the Aspostle, change the game when he invited everyone to be save and said.. Christ is your circumcision.... he instantly changed the face of Christianity by making it easier to be saved.... what if there is a seam right here where there are millions of us but not millions that see full transition as the answer... where we we really were a sect of men... that had these powers... to agree with both the male and female spirit... there would only have to be one small change in our emotional evolution... that one step might be... in the very near future .... that the brain of a fully gender variant woman living in a man's body....might skip over the physical aspect and go into living full time as a very motherhood based emotional and mental picture of how a woman really might live her life... not choosing to be like the rest, but choosing the gender outlaw place... but more sophisticated and much more feminine in attitude, instead of the physical.... just a thought... but a real one... and here's why I think we have to enroll them all... we will never have the power to conduct change on a large scale positive scale for until, we are more inclusive... in our community... right now it seem every girl for herself... or every guy for himself... just thinking to the next page... what if... what now... what's next... and how do we move this along to have more rights for all of us...
Sara-NtheMiddle from United States on February 23, 2014:
I first want to start by saying that none of my doctors , therapist , or anyone else has told me how they expect me to be pertaining to the issue of being transgender . It has actually been quite the opposite, they've actually asked me what I am seeing them for and what do I expect and they have tried to help me within their capabilities . I have in my own mind known how I feel and who I should be and I went to a therapist because the feelings of how I was raised and who I felt I was, conflicted and I needed to dwell deeper into the root of my issues so I could make a more informed decision pertaining to my future.... I have more thoughts that I want to add but have to go for now.
jeanine on February 21, 2014:
I keep thinking we are at the beginning of some great understanding for some reason... something that will fall into place and make all this confusion seem to make sense... I keep waiting for the other shoe to fall... and I seem certain that it will... there has to be some method to this madness... I mean think about it... have any of us, had any other treatment suggestions other than the therapist and doctors saying we should change our bodies...to fit our minds... I haven't heard of one other idea... have any of you... seems strange that we wouldn't hear of something, even if it were some crazy idea... I haven't heard one doctor suggest anything else... to me that's like women having mastectomies for years and then we realized that they could do a lumpectomy... for most of those procedures... or like the medical community before penecillian was invented... what they were doing for people... they were sure was the right thing... although more than half of the patients died probably because of no sterilization of the tools they were using to do the operations... I feel we are at that place for some reason... like we all know cancer would be cured if it were men getting it everyday... because they would have put more money in it... this feels like they haven't spent the dollar on our gift because not many have it, or that they don't care because we are a sub culture to them... something is wrong but I can't put my finger on it... lol...anyhoo... let me know what you girls and guys are thinking...
Jeanine on February 20, 2014:
I'm sure you guys are right, about so many different degrees of gender variance in our community... but my question about being a good mother, wife and friend to our children is real as well... and I only say that in deepest respect for the feelings that we all have of being in the wrong body... so if we really are women.... shouldn't we be more mature in our handling of our most precious assets on earth... our children... and the woman who gave them to us.. after all we couldn't have them ourselves... and this woman not only loved us in our weirdness but loved us enough that she gave birth to our love....my take on transition is, we all get so caught up in changing our own bodies that we forget that our bodies have grown and produced children and those children are part of our own flesh, but because we did not carry them and can not say, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, we do not possess the feelings or the compassionate side of the very women we profess to be... In that so many transitioning females leave their children and their childrens feelings out of the equation is almost to much for me.... as a woman.... to take. How many times have we heard, from our therapist, our groups, and even from our own mouths say..." well they'll just have to accept me for who I am"... then we take those that we have loved the most and who have really loved us the most of anyone we know and force that part of ourselves on them.... finally telling them that they have to tell themselves to accept something that is a very bitter pill for most of our families...... I'm speaking of this part of transition because to me after having faced this all of my life, I don't feel that one thing, the forcing them to accept us as something they have never known in us, is very feminine or feminine at all, in behavior.... it feels very masculine to me... a forcing of the issue so to speak... a total self centeredness that I do not see in the genetic female community... therefore I am suspect of how many of us, have thought this through...as women.... as the one who says... oh I feel like a woman inside.... really.... really do you.... and if you do... tell me what every woman on earth has done, when it comes to making a choice for her children or herself... history shows the opposite behavior for genetic female behavior and trans female behavior... the genetic community of females tend to do anything and everything to keep their children from harm, whether that be from physical trauma or emotional trauma. The trans female community does just the opposite when it comes to emotional and mental trauma. And yes I know that's what the living the true life test is about... however... the true life living as a female... only happens after we have hurt our families and destroyed what we had built with them up until we say..."I just couldn't stand it any more... I had to tell someone... I just had to transition"...so is it set up that way, where there is no turning back, or that we have no where to turn... or is it that we are at the beginning of this particular place in transsexual history and we have overlooked how transition should really be handled... I believe in the future, transsexuals or gender variants like ourselves with handle transition differently... and I'm only talking about late transitioners... those with children... we are handling it very poorly I believe... we are hurting those we professed to love and hurting tose who have loved us.....
Sara... I do understand that need to look female... we all have it.. when you say... " I can't seem to understand what drives me to have to be as much of a woman as I can physically be"... we all have that... but that is what I am questioning really... or we getting bad advice from the medical community... or are we getting advice that should be addressed in a second stage of transition... like I feel there is a step missing when it comes to how to deal properly with our families... again, I appreciate you all discussing this and you am so thankful for the info that each of us have in dealing with our gift... our curse... whichever way you see it... it is truly both and as both, it is a gift... to me... as one or the other, it is a curse in my own life, because of what I would have to put my family through... so I know you all understand my pain there... here's my question... are we actually serving ourselves well, in the way we are dealing with our families... if you look at our history, we were advisers and marriage counselors, throughout history in over 132 tribes world wide... this is a history before Christ and after... so if we know or knew who to advise others and help them... how are we not doing the same for ourselves... what it appears to be, is that we have to have those jeans from the ladies dept to help convince ourselves, not others... and if that happens to be true, which it's only a hypothesis, then their is something missing in our view of what a woman really is.... so when we say... I feel like I'm a woman inside... really... tell me what a woman feels like... if you've never been one and had the opportunity to practice being one, how does she feel... because there is evidence that we don't feel like genetic females, when it comes to hurting our children... this hub is proof of that... anyway... just thinking out loud...but if this happens to prove true, then we could be wrong about other things as well... when we say... I feel like a woman.... really... really... how does she feel...I'm not trying to incite or hurt... just want to be honest in my thoughts... and we all know why I want to be honest... because we have been dishonest with ourselves and with those we love for so long... love you girls... hope you have a wonderful day...
Sara-NtheMiddle on February 19, 2014:
You're a sweetheart Jeanine but I have to agree with Izettl that there are various degrees of gender variant and I also think that the majority of people to one degree or another are gender variant even if they don't realize it. I live my life as a woman and as little, transgender as possible. I say that because there are some things that I have to do as transgender and I have realized that there are very few differences between living as a man or living as a woman other than the way I visibly appear to myself and others. No matter how few differences there are, I can't seem to understand what drives me to have to be as much of a woman as I can physically be. I kept a security stash of the best guy clothes that I owned just in case things didn't work out and I had to go back. Just for the hell of it I put on a pair of the guy jeans and I hated how they felt and how they looked. It's very puzzling because they aren't that much different from the Aeropostale jeans that I wear now other than my jeans now are form fitting :) . People are just wired to think and feel a certain way, be genetic or through conditioning. Fortunately I don't have enough money to go see a psychiatrist because I don't think that question will ever be truly answered.
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on February 19, 2014:
I believe there are various degrees of "gender variant". Some are absolutely so much woman, it's impossible to see a man there. I'm not sure how my dad would have been because in his era, boys were men. They were learning to be men about the time they were giving up the baby bottle. then he was off to fight in Vietnam. Now that he's transitioned, there is more man there than not. Perhaps for years of living as one for so long (55 yrs). Just as some women act like men and relate to men more than women, there are some trans who can relate to men as well, not just the typical female role. In fact I think a lot of us, no matter the gender, have a little of both.
J, I know you've gone through your fair share of thoughts from counselors. Good, God they have no idea what they're talking about. Some things are beyond them and their training- I went through that training too and I'm still mystified by many things in human nature. Not terrified though. I appreciate some of the gals on here like "sara in the middle" and "Celeste" who are honest in their discussion on this topic. and of course you too Jeanine. Since I've known you, you have become real to me. Not a cover up, not pretending to be one or the other, but accepting a wonderful fate to be mighty in both. No one I know understand BOTH women and men the way you do. God not only spoke to you but blessed you. There are numerous accounts in the Bible in which God's favorites and the mighty struggled- it isn't always easy. How does that go...to one who is given much, much is expected.
I grew up a 6' foot tall girl, I was always tall and trust me I've felt different. Not trans, but I do know the feeling of different. My mom did at least one thing right and taught me to feel special (not different). We act like being treated different is awful- I'd take being unique any day. I don't want to be like ever y woman, nor should you.
It's also like those who hope to win the lottery and someday they do, but realize it's not all it cracked up to be. I still see my dad struggle even after the transition. And it's not really with others, it's within herself.
jeanine on February 19, 2014:
LOL... for some reason... I don't seem to be able to spell... curse.. today... damn...lol... and there are some sentences that should have the word "how" in them... my apologies for the typos...
jeanine on February 19, 2014:
I disagree, about no one knowing... about us before TV and the internet... there is a history that most of the therapist or talk shows do not speak of... we were in places of prominence for thousands of years... we were at the building of the pyramids, had a suite on Celopatras barge... look deeper and you'll find us everywhere... transsexuals are just the new Eunuchs... the rest of us have been here dealing with both sides since the dawn of man and womankind... and if you look close enough, why they held us in high esteem is that we knew a little about both genders... and that's what it is today... Sara n the middle you know I respect you dear and you deserve to be happy... but you are not a woman and neither am I... do we both have this gift and cruse... yes... but how can you be more, if you decide to take the doctors advice and be less in the body... what makes up unique is we are both... I know many things about being a woman... more than most.... and I know many things about being a man... more than most.... but that doesn't make me one or the other... what makes us unusual is we know more than the average person about the feelings of both genders... so if you practice one without the other... it makes jack or jill a very dull person compared to jack & jill living in the same body... which is what you and I ... or just me... I may be the only person in the world who believes like this... but then,,, you must look up our hidden history to know that for sure... lol... I am not making light of our gift, just speaking honestly woman to woman in spirit... here's the real question.... "How many real women do you know, that would hurt the children on purpose..... none that I know of..... and yes there are a few, but those women are usually mentally sick in some way".... I have three children and I love them as I'm sure you love yours..... the fact is I love them so much... I will kill anyone who tries to harm them... any man ... any woman... including the man's body I live in... understand?... so if you want to be selfish... then transition if you have children... this hub is about a child "Izettl" that grew up in a house where she believed her father was selfish.... so again I say... if you want to please yourself more than your partner and your children... then that is very male to me... for the true blessing and cruse of womanhood, is sacrifice... will you choose womanhood... if so choose your sacrifice... will you sacrifice for your children and partner... or will you sacrifice them instead... oh my... I do know harsh this sounds... but I'm only saying it because it is the question that will haunt you for the rest of your life unless you choose your family.... hope you find a way... I do know frustrating this blessing/cruse is.... you are more unique just the way you are... I have many friends in our community and the two women that I know without a doubt are completely females born in the wrong body, both express regret for giving up their families... because after all the hoop lah and circumstance.. after the srs and oh such good surgeons, facial and breast... they still wear the same tennis and jeans tees and comfortable clothes when they are by themselves that they wore before transition... so to them... they gave up their families for a little make up, a boob job and an innie instead of an outtie... I'm must older than you so I'm not trying to hurt you... just posing the questions... that you will have to answer ... maybe not today... but one day... these questions must be answered... Izettl is an amazingly astute young woman... ask her... she is very honest in these five years that she has been my friend... praying for all of us... I used to ask God to cure me... then I finally heard back... and as I was sure... God was whispering into my heart and in my ear... I heard... cure you from what... I think you are perfectly made... yeah... take a look and see ... because I think you are perfectly made as well... you just had someone tell you... you were not normal... "She said... but I feel so different.... and He said... different is unusual... unusual is unique..... unique is often one of a kind.... and one of kind... is priceless....." that's the way I see each of us... each TS person.. each gender variant human being... priceless in every way... don't give up... you still have friends...
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on February 17, 2014:
I agree about the media being a poor source of education on trans and gender variant. I remember looking it up on the Internet when I learned about my dad and everything was X rated.
and yes, younger kids are better about a parental transition. Young kids are very flexible.
Sara-NtheMiddle from United States on January 13, 2014:
Jeanine, I think what society expects transgender people to be is the same things that it expects everything else to be and that is what the majority deems to be normal or socially acceptable. As for the issue of the gender variety, we have been around for a long time but that time has been in isolated situations so the majority of the population has only just recently been exposed to who we are, mainly since the evolution of transgender people being televised and with the explosion of internet era. People fear what they don't understand or what is perceived as not normal. Education, exposure and time will change how gender varient people are seen, the same way it changes everything. The more common place gender variance becomes the less people will have an issue with it, through tolerance, neutrality or acceptance.
sara on January 13, 2014:
I was in the same predicament as you are and i decided to move forward with my transition. I do think young kids are better equipped to handle a transition before they reach their teens and are under peer pressure. You must teach your kids to have an open mind.
It sounds like you already have made up your mind to transition, but your trying to figure out the best time to do it. Once the girl is out of the bottle, it is very hard to put her back in and your finding that out now. What ever decision you make, i hope it;s the best for you and your kids.
Wil on January 12, 2014:
Izetti - thank you for your heartfelt writing! I've been scouring the internet for information related to trans parents and I must confess, there's not a lot out there. More specifically, I've been looking for writing from viewpoints such as yours; the child's.
First off, I'm a 40 year old guy debating transition and have three very young children (3 and younger), whom I love dearly. I've been married for 16 years and love my wife to death - of course, she doesn't love this other side of me. I went to transition five years ago and we briefly separated, but we ended up getting back together and I abandoned my plans. Fast forward five years and I'm right back where I was, except with three children. I'd always been one that said if we had kids, that would be the end of it - I'd give it up for good - for the sake of the kids. Well, that didn't work out too well, because here I am again.
I don't want to screw up my children's lives. I want to be there for them and provide for them for as long as I'm able. I know coming out and looking to transition will ultimately introduce an element of 'screwedup-ness' into their lives. My question is - is it better for me to transition while they're this young (with what will be only fleeting memories of me as I am now) or to keep things somewhat hidden and do it down the road several years?
Jeanine on November 03, 2013:
Oh Mary, you explained yourself very well... you write english a lot better than I write anything else... and I do know many girls that need the surgery and have had it and or happy with it... my main thought here is late transition.... and trans women who already have families... when I went through the pre- work up for what I needed to do if I were or was going to transition fully with SRS, there was absolutely nothing that helped me deal or helped my family deal with a parent that was about to change from male to female... the medical community and the therapist had one idea... they'll accept you and they have to get over their own beliefs... well in my case I had taught them their beliefs, so that was not going to work at all... here I have my children and I have taught them how and what they should believe and I did teach them not to be judgmental, I had encouraged them to be strong men and to love their wives and family above everything else on earth... and now I was going to shatter those teachings.... I just couldn't do it... so I began to search for a way I might live my life without hurting those closest to me... and although I have still hurt them in some ways, it hasn't been so drastic as if I had done away with their father figure... plus, in my journey to find what is my path, I have come to know myself and see myself much more clearly... in that I am trying to be the person I am on the inside instead of be the one that society expects me to be... in both cases really... I no longer seek to be the man they want me or expect me to be... but also I no longer seek to be the trans woman that our own community expects me to be either... I am more a blend than before... I have to constantly remind myself and my best friends remind me that behavior that I think less of or more of and always think that is a female behavior, is often male behavior as well.... so I am doing better within my own life in my growing... I do have a wonderful support system though and I realize, my family, my wife, and my dear friends are there to lend a helping hand when I am down or in so much need... I have found in my own life as a trans woman, that support is so important and I can't or couldn't live as full a life as I'm living without them.... oh Mary , I am so happy for you in that you did transition and I look forward to you posting here more often... have a great day...
Mary on November 01, 2013:
Izetti- I agree that there is no (recipe) for every one to apply and that every trans person is different .I also agree that psychology have a bad history in western societies, I did not know they treated women through menopause with lobotomy, Thanks for this information (I did not knew what lobotomy even is , i searched online for it) ,my worries are bout younger transsexuals to be denied the treatment. I do not claim that i know what is right and what is not for every trans person , i can't speak for all of them, and i do not want to make this comment concentrated about(me), i know few trans persons of my generation and not all of them want to have the surgery and they are OK with that and yes some times society may put pressure on gender variant people because people do not like neutral things. But at the end what is happiness exactly? are people who are not trans are happy? , Am i happy? i do not really know , did i need the surgery? yes. did i tried to commit suicide before? Yes . Do i feel better now? yes . Is it guarantee that i will not commit suicide? No it is not . If you accept an (external) point of view from a person who did not born or grew up in North America, you have many separations and social differences between the two genders in a shocking way and most of the pressure is on males , they suppose to act and behave or even feel in a certain way .I am not attacking you or Jeanine personally but you also have an prejudgment on how women suppose to(feel) and (react) i see it is similar to people who judge trans people on how they look .I do not know you personally but i can guess you are a good person(and for sure a very good writer) and i think your bad experience with your parent made you even better ,it made you try to see things from a different prospective and try always to question what most of people consider facts , which is good . But also most of trans people (specially transwomen who receive usually the most of the personal attack) are always worry about denial of their treatment .I do not know if i explained what i want to say or not , i am not a good writer like you or like Jeanine and my English make it even worse!
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 01, 2013:
I wanted to clarify what I said about Mary that you may not know how much society influences us in the "right" way to do things. I know you probably know what society thinks, accepts and doesn't accept. I just meant that I would think trans get in a position that they feel if they want to be accepted they've got to be one or the other- look like one or the other. Trust me, my dad now in his late 60's, looks gender neutral. I think people dislike something they can't figure out (male or female) more than if my dad dressed completely like a woman even though he/she would have still some male traits. Cause then people would know my dad is going for the female look and they don't have to guess. I've known Jeanine for years and I know that it must be difficult to be able to look like either male or female. But I wish society would bend a little so other trans could feel "normal" as a little of both, not trying to appease society's one way or the other rule. And of course I think the medical community is influenced by society's what should and shouldn't be. I've been through it in the education and professional (psychology) aspect and through it with my chronic illness (medical). I walk in the door and they tell me this is what we do for everybody. Do I look like "everybody". Is that who I am to you? I'd love to say that, but I'm just another "case" to them. And they treat it one way.
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on November 01, 2013:
I don't think medical community "forces" the surgery, I'm just saying even when I went to school for Psychology, it becomes repeated so often that common knowledge is the idea that trans "need" surgery or many will commit suicide. I do not agree with a one size fits all. Any time we prescribe one thing for happiness, and let's say that person isn't happy after the surgery, it's not a good solution to fix ALL their problems. It could be setting themselves up for something worse. The obsession with getting the surgery can cloud judgment in what the consequences may be, for those that got married or had children in a family. But that is the mainstream idea. Most trans go through the counseling process with only one thing in mind- a means to an end to just get the surgery. It's the same idea that people with body Dysmorphic disorder think of a certain trait on them and they wouldn't be happy unless they undergo surgery to fix it. Often times there's an underlying issue that needs to be dealt with.
Body Dysmorphic disorder: Afflicted individuals think they have a defect in either one or several features of their body, which causes psychological and clinically significant distress or impairs occupational or social functioning. BDD often co-occurs with depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, and social isolation.
To me, there are many personality disorders that resemble trans traits and that only concerns me cause there could be an underlying issue there. I know many counselors that suggest counseling for those who are gay and have had a past with molestation and sexual abuse. As a society we have gotten hung up on the notion that someone is born that way or they just shouldn't be that way. If you're not born that way then you won't be accepted to be "different". I think who cares how you got that way. If we suggest that someone was not born that way then it's not politically correct. When in fact, none of us are born with depression but it should be treated.
So yes, my point is the medical community is treading on thin ice with one-size-fits-all in any behavioral trait.
I am concerned for people. I have never looked at anyone with differences as different. I love differences in people I have always attracted those in my life with something different about them because I don't fi the status quo either. I don't want to. lol. I just want to be real about things and forget all of society's paralyzing poltical correctness. I want the person to be OK before and after the surgery. For trans many times it's that one thing that they truly believe will make them feel normal. Why can't they be normal either way, with or without the surgery. You have no idea Mary, or maybe you do, how much society influences what we believe to be the right way or what were supposed to do. Society has been changing for centuries. I think my lesson in this was a History of Psychology course I took. I learned that the one way to treat women going through menopause was a lobotomy. Can you believe that?!
Jeanine on October 30, 2013:
Oh Mary, I'm in total agreement with we should transition as young as we can... all my comments are related to this hub. My thoughts are pointed toward our responsibilities as women to our families... it is just not right to leave them after we have had them... woman up so to speak is all I'm saying... and I do believe this is a new day and the old ways will pass us by sooner I hope than later... it's the damage done by late bloomers is all I'm saying... I just couldn't hurt my family after I have loved them this long... but I understand that everyone is not like me nor dod I want them to be... what I do want is for every trans woman to have a more divers choice... I'm so happy for you that you transitioned early... we would love to hear or I know I would love to hear more of your take on how we can help more young trans girl to find there way to good doctors and therapist... again thank you for your forgiving ways... and thanks for understanding... and being a grown woman about the whole thing... I have gotten to know Izettl and she is a very nice young woman as well... and I don't really think she has any prejudice against transition or trans in general... her dad had something else as well... he never tried to tell her and she was just a little girl, so it was traumatic I'm sure... again thanks so much for coming here and sharing ... we need as much info as we can get... this is not an easy thing to do...
Mary on October 30, 2013:
Jeanine , Yes i agree with your idea and that i meant before when i said that there are new and different generations of trans now . I know trans people who do not want to have the surgery , i know some who do not want to take hormones , it depends from person to person , doctors do not (force) us to go to have the surgery ,it is not a pilgrimage or something :). because i never got married , and i never attracted to women and i started transition in my late 20th . My surgery was paid by the health insurance in Canada(thanks God) otherwise i would never be able to have the money , that is why it is important to me to defend this medical procedure :) , Again ,they do not force us to have the surgery but they pay for it if we want to have it .My brain is working let us say in (numerical way) here how i see things: kids of trans people suffers and the problem exist because trans people start to transition late because they tried for years to hid their identity , the solution for me is not to fight the idea of transitioning , on the contrary to encourage it ,then trans people will be able to start younger and we all avoid these kind of complications. The damage already happened to persons like Izetti and J but we may try to avoid it happens to new generations.
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 30, 2013:
Here's what I do know...as I stated above, the person on the inside should be treated, not the outside. Most doctors do not know what to do with gender identity disorder so they treat the symptoms and not the cause. I can relate to this. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, an invisible illness. Doctors want only to treat the symptoms because they do not know the cause. I would love for them to treat me, the person as well, but all I get is various harmful medications. If you've had to go through the medical system like I have, you would know that it is deeply flawed so for them to recommend a sex change as the most popular option for all trans. I can't buy that one, I won't buy it. And you should want to know the cause. I can't say I was just born to have arthritis in my mid-30's. I won't accept that. Something else is going on and I haven't met one doctor interested in anything else besides a quick fix.
Also Rocio, why would you find what I have to say here offensive? We don't know each other. It's like someone telling me they have regular/osteoarthritis. I know they think it's similar but Oh my god it's not even close, but I won't fault them for that. I'd love to educate them a little on the difference, but I won't attack them to any extent. I wrote on my dad and I, not your experience. If you'd like to educate me on your experience, well that's why I leave the comment section open. I never delete them because while I may not understand you, someone else could benefit from it. this hub wasn't written for you...apparently, but there are kids out there it has helped. I wrote it because I wanted to know I wasn't the only one feeling this way. If you feel you have comments that might help anyone, then please post.
I love what you said about more diversity if there are more than one or two ways to be a trans. If more chose to be trans but live as both, benefit from it, and choose no surgery then more options would be available mainstream and tolerated too.
jeanine on October 30, 2013:
My family all know of my gift and are very respectful of me trying to consider them... no they don't run down the street yelling oh look ... I have a trans parent, but they do allow me to love them as I always have... as the woman I am inside...I am wife to my husband who is and was my wife before we found this gift, I am woman of my home... and truly I am not like many of my friends... straight gay or trans... I am an individual... I don't hate my male body, because it after all gave me my family, I don't hate my female mind because after all it has given me so much more of my family.... and maybe that's not trans at all... but what I have or what I profess and have explored with our present medical community... the six therapist I have had and two very bright endos that I love very much over this last eighteen years, have all said... I have a severe case of gender variant behavior and suggest I transition in order to be comfortable in this body or in a body, but this is the one I have so , it's this one we're talking about.... after looking at all the options and weighing the possibilities for happiness... I have decided for me... not for anyone else... that I will be happier embracing and having my family embrace me and love them as well as having them love me... I have to look at the wife/husband I married and ask... did I demand that she accept anything about me... and I realize I didn't... she just loved me and I loved her... did she accept this gift I have... yes in every way she could... did she have objections to losing part of the man or all of the man she fell in love with... yes... should I consider her feelings if I love her... awww here we are... if I love her... what am I willing to do for her... you see... deductive thinking is am amazing thing... but it's also a hang up when it comes to love... because if I really love my family and my wife/husband more than life itself... then I will put them first... over my own needs and desires... over my own wants and pleasures, over my self... now... that one thing, this one statement pisses every trans in the world off ... because it proves without a shadow of a doubt that they chose themselves instead of their family.... and hey, I do know some of us cannot live another day in this male body, so you are excluded from this bunch... but for the rest of us... we must consider... who do we love most... ourselves or our own flesh and blood... for the question for me is... if it comes to the death between my child and me... I will always take the death and let them live their life... I will fight to the death to protect them... and will kill any man who tries to hurt them... even... yes even the man I was born into... now, if we take a look at animal behavior... there is only one animal in all of the animal kingdom that generally will take the death for their cubs... and that would be... the female... a lot of males will also but the female will take the death every single time if it looks as though the cub can survive... not the male... the male will choose to leave the cub or choose himself... so although we are not animals, we do share many of their behaviors... and I guess some will say we are the human animal and I get that... all I'm saying is, the lioness in me, would not transition... and it's only me... I'm not saying that's what the trans world should do... what I am saying is... the trans world sure is touchy about any behavior that is not rigidly enforced as "this is transsexual and nothing else is"...lol...lol... not very fluid and not very feminine to me... male behavior seems locked into one way to do things... and female behavior seems to be more fluid to me... and that's only me maybe that sees it that way... but... all the posturing here on some of these comments... all the name calling doesn't really appear to be very feminine to me... and I'm just saying to me... not that I'm right and any of you are wrong... but I do know women talk about everything and they are very good at it, so I would like to practice being friends who have different opinions... I know I have friends/ girls friends and guys friends that see things completely different than I do... but we are still friends and we don't slander each other because we see things differently... we just see it as being different in our beliefs... some of the comments here sound like political statements and disagreements... maybe it's this medium or maybe it's because we are not all sitting at the same table... I wished we were all sitting having a cup of coffee really... then this might not take on such a hurtful tone... for I do know we are all hurting and we all must need something or we wouldn't be here... I can't imagine in woman trans or genetic that would just drop by to be...mean...
jeanine on October 29, 2013:
J, thanks so much for your comments... I believe the same about this hub... it's not like any other material I have read... there is nothing out there for the children of tranns parents and nothing that is really out there for trans who choose another path to deal with their angst... like I have done...it's obvious that all of us who are affected by this gift or disorder, whatever you want to call it suffer and are in pain... for me I chose to suffer in another way... most of the medical community suggest we transition and let our families suffer... I chose the suffering for myself and tried to shield my family from the suffering and pain... both are very hard to do... but what if there are more like me in the future, those of us who are affected by being trans but choose to choose another way... would that not be more diversity than less... if there is only one way to be transsexual... then I wonder about that... that seems to be massively prejudiced in concept... and those asking for acceptance seem unwilling to accept anyone else... so how does that work... is there a holy grail somewhere that says... this is trans and this is not... I thought the idea and I know the idea for myself is to be a woman and to live a life of a woman... not to be transsexual... transsexual to me is a passage way... not the destination... if my children were blind and could not see me as a man or a woman... would not how I treated them and what they thought of me be more who they saw me as than what I looked like... so many in our community seem to just go for the look... to me that's more trasvestite or crossdresser... I have heard transsexuals say for years... it's how I feel inside... it's not the dressing that making me feel like a woman... well what if the next page is... how I live and approach my life is what makes the woman and not the dressing... the plastic could be considered just dressing to those in the future who may be more mature in their emotions... and not really need the look to be women... if we really are women inside... and confident in that... would it not stand to reason that one day... we would stand up and say enough, just as women libbers did in the sixties... I think trans today is still in the dark ages... it's still the only disorder or disease in America that is self proscribed ... we tell the doctors we have it... they don't tell us... Rocio... I would like your opinion on that.. and you to mary... what if we are just the pioneers and trans morphs into something other than a physical change in the future... like homosexuals... there are all kinds ... not just effeminent males like they believed in the fifties... what if there are that many different transsexuals... I believe that way... if I had not had a family I would never have looked for another way to be myself... but because I was late to the party... I didn't think a responsible woman, who loved her family and wanted the best for her children would just go off and decide to do something to her family without considering what it would do to them... again I am just talking about later transitions... those of us without children... I see no problem in changing the body to match the insides... you must admit this is a very real thing... I noticed it after years in my help group, that there was massive pain and suffering there and almost everyone of my friends that were late transitioners all had the same thing to say... well my family will just have to accept it... they get used to it... and yet I saw massive hurt in each of my friends and massive unbelief that some of their families didn't accept them... so the hurt and pain was to much for me to take... the things they all expected to happen... didn't and it was year after year, that their families were not accepting and it damaged both the family and my friends... finally I said, are you crazy... I love my family more than my own life... I can't give up my family just to wear a dress or to have a vagina ... there is nothing in all the world that is worth giving up my family.... Rocio do you have children and if so tell me how you are doing with that and have you found success... Mary... please let me know the same... I don't want to fight here I want to learn if there are others like me or are those of us that have found a way to transition without hurting our families... that's a real question in my own life...
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 29, 2013:
Sorry Rocio, there is nothing I can tolerate form you when you attack my heartfelt written hub here. I wrote this from my own feelings. You are certainly allowed yours as I will not pretend I know what you go through. I will listen, but not berate you, deny you unless you do this first. I have no toleration for people who walk around with a chip on their shoulder. You said before that you did not know the whole story because I did not write it all. So based on not knowing the whole story, and assuming the whole story was written here in a few paragraphs, you decided to attack someone? That just proves to me you had that chip on your shoulder before you read the second line of this article.
I saw nothing in my dad that resembled a female so why wouldn't I doubt some trans. I've had personal experience with it. have you had personal experience with being a parent who transitioned. Is it worth it to give up your family. I accepted my dad, it was him who has that chip on his shoulder, never sharing any of it with me because he took defense just like you.
I supoose this hub was not meant for you as it offends you so much, but please do not deny the fact that it does speak to others, it does have "it's place" as "smoke and mirrors" stated.
I just see a missing need Rocio, in trans. I see my dad no happier as a woman. I want trans, and anybody struggling with identity or depression or anything else, to be treated as a person, not as a woman or man or disabled or color...just the person. I think one-size-fits-all treatment for trans does not address the person. Changing the outside does not change the inside. You say it is matching the outside to the inside. I just don't see that because so many trans struggle on the inside too. So if they struggle on the inside, no outside will matter, no matter what gender it is. I want that to be treated...the person. I don't think we should just accept this as the only way to treat an individual with gender identity issues. Aren't we all fooled into thinking our problems would be fixed if we had more money. Studies state 3 months after winning the lottery, people are worse off than before. Let's look beyond gender and see the person, treat the person. All of humankind are susceptible to thinking, if only (fill in the blank...I was prettier, richer, healthier) I would be happy. This is never true! It is short-lived. I watched my dad go through about a year of bliss and euphoria after his change then life went back to normal.
smoke and mirrors on October 28, 2013:
To the above writers,
I come to this site often... And I often wish that I had discovered izettl's site earlier. I am the eldest of three children left behind by a transitioning parent. A parent I loved dearly, a loss that all these years later I still struggle to deal with. What I have reflected on since coming to this site, on more than one occasion, is that the children and families of transiting parents more than likely do require a space (free from the judgement of others) where they can express their grief, loss and sadness. Perhaps at times to even celebrate the parent they loved and cherished so much.
I would argue that any person... Transgender or not. That would come into this forum and argue that in some way their argument is the moral high ground is misguided. There is no high ground here. Just an experiencing. As a male adult of almost 35 I have found a community here that I can relate to, a shared experience that is unique to those of my friends and acquaintances.
To the angry people... You're angry... Hurt... My parent experienced that... It used to break my heart hearing her stories. But you know something? She never listened to my hurt... Not a single time. I don't begrudge her for that... Her life is challenging. However my needs... As a son... We're left hanging...
There are many sites to support transitioning people and the awareness and support for transitioning people is growing. That said I don't for one second presume the community is safe from prejudice... It isn't. However I challenge all of those that read this hub to find another site, web page, book, text, article, paper, documentary... That attempts to explore the complex needs of the children in these family units. Anything at all that is remotely similar to this site... This site where the main focus, the main point, is to explore the shared experience of the family. A family trying to come to a new understandings about finding a place from where they can learn to accept, cherish and understand the new family member.
I always think to myself... "When I write these words... What is my intention?"
Tolerance is one of the keys. Acceptance a possibility. To the above posters... Ask yourself why you post in a forum where so many people have expressed their hurt. What outcome is it that you are after? What do you know that we don't that you feel will create better literature on a subject so relatively new and unexplored?
Izettl I praise your continued following of this hub, years after you originally started you still continue to monitor and offer words of support to so many who are really just searching for new truths. I benefit just by being allowed to read your words and the words of others. A healthy exchange of hurt and fear and how to look objectively at complex problems. And having read the posts from other family members since I discovered this hub has demonstrated to me more than enough that this hub has its place.
Safe travels to all of you.
jeanine on October 28, 2013:
oh Mary, I don't know why I thought those things were you... they were Rocios comments I was making and to be truthful... I wanted to include you or at least someone else where it didn't feel like I was ganging up on her... sne seems awful hurt by what we were saying so I was trying to soften the blow, please forgive me... but I know you have been coming here for a while and I was hopeful that you might strike up a conversation with Rocio... this site has done so much for me... I don't want anybody to think we are trying to be hurtful... please forgive me... I read your comment about your male name and thought you were being aggressive... please forgive me for assuming anything... you are welcome here just as Rocio is and anyone else that wants to express themselves... I have gotten to know Izettl and she is a wonderful young woman, who had to face some nasty things from her father... so again forgive me dear...
Mary on October 28, 2013:
Jeanine- Where is exactly the aggression part in my comments ? and where is exactly the part i attacked you personally or Izetti? And where is the part that i said that i consider myself a woman more than women or that i know about being a woman more than women ? . I am asking because i want to learn .
jeanine on October 27, 2013:
Rocio and Mary... I am very sorry if you took offense... but your aggression proves the point ... if we do not or if I do not agree with your opinion I'm some kind of bad person... that behavior is so male in itself that I have doubts... hey if you are a woman... then great... I'm just saying I don't have to believe like you just as you don't have to believe as I do... I like this hub and did not know Izettl before I read it... I like it because it gives an opinion of a child of a transwoman... there are thousands of opinions that agree with you but one like this that I have found... the reason I know there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands is because I have been looking for any other opinion.... one thing I did learn early on is if everyone is in agreement ... something is usually wrong... does it not bother either of you that the medical community has only one solution to our situation... again if I was to harsh on either of you... please forgive me... and Mary the reason you keep coming back is... deep inside you know that I am right in that there were times in our history we were held up high above all advisors... whats the deal with that... there was no operations to make us look more like the women we are... there were no people calling us names... where is that history... why are we not talking about two spirited people... why are you and I expected to be more if they take part of of being away and say we should be one or the other... do you hate your male side because your were taught that... I was not taught to hate either of my sides... the male or the female... so as I express those feelings... I get this from even you Rocio... that you will not even read my words because I'm not like you.... think about that for a minute... how convenient ... I hope you can see my position... I certainly can see yours... except I'll never see you putting yourself before your family... and all of you that have accepted that my kind have to go... is a little strange for people would call for equally in gender variant behavior... for you see... there is a history when our tribe or our kind or trans people of yester year... whatever you call our history... there was a day when my kind of trans woman was revered... now... who is the one discriminating against who... am I the norm or the ab norm... look at our history... and Mary if Rocio want listen at least look deep inside and ask... when were we great and how are we so looked down upon now... and why... there is evidence that we were advisers to kings and queens... when and how did that stop... I think it stopped when we began to think of ourselves instead of others... I'm not and neither is Izettl saying you are wrong for being yourself... Rocio, you are saying we are wrong for giving our take on it... and you want us to shut up and not say it anymore... we are not telling you to not be trans... you are telling us to stay quiet... why is that... is it because you know more than we do about what you are speaking of... you know more about being a woman than a woman does... oh come now... we are older than that... and you know more about my situation than I do... oh please bitch... wake up... I have a family that loves me and accept that I am different, I have friends that know I struggle and still love me... I have most all of the community that you say you are part of, loving me and trying to help me deal with my own... gifts... so join us... I don't hate you I love you... I know it's hard... it's been hard for me... and I am so happy for you in your transition... if... and this is a big if... if you didn't hurt your family... not speaking of your parents... if you notice, we are only speaking of late transitioners here... those of us who chose to birth a family and then decided that it's just to hard... that's BS to me... and more than likely if you stay here and speak your mind... you'll see we are not monsters, just people like you trying to make sense out of a weird thing that happened to all of us here... lets talk... communication is the key... I hope you girls have a great day tomorrow... again I am so sorry to heap more pain upon you... I really am...
Mary on October 25, 2013:
And Jeanine , in the case if you ask. My (male) name was not Mario :) it was Mustapha (but I am not terrorist)
RocioFernanda on October 25, 2013:
Izettl....you asked "So a trans wants to tell me how hard it is being a trans?"... who else should tell you about that?!?!...
You are right I don't know how is it to be born a woman...but I never ever assumed that it was easy. I can only imagine what women suffer and I respect them and admire them for that.
But , that is not the point. I am very upset with your text because you declare that you do not wish trans people to be treated as "normal", you are stating that encouraging their existence and their happiness will be "detrimental to our society". Why?.
I agree with you that trans women will never understand how is it to be a born woman... but they still have the right to be treated however they wish to be treated...simply because that´s a human right. On the other hand you don't have any rights to tell who can be treated as a woman and who can't... no matter who you are
RocioFernanda on October 25, 2013:
Jeanine just so you know after reading the first line of your comment I just stopped reading: "Rocio, are you gender variant... and if so was your male name... Rocky...lol..."
I'm sure anything else you have to say is irrelevant
Mary on October 24, 2013:
It is true that the world is mostly dominated by masculine , heterosexual ,white, cisgender culture and every one who is excluded from this is suffering . And I learnt through years that trying to proof that others are suffering less does not help and does proof that I am suffering more . Though I think Transwomen get a lot of discrimination all over the world and specially in north America if she is : Immigrant , not white , trans -woman .she got the whole package . I remember I watched a video of a psychiatrist , she was trying to proof how discrimination affect the mentality of people and she made like an experiments she asked a group of people to start to ridicule the ones that have brown eyes and within one hour this group of brown eyes people started to feel depressed and frustrate, I think that explain that transwomen come and leave angry comments here , their frustration does not necessary come from reading this hub( nor from testosterone Jeanine) , it comes from accumulation of frustration . I just want to add that not all transwomen were typical white , heterosexual , middle aged men ,time change and there all types of women .I do not deny that reading this hub and many comments written by Izetti and Jeanine make me sad and more depressed (I do not hate) . And the question that I keep asking to my self , if coming here and reading comments makes me feel sad , why I keep coming ? is that a kind of mental illness , like a masochism or something ? Am I mentally ill ? is that because I am trans ? or I am trans because I am mentally ill from the beginning ? . I do not know what I am saying :)
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 22, 2013:
It is very different living life as a woman from birth. You see I've had to earn my spot....it wasn't easy. No, men don't like it when you pass them on the freeway or respect your opinion at work. My dad transitioned at age 55. He made a mans living. Got his way in the world as a man. Getting boobs at age 13, getting teased about having those boobs. That was my experience not his.
Getting teased for girly things, like crying and being more sensitive. So Rocio forgive me if I don't completely emphasize with how hard it is for you, or trans to be a woman. You see, we've gone through, and go through, that every day. So a trans wants to tell me how hard it is being a trans? Let me tell you about being a woman...
Jeanine on October 20, 2013:
Rocio, are you gender variant... and if so was your male name... Rocky...lol... sorry dear I just had to say it... and turn about it fair play because you are attacking a gentic female... my friend... if you are a a woman or a trans woman... what is your goal sweet heart.... more than likely to be and live the life of a normal woman... well if you are a normal little girl and your father never explains what he is doing nor why he is dressing... that normal little girl hurts and more than likely feels like Izettl here... so much for normal... right... I am gender variant and I understand completely what Izettl is saying..... the good thing about the Psychology community is they do question all of the things you just mentioned before they give you a license... lol... so try and be the woman you are or try and be the woman you want to be... understand...or are you one of those that believe we should believe you are a woman just because you say you are... that doesn't cut it in a real girls world... they have to prove they are all woman... just like you do dear... if you are a real woman which I doubt very seriously or you would understand that it's not a womans world but a mans world... and in a mans world, you can just say it... and your words do hold some weight because you are .... after all a man... in a womans world things are very different and if you are trans, you know this and I do apologize if that's offensive, but lets get real... the biggest challenge for our community in my mind is, controlling the anger that we experience as men and can't seem to control as women.... your anger here shows that challenge I am speaking of... and believe it or not women can discuss this gift we have over coffee and laugh their asses off about a friend of their who is having problems with gender ...then before they leave the table, they are compassionate enough to be crying and praying for their friend...so when you write pay attention... we are sitting at the table with you and crying for you because we know you have not reached the place yet where you are paying attention... and really I am not trying to hurt your feelings... if you are a trans woman, God knows you have enough grief so I don't need to heap any more on to your plate...I hope understand that a real woman can discuss this with out calling names or getting mad so the getting mad thing is definitely a male behavior... not because I say it... but because every woman on earth will say it... go find me 5 women who agree with you... thats the way women do it... they have support and they lend support to ideas they believe in... or did you thing that run for women /the pink ribbon was started by a man or a mens group...lol...lol.. I think you are cute in that you want to tell us your opinion but don't you know you can't tell a woman anything...lol... Rocio... I know you don't want to stop and ask for directions but over here in this part of the world... they are free and we'll give you a cup of coffee and bring you a scone if you would like... chill and take something... your husband won't mind... he likes it if you are a little like that sometimes... hope you have a great day... the strangest part about our community is... we all say no one should judge us... but most of our community judges everyone... just like you have been doing here with Izettl.... this is her opinion dear... she has a right to that right... just like you and I... I don't have to agree with it... nor do you... she is wrong and you are right because....?..... because you say so..lol....lol....lol.... oh come now... you are older than that aren't you...
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 19, 2013:
Mostly I think the hub is about a confused girl who has a trans dad. I think anyone can relate- when you grow up one way and find out things were completely different behind the scenes.
"In the awkward moments of me asking him questions, he seemed to answer in a harsh tone and allude to some blame on me for him waiting to change his life. I had so many questions, but I knew my dad's tolerance was low for him being questioned about anything. I realized, for the first time, I never questioned my dad even about other things. It was time I did. "
This was from the hub, and it's just one paragraph of many that lead the reader to believe my dad was the victim? I don't think so.
Not enough pages to tell the whole story- I was focusing on the trans part. How do you make an essay out of an entire childhood. If you also read the hub written here, it says I didn't know how to feel. I WAS angry at my dad hiding it from me, lying to me. If you also realize psychologically speaking when someone loses a parent they've known (a dad) they grieve- DABDA (steps of grieving). There is denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Also read a comment I made to another above "What seems to be hurtful is that we (as the kids) are being selfish by having feelings or reactions to this. No matter what we are supposed to be supportive and not go through our own grief (yes., it's grief when you lose a parent to anything). If we have emotions toward it, we are viewed as non-supportive of the LGBT community."
To tell someone they aren't allowed to have to feelings they have, is silly. There are many of us out there who have lost a parent to trans- no we don't need another mom, or an aunt, or anything like that. We needed our dad.
What would have also been nice is if my mom had nice clothes to dress up in or I had money to go to college. It's not like we didn't have the money, that's the issue, we did but my dad chose to buy designer outfits, wigs, feminine apparel, make-up from department stores while my mom went to the drugstore for make-up. And that's called "selfish". In the city I live near, I see people treat homeless as if it's perfectly normal. No, it's not but we ignore or accept it. There are some thing in society that need to be addressed rather than just accepted!
Go back and read some comments from "Jeanine" on here. That's my long time friend I made through this hub. A trans, but who did not transition completely due to putting family first, like many women do. Honestly Jeanine is what I would typically see as someone who truly feels as a woman does but is in a man's body. Most other trans I know are selfish and see women as merely dressing up in pretty clothes.
RocioFernanda on October 19, 2013:
...well having known the whole story.. then I must apologize, your father just happens to be a bad person...but as you said you did not tell the whole story in the beginning, did you?. People assume your dad is the victim because that's how your story portraits him/her... Pay attention to everything you wrote and you'll see how you just seem to be complaining as many transphobic persons do without giving any reasons to it... Next time just tell the full story...
Also next time don't raise questions like "Do you think transgender people should be treated as normal?"... because that kind of question is including ALL transgender people who now have to pay for the hate you have towards a single bad person: your dad.
Finally I quote one of your last comments: "I think just accepting trans would be a detriment to our society"...and the following pseudo explanation you gave to that statement is just sad.. I think someone should review your case because probably your titles in Psychology should be removed...
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 18, 2013:
Just one more thing...you have also fell into the stereotype trap. Without knowing the whole story, you assumed my dad was the victim. So many people have commented like that, with anger towards me....assuming because my dad is trans he was the victim in this scenario.
Honestly I think our overly politically correct society is damaging protected groups like trans. People are afraid to be near them for fear of offending them. They stare because there isn't any good info out there. It's trans versus the world and most are as intolerant of the world as they believe people are intolerant of them. A child stares when they don't understand something so I just see the looky loos as people who don't understand something.
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on October 18, 2013:
I think you were offended when you read the title and had your mind made up to hate me before you read the first paragraph. I feel pain for my dad when people stare at him in public. I really do.
I can tell you that my dad cheated on my mom- that was hurtful. A real woman with or without gender reassignment doesn't abandon their kids or break up the family. As a parent myself, I can tell you I either don't expose my kids to something they don't understand or if they are I explain it to them. A child is not capable of understanding why her dad is sometimes a guy and sometimes a woman. My parents could have not let me see that or explained it to me.
I am informed, I have degrees in Psychology. I also know it's gender identity disorder so yes it is all in the brain. Girls and boys are treated differently from the time they are born so how would a baby born a male know what it's like to be treated like a female. My dad spent 55 years of having a great career as a male, was treated better in work and society- better than most women who work twice as hard to be treated twice as worse...no, he has no idea what it's like to be a woman. Making fun of my mom for gaining weight after having me? You better get informed. I don't share to whole story about my dad being verbally abusive- but he should be excused cause he wanted to be a woman. Geesh. I am so tired of people attacking me for my thoughts when they're not the thoughts YOU think. Respect each person's experience.
You realize you said it was "normal" to kill abnormal babies in the middle ages. So if that was normal back then then how is it abnormal? My dad walking around in a fancy slip might be normal 30 yrs from now, but it certainly wasn't 30 yrs ago. It was an awful BIG secret for a little girl to keep and never understand WHY I had to keep it secret. There is some things parents can keep to themselves. Kids have no concept of understanding sexuality at a young age.
My dad has some issues...controlling, narcissistic, lacks empathy so excuse me if I don't return the favor. And yes, it is difficult because of society to look at the daughter of a trans and people assume something is wrong with me. I'm not saying that's right, but I'm simply stating a reality.
I think just accepting trans would be a detriment to our society because the medical community passes these people onto surgery. What if there is a psychological component we're missing and throwing out a one-size-fits-all surgery prescription is not the answer. I think trans have had some issues growing up and simply telling them to go ahead and be a woman (or man) is skipping over some necessary work to be done with one's past. I think it allows for them to never deal with the WHY. Like a person who takes diet pills or has surgery, they never have to deal with WHY they are overweight.
RocioFernanda on October 15, 2013:
I just want to say that you mentioned "normality". BuT I'd like to remind you that in the Middle Ages it was "normal" to kill babies born with Down Syndrome or Dwarfism...what I'm trying to say is that the normal thing to do is not always the right thing to do. Nowadays "normal" people stare and point at transgenders...is normal but it's wrong. Please don't be normal, please don't ask your dad to be normal...he/she is very special and you should be grateful for that.
RocioFernanda on October 15, 2013:
I can't believe what I just read... are those your real feelings for a person who gave you your life?... your dad is not hurting anybody, except for your pride. You feel embarrassed of going out with her , and you are blaming her for that , when the fault is all yours!.. your fault and also of the people staring at you . Those other people out there are the ones who are hurting you and your dad and it's so sad you are not being able to see that, and support your dad. So sad.
By the way your second part says: Having boobs doesn't make you a woman... I can tell you that having a penis doesn't make you a man... but the brain is something very complicated . Some transexual cases are an actual anatomical condition of the brain...please get informed
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 16, 2013:
I am sorry you have to go through this. I am also sorry your dad does too. There just doesn't seem to be a right way to do all this and not strain the relationship forever. I have come to terms it will never be the same between my dad and I- it's been 13 years since his transition. Just so much pain and lies in the past that, like you said, it's just another one to top it off with.
What seems to be hurtful is that we (as the kids) are being selfish by having feelings or reactions to this. No matter what we are supposed to be supportive and not go through our own grief (yes., it's grief when you lose a parent to anything). If we have emotions toward it, we are viewed as non-supportive of the LGBT community.
I also have another hub if you want to view that- it's Families of Transgenders
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on August 16, 2013:
I never wanted my dad to ask for permission, but I believe he would be equally hurt if I was pregnant and had a kid and suddenly told him one day...but it's my body. You see, that argument is invalid. It's a kind of gesture to share major things...not to blindside close family. It's also the lying that hurt my mom and I most.
He also did effect MY body- my psychology. It's pretty messed up when he needed to dress like a woman around the house, telling me not to tell others, and leading me to believe all this is normal. That is selfish. No woman would do that to her kids unless mentally ill.
And...Dave. My dad wants me to call "him" dad and my kids to call him grandpa. Post YOUR disrespect somewhere else. And by the way I have trans friends.
Thanks for stopping by. Yes, for the most part the hurt doesn't come from the trans thing- just initially, but the ongoing awkward relationship and it being mostly on my terms to come visit him or make the relationship work.
Things like my dad wanting me to call him dad- I don't know what's right or wrong and it's like walking on egg shells. If my dad was more open to being with I don't this would have been awkward as it is now.
Angie on August 04, 2013:
I just wanted to say I have read a few of the comments here & in coming weeks/years I will read more.. tonight though I feel a little emotionally overwhelmed.
a little over 2 months ago my dad told my family that he identified himself as TG, last week while on the phone with me he told me he wanted to go to bangkok to get the "op"
I love my father very much & through my childhood I was daddy's girl, he was my hero, despite the messy way our lives were & still are. so many phsycological issues & trauma.. this is just another one..
I love him & feel accepting & yet I don't.. I certainly don't want to loose my father as he is now.. & don't want another mother as I have a very supportive one of those already..
just trying to come to terms with the loss of my father the way he is now & come to terms with this strange women who at 60 something is acting like a 15 year old girl.. I am still very confused but it is heartening to read that there are others out there who's fathers transitioned.. I just wish my dad had done it when I was 7 or 8 I think I would have coped better than now at 30..
there is still such a long way to go on this journey.. & before long I will have to reach rock bottom but at least from there I can come back up..
smoke and mirrors on July 18, 2013:
Always important to remember in life that it all is a matter of perspective. I feel that some times it is important to remember that we are fortunate to live in enlightened enough times that we can debate the issues mentioned in this forum. I read the above passages and it still continues to sadden me. How easy it is to miss the point of all the hurt.
Relationships vary and can be incredibly diverse. I recall meeting a friend of my transgender parent. Another woman who had transitioned. I listened to her stories with interest. How she maintained her relationships with her children, made time for her kids, and (crucially) accepted that at some stage of her life she had a physical presence other than than the body I was meeting her in. It was a revelation to me. Why?My trans parent... Denied... Outright... That they ever had a physical presence other than the person I now met with. My trans parent went a step further renaming my mother. Using a mans name to justify her present reality.
Do I resent her for this? No. Do I think it was the right thing to do? I don't. But it was one of her many decisions... One of the many I have to live with. I say the above... To add to perspective. There is no right or wrong to these complex situations. I can say with certainty I was hurt. I can say with certainty I experienced trauma due to a complex family unit that I still do not fully understand. I can also say for certainty my experience was one of many. The hurt is real. Finding a way to move beyond crude references and generalizations is pivotal. No amount of education will facilitate a perfect solution. It requires patience, tolerance, a level head and compassion. I haven't spoken to my trans-parent in over ten years now. Twice I have tried to rebuild the connection and both times I have been rebuffed. I don't resent her for her decions. I know for both of us life is challenging and difficult. Made harder by the ignorance of others. The ignorance of those that fail to realise my parent had to change gender. The ignorance of those who don't accept that I was hurt in the process.
What is the truth in all of this?
I say it is all a matter of perspective.
entropyartist on July 17, 2013:
Dave-S, no one should be calling anyone else a "terrible person" because of how they react to changes in a family's dynamic. Families are tricky things and judgements shouldn't be made to hastily.
By the same token, Izettl, I do truly hope that you can someday come to terms with your father's new identity. I know a number of people who identify as trans, and transitioning is never a decision that is made lightly, and I'm sure that taking this step was more difficult for your father than you imagine. The woman who your father is now, on the outside, is the same person who she has always been on the inside, the same person who taught you how to swim and ride a bike.
You need to move past the hurt and realize that someone's gender identity or sexual orientation is what it is. Ask any LGBTQ individual and they will let you know that it really is about self-acceptance and that no amount of "nurture" will ever change the "nature" of it. When you can accept this, hopefully you will be able to forgiving the wrongs you felt and feel.
I wish you the best.
Jeanine on July 16, 2013:
Dave-s... I am trans and you are totally full of it... this is about her feelings and if you are so tolerant, where's your tolerance for Izettl... and for you to correct someone who has lived this and you are just a friend... what a back seat driver that is... most trans I know... want to get on with their lives and have very little to do with the so called trans community after we transition... we are normal people caught in the wrong body... and personal acceptance is everything... not group acceptance... not pronouns... give me a break... that's for people playing that they are women... not real women... most real women I know, Genetic or gender variant, just want to settle down find a man and make a home for his kids and hers... period... that's it... not this BS you are peddling... I'm sure you may mean well but take a close look at your defense... is it real and if so I apologize... but from someone who deals with this day in and day out... you look like an on looker or a gawker... pay attention to what is happening here... we are discussing how to improve relations not accept the way you think we should act.... you are very welcome here but please share some of your tolerance with someone who may have a different opinion... than your own... and you need to try and get up to speed dear ... your ideas are old... this community is moving very fast and there are new ideas out there... one being... we don't want to be separated out ... we want to be blended in... thanks for your defense though... very male, cute and beautifully quaint in it's own way... I appreciate you though... anyone who is our friend is a good guy I'm sure...
Dave-S on July 16, 2013:
She is being selfish? She doesn't have to get your consent on ANYTHING on the matter on her own body. Btw get your pronouns right before you start talking about your father. They decided to do something that obviously they felt they NEEDED not WANTED. If you honestly think that you are wronged in this exchange then you are a terrible person.
If you honestly want understanding on the matter, talk to more tans-identified individuals through your local LGBTQ community and not just speak about your misguided hurt cis-normative feelings on the matter. My best friend is trans and I have met a bunch of families that are perfectly functional with trans parental figures.
L Izett (author) from The Great Northwest on July 15, 2013:
Thanks for stopping by I think honesty is the main point here. Parents take on the persona of protection and end up lying to us to protect us. the issue with honesty and children is we never know how much is too much...I think about that now as my oldest is 5. When and what do I tell her about her "grandpa"? I also think it's ridiculous that people are willing to live a lie as my dad did and forsake honesty...even later in life with his other family.
I think I need to just sit around a campfire and sing Koombaya my lord because your comment simply isn't reality. Preaching acceptance when in reality we, nobody, has to accept anything. Why should we? Our culture is wrapped up in an ideal in our heads of a utopian society where differences should be celebrated. With all those buzz words and phrases like that I can't help but think you've just reiterated a non-profit website mission statement. I should celebrate that my dad lied to me. If you read with "feeling" into my story, it's not about my dad, it's about me...my experience which means I can have my own viewpoint. Same as poems, they are feelings of expression. Poets rant and do it with feeling. I write and do it with feeling. Anything less is not authentic. I am not into poetry but I expressed my feelings here. Because you don't agree, doesn't mean you have to like it. And how exactly would I have a beautiful opportunity to learn about other people when my dad never opened up to me about any of this, even after his transition. The beautiful opportunity turned into a wedge between my family and myself and my dad. I want to help others realize it's Ok to be upset if this is similar to your situation or if you are the parent considering transitioning, that you take the time to be honest with your kids. I do not tolerate my dad lying to me all of my childhood. I guess I am intolerant.
Melanie on July 04, 2013:
You're story is heartbreaking. Where you could have a beautiful opportunity to learn about other people, teach your children acceptance and grow, you instead cling to misconceptions - and justify your rantings of intolerance as "feelings" and "opinion". We live in a diverse world, learn to celebrate the differences of others - not condem them with indignation.
filiformwart.org on June 27, 2013:
I almost burst into tears reading your article. Same with you, I most probably felt the same. You're definitely right, izettl . It is very essential to be honest. There are things that we just want to keep within ourselves, deepest secrets we don't want to divulge but what if the emotions of our love ones are at stake? What you felt now is a feeling your dad I think, he anticipated. Its just that he wanted to get out of his shell, to express what he really is. There's a lot of lessons to get from your story. Let us brought up our children with all honesty. Let us be honest with what we feel and tell them things they need to know. After all, we don't want them misunderstood us. Thanks for sharing.
jeanine on June 09, 2013:
Larry, help your brother, I also identify with women, and would love to look like I feel inside... but have realized in my own life that the part of woman I respect most and need most in my own life is the ability to comfortably love and or sacrifice for my own family.... the pain and suffering is what makes the woman to me... suffering for a cause is not quite the same as just suffering... so I chose to stay in this body and although I don't long for suffering I do want to be long suffering... does that make sense... i hope it does... whether it is for my family or for my partner... I do get great satisfaction from serving my family and providing a balanced structure as you have mentioned... so proud of you and your decision to have a family... it will not be easy, and I know... my children are all grown now but they are still my babies to me... and I still hold them like when they were my little babies... and for me that is a great satisfaction... if I had transitioned long ago, I would never get the chance to do that...so the feeling of being a mom holding her children is much more important to me than looking like a mom and never getting to hold them again... or if I did get to hold them, it would only be some unnatural or uncomfortable thing that they forced themselves to do...of course that could be my own thoughts on the subject, but hey if I didn't get to hold my children... I think I would surely die... this way they gladly fall into my arms and I don't mind being called dad... it's the closeness that I long for, it's the smell of my babies being that close to me that is so gratifying.... so don't forget to enjoy those moments yourself and share them with your brother.... I'm sure there is great satisfaction in transition... but in my group meetings, there was so much hurt that I couldn't stand the thought of hurting my family like that... everyone said ... oh they will get used to it and they must accept it... but in my heart of hearts, I couldn't take that chance... maybe I'm just a scaredy cat... but when they would tell the horror stories of how their wives hated them and how the woman they loved had turned their children against them... I wanted to run from the room each time crying... no body that I could ever have would replace the joy of having children... plus most of my group were still in love with or living with a woman... I have loved living with a woman but oh my if I did have the body of a woman, I would definitely be with a man... some things about trans and our community are very weird to me... if we are women why would we ever want a woman... plus this one statement kept nagging me in the back of my mind, when the doctors would tell me I have a severe case and should transition... I would always asked the doctors as well as my help group... "what woman do you know , that would hurt her children on purpose" and I had to say none... unless there were mental or crazy in some way... so it gives me great satisfaction to know I have sacrificed for my little men that have grown up into good men....now if I could get pregnant if I transitioned, that would be an entirely different story... I do long for that feeling and if there is one thing I feel I missed out on by being in the body of a man, it's that feeling of life growing within me... I am sure if that was a possible, I would have transitioned many years ago... again it would be just to have family and babies... I do cry some nights wishing that could have happened for me... to have a man love me enough and me love him enough that our love would create another is truly supernatural to me... stay strong and pray for me as I pray for you... praying for your brother as well....
L Izett (author) from T