“My mum’s response had been ‘I saw this coming. I’ll love you for whoever you are.’ The next day she clarified that whoever I am isn’t a man. Biggest bubble burst of a lifetime. If she had said she wasn’t okay with it from the beginning, I would have felt better than I did about the whole thing in the long run. The kicker is that she saw it coming and still doesn’t believe it.
“According to her I was a feminine child. I was actually very androgynous, but she doesn’t want to remember the Legos and remote control cars. She has this picture of me in her head as a women, and when saying I was feminine isn’t enough, she claims I’m just on a quest for perfection and the media has corrupted my mind with male supremacy. I don’t even know where she gets half of the ideas she spews at me.
“After a lot of struggle I confided in my doctor that I was trans and needed help because my mum was refusing to find me a therapist or let me go to the one I had found. The doctor helped me to get a therapist and I’ve been going for a few months. Secretly I purchased a binder and packer. Many fights arose from that. Now I’m able to wear them and everything is kind of okay.
“My problem is that I want to start hormones. I’ve been ready for a long time for this. My mother has shown no interest in any if the materials provided and has banned me from physically altering transition-related things while living under her roof.
“I realise that I won’t be able to do anything until I’m 18, but I’ll still be in high school then and living with her, so I still wouldn’t be able to start T even then. My only option is to move out. I haven’t been able to find a job as of yet but I’m still looking, although any job I can get at 17 won’t be enough to support me to get a home and hormones.
“I do have one alternative. My father is okay with my transition and willing to take me in, but he’s mentally unstable and sometimes abusive. On the other hand, I have my grandparents. They are very religious and don’t understand trans people. My grandma at least seems to want to understand. She helped me get my binder. But I don’t feel I could ask to live with them, and I don’t know if I could physically transition under their roof.
“I don’t know what to do. I need to continue my transition to keep my sanity, but I can’t stay here to do that. The one place I could for sure go, I don’t want to because of all of the bad past experience I’ve had with my father. And the one place I’d feel best at I don’t feel I could ask to stay. What can I do?”
This is a tough one. Your mother’s reaction is unfortunate, but when someone comes out, people’s first reaction to that is not always their true reaction. Sometimes after they have had time to think about it, they either become more or less open to and supportive of the situation than they were initially. Regardless, your mother has expressed to you how she truly feels, and now you know what you are dealing with.
Since you live with your mother now, have you talked to her about all of this? Have you told her that you are considering moving out and that you are weighing all these options? That might be the first place to start. Maybe if she realizes that you are serious about moving, she’ll be willing to work with you – at least after you turn 18. She might not agree to sign any papers for medical treatment while you’re still a minor, but she might be willing to turn the other way after you turn 18, as long as she doesn’t have to be involved.
I know she has said that she won’t permit any medically related transition steps as long as you’re living with her, but this could change if she knows you’re serious about moving out.
I would hesitate to tell you to move in with your father, because you say that he is unstable and abusive. He might support your transition now, but he could always change his mind, particularly if he started seeing physical changes take place. And this could trigger abusive behavior. If you move in with him and he starts to become abusive after you have already started hormones, then where do you have to go? I don’t see this as an option, really.
With regard to your grandparents, I would suggest that you have this conversation with them – but only after you’ve had it with your mother. If your mother won’t relent in any way, then I would recommend sitting down with your grandparents and telling them of your dilemma.
You don’t have to ask them if you can move in. Just tell them your situation and your struggle about staying with your mom and moving in with your dad. They might suggest that you move in with them. But I also don’t know if they are your mom’s parents or your dad’s parents, and that could make a difference as well with regard to how you approach them and what you say.
If they are your dad’s parents, for example, and you tell them that you are worried about their son’s mental instability and abusive behavior, and they are not aware of this or are in denial of this, that could be a problem with regard to your relationship with them. They might not want to hear that their son is unstable and abusive. If they are your mom’s parents, maybe they would be willing to “side” with you and try to reason with their daughter on your behalf.
Regardless, if your mom knows that your options are living with a potentially abusive man or with his parents (or her parents), she might decide that she would prefer that you stay at home with her. If that is the case, then she will need to at least tolerate what you decide to do after you turn 18.
You need to have a heart-to-heart talk with her. Show her this letter if you want to. And if she does happen to be reading this, I would say to her, “Your child is going to do what he is going to do at some point in his life. You might decide not to permit it under your roof, but that’s not going to stop it from happening. Your child is experiencing emotional distress that is severe enough that he is contemplating moving out. Would it not be preferable for both of you if you worked through this together, knowing that it’s going to happen sooner or later (and probably sooner)? Going through transition is tough. Your child needs your support. Are you willing to put your own feelings aside in order to help him? He’s going to do this anyway. Wouldn’t you rather have him do this in a safe situation where he feels comfortable and supported?”
So that’s what I would suggest – a long, serious dialogue with your mom first. If that doesn’t pan out, then a long, serious dialogue with your grandparents. If neither of those options works out for you, then you’re going to have to make some decisions about what you can do and how long you can wait to do it.
Can you move out and get a roommate – or several? Do you have a friend who you can move in with? How much money would you actually need to move out on your own and get hormones? How could you get that money? You will need to sit down and plan your life, based on what you think you have to do.
And I’m not telling you that you absolutely can’t move in with your father. I don’t have the power to say that. I’m just saying that I personally can’t recommend it. You will do what you need to do, and what you need to do will become more apparent as you move forward. I wish you the best of luck.
Readers, what do you suggest?