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My Daughter wants to change her Gender. Parenting help through my experiences

Updated on October 5, 2010

When you are a parent who loves their teenage children, there are some things they confess to you that leaves you dumbfounded, angry, confused and dismayed. One confession in my books that fit in this category is when your only daughter tells you she is Lesbian and in process of wanting to change genders. I honestly didn’t know how to react. Initially, I told her to go away and let me process mentally what she told me. As I was collecting my thoughts and retrieving my eye balls off the floor, I was thinking to myself, “What have I done to deserve this?” This must have been my fault in some way. My mind was racing a million miles a minute.

You should know on the outset I always, and will always, love my daughter. Ever since she was born, I called her my little “Guppy.” She was the person in my life that I will always protect, cherish and literally lay my life down for. She was and is the light that keeps me going. I always wanted her to have the best of everything. She had more toys than you could shake a stick at. Whatever my little “guppy” wanted, my little “guppy” got. Even though I worked long hours, I always made a point of putting my little “guppy” on my knee and gaze at her to tell her how lucky and blessed I am as a father and a human being to have her. Even writing this causes tears to stream down my cheeks and I have a reputation of having a heart of steel. I suppose something you cherish can pound steel down to splinters. Actually, that is how my heart has been feeling lately.

Initially, I told my daughter should she decide to “transform” as a male, she would need to move out. It wasn’t because she was “transforming” but because I couldn’t cognitively watch her go through the process. In my mind, she is my little “Guppy” and growing a beard and lowering her voice will shatter that. Then, as time passed, I tried to rethink my position. The first question coming to mind was could I muster the strength to watch her “transformation?” Also, she wanted to change her name legally to Caleb. Again, my perception of her would change. Now, in essence, I would have three sons instead of a daughter and two sons. What compounded it was how our close knit family would react to this transformation as she is the only daughter born in the family of that generation. My protective instincts kicked in again and fear she would face family banishment. How can I protect her? It was the first time in my life, I didn’t know how to protect her.

So my thoughts continued to whirl. I thought I have to break down my emotions so I can come up with a solution to how I am feeling. I knew I loved her. I suppose I love her unconditionally. Hence, I need to accept her transformation to a male somehow. Here is what I have been doing to come to grips with her transformation:

· I love her no matter what happens. So, if love is unconditional, it is up to me to adjust. After all, I love the inside more than the outside anyway.

· I need to have a funeral for my “Guppy” and love the new Caleb. That is a hard one for me and I am still working through it. Having a funeral for your loved one is always difficult. This is especially true when they are continuing to live in a different form.

· I need to find a way to welcome a new son in the world. Again, this one is tough as she is my only daughter. I also need to figure out how to interact with her/him. That story is yet to be written.

· I need to define how to protect her/him. This one really scares me as I know she/he will face incalculable discrimination and prejudice. I suppose I need to let this go somehow. One can only protect someone else so much.

· I need to develop a relationship with her partner. This one I see as being not too much of a problem as I have faith in him/her to choose someone who cherishes him/her as much as I.

· I need to realise this is not my fault in any way. It has taken many months for me to realise I have done nothing to cause this.

· I need to not see transgender as a disease. How I will redefine transgender in my mind will take time and process.

· I need to let go of my personal image of my “Guppy.” This will be a difficult road. I suppose having a funeral for “Guppy” will help heal the emotional wounds over time. I am deciding whether to burn all my daughter’s pictures or not. I can’t muster the strength to do that yet. Maybe a bottle of Jack may help before the burning party commences. Then, I can put up my new son photos.

Other ideas continue to come to the fore as I process how I am going to handle my daughter’s transformation. The road for me will be painful as she transforms to a he. However, these are the cards I am dealt so I must play them as best as I can.

The true test of love is redefining it and changing it when needs arise. I plan to pass the test no matter how much it hurts. This will be the hardest test I am able to write.

As I love my little “Guppy” very much, I have no choice but to trek through the journey with her/him or be left behind.

Has any other parent gone through this that can give advice on how they trekked through this jungle?


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    • ananceleste profile image

      Anan Celeste 

      4 years ago from California

      Hi! I am not here to give you advice or to try to influence your perspective on the matter by giving my "two cents". I am only here to support both of you, Your child and you. Being a parent is itself hard, letting go is hard, change is hard. As a parent, you can fear and dread so many things like you said. They only thing I fear, is my children to feel incomplete , unhappy and unsupported. THAT gives me nightmares. When I think about how much I love them, everything else disappears in the back ground. As I am writing this comment, my only son (17) is getting ready for school. As I watch him putting his shoes on, I smile and know that I will love my child until the day I die. When we are born, we have to use the cards that we are dealt with. A chronic condition, race, culture background, yet we improvise and improve above all those things. Love,acceptance and support is the best thing we as parents can bestow on our children. You are not alone...Blessings

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Look at the number of suicides out there of GID kids, or the number of attempted suicides. Would you give someone a bottle of Jack if they came to you with alcoholism? And told them that intensive immersion therapy was the only way to "cure" the feeling inside. That disgusts me, that you would think in such a backward way. The reason gender therapists exist is to make gid people reflect on themselves, making sure they actually want to transition. By doing this they eliminate those who are not serious about their gender identity and focus more on the intense cases that are 100 percent sure about switching genders. Also I have been living as a female for 23 years now, an I am perfectly happy with my life and I love my husband and our daughter to bits.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      If your Daughter had an eating disorder, and she didn't feel comfortable with her body, would you give her diet pills to enable her. NO, of course not.. tell me what the difference is between a Gender Disorder and an Eating Disorder, they are both in the mind.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My Daughter is going through the same. I have a hard time totally believing this isn't brought on by her own thought process. The more she thinks about it, the greater she falls into the thinking. All I read is it is a mind issue. Why change your body to match your mind, rather wouldn't it be better to change your mind to match your body. I know some people have very deep rooted issues and contouring their issues is a battle that takes much determination and time. But many have changed their mind over. I believe my Daughter can if she really puts the effort in. I think this is a huge mistake, her changing genders. If she has been diagnosed as having Gender Identity Disorder, don't feed the disorder by giving her hormones and encouraging her - treat the disorder. With any other disorder that is what doctors do. They treat the disorder, not feed it. If she had a split personality, would they encourage her to accept any personality she wants with out trying to help her find her real one? Of course not, yet that is what they do for GID kids. It isn't impossible, as many have proven. But I guess there is big money to be made when Therapists meet a transgendered child.

      Going by how you feel is a dangerous road to follow and has lead many into grave trouble. That is the case with my Daughter.

    • cybersleuth profile image


      7 years ago from Canada

      WoW! Very emotional - I feel for you. We all find our own road in life and I guess your daughter is finding hers. All you can do is find acceptance in what is. Take Care!

    • pennyauctionviewe profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Canada

      Yes, I have read her article. It is amazing how you USED to think about something (like transgender) takes a different view when you are in the situation. I have adjusted somewhat but still need to work through the fact that transgender is okay. I will learn to accept it over time.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Wow, I have 5 children and as you said, I would love them no matter what.To tell you the truth, I don't know what I would do. Have you met Nell? She went through the same thing with her husband.


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