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Transgender?

swenard

TRIBE Member
Yesterday I realized that I am a lot more ignorant about what the term transgender means, then I thought I was. I thought it just means that you're a man/woman and you want to become the opposite sex. So, I'm asking tribe to help me out and tell me more about it.

My sister called me yesterday and apparently my 17 year old nephew told her and his therapist, that he is transgender and feels he should have been born a girl. I'm afraid to use the term "different", but for a lack of better words, I'll just say... I've never noticed anything about him that I would peg as "different". It doesn't change my opinion of him, in fact, I could care less. I basically said to my sister, "that's nice". He hasn't told me yet, as he wants to tell me himself, but because my sister didn't know how I would feel about it, she wanted to "warn" me, lol. My sister and I both want to be very supportive,, but we both grew up in a box and neither of us know how to be supportive. Should I even do anything? It doesn't change anything in my eyes, so should I just continue like nothing has changed or would that appear like I'm just sticking my head in the sand?

If I didn't ask you guys, when he tells me, I would probably just say "so what".
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
"so what" might have the opposite of the intended effect. As if you don't care, but in a negative way. I'd suggest just being supportive and making (her) aware that it doesn't matter what gender they are, and that you're family and support them either way.
 

swenard

TRIBE Member
"so what" might have the opposite of the intended effect. As if you don't care, but in a negative way. I'd suggest just being supportive and making (her) aware that it doesn't matter what gender they are, and that you're family and support them either way.
That's what I am afraid of, my indifference may come off as uncaring. I do care for him/her, it just doesn't change my opinion of them.
 

Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
I'm going full shitlord and not knowing anything or anyone and say it's may be a phase that teenagers go through. Take him to Victoria's Secret and own that shit.
 
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acheron

TRIBE Member
We have a (now) woman in the office who transitioned earlier this year. While he was on a deliberate vacation to make the switch in his real life as well as at work, we had a meeting where everyone was told what the deal was. "Don't be surprised if she shows up in a dress, or is wearing makeup, or uses the women's washroom. (male name) is now (female name) and she is to be referred to using female pronouns, etc." ... and then she returned to the office and everyone pretty much treated it as if nothing had happened.

To be honest I've been a little disappointed. She doesn't wear dresses, or have tits yet, only wears a sparse amount of makeup and other that a somewhat brighter wardrobe including blouses and jeans that are cut a bit further up the ankle than mens' jeans would be, there's really nothing about her that screams "female". I know she's just starting the journey here but I was hoping for some more flamboyance lol.
 

janiecakes

TRIBE Member
If and when they tell you about this, don't say so what. It's a good thing that this doesn't change your opinion of them, but it's probably going to be hard for them to tell you. Thank them for telling you and tell them you love them/care for them/whatever way you express love in your family. Ask what pronouns they would like you to use and then try very hard to use them.

More info:
http://www.imatyfa.org/
http://www.ctys.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/familiesintransition.pdf
 

Polymorph

TRIBE Member
I'm going full shitlord and not knowing anything or anyone and say it's may be a phase that teenagers go through. Take him to Victoria's Secret and own that shit.
no no better plan.

Use him as an excuse to go see Madonna in concert.

You'll be his fave uncle forever, and hey, Madonna, guy!
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
My Brother is trans (born female, identifies as male). I found out on Facebook and reached out to ask what he wanted to be called (by me and my children). It was a good conversation and I made sure to point out that it is his choice how he is to be referred to.

Not all trans do anything to their bodies. And women born female who identify as female express varying degrees of femininity in their wardrobe and a lot of females are flat-chested.


It’s pretty simple: call them whatever they want to be called. You can do it. We do it all the time. David Evans woke up one day and said, ‘Everyone call me The Edge.’ And we all went, ‘Fine, The Edge, are we talking the noun or the verb?’


- John Oliver
 

Zorro

TRIBE Member
I have a cousin who has transitioned from a female to a male. I'm not sure how the immediate family conversation went. However, with the rest of us we just went on like normal. Once upon time she was Olivia. Now he's Oliver. He brought his girlfriend to Oktoberfest and all was normal. We also come from a very old German family with very traditional values. So all is well.

Well my Oma refers to him as "funny" and thinks the internet is queer.

Other then that, I say give him/her a hug say you love them and reach for the side of potato's at the dinner table.
 
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Wiseman

TRIBE Member
I think the best reaction is an expression of support and then getting all the questions you have out of the way at the beginning. Then move on and treat as normal which it is. Don't worry if you screw up your pronouns for a while it shouldn't be a big deal to them as long as you are trying.
 

swenard

TRIBE Member
My Brother is trans (born female, identifies as male). I found out on Facebook and reached out to ask what he wanted to be called (by me and my children). It was a good conversation and I made sure to point out that it is his choice how he is to be referred to.

Not all trans do anything to their bodies. And women born female who identify as female express varying degrees of femininity in their wardrobe and a lot of females are flat-chested.


It’s pretty simple: call them whatever they want to be called. You can do it. We do it all the time. David Evans woke up one day and said, ‘Everyone call me The Edge.’ And we all went, ‘Fine, The Edge, are we talking the noun or the verb?’


- John Oliver
My sister told me that, at least for now, he has no intentions of ever changing his body and still wishes for a traditional family (wife and kids), however ignorant this seems, I assume that might change one day. My sister asked him/her, if he wanted to wear women's clothing or change his appearance and he said "no". Again, I assume he is still uncomfortable with being transgender and I know he is very uncomfortable with how people will perceive him now. My sister says that his dad (sisters ex) will not be okay with it and neither will my other nephew. My other nephew is pretty cool though and I don't think he'll mind, as much as just tease his brother/new sister at first.
 
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If I didn't ask you guys, when he tells me, I would probably just say "so what".
I think the way to frame it is more: "it doesn't really matter how you identify yourself as a gender, you're still family and nothing's changed in how much you mean to me". For some transgendered peeps, they feel very alienated from everyone around them, as there isn't a lot of people that they can speak with that can help guide them to understand and accept themselves - it can be a very lonely path for them to walk. Expressing and re-assuring them that you're supportive of them regardless of what they're going through is sometimes what they need to hear.

Being supportive and advising them that you're going to need help from them in understanding how you should address them will help make things a lot easier to communicate and hopefully allow them to open up to you more.

Sensitivity and understanding will help you both adjust. :) Good luck.
 

kirstenmeows

TRIBE Member
It's very simple. You say to him/her 'I love you no matter what, how can I make your life easier?' and follow those requests.
 

Bacchus

TRIBE Promoter
We have a (now) woman in the office who transitioned earlier this year. While he was on a deliberate vacation to make the switch in his real life as well as at work, we had a meeting where everyone was told what the deal was. "Don't be surprised if she shows up in a dress, or is wearing makeup, or uses the women's washroom. (male name) is now (female name) and she is to be referred to using female pronouns, etc." ... and then she returned to the office and everyone pretty much treated it as if nothing had happened.

To be honest I've been a little disappointed. She doesn't wear dresses, or have tits yet, only wears a sparse amount of makeup and other that a somewhat brighter wardrobe including blouses and jeans that are cut a bit further up the ankle than mens' jeans would be, there's really nothing about her that screams "female". I know she's just starting the journey here but I was hoping for some more flamboyance lol.

Clothes does not gender make. :)
 

Ho||yw0oD

TRIBE Member
To be honest I've been a little disappointed. She doesn't wear dresses, or have tits yet, only wears a sparse amount of makeup and other that a somewhat brighter wardrobe including blouses and jeans that are cut a bit further up the ankle than mens' jeans would be, there's really nothing about her that screams "female". I know she's just starting the journey here but I was hoping for some more flamboyance lol.
She's not a real woman until she is sexually objectified, amirite?
 
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Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
"I could care less" means that you actually care.

If she takes the time and courage to specifically come out to you, it's appropriate to show at least some interest or concern. Maybe ask about how her friend's reactions have been or what her general plans are for coming out. To just brush it off undermines how difficult this process is for her; I think it's better to show that you care than that you are indifferent.

-jM
A&D
 
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