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What is the best way to tell the children?

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Hi,  I have a partner of 13 years a 12year old girl and a 9 year old boy.  What is the best way to tell them (the kids) That I am seeking tmt for gender dysphoria.  Wait until there is a diagnosis? Or tell them now and have them involved.  Or shield them totally from it?
asked Mar 17, 2012 in Relationships by anonymous

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3 Answers

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Obviously there is no one, definitive 'best way' for this. Personally, I would tell them as soon as you feel able/comfortable to do so.  I can't imagine how you could possibly shield them from it completely, and even if you did, it would probably not be a very healthy or happy situation for you - constantly hiding who you are from your loved ones. Waiting to tell them until you have a diagnosis or until you are are about to make any major changes to your presentation (the way you dress, going by a different name, hormone therapy, etc) could result in your family feeling that you have made a quick, or even rash, decision, as they were not part of, or aware of the process and struggle you have been going through coming to this decision. If you can find a way to attempt to explain how you feel now, and the steps you are taking, or planning to take, it may help them to feel more included in the process and to not feel that you have just suddenly sprung this huge thing on them or that you have suddenly undergone an identity change.
Best of luck with your family, for me personally, 'coming out' can be a bit of a never ending process and I don't think there is any "one size fits all" approach to it.
answered Mar 17, 2012 by jimk (210 points)
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I am a 45 year old mother of 2 now adult boys. For many years I had a transexual friend and another friend who is a hermaphrodite. Both lived as females. Sadly, I have lost contact with both. Nothing was hidden from my children when they innocently asked them questions. I am sure this, among many other reasons, is why they are the wonderful, warm, understanding men they are today. Whilst I don't have personal experience in relation to the question you are asking, I do believe that honesty is always the best policy. Children love unconditionally in my experience. Embrace who you are. The more positive your approach is, the better it will be received. In my experience, harbouring secrets creates hurt for all.  I hope I'm making sense and wish you nothing but happiness.
answered Mar 18, 2012 by anonymous
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I have just read the other two answers, and feel strongly that both have written very fair and intelligent responses.  As a person of transsexual history I can only agree that honesty is definitely the best policy.  By being open to your children, and allowing for discussion and involvement helps to make the family unit tighter and for the young ones to feel inclusive.

I was lucky enough that when telling my son who was 11 at the time of my journey, he responded with, "does that mean we go through puberty together" pretty amazing stuff.  So right away we were participating in our respective transitions together.  I think we underestimate young folks ability to be open minded and mature sometimes.  But, as stated previously in other posts, this gives them the opportunity to be an active part, albeit of support etc.,  Plus, also as mentioned previously, when you are out there and proud, they will pick up these cues quickly, and be proud for you and with you.  You are after all their role model.

Cheers, and good luck with it all.
answered Apr 5, 2012 by anonymous