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  #1  
Old Apr 29, '12, 6:40 pm
dwsjll dwsjll is offline
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Default Transgender child

Hello,
My daughter is 21 years old and today she announced to the family that she is transgender. She has always been athletic and not so feminine, but my wife and I had no idea that she was contemplating this. We just found out that she has already legally changed her name to a male name. She also said that she is taking testosterone injections and is planning to undergo a sex change procedure in july. We are a dedicated Catholic family and do not know how to handle this. She says that she beleives in God, but at the same time how can she. My wife and I are very confused about what to do. Do we just blindly accept this, do we ask her to leave our household if she refuses to come to terms with this. We have 2 younger sons and I dont know how to maintain a God centered life in our household with a blind acceptence of this. On the other hand I do not just want to kick her out of the house. We are planning on making her go to counseling, but what does a parent do if she refuses to accept that she is a woman. I am a very confused parent right now. I dont want to rush into anything for fear of possibly doing something wrong. Anyhow, I would appreciate any feedback that anyone may have.
Take care and God Bless
  #2  
Old Apr 29, '12, 6:52 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

She announced this to her younger siblings too???



That should not have happened, and she should be chastised for doing that if in fact, she did announce in front of her younger siblings.

Who is going to pay for these hormone shots and her operations?



She should go no further into this unless she has counseling to help her figure out what is driving this desire to become a ... well...a mess!

I have little to offer you but you will be in my prayers.
  #3  
Old Apr 29, '12, 7:17 pm
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Allegra Allegra is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

I don't know what you can do in your situation, but I wonder if there is such a thing as a support group for parents and family members dealing with this. I would definately say that you should have her leave your home if you have younger children at home. Your daughter is certainly old enough to take care of herself if she's old enough to undergo life-altering elective surgeries. I would also insist that she get some counseling, but as she's 21 there isn't much you can do if she refuses. What a horrible situation!
  #4  
Old Apr 29, '12, 7:49 pm
Lancer Lancer is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

Dr. Nicolosi...he is the only "long ball hitter" that I know of...he is on CA Radio nearly every month...practices in SOCAL area...he covers all aspects and all forms of sexual orientation issues...SSA primarily but I have heard him speak on Transgender orientation also.

I know that you sense this..but as parents...you are now standing on Calvary....its is painful but I have found that if I embrace the Cross...the view is quite commanding...painful for sure...but commanding!

Pax Christi
Quote:
11 April 12 Catholic Answers

Understanding Same Sex Attraction Part I
Dr. Joseph Nicolosi

Understanding Same Sex Attraction Part II
Dr. Joseph Nicolos

http://www.catholic.com/radio/calendar
p.s. Type his last name in the search bar and several radio show are available
  #5  
Old Apr 29, '12, 7:49 pm
Allen2Saint Allen2Saint is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

dw,

First and most importantly, my heart aches for you and for your entire family, your daughter included. Issues of gender identity are so deeply rooted for us all, and this is an immense challenge for everyone in a Catholic family. You are scared and your daughter, even though she is the catalyst for this incident, is also scared.

I think its wise to consider that if your parenting and your relationship with your other children is strong, even something like this is not likely to cause irreperable damage. Kids are amazing at how they process. If you panic, though, they will panic.

Your daughter, clearly, is being advised and is receiving support from outside sources if she is already this far. But having had some contact with kids with gender issues, she is NOT in control nor is she feeling OK. She most likely is confused and freaked out, even if she is being defiant.

I am not an expert on our theology on this issue, but I feel the heart of our theology is love. Seek out some support. Seek out some help, but please just take it slow. Get some family therapy and see if you can ride it out. Go to your parish priest and see if they have some resources.

I would advise against a dramatic intervention or any reprogramming stuff. That is damaging. But you are the leader of a strong Catholic family. You are the presence of God in the lives of your children. You can be both firm and strong with your convictions and be accepting of her, as long as she doesn't throw your lives into chaos.

Most importantly, I pray for the Lord's Sacred Heart to comfort you in this horrible struggle.
  #6  
Old Apr 29, '12, 8:03 pm
Robertanthony Robertanthony is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

I'm shocked by the depth of human misery on this Earth. I know one's sexual/gender identity is a complex issue, but part of me wants to scream when someone who is perfectly healthy takes hormones and plans to have their body mutilated. At the same time can only imagine the pain of having the psyche of a man and waking up each day with a body that contradicts that...I am deeply troubled by your situation especially with the young kids .My heart goes out to you. Some have been hit harder by the consequences of the Fall, your daughter is a testament to that. Take this to a Priest, a religious, a spiritual director, spend time before the Eucharist in adoration begging God to reveal his will for this situation. If I were in your sitaution' I'd try my hardest to convince my child to stop the hormone treatments right away and move heaven and earth to find a way for her to be able to live as a woman. Where sin and misery abound, grace abounds all the more so, dear loving and merciful Jesus, speak words of healing and blessing into this painful situation. Amen. Meanwhile God's comfort and peace be with you and your whole family.
  #7  
Old Apr 29, '12, 8:24 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertanthony View Post
I'm shocked by the depth of human misery on this Earth. I know one's sexual/gender identity is a complex issue, but part of me wants to scream when someone who is perfectly healthy takes hormones and plans to have their body mutilated. At the same time can only imagine the pain of having the psyche of a man and waking up each day with a body that contradicts that...I am deeply troubled by your situation especially with the young kids .My heart goes out to you. Some have been hit harder by the consequences of the Fall, your daughter is a testament to that. Take this to a Priest, a religious, a spiritual director, spend time before the Eucharist in adoration begging God to reveal his will for this situation. If I were in your sitaution' I'd try my hardest to convince my child to stop the hormone treatments right away and move heaven and earth to find a way for her to be able to live as a woman. Where sin and misery abound, grace abounds all the more so, dear loving and merciful Jesus, speak words of healing and blessing into this painful situation. Amen. Meanwhile God's comfort and peace be with you and your whole family.
I just want to tell you I love your signature! Amen! Amen!!
  #8  
Old Apr 29, '12, 8:40 pm
Robertanthony Robertanthony is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJuliane View Post
I just want to tell you I love your signature! Amen! Amen!!
Thanks! I also love yours, it's so true and so uplifting.
  #9  
Old Apr 29, '12, 9:03 pm
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JReducation JReducation is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

Robert:

A few things come to mind.

1. Pray for inner silence. It is very difficult to discern what to do when our mind is going like a runaway train.

2. As St. Augustine said,"When in doubt, do nothing." In other words, this is not the time to boot your daughter out of the house, lock her in her room or hide the younger children in the basement. There may be a right time for that later, but right now, it sounds like your wife and you are very shaken. It's much easier to do something later and get it right, than to do something too quickly and then try to fix it later.

3. Do try to contact Dr. Nicolasi. I have heard his program and he's very good. There is an association of Catholic therapists. See if you can find anyone in your area. Click HERE. You're going to need help for you, your wife and your other children as well.

4. By all means, speak to your parish priest or deacon about this.

5. If you can avoid confrontations with your daughter, try to do so. People who are struggling with identity issues, whatever kind, are under a great deal of stress, can be very fearful, and already feel alienated. Alienation is often a common element in identity issues. "I don't belong" and so forth. I'm not a psychologist, but I've been around young people enough to know that when they're under stress, confrontations bring out their ugliest side, which only makes parents angry and things escalate.

6. If she gives you an opportunity to talk, do so. Be honest and at the same time be polite and a good listener. Good listening does not mean that I have to agree. It means that I show you the respect that I expect from you when my turn to speak comes up.

7. You do not have to take abuse. Sometimes, people in these situations protect themselves by becoming abusive, usually verbally. There is nothing in the moral law that says that one must take abuse. One can tolerate abuse and offer it up to God, if there is no way around it. If there is a way out, then it's OK to take it.

8. At the end of the day, there are two truths that cannot be denied.
a. She will always be your child. "I love my children."

b. This will always be your home. "I have my rules."
Fraternally,

Br. JR, FFV
__________________
Fraternally,

Brother JR, FFV

"Forget not love."


A Deacon's Deacon
  #10  
Old May 3, '12, 7:00 pm
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catholicanne catholicanne is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsjll View Post
Hello,
My daughter is 21 years old and today she announced to the family that she is transgender. She has always been athletic and not so feminine, but my wife and I had no idea that she was contemplating this. We just found out that she has already legally changed her name to a male name. She also said that she is taking testosterone injections and is planning to undergo a sex change procedure in july. We are a dedicated Catholic family and do not know how to handle this. She says that she beleives in God, but at the same time how can she. My wife and I are very confused about what to do. Do we just blindly accept this, do we ask her to leave our household if she refuses to come to terms with this. We have 2 younger sons and I dont know how to maintain a God centered life in our household with a blind acceptence of this. On the other hand I do not just want to kick her out of the house. We are planning on making her go to counseling, but what does a parent do if she refuses to accept that she is a woman. I am a very confused parent right now. I dont want to rush into anything for fear of possibly doing something wrong. Anyhow, I would appreciate any feedback that anyone may have.
Take care and God Bless
My heart goes out to you. I can't even begin to imagine the heartache you must be feeling. I will pray for you and your family.
  #11  
Old May 6, '12, 10:47 am
AthenaC AthenaC is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

JReducation's post is very wise.

A couple of thoughts, hope they are helpful -

A coworker and I were talking recently, and she mentioned that she had read that individuals who identify with the opposite sex physically have the brain of the opposite sex, based on autopsies that had been performed. So for example, Chaz Bono (born a woman) actually has the brain of a man and reports feeling normal and being at peace with himself. My coworker went on to describe this phenomenon (charitably) as a birth defect - something the individual can't control that makes it very difficult (and unhealthy) to continue living the way they are unless something changes.

Keeping that in mind, I think there are basically two ways of attempting to treat this condition:

1) Recognizing that the body is in conflict with itself (i.e. brain/mind vs. rest of the body), one could treat the brain/mind as having won the fight and basically subjugate the body to the brain/mind, by hormones, gender reassignment surgery, etc. You may have observed that this is really the only standard response today. This response rests on the core assumption that the brain/mind/soul is the core of who / what we are, and the body doesn't matter (as much). This assumption is not really all that off-base, considering that such a viewpoint has really helped our society make great progress with regard to racism, sexism, etc. But when you think about it this way, it is easy to see how and why gender reassignment became more accepted.

2) Recognizing that the body is in conflict with itself (i.e. brain/mind vs. rest of the body), one could treat the body as if it won the fight and basically subjugate the brain/mind to the body, by therapy, medication, both of the above, etc. This is not nearly as common an approach, in part because it is a lot more dicey to try to heal the brain/mind side, and also because the assumption that the body represents the core of who / what we are is contrary to much of our cultural wisdom, and for good reason. That is (I think) why this is a tough sell. In addition to the fact that the effectiveness of this approach is spotty, at best, but results for #1 (above) are much more reliable, in my understanding.

So, in sum - it is very easy for us non-transgendered people to parse out the ethical issues and the related theology of the body. It is probably just as easy for transgendered people to do the same with a proper understanding of the theology of the body. But realistically, if you woke up every day feeling deeply out-of-place to the extent many transgendered people do, what would you do? What if you knew that option #1 would give you healing and option #2 would be a constant struggle? What if option #1 was the ONLY option presented to you? Under tremendous stress, people do prioritize survival instincts, and I think this issue quite easily falls under the mental survival umbrella. My point - charity first; let that drive everything else.

P.S. The above thoughts also apply somewhat neatly to homosexuality.
  #12  
Old May 7, '12, 11:53 am
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SurlyMermaid SurlyMermaid is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

Athena and JReducation,

Really wonderful posts. Thank you both!
__________________
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  #13  
Old May 7, '12, 12:34 pm
Serap Serap is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

I would love and respect my daughter's decision. She is an adult. It is her life now to live.

All you can do is pray for help you accept her as a male and to pray for her.

If my daughter came to me and told me that same thing at age 21, what could I do? I'm not going to disown my child. I would love her and treat her with love. I would pray for her.

I would explain to her siblings what transgender means and what their sister is doing. It will prepare them mentally for what is to come. She will always be your child.
__________________




  #14  
Old May 7, '12, 1:08 pm
medaroge medaroge is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwsjll View Post
I do not just want to kick her out of the house.
Why is she living at your house?
  #15  
Old May 7, '12, 1:20 pm
Serap Serap is offline
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Default Re: Transgender child

Quote:
Originally Posted by medaroge View Post
Why is she living at your house?
I would guess it's b/c this is the OP's daughter and he/she loves his/her daughter.
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