Please help


My so says he is a woman and will proceed to change his body to match his mind. Please help me I do not know what to say or pray.


I assume that “so” means your boyfriend? Transgenderism is likely a mental illness. Pray for him. Urge him to seek professional counseling rather than surgery. You should realize that this rules him out as a potential marriage partner. This is not your fault. It has nothing to do with you.


I think so is son


It generally means “significant other.”


Here is a site started by someone who had the surgery and was still miserable. The problem is exemplified in this article from a liberal newspaper, in which a doctor’s view is given: “Urological surgeon James Bellringer, who has performed more than 200 sex changes over the past four years, claimed that trying to carry out research that *involves studying a control group of transsexual patients who were denied hormones and surgery would be unethical.” *(emphsis added)

Also, there actually people with a physical problem (famously: a boy born with ambiguous genitalia who was operated on and raised as a girl); this does not justify operating on people with a mental problem which may be related to body integrity disorder.


Sorry for the typo he is my son. Over 30 years old, and an College granduate. He never married, or dated. He is sort of a book geek. He has friends and is phillanthropic minded always. He is not sexually interested in either sex.and shows no femal characteristics. I am shocked.
All I hear from the church is you don’t know God’s plan. Pray and love this boy. Of course I will love him always. What should be my prayer?
Your will Father? I trust you Lord Jesus? Give knowledge to me & my son , & doctors?
Heal him? Help him be comfortable in the body he was given?
What? I found the Catholic Church about 6 months ago and I have been in RCIA. This is so new. What would Jesus say? How would he have me pray?
Most of my prayers are just tears on my knees with open arms. I have no words but Father, please Lord Jusus, come Holy Spirit we need you.

He told me this news last week.


OK. Never heard that one before. I used to be called Sweet One (SO). Now I think the preferred name is Sour One.

I thought so was a typo for son.


O beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, Splendor of Heaven, holy and singular, who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a Pure Virgin, assist me in this necessity. O Star of the sea, help and protect me! Show me that Thou art my Mother.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!


Thank you. Please at more.


I wrote out answers twice and each time lost them! Too tired now to do a good job with it but tomorrow or Sunday…



Thank you this is beautiful.


Jesus please welcome these tears, these heartfelt, humble prayers.

Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, have mercy on this parent, give strength and peace.
Guide this son according to all that is best.

Help them both according to Your mercy and Your purposes.


I am not sure how to hit reply to each. My apologies I am new to this. I turned of my facebook as I felt the need to enter the closet as my son feels the need to exit.

Gina Lee thank you beautiful prayer. I will print and cherish it.

St Francis ? Thank you! I look forward to more from you. I did click on the two links but I am so sleepy and I have to admit Valium is keeping me from thoughts I dare not say.
I too will sleep and look for more hope tomorrow.

I ask two Priests to call me immediately and I did not say why so I guess they are busy or hoping whatever it is will pass as they have not reached out.

What should my thought pattern be, how should I pray.
I ask some sweet Sisters to pray and they seem genuinely concerned. They say love and pray for knowledge for all involved.

I told them I can’t stop crying and ask do I not have enough faith. Why if I say I trust you Lord am I not calm and at peace.

They said Mary cried for her son and you know she trusted. You may cry for your son.
Thank you for your response. I am thinking of go


You don’t need to feel that you must reply to every person, only respond to anyone you wish to for your own reasons. Those who ask for prayer sometimes just give a general thanks otherwise.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

this form of the prayer attributed to Niebuhr]


I am very familiar with your sons problems, as I had a friend who was transgendered. Not knowing your son’s plight, I would suggest he seek out a therapist that deals specifically with gender issues. The road he is on will be long, as his mother, you will need lots of strength and prayer to help you try and come to grips with whatever path he takes. He is your son, so I assume your love is unconditional . Loving your son is the mist important thing you can do now, as you cannot control a 30 year old grown man. Letting go of that , and seeking help for yourself as well, may make understanding it easier. I’m not saying it is right, but there are people out there that will go the whole way. If your son decides that route, it would be out of your hands.


Trishie I thank you. Truly I am moved by your prayer.

My last post was cut off as I was writing I am thinking of taking a few days at a retreat house maybe at a Franciscan retreat. There is one near by.
Perhaps in the silence God will make my path clear. Perhaps I will find spiritual guidance.

Please Heavenly Father I acknowledge this is not my child but yours, entrusted to me to love and care for on earth. Please Lord Jesus this child knows you as his savior. Please Holy Spirit his child bears your mark as he has been baptized. Blessed Trinity present clearly you perfect will. Grant us Peace that we can with whole heart rejoice even though we do not see.

Merciful Lord Jeaus I trust in you.


I am first and foremost terribly sorry that your child is going through this; gender dysphoria is probably among the worst pain humanly possible. Living one’s life feeling trapped in a body whose brain has developed in the opposite way of the body is like being tortured in prison, continuously. I would not wish it on anyone.

I’m also sorry that you as a parent has to go through this, and I will pray that God and His Mother guide you to handle this in a good way for both you and your child.

There are good resources out there for parents of transgender children, but there are a few things I’d like to say:

  1. You did nothing wrong. You did not cause this. But also, you can not change this.

  2. Transgenderism/transsexualism is not a mental illness, and those who cling to that belief do so out of ideology (not religion - Catholicism has no doctrine about this) or ignorance. Studies have shown repeatedly that the brains of those who are transgender are more like the gender they identify with than the one indicated by their genitalia. The differentiation of the brain happens at a different stage during pregnancy than the differentiation of bodily features, therefore it is believed that transgenderism is caused by hormonal imbalances in utero. Even in the early stages after the condition was first discovered by Western medicine, more than half a century ago, it was not seen as a delusion. The reason for it being in the DSM is simply that it can only be diagnosed through therapy. Anyone who knows this subject well enough also knows that it is not a delusion, not mental illness. The evidence that it is a legitimate condition is simply too significant to ignore.

  3. Stay away from any and all forms of “reparative” therapy. Such “therapy” has been shown to not only not work; it may very well damage your child. By all means find a respected gender therapist for your child if they agree, but stay away from the “reparative” sort. A proper therapist may end up with a conclusion you don’t like, but the main focus here should be on what is good for your child. Remember that health professionals in this field are cautious - treating someone who shouldn’t have received treatment is their worst nightmare, due to the danger of lawsuits. The myths about being “cheered along” are just that, myths. It is more common to see suicide because a therapist stalled the process. So if the “gatekeepers” let your child access treatment, you can be rather sure the decision is well thought through.

  4. While many Catholics, including priests and perhaps even bishops, believe hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery to be contrary to doctrine, the reality is that the Church has no doctrine on this issue whatsoever. The only known document from the Church on the issue was issued sub secretum (for bishops only, but later leaked) in the early 2000’s, and it states that while certificates of baptism can’t be changed because the treatment doesn’t change a person’s sex in the eyes of the Church, such treatment may nevertheless be morally licit as a last resort to alleviate the patient’s torment. So getting the medical treatment in itself is definitely not condemned by the Church. However, marriage will be (and probably is, even without treatment, if the Church is made aware of the condition) out of the question - but then for most who suffer through this, staying single is a small price to pay for not being tormented every second of every minute of every hour every day.

  5. In the end, this is your child’s decision. Remember that as a parent, relative or even friend, you saw an external facade, even when they were children. People with transgenderism may figure out that they should keep this hidden as early as age 4 or 5, and hence act as their “expected” gender for decades, until it gets too much. You can’t see their inner life, even as a parent. Neither can a therapist. All anyone can do is to offer support and guidance, but in the end, the decision rests on your child. However, hormone therapy also has a diagnostic value: If the person isn’t truly transgender, they will feel horrible on the opposite hormones. If however the diagnosis is right, hormones will help their situation tremendously - I know about people who have been on heavy medication for depression and anxiety for years, and who were able to quit taking them after starting hormone therapy. So in today’s treatment paradigm, cross-sex hormone therapy is the litmus test; if a person feels better on it, this is a strong indication that their brain is indeed differentiated opposite to the rest of the body.

  6. Transgender people have one thing in common: We fight it until we can’t. It’s often a life or death decision; I wish those who posted about rare complications of sex reassignment surgery (which has a success/satisfaction rate of over 95% - more than virtually any other surgery in existence), kept in mind the extreme suicide rate of those who not undergo treatment. Around 40% of those with untreated transgenderism kill themselves, but this number is significantly lower among those who receive hormone therapy and surgery (note that surgery isn’t necessary or possible in all cases). Every medical treatment, even simple cures for the common cold, have complication risks. But in the case of transgender healthcare, the complication rate is minimal compared to the good, life-saving results.

I think I’ll stop here, this became longer than I intended. Feel free to ask me if you need any more information. I will pray for your child, and for you.

(And to everyone else: I’m not here wanting a long-winded debate, please let’s not start one.)


I am sorry for double posting, but there’s one last point I’d like to make, which probably got a bit lost in all the medical information above:

  1. There is hope. Many transgender individuals live good, fulfilling lives, with different degrees of medical treatment behind them or underway. It may feel like swimming upstream sometimes, especially with the prejudice floating thick in society, but there is hope. Receiving this kind of medical care is not a farewell to the Church - for some, it may even strengthen their faith. Offer prayers to God for your child, ask Our Lady to guide them, and trust in the Lord. And not least, support your child, even when you don’t understand what they’re going through.

Again, I will pray for you both.


My heart really goes out to you–this is a heavy cross, both for your son and for you.

First, Christ loves when we go to Him at times when all we can do is to cry. Pray is in no way limited to words! If your friend were crying and unable to speak, you would be drawn to her so you could comfort her, and you would probably also feel closer because she chose you to ask for comfort, and allowed you to see inside her heart. So Christ too also sees an increased chance to love those who come to Him with nothing more than tears, because they are opening themselves to Him and trusting Him.

Second, maintain a good relationship with your son. You want to keep those lines of love and communications open. As an adult, he will in the end make his own decisions. Encourage him to consider different aspects of the issue before doing so, but only insofar as it does not damage your relationship.

And third, what Catholics do is to pray. When I first returned to the Church and had a huge problem, a priest recommended I pray, and I wanted to reply: You don’t understand! I have to do something! Prayer just did not seem like a solution.

But prayer is asking for God’s help, and He is infinitely more powerful than we are, so prayer is really the *most *we can do rather than “doing nothing.”

The way you are currently praying is wonderful. For more formal ways of praying, first, Catholics consider prayer, fasting, and almsgiving all as prayerful acts. We fast both by giving up food(s) (everything from skipping dessert to having 2 teeny meals and one small meal in a day {more serious types of fasting should be practiced only with under the direction of a spiritual director}–to little acts of mortification like doing the task you dislike before you do the task you like, not engaging in a bad habit like chewing fingernails, that sort of thing).

And almsgiving can include not only giving money and things to those in need, but also volunteering and spending extra time in prayer for them.

And formal praying… First, we of course pray directly to God in any of His three Persons; secondly, we ask for the intercession of Mary, Christ’s Mother, esp in the Rosary, and we ask other saints to intercede for us, notably our own patron saints and the patron saints of the problem; for example, St Dymphna.


One Lost Sheep–

There is hope. This was written in Ad Salutem, a 1930 encyclical from Pope Piux XI. It is about Saint Augustine and his mother Monica.

Did not the Heavenly Father, then, abandon Augustine to his own devices, that Monica might ply Him with tearful entreaties and serve as a type of those mothers, who by their long-suffering and gentleness of temper, by their tireless supplication of the divine mercy, succeed at length in winning back their sons to virtue? For it was impossible that the sons would perish, for whom so many tears were shed.

That last line is always very touching. It is impossible that the sons would perish for whom so many tears were shed.

Pray, pray, pray and even like Monica, who saw her son go off into darkness and doom, there will be hope because of the tears that were shed in prayer.

Never abandon your son. But stay firm in your faith. Talk with a priest. A bishop, if possible.

The Memorare: Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

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