My 15 yr old daughter just told me she is not sure...but feels as though maybe she should be male. I supported her and told her that I’ll help her in any way I can - to help her figure it out. I asked her if she wanted to speak w/ someone professionally and she said yes. So that is my first question to you...does anyone have anyone they’d recommend?
My next question is..HELP! I feel a little paralyzed w/ this. She has a friend who is going through the change (female to male)...she said “maybe I feel this way because I have a friend who is going through this?”. I told her that I wasn’t sure. The things I do know is that a female teenager goes through so many emotions & they all struggle in trying to figure themselves out. So, in the end, I, of course do not know if she should be a male. That is something she can only figure out herself.
PLEASE. ANY ADVICE IS MOST APPRECIATED.
there are forums (on other websites) specifically for theses issues, look for them....other people that have been through this are the best resource. Its tough at this age, as if the person is trans, they need to look into medical treatments as soon as possible, but you don't want to rush in case its not true, depending on where they are in puberty may make things more difficult.
might be easier to find a medical doc (as opposed to a counselor truly competent to delve into trans issues), you can always ask them for a referral to a counselor, besides you should probably meet with a medical doc to discuss those concerns re steps that need to be considered
I remember a time when the cool thing for girls was to be bisexual, so some girls were just because it was the thing to do. I suspect they grew out of it within a few years, especially when they truly fell in love with a man (for the ones just being bi to be cool, not people who are truly bi)
Local Maplewood mom who has always struck me as wise: https://www.laurabookerlcsw.com/ might be a good person to talk to, and/or able to refer you to others as well. Good luck! Your loving approach puts your child in such a better position than so many kids face.
and look up "I am Jazz" its a TV show about a trans girl, she started very young, around pre school and just had gender confirmation surgery at 17.
The Pride Center of NJ has fantastic young people’s groups, and for parents as well.
Their website isn’t pretty - perhaps call
And you’ll find a resource for everything trans related at The Center in the city - PM me for name of a contact if needed
And PFLAG for parents...
All the best!
taaj, it is clear from your initial post that you and your child will weather all these considerations well. Your child feels able to communicate openly and honestly and with graceful vulnerability. She echoes what you demonstrate in your initial responses. I am happy s/he has you as a mom. There are a lot of good resources out there. I will touch base with a local parent I know whose child has successfully transitioned female to male who may be ready to share some of their journey (again, a supportive but at times confused family.) I wish you and your child the best. PM me if you ever want to talk
taaj said:My 15 yr old daughter just told me she is not sure...but feels as though maybe she should be male. I supported her and told her that I’ll help her in any way I can - to help her figure it out. I asked her if she wanted to speak w/ someone professionally and she said yes. So that is my first question to you...does anyone have anyone they’d recommend?
Jesus, if every parent acted like you, there'd be fewer suicides, fewer unhappy people and we all might understand each other a bit better. Wouldn't that be weird?
This Sunday the Ethical Culture Society (516 Prospect St) at 11:00 am will host an author who will discuss the story of her transgender child who died tragically (not by suicide).
Maplewood Library has a copy of "Unbound : transgender men and the remaking of identity " by Arlene Stein. It's interviews and stories of young ftms and some who situate themselves between genders.
Arlene Stein who is a psychologist who used to live in S.O. with her then partner?
Russ Healy specializes in this and is just great. He operates out of Somerville and near Princeton, but is worth the drive because he has so much knowledge on this subject. Feel free to PM me if you want, I've been through this, although my kid wasn't questioning. She was sure. Russ won't push your kid, except to talk. He will help you explore and will facilitate this as a family conversation, although he will need to see your kid alone. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/russell-healy-somerville-nj/42353
Nakaille - yes.
There is a fantastic LGBTQ-focused medical doctor and I cannot recommend him enough. Dr.Thomas Ziering in Morristown - 1201 Mt.Kemble Ave (908) 221-1919.
Also, Julia Turovsky is a gifted, kind and super helpful counselor - 10 Parrot Mill Road Chatham, (973) 635-2444
Finally, and perhaps what is most needed for you, there is an AMAZING Facebook support group but you do have to be added by a member. PM me and I will share that link with you.
I know how scary this is - there is a lot of support available and the good news is that if your kid has been depressed and confused about gender, and finds the solution, then all of you are going to be really happy. They are the lucky ones to have such supportive families.
Beth El is hosting an event with three speakers on the subject of Transgenders
This thursday at Beth El starting at 7:30 pm.
I second the recommendation for Dr. Tom Ziering for the medical part of this. (He referred us to Russ Healey). He is so personable and nice, although while he was at Summit Medical, his office was not the most efficient (you could wait for an hour or more). For a minor, you will need to get counseling before you get any medical treatment (hormones etc). It doesn't sound like you're there yet. It sounds like your child is still questioning.
boomie said:Also, Julia Turovsky is a gifted, kind and super helpful counselor - 10 Parrot Mill Road Chatham, (973) 635-2444
I can second the recommendation for Julia Turovsky. However, she is a PhD psychologist, not a counselor. You'd not be paying her rates for a "counselor."
Correct. I didn't realize "counselor" meant no Ph.D. Still not sure it does, but yes, she is a Ph.D.
I received this invitation this morning -- you might want to check it out.
Please join us tonight as we discuss Gender & Faith with three Transgender speakers discussing their lived experienced.
This informative discussion is meant to help those seeking understanding of the complexities of Transgender.
We invite you to come and bring your open hearted questions.
“Made in the Image and Likeness of God”
Location: Congregation Beth El 222 Irvington Ave. South Orange NJ
Time: 7:30-9:00 PM TONIGHT
thanks so much everyone. i really appreciate all of your feedback.
as an aside, i am finding that i have an anger inside that makes me more moody than ever (there are other things at home that add to this). any therapist recos for me? i sometimes feel like i am falling apart and need to be strong for my family - especially right now.
boomie said:Correct. I didn't realize "counselor" meant no Ph.D. Still not sure it does, but yes, she is a Ph.D.
Counselor could mean a school counselor (master's in school counseling) or a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), usually some type of master's-level professional that works in an agency. I'm certain that a Ph.D.-level licensed psychologist would never refer to themselves as a counselor.
perhaps this article might help..
thanks again all.
question: is it a bad idea to look for a counselor over someone who has his/her phd? money is very tight in our household right now, but recognize the importance of getting someone who knows how to counsel a 15 yr old who is UNSURE about his/her gender.
if you can find a counselor rather than a 'doctor' who is experienced in this area, i think that would be fine at this point. in the future, if the person wants surgery, they need to get approval from 2 doctors I think.
There are some wonderful support groups as well as hotlines etc where care should not be expensive.
The Institute for Personal Growth in Highland Park has counselors who specialize in gender & sexuality issues of all kinds. They used to have a support group for trans teens and their parents (separate groups) but I'm not sure if it's still going.
The Gender Clinic at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is amazing, Dr Linda Hawkins can help you and your kid figure out what's going on and she brings a wealth of expertise and experience in this specific area. The clinic can also get your daughter on blockers if necessary while she's figuring things out. They also have support groups.
Callen-Lorde in the city is closer, but they're pretty close to capacity.
Hi Tops in Princeton has a trans support group once a month.
The WPATH guidelines require some therapy before any medical intervention, so that should be your starting point. When my kid came out I looked for someone who had experience in this area. I wanted at least one of us to understand the specifics of gender identity - this was before the "transgender tipping point" but not that long ago.
There are a number of facebook groups, pm me if you want more information about them. Also if you'd like to talk.
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