Sep 24, 2019
Here’s the story we discuss this week:
“I once shared a story with my daughter (age 14) of a time when my work friends and school friends somehow ended up having a party together and I found myself having a hard time figuring out how to behave. It was not until this moment I realized I altered my personality a bit to fit with the group of friends I was currently with. I had intended her to understand some variants are okay. She seems to have taken this as being able to be wholly different people all together.
With extended family she likes to hang out with the older female cousins, do hair and nails and, while always invited, does not go out with the male cousins. At home she appears happy and at ease. She willingly calls herself daughter, sister and woman. She seems to spend time looking into feminist activism. She likes to be physically close, hugged and snuggled with. In public she will hold my hand and will rest her head on my shoulder. It is obvious she needs me and likes me close.
At Girl Scouts, kids she has known since kindergarten, she will start out the meeting with a lowered voice and a brutish type of stance. As the meeting continues she starts to relax and behaves closer to how she behaves at home. After she had taken on a transgender identity she joined Girls Inc (her insistence). Our chapter currently has two transwomen in top positions. With this organization I have seen her name tag to show she uses they/them pronouns if I am not present at that activity. At school she uses a ‘chosen’ name and he/him pronouns with her friends and with drama club, but I believe still female within classes. She attempts to lower her voice whenever she is with school friends. All of her friends are female with some male acquaintances.
I believe it is within this environment she starts to portray me as a villain. If I volunteer she and all of her friends will avoid me. Online she is fully male and I am so unsafe I worry her online friend’s parents may have reason to believe they should call family services on me. It is through her online friend and school friends she was able to sneak a purchase of a chest binder, something I happened to find within days of her purchase and took away. (NOTE: on the weekends or anywhere away from school she’ll occasionally wear shirts which accentuate her breasts.)
I understand an alter ego can help a person in situations where they feel uncomfortable. I can see she has adopted this alter ego in attempt to develop peer relationships. Although I worry this is reaching an unhealthy level. She adopted this alter ego after three years of her trio friendship became a duo, leaving my daughter out. After she lost her online friend of four years (who we’d meet up with every year or so in real life). Also, at this time, only about 1% of her elementary school moved up to her middle school. All her friends went to the other middle school. She has an alpha personality, seeks to always be the teacher’s pet, needs to be a know-it-all and to always be right. She is above average-intellect and, as some adults describe, has an old-soul. I can see how these traits may annoy her peers and prevents many to get too close.
The only friend she has had where she was very close to was the online friend she had from 2nd to 5th grade. While they were 100s of miles away they were able to pull off sleep overs and such through their iPods and Netflix. This friend has been replaced by another online friend who talks to her about getting on hormones and to seek surgery. If my daughter talks about doing stuff as an adult without transitioning, this online friend convinces her it would be to her demise. This online friend, as far as I can tell, does not identify as transgender, but has friends who do and her mother is proud of her inclusiveness. We are again in a phase where only about 1% of her middle school will be going to her high school, where she will reconnect with many elementary school friends. I am hoping to find ways this summer to strengthen her confidence when it comes to peers so she can start high school as herself and not as this alter ego. She knows I know about the transgender identity, but does not like to have any conversations regarding it. If I ask questions she’ll answers curtly and beg to change the subject.”
We discuss Stella’s documentary Trans Kids – It’s Time to Talk