Q1. From the research you have done what are the options other people in similar situations have had or tried and are there any that have come as a close second for this decision?
A1. These are the options:
a. Ignore our child’s cues, insist that she is a boy and don’t allow him to choose what he wears or how he looks. But he’s already told us she feels sad and angry when this happens – we want her to be happy and calm.
B. Allow our child to express herself as she wishes, but only at home – this option minimizes the external conflict but increases the internal conflict. It does not allow a full expression of oneself and tells our child society is more important than her.
C. Reparative Therapy – also called “conversion therapy” which is aimed at training the mind to suppress such feelings. Click here Conversion Therapy, an explanation
and The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Position on Conversion Therapy
D. Follow our child’s lead and allow her to live in the gender she identifies herself as regardless of the gender she was born. This is the option we choose. It tells both our children that they can be themselves, that we accept them no matter what, that when we tell them “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” and “treat others as you’d like to be treated” – we really mean it. But furthermore our decision is stated as best practice by leading professional bodies such as The American Academy of Pediatriacs –Social Transition: Supporting Our Youngest Transgender Children. And this from Genderspectrum.org Parenting and Family
It may set your mind at ease to understand that “social transitioning”, which is what we are doing, is reversible in the event that this turns out to be a phase.
There are some fascinating papers on the subject of early transition written by Kristina R. Olson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington.
Bottom line is that ☆Izzy has been telling us she’s a girl for a long time, and whilst we understand that life is not going to be straightforward for any of us, if we chose to ignore/suppress/try and change her mind, the effects would likely be much more negative than the path we’ve taken.