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bsjkki

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Well, my husband and I had an awesome family home evening last night going over how to talk about dangerous things with our children. https://www.lds.org/topics/pornography/audiences/parents/creating-a-safe-place-to-talk-about-dangerous-things?lang=eng&old=true  We were very successful because my 19-year-old daughter told me today she wants to be a boy. Now, this isn't really a shock. She has autism and has rejected all things girly for years. Years ago, she was quite thrown in her Chinese class when a fellow autistic boy asked her if she was a boy or girl. I asked her whether she had a testimony and whether she wanted a secular or spiritual perspective on this and we discussed both. She does want to continue at church. She does not want to date. She does not want a sexual relationship and she does not want to ever get married. I told her I would not refer to her as my daughter but try to just call her by her name (it is gender neutral) but actually telling everyone at church and her siblings to call her a him and change pronouns--just a little hard at the moment. I told her we would go buy her pants for church which I had planned on anyway. I knew she would be more comfortable. 

Anyway--her autism is such that while she is smart and high functioning, she is also obviously very different too and we didn't know if she would ever be able to hold a full time job or support herself enough to live independently. We are working on getting a drivers license and getting a job.

Do any of you know how to navigate this--her autism puts things in a different light and how do trans and church work together? I would rather gender neutralize--I think the whole calling her a him is something I am really struggling with and because her mental capacity is not like everyone else's, I'm not sure what to do. 

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I think you are doing a pretty good job.  Showing that love for them is key.  Today's world is so backwards - I am glad I didn't grow up now as opposed to 20-30 years ago.  These kids have to deal with a lot of bad things out there.  Good Luck!

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The autism spectrum puts a different spin on this and I am not qualified to address how best to navigate those waters - talk to a LDS counselor about how this might be handled more appropriately. 

On the other hand I find the entire effort to destroy human language to accommodate individual desires and tastes to be beyond the pale of rational discussion.  You have masculine females, but you still have a female. Conversely, you have a feminine male, but he remains a male regardless of what dress you put him in or whatever is done to change the appearance.  My comments do NOT include those individuals, rare as they are, that have a definite DNA confusion.  That is a separate kettle of fish and they have nothing in common with those who choose to change their gender for whatever reason.

What appeals to me is that you talked calmly with your daughter and gave both the spiritual side and the worldly side of the discussion.  I am not so keen on only feeding one side of natural desires.  The objective is not to be comfortable in this life; it is to learn to discipline the self to align our passions, and their expression, with the Lord's desires and wants.  

Incidentally, this past Sunday a sweet, rather masculine woman sang a solo in church - Ave Maria.  The ward enjoyed it and appreciated her desire to share her voice and her spirit with the congregation.  

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2 hours ago, bsjkki said:

Well, my husband and I had an awesome family home evening last night going over how to talk about dangerous things with our children. https://www.lds.org/topics/pornography/audiences/parents/creating-a-safe-place-to-talk-about-dangerous-things?lang=eng&old=true  We were very successful because my 19-year-old daughter told me today she wants to be a boy. Now, this isn't really a shock. She has autism and has rejected all things girly for years. Years ago, she was quite thrown in her Chinese class when a fellow autistic boy asked her if she was a boy or girl. I asked her whether she had a testimony and whether she wanted a secular or spiritual perspective on this and we discussed both. She does want to continue at church. She does not want to date. She does not want a sexual relationship and she does not want to ever get married. I told her I would not refer to her as my daughter but try to just call her by her name (it is gender neutral) but actually telling everyone at church and her siblings to call her a him and change pronouns--just a little hard at the moment. I told her we would go buy her pants for church which I had planned on anyway. I knew she would be more comfortable. 

Anyway--her autism is such that while she is smart and high functioning, she is also obviously very different too and we didn't know if she would ever be able to hold a full time job or support herself enough to live independently. We are working on getting a drivers license and getting a job.

Do any of you know how to navigate this--her autism puts things in a different light and how do trans and church work together? I would rather gender neutralize--I think the whole calling her a him is something I am really struggling with and because her mental capacity is not like everyone else's, I'm not sure what to do. 

WOW! I won't get into the nitty gritty of your statement but I do find what your doing very noble. You have a very choice daughter in your family and I've no doubt you have always worked with her very lovingly. Your unique experiences from this will no doubt benefit you and those who know you. Keep up the good work and God bless.

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So she "wants to be a boy"?  What does that mean to her?   And what else does she want that is impossible (all of us have our own lists): would you respond in the same way if she told you she wants to be a car or a violin?   Figure out what she is wanting to do differently (what she thinks she has to do because she is a girl, that she doesn't want to have to do, and support the things that uphend social conventions, without that making her a boy.

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Asperger's person here--

I have a personal motto: "just because I'm female doesn't mean I have to be a girl".  And by this I mean that I am happy to admit that I am female, but I'm not interested in "girly" things.  No make up, no shaving my legs, no chick-flicks, no cooking, no homemaking crafts.  My wardrobe is "tomboy", with a bunch of jeans and t-shirts.  Growing up my sister would spray me with "smelly stuff" (body spray, perfume, etc) and I would scream bloody murder in honest terror.  I didn't have a crush till my 20's, and would rage whenever a guy would ask me out.   I love video games, hiking, computers, programming, rockets, etc.  Most of my friends are male, and frequently while in church I'd much rather hang out with the guys and debate Star Trek rather than talk about "girly" Relief Society stuff.

Still, through all this, I am still female.  That a basic part of who I am and I can no more deny that than I can my own name.  But I'm the one that decides what me, a female, is like.  Social media, "norms", and "popularity" have no bearing on that for me.  I decide.

 

 

Now, bringing this back to your daughter: what is the type of person she wants to be?  She doesn't need to "change" her gender to enjoy the things she does.  Let her tell you what she loves, and listen to her. 

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Jane Doe is spot on...not surprising.

It could very well be simply distancing herself from what our culture has determined "girl" to mean and choosing either the opposite as the only other perceived option or viewing "boy" as a neutral or asexual alternative (boys not having obvious sexual characteristics as well as "male" being a default quality in many ways in our society, if a person isn't identified with specific sexual qualities, many people will assume male, for example online it is my experience generic names means the person is assumed to be male....I admit my perception may be based on my own tendency to gravitate to areas that have been predominantly male).

Does she want to be a boy or a not-girl?

Hopefully she will be able to articulate her desire sufficiently well so you can help her adjust without too much drama and obstacles to that adjustment.  What you have described so far seems an intelligent and loving response.

Edited by Calm
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15 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Asperger's person here--

I have a personal motto: "just because I'm female doesn't mean I have to be a girl".  And by this I mean that I am happy to admit that I am female, but I'm not interested in "girly" things.  No make up, no shaving my legs, no chick-flicks, no cooking, no homemaking crafts.  My wardrobe is "tomboy", with a bunch of jeans and t-shirts.  Growing up my sister would spray me with "smelly stuff" (body spray, perfume, etc) and I would scream bloody murder in honest terror.  I didn't have a crush till my 20's, and would rage whenever a guy would ask me out.   I love video games, hiking, computers, programming, rockets, etc.  Most of my friends are male, and frequently while in church I'd much rather hang out with the guys and debate Star Trek rather than talk about "girly" Relief Society stuff.

Still, through all this, I am still female.  That a basic part of who I am and I can no more deny that than I can my own name.  But I'm the one that decides what me, a female, is like.  Social media, "norms", and "popularity" have no bearing on that for me.  I decide.

 

 

Now, bringing this back to your daughter: what is the type of person she wants to be?  She doesn't need to "change" her gender to enjoy the things she does.  Let her tell you what she loves, and listen to her. 

Thanks this is helpful. I love the "just because I am female doesn't mean I have to be a girl." That is where we were and that is the discussions I have had with her in the past that she seems to have accepted. This, I want to be a boy thing is new. She seems to me to be more A-sexual than anything else and I think the darn internet has influenced her to believe "not having to be a girl" means "I must be a boy." But since she does not want to date or have relationships and is not social--she only wants limited social interactions all on her terms--even with her one friend (friend of her sisters) she will only hang out for an hour or so and disappear. She doesn't relate to boys more than girls. She always hated combined Young Men/Young woman activities because the boys were too loud and crazy. Thanks you all for your responses. It has helped today. 

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For me, "girl" feels/means eight grade or high school mentality that I really, really don't like.  The whole what I interpreted as obsession with appearance and social status.  I never felt at home with it.  Otoh, I identify just fine with "maternal" and "wife" and other "female" roles.  I may use "girl" at times as in girl/guy usage, but that is usually laziness or because "women" or " ladies" seem awkward constructions and I just can't manage "gal".

It is interesting to me how words can acquire associations outside of actual definitions.

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