Autism and a False Trans Self-Diagnosis
My Daughter's Story
Seven years ago, my 19 year old daughter decided she was trans. When I found out, I immediately talked with her about why I did NOT think she was a 'he'. She lived with us so that helped me to be able to keep the conversation going. I let her know that as her mother I knew her pretty well, and what I saw was a confused young woman trying to find her way in the world.
At that time, I did not know that she was also autistic. I knew she had social anxiety and probably ADHD. Oh, and depression. She definitely had that.
I asked her about her plans. She told me she had done the chest binding thing a couple times. I then explained to her how much damage that could do to her breasts. She told me she would stop, for now.
I talked with her about what testosterone could do to her health, especially over time. She had not gotten into doing that yet, thankfully.
I explained that there is a broad range and type of femininity in women. It doesn't change the fact that they ARE all women. As we discussed things, I slowly found out that she had been bullied online because of her height (she's 6'2") and because she does not use makeup or wear dresses.
We talked together about her childhood. She was into animals then and beanie babies, not stereotypical girly things, but not boy things either. I told her that widespread transgenderism for women is a relatively new phenomenon, mostly since social media has come about.
And I also talked with her about my own personal experience of having a double mastectomy due to cancer many years ago. This helped her to realize that even without breasts, her mom is still a woman!
Thankfully, after many months, she recognized that she is in fact not trans. She did not have to try to change her body to match what others thought she should be. And when we found out she was autistic, it all clicked for her.
Autism makes it hard for people to fit in, to know who they are in their own skin. Currently, she identifies as a woman who is bisexual. And I'm totally okay with that.
My heart goes out to all parents out there struggling with losing their daughters. If you are in this position, don't give up on her, love her, and help her to see that SHE is beautiful (and feminine) in her own way!