One parent’s story: the school was already calling her ‘him’ The Sunday Times 25.11.18,

The original article is here.

My daughter transitioned when she was just over 16. It was between six months and a year before the school told us. They made her a little name badge and started using the new [male] pronouns, and were full-on affirming. We only found out at a parents’ evening. We’d gone in to see how she was doing in her A-levels and they dropped that on us.

Before it all started, she’d come out to us, saying she thought she was lesbian. We went, “Yeah, we wondered whether you’d tell us”. She started wearing masculine clothing and I thought that was her finding her identity as a lesbian. Then she had her hair cut, which suited her. I didn’t realise the symbolic meaning of it.

Looking back, she started spending a lot of time on the internet. As a parent, you think fair enough, they’re finding themselves; I’m not going to track her. I thought the web community would support her as a young lesbian. But once you get into that social setup it becomes very difficult to recant, because you will lose all your friends. Saying, “I was wrong, I’m not really trans”, blows the thing out of the water.

We hadn’t researched trans and we thought, it’s a phase, it will pass. Her results had started dropping and we didn’t want a big bust-up. We were told, “Don’t make your relationship with her about this, because that makes them take a position”. We concentrated on not centring her life around it.

She’s at university now. We don’t ask, we don’t want to make it official, but I think — I hope — she is easing her way out of it. She’s not wearing the [breast] binder as much. Now, suddenly, she’s talking about lesbians.

The writer is a parent in the north of England