My sister came out to me as transgender and I’m not buying

Postby Yennefer » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:42 pm

I don’t want to be offensive towards anyone here. I just got this bomb dropped on me yesterday and I don’t know what to do.
Out of the blue my sister came out as a transgender. She told me she’s a boy now. She’s been in therapy with some doctor from the public healthcare service for about four months and she thinks she’s ready to take hormones. Like, what the hell. She’s 20, and never in my life I have associated her to a male. She declared she was a lesbian few years ago, then she was bi, then I got lost in all the names and pronouns. She didn’t speak to anyone except online lgbt forums for years, and she thinks she knows everything. What is going on on her mind? She’s a daughter of the internet, too many things have gone through her mind and she has gave voice to all of them by finding support on forums and stuff. How do I convince her to take her time to do self reflection and just think about this a bit more? Our mother has mental instability, our father is on his own and I honestly don’t think I have the strength to manage this alone. I only told my husband and my best friend, but i’m afraid that whatever I say I’ll hurt her more and push her far away.
Thanks in advance to anyone who’ll take time to read and respond.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:55 am

Your sister has a mental disorder.

To some extent, so does society. We don’t like to think an entire community can go bat sh** crazy and believe in things that simply aren’t scientifically accurate, but it happens. With good propaganda you can get millions to believe something is scientific fact, that simply are not true. It use to be scientific fact, not but a few decades ago that people of certain races were intellectually superior than others based on the cubic volume of brain matter. It was science! Indisputable fact. Turns out the science was bs.

Science is very much political. Always has been, always will be. It isn’t suppose to be, but it is.

Society has recently started to pretend that we are “assigned” a gender at birth. No...that is incorrect. You are a gender. If you can have a baby, you are female. If you are born with a vagina, you are biologically a female. You have the chromosomes of a female. That is scientific fact. That is how gender is determined, it is not assigned.

It doesn’t take much common sense to recognize this truth. If parents tried to “assign” the gender of male to an newborn with a vagina, that “assignment” wouldn’t mean a damn thing. The newborn would still be a biological female, capable of having a child, and having female chromosomes, regardless of the “assigned” term the parents used. The parents could call the newborn a friggin grapefruit if the wanted to, but it would make it true.

Yet it has become the politically correct thing to say that gender is not biology, but rather gender is assigned. Don’t buy into that crap.

Your sister probably suffers from gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder. This is psychological stress experienced when a person feels that they are a gender other than their biology. It is a mental disorder, because she feels like a man when scientifically...biologically she is a female. Don’t buy any definition of gender dysphoria where the definition has been modified to this assigned gender BS.

We (as a society) are creating confusion amongst teens and young adults that often times have not yet developed the critical thinking skills to not get swept up in a movement growing in popularity. It might be that your sister does not have gender dysphoria, but rather it is a mental issue related to low self esteem, an identity crisis, and wanting to fit in or find social acceptance.

What is sad is that there certainly are people with legitimate gender dysphoria and they need treatment. Maybe your sister is one of them, but possibly as stated, it is a different issue with social acceptance. The problem is that identifying as transgender as become more mainstream, so there are certainly cases that are not legitimate and it is unfortunately detracting from those that truly do need help. Suicide rates for transgender is insanely high.

Regardless, your role in the issue is sibling. Your role is not therapist or parent. What you can do is simply not enable her. Don’t pretend gender is not biologically determined. Don’t pretend gender is assigned. Don’t pretend she is a man when you know she isn’t. That doesn’t help her. It is the opposite of helping her. Yet, don’t be confrontational. Don’t judge. If she wants to pretend to be a man, that is her life path. Encourage her to seek therapy, but that will be difficult given much of the therapeutic community changes their mind about what is science based on politics.

The bottom line. Be loving, be caring, be supportive. But don’t pretend.
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#2

Postby Candid » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:09 am

Yennefer wrote:She declared she was a lesbian few years ago, then she was bi, then I got lost in all the names and pronouns. She didn’t speak to anyone except online lgbt forums for years...


If she's been on this track "for years" and has found a support network, asking her "to do self reflection and just think about this a bit more" isn't going to make any difference. You are simply showing your own judgment against LGBTs and will lose her as a sibling -- of whatever gender -- if you don't accept it.

Sexuality is largely entrenched by nurture in community, but I don't believe it's a choice. If it is a choice, most of us naturally make the 'right' one. Perhaps you need some self-reflection yourself. Could you switch from hetero to homo simply because you think it's trendy? It isn't. It's by far the more difficult path, and no one does it to 'fit in' -- people do it in response to their own feelings and the need to be true to themselves.
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#3

Postby Yennefer » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:37 am

Candid wrote:
Yennefer wrote:She declared she was a lesbian few years ago, then she was bi, then I got lost in all the names and pronouns. She didn’t speak to anyone except online lgbt forums for years...


If she's been on this track "for years" and has found a support network, asking her "to do self reflection and just think about this a bit more" isn't going to make any difference. You are simply showing your own judgment against LGBTs and will lose her as a sibling -- of whatever gender -- if you don't accept it.

Sexuality is largely entrenched by nurture in community, but I don't believe it's a choice. If it is a choice, most of us naturally make the 'right' one. Perhaps you need some self-reflection yourself. Could you switch from hetero to homo simply because you think it's trendy? It isn't. It's by far the more difficult path, and no one does it to 'fit in' -- people do it in response to their own feelings and the need to be true to themselves.


Look, this is exactly the point I’m worried about. She’s young, never spoke to anyone, and whatever is going on on her mind doesn’t necessarily need to be legitimate by a bunch of internet people who don’t know her for sh*t.
I’m sorry if I sound insensitive or worse but this is the kind of stuff she shouldn’t have read or seen around. These are the kind of concepts that in my opinion need to come out of the mouth of a specialist, and only after a certain path and a certain period of time. And surely they need to be built in stability and quietness, not in a mood of constant depression and insecurity. There’s professional help for this. She shut everyone out of her range, and again, she’s only 20 and did this on her own without even telling about the therapy or what she felt inside. She found her own answers in “relatable YouTube videos” and “tumblr pages”.
I know this is a different era and I know I myself have still to come to terms with it. But I also think some things never change, and the protocol for a sex change is for sure one of them.
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#4

Postby Candid » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:47 pm

If it's any consolation to you there will be counselling before anyone takes a knife to your sister, and she clearly already has a support team in VR if not IRL. No doubt she's aware of your feelings and can't be expected to confide in you more than she already has. She was brave enough to give you the chance to acknowledge her new identity and have your say. You've made your opinion clear.

We live in a more accepting society now and there's a real demarcation between identity choice and mental disorders. I've met plenty of happy and well-adjusted LGBTs; they don't hear voices, think everyone's out to get them or walk naked down the main street, nor (thank goodness) do they have to remain closeted and alone for fear of ridicule and shunning.
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:10 pm

Candid wrote: there will be counselling before anyone takes a knife to your sister,

We live in a more accepting society now and there's a real demarcation between identity choice and mental disorders.


Very true. Society is much more accepting. Unfortunately people that suffer from not knowing what they feel sometimes think going under the knife is what they wanted...on Monday. But then on Friday they don’t feel the same way.

Gender is not based on a feeling. Never has been, never will be. Why? Because feelings change. Gender doesn’t.

Going under a knife to fix a feeling? That is a recipe for disaster. It doesn’t mean it is always the wrong choice. After all, plenty of people go under a knife to fix feelings, e.g. breat implants. But sex change surgery is a much more serious degree of cosmetic surgery in my opinion. And it is cosmetic.

https://nonbinary.miraheze.org/wiki/Genderfluid

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... male-trans

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... times.html
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#6

Postby quietvoice » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:33 pm

Yennefer wrote:Look, this is exactly the point I’m worried about. She’s young, never spoke to anyone, and whatever is going on on her mind doesn’t necessarily need to be legitimate by a bunch of internet people who don’t know her for sh*t.
I’m sorry if I sound insensitive or worse but this is the kind of stuff she shouldn’t have read or seen around. These are the kind of concepts that in my opinion need to come out of the mouth of a specialist, and only after a certain path and a certain period of time. And surely they need to be built in stability and quietness, not in a mood of constant depression and insecurity. There’s professional help for this.
She shut everyone out of her range, and again, she’s only 20 and did this on her own without even telling about the therapy or what she felt inside. She found her own answers in “relatable YouTube videos” and “tumblr pages”.
I know this is a different era and I know I myself have still to come to terms with it. But I also think some things never change, and the protocol for a sex change is for sure one of them.


"She's young," "She's only 20."

"never spoke to anyone," "did this on her own,"

Apparently, she's a 20-year old adult. Adults are allowed to do things on their own.

(How often do you allow someone else to make your life choices for you?)

~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

"she shouldn’t have read or seen around."

Do much censorship? What makes you think that this adult sister of yours is not allowed to read, or see, or whatever, the same as the next adult over is allowed?

Why aren't you busy taking care of your own life instead of writing to forums about your sister's choices in her life, . . .
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#7

Postby Candid » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:12 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:Unfortunately people that suffer from not knowing what they feel sometimes think going under the knife is what they wanted...on Monday. But then on Friday they don’t feel the same way.


The person under discussion has been investigating this subject for years. His sister heard about it only yesterday and is understandably in shock right now, but she'll get over it and go back to living her own life, aka minding her own business. No one has gender reassignment surgery on a whim or because they're bored. The OP herself says her 'sister' has lived with this knowledge for years. He considered it from all angles for a long time before the natural urge to be acknowledged by family for who he is became too strong.

Gender is not based on a feeling. Never has been, never will be. Why? Because feelings change. Gender doesn’t.


I take it you don't believe in soul, or spirit. Plenty of people believe they're living in the wrong bodies. I'm sure they've always been among us, but in the past they were silenced by public opinion, law, and above all surgical limitation. I'm glad things have improved for society's misfits.

Going under a knife to fix a feeling? That is a recipe for disaster.


But going under the knife to live congruently as oneself is a step towards sanity and happiness. Feelings are indeed fleeting, but being uncomfortable in one's own body used to be a lifelong tragedy. This isn't akin to breast implants, which are about enhancing gender. This is about change for the sake of congruence.
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#8

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:59 pm

Candid wrote: I take it you don't believe in soul, or spirit. Plenty of people believe they're living in the wrong bodies.


I understand the desire to conflate a term that is a scientific with terms that are not scientific. Whether or not someone has ovaries is a question for science. Whether or not someone has a soul is not a question for science. I might feel like a woman, but as a man this doesn't mean a surgeon can remove my ovaries. Why? Because I'm a man.

If we want to pretend that gender is equivalent to soul or spirit, if as a society we wish to pursue that path and modify what gender has meant over the last 300,000 years, then I would say you can't prove to me that gender exists. You are neither man or woman or anything in between Candid. You have neither soul, nor spirit, or maybe you have all of these but only every other Wednesday. You think having major surgery for whatever manner your spirit/soul/gender exists or doesn't exist at any particular moment in time based on how you feel is the way to go?

Maybe I was born in the body of an angel, but my soul is that of a demon. Surgery perhaps? Lets' carve up this body to make it more congruent with my demon soul. After all, I feel this way and have spent years reflecting upon, and doing my research and feeling much more a person that identifies as demon than angel. This does happen. People get implants to make them more vampiric. Why not? It's a feeling. Vampire is a gender?

I'm sure they've always been among us, but in the past they were silenced by public opinion, law, and above all surgical limitation. I'm glad things have improved for society's misfits.


There is a long history of many societies being much more accepting than your society or my society Candid. I have been to Sulawesi, just last year in fact as well as Thailand. Many societies both historically and today are much more accepting of people that feel like a woman one day and a man another day, than Western cultures.

https://listverse.com/2015/10/21/10-exa ... t-history/

I'm glad things have improved as well and I agree with you that "above all surgical limitation." This, in my opinion, is my main focus or area of concern. I'm not at all against it. It is a free world and people should be free to do what they want with their bodies, up to and including end of life decisions.

Again, I'm not anti-surgery or body modification, regardless if it is because you feel like a vampire or a particular gender. The surgery doesn't make you into that. You are not actually a vampire post surgery, but I agree it might make a person feel better and I agree it is every person's individual right to pursue what makes them happy. My only caution, is if you "feel" like this or that, feelings can change.

Ultimately I agree with you Candid. This sister is a 20 year old adult. If she wants to modify her body to match what she feels, more power to her. In all of it, the OP needs to respect that right and support her as a sibling. That doesn't mean the OP need pretend the sister is not a female.
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#9

Postby Yennefer » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:40 pm

quietvoice wrote:
Yennefer wrote:Look, this is exactly the point I’m worried about. She’s young, never spoke to anyone, and whatever is going on on her mind doesn’t necessarily need to be legitimate by a bunch of internet people who don’t know her for sh*t.
I’m sorry if I sound insensitive or worse but this is the kind of stuff she shouldn’t have read or seen around. These are the kind of concepts that in my opinion need to come out of the mouth of a specialist, and only after a certain path and a certain period of time. And surely they need to be built in stability and quietness, not in a mood of constant depression and insecurity. There’s professional help for this.
She shut everyone out of her range, and again, she’s only 20 and did this on her own without even telling about the therapy or what she felt inside. She found her own answers in “relatable YouTube videos” and “tumblr pages”.
I know this is a different era and I know I myself have still to come to terms with it. But I also think some things never change, and the protocol for a sex change is for sure one of them.


"She's young," "She's only 20."

"never spoke to anyone," "did this on her own,"

Apparently, she's a 20-year old adult. Adults are allowed to do things on their own.

(How often do you allow someone else to make your life choices for you?)

~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

"she shouldn’t have read or seen around."

Do much censorship? What makes you think that this adult sister of yours is not allowed to read, or see, or whatever, the same as the next adult over is allowed?

Why aren't you busy taking care of your own life instead of writing to forums about your sister's choices in her life, . . .


Are you serious? I mean are you seriously telling me that if one your sibilings came to you out of nowhere saying that they feel in the wrong body and intend to go through surgery and hormonal therapy your answer would be: "Ehy good for you! I'm proud and supportive, now, is Mcdonald's fine for lunch?"
I was gladly busy in taking care of my own life, you can believe that. But I'm not able to do so since my sister droppend this bomb on me. We are a family, and as part of her family it is my precise responsibility to reach the bottom of this whole thing with her. And I don't think I have to apologize if I have a thing or two to say on the matter. She must think I have very large shoulders, and the reason I am on this very forum is because I don't. I don't know what to do, I don't know what to say, and I don't even know how to behave, because appereantly she also seeks secrecy and asked me to shut up with everyone else.
Just to be clear, reading that all of this is normal and should be legitimate without questioning it almost at all, is only contributing to make my negative thoughts about this new age crap growing.
I really don't want to believe that seeking for online confrontation will only lead to acknowledge that this is it. She is what she is, what can we possibily do? Why am I not going on with my life like nothing has happened?
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#10

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:58 pm

Yennefer wrote:And I don't think I have to apologize if I have a thing or two to say on the matter.


Absolutely you don't have to apologize. You can say whatever you want about the matter. You don't have to buy into her wanting to pretend she is a different gender. It is a two-way street.

When I say supportive and loving, it doesn't mean enabling.


I don't know what to do, I don't know what to say, and I don't even know how to behave...


Again, behave like a sibling. Behave like a sister. Be supportive, loving. This doesn't mean pretending like she is a gender other than she is.

I really don't want to believe that seeking for online confrontation will only lead to acknowledge that this is it. She is what she is, what can we possibily do?


What you want to believe isn't what actually is. Online your sister will filter out any advice that goes against what she wants to believe and she will embrace whatever information supports what she wants to believe. Same as you. Confirmation bias.
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#11

Postby Yennefer » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:10 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
What you want to believe isn't what actually is. Online your sister will filter out any advice that goes against what she wants to believe and she will embrace whatever information supports what she wants to believe. Same as you. Confirmation bias.


This one other thing. Today I talked to her again, and she was so fragile and scared that I had to stop, even though I tried not to be aggressive and I was as soft as I could. But still, do you realize she has only encountered encouragment because she has always only looked up for help from people who would have agree with her? I was her first obstacle and she crumbled! She was totally torn apart, she cried and we had to stop the conversation and go take some fresh air. How does she think is gonna go with other people? With our parents? I think that if one is secure and strong with his/her feelings, no word from anyone could change things. You know what you are, you know who you are, and this survives the judgment, the mocking and all the bad things you could possibly encounter. I was literally the first person who simply questioned the matter and she couldn't handle that! Come on, how can I take this seriously?
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#12

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:24 pm

Yennefer wrote: I was literally the first person who simply questioned the matter and she couldn't handle that! Come on, how can I take this seriously?


And this insecurity is a very strong indication she is confused and uncertain. She is confused about her emotions, about her feelings. If a simple conversation can make her begin to question her feelings, it is a red flag that it is a mental issue, it is dysphoria that is being embraced as normal from those she is seeking advice from.

Here is a simple question. Is gender a “feeling”? Is gender an emotion? Is gender a spirit or similar to soul? Or is gender based on science? Is gender a biologically determined scientific truth based on having certain chromosomes?

What do you believe?

If you don’t know what you believe. If you are uncertain if gender is a feeling or if gender is biology, then that makes it difficult to have that discussion.
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#13

Postby Yennefer » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:51 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
Yennefer wrote: I was literally the first person who simply questioned the matter and she couldn't handle that! Come on, how can I take this seriously?


And this insecurity is a very strong indication she is confused and uncertain. She is confused about her emotions, about her feelings. If a simple conversation can make her begin to question her feelings, it is a red flag that it is a mental issue, it is dysphoria that is being embraced as normal from those she is seeking advice from.

Here is a simple question. Is gender a “feeling”? Is gender an emotion? Is gender a spirit or similar to soul? Or is gender based on science? Is gender a biologically determined scientific truth based on having certain chromosomes?

What do you believe?

If you don’t know what you believe. If you are uncertain if gender is a feeling or if gender is biology, then that makes it difficult to have that discussion.


I'm definitely gonna go with the science one. I don't believe that gender is a choice. You either born male or female (or ermaphrodite, but that's a total different matter). I do believe though that there are circumnstances were the body one is born into doesn't match the inner feelings. But when this happens all the people around this person are aware of it. I can tell you this for sure because my best friend has gone through the transition process for the past year and a half. I met him 6 years ago, and he wasn't even thinking on taking the transition path, even though he was well aware of being a woman inside. And I can tell you that this was one of the first things that hit me hard when I shook his hand the very first time. He refuses to be addressed as a woman, at least until "everything is in the right place and order". And it took 32 years of his life to take the decision and much therapy and counselling, and family support. I can see all the differences with my sister. But she's also born in a totally different generation, that seeks fast results and tries to have everything asap. Not to mention that I strongly believe that the LGBT community is strongly closed on its belief and it's getting harder and harder to seek confrontation. You can't say a word out of place and you get labeled as fascist. Maybe I hang out with different people, I don't know. Maybe I really am a narrow minded person, but I just can't take all this that is happening around the world too serious. There's too much of everything and everyone feels legitimated to say whatever the hell goes through their mind as an absolute truth. You don't get the right to say "I think you're wrong" anymore, and that bothers me, because it's a mechanism that produces exactly what I am experiencing with my sister. Try to knock on someone's comfort zone and they crumble or jump at your throat.
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#14

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:24 pm

I agree with you. It can be very tough to be of a dissenting opinion, to have a belief that does not validate what the loudest people in the room keep shouting. It isn’t the majority opinion, it isn’t the truth, it is whoever can be the most vocal and aggressive in shaming others into silence.

If you believe gender is biology and that it is set, not a feeling that can change over time or every other Thursday, then stand by your beliefs. Explain those beliefs to your sister. Ask her to respect your beliefs, not necessarily accept your beliefs.

This is a huge problem in society currently. People want to force others to not only recognize, but to accept their beliefs as true or you are labeled a fascist. I respect a person’s right to believe gender is the same as having a soul or spirit. I respect a person’s right to believe gender is fluid and can change based on whatever they feel. That doesn’t mean I must accept that belief. It also doesn’t mean I must be quiet about my belief.

Trying to support your sister, share your beliefs. Try to articulate why you believe what you believe and why. Provide your sister with alternate views other than what she currently believes.

Regardless, for your own mental health, recognize that as a sibling there are limits to your role. Your sister will make decisions in life that are contrary to your beliefs. After you have said your peace, after you have provided your sister what you believe, you need to respect her right to make her own decision and reap the rewards or consequences of that decision. Again, there is a difference between accepting or respecting the decision she makes, verses respecting her right to make the decision.

We can disagree, we can not respect/accept each other’s decisions, but we must respect the right we each have to make our own decisions. I hope that makes sense.
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