How can I tell my dad I'm a female-to-male transgender and I want to start binding?

I have known I was always different. This year, in December, I found out that I never felt female. I did research and have identified myself as male but don't know how to tell my dad.

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

In part the answer depends on your age.

If you are legally a minor, then consulting with a doctor for guidance on transitioning, will require your father or whoever else pays for your health insurance.

The way to tell him if it is a necessity, and even if you are older and would like him to know your truth, is as follows.

Know the reason for your hesitancy to speak with him.

This  way you can anticipate and to some degree rehearse your answers.

Tell him the truth about your own difficulty to speak about the topic.  People usually soften if they feel you appeal to their compassion and sensitivity.

Also, accept that you may hear a bad reaction from him and be prepared for this possibility.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

I admire your courage.

If you are concerned about telling your dad regarding your gender identity, I would suggest a couple of things. There are a lot of groups or other supports for people who are working through some of the same changes that you may be going through now. I don't mean to convey that everyone thinks, feels, or acts the same by any means, but rather that it may be helpful to talk to others who have had some similar experiences.

I was trying to include some links for you, but that particular button isn't functioning window. If you search for "transgender support" on Google, you'll find GLAAD and PFLAG, both of which are national organizations. This does not mean that you have to identify as "transgender," but researching that term may help you to find both national and local resources.

As far as telling your dad, if that is particularly concerning for you, I suggest either talking through the details with a local therapist or considering if you have a trusted friend or family member (one who will respect your privacy with regard to who you would like to know about what you are experiencing at this time) so that you can talk with some people to have support. This may help with two things: allowing you to find some support for yourself as you work through the changes that you are going through now and also possibly talking with someone who knows your dad and may be able to talk with you regarding how or when to tell him.

One thing that I tell anyone who wants to discuss something that is very important to them is to ask the person they want to talk to whether this is a good time for an important conversation. That way, you have greater chances of having the person's attention and/or not needing to end the conversation quickly. 

Also, please remember that you know yourself best, as each of us does.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.
Robin Landwehr, DBH, LPCC, NCC
Robin Landwehr, DBH, LPCC, NCC
Mental Health in a Primary Care Setting

Hello, and thank you for your question. This is certainly a tough spot. I have a few thoughts and perhaps some colleagues will add some things.

You may want to spend a few minutes calling to mind any conversations that you have had with your father about transgender issues, or if you have ever heard him talk about it. That may give you a small clue about how well he may accept this news from you. For example, if he has been watching the news lately, transgender rights is something that is being talked about a lot. Has he had an opinion? This won't tell you for sure if he would be okay with learning you are transgender, but at least you would know if there is hostility toward transgender people.

To tell you the truth, the best way to tell your dad is whatever way feels right to you. There is no right or wrong way, best or worst. If you want to tell him when you are by yourself with him? That's perfect. Want to have a friend with you for support? Equally perfect. Whatever thing you need to do. And, of course, there is always the option of not telling him anything until you are comfortable doing so.

Unfortunately, the response from your dad can't be predicted. Some parents are totally cool.... others not so much. This is one reason why having someone with your for support is sometimes a good idea. If things get heated, you have someone in your corner.

There are therapists who specialize in affirmative therapy, and they may be very helpful to you in working out how you want to tell him. You can also Google some stories about how others came out.

I refer many people to the www.letsqueerthingsup.com blog. It is a popular blog written by a trans man that I know. He writes on many topics related to trans issues.

Hope some of these suggestions help. Be well... be you.. and good luck!

Robin J. Landwehr, DBH, LPC, NCC

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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