How Do You Help a Child who Knows They’re Transgender?
There’s a good chance that someone you know is transgender. There’s also a good chance that this person didn’t “come out” to his or her friends and family until late in his or her teen years or even adulthood. However, more and more children are telling their parents that they feel they were born in the wrong bodies. How do you help a child who knows they’re transgender? The answers are quite simple.
Kate Cooch, born Callum Wingate in Staffordshire, United Kingdom, knew from the time she was seven years old that she was in the wrong physical body. In fact, she “came out” to her classmates when she was only seven, and they ridiculed her to no end. Because of this, she kept these feelings secret from her parents. Her parents knew that she was unhappy from a very young age. When she was still “Callum”, and at the tender age of three years old, she would have temper tantrums when forced to wear clothing designed for boys. She preferred the dresses she saw on dolls. She was happier playing with dolls over toys traditionally given to little boys, too, and her parents obliged.
Coming Out as Bisexual
Later, at the age of 14, after having pushed her desire to become a woman to the back of her mind for fear of ridicule, Kate told her friends she was bisexual. She felt that this would be a simpler, softer way to tell the people she loved that she simply did not fit into traditional societal gender roles. Her friends accepted this openly, so she later came out as gay. Soon thereafter, she began wearing makeup and clothing designed for women, and she also carried handbags. Kate says, “I was a very girly gay.”
Telling Her Parents
After being ridiculed by her classmates at a very young age, Kate was terrified to tell her parents about her desire to become female in the physical sense. However, coming out as gay upped her confidence, so she felt ready. She knew her father would not accept her for who she was, so she patiently waited until her parents separated in 2014 to tell her mother. Kate says her mother took the news very well, and that telling her was a “huge relief”. Per Kate, “It was very emotional We were crying and hugging.” Unfortunately, after Kate’s father heard the news through family and friends, he stopped contacting her. The pair have not spoken in more than three years.
After coming out as a woman to her mother and classmates in 2014, Kate swapped all her masculine clothes for more feminine ones. Kate prefers tight dresses, high heels, and skinny jeans, and she certainly knows her way around a cosmetics kit. She started taking testosterone blockers in 2016, and she’s considering other procedures like breast augmentation and a tracheal shave.
Transgender children need plenty of support from their friends and family, and it is also a great idea for these children to see therapists who specialize in helping people overcome some of the hurdles associated with transitioning. Kate’s story has a happy ending, but only because her mother was incredibly supportive of her choice. This is what truly matters for transgender children.