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My Adult Son Now Says He Is Really a Girl

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From the US: Due to hypopituitarism my son makes little to no hormones. When it was discovered he makes some female hormones, but no male hormones I was assured by the doctors that it didn’t mean he should have been female.

He always seemed rather feminine in his behaviors even as a young child. He has always said he is asexual.

My thoughts have been once he was on the proper testosterone therapy he would become more Masculine. A few months ago he told me he should be a girl. A few days ago he told me he never stabilized his testosterone because his voice started to deepen and he didn’t like it.

I am very confused. Over the years he has always seemed angry that people would mistake him for a female over the phone, yet now I am supposed to accept that he has felt he should have been a girl for years.

I’m hurt. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m scared for him. I’m scared over how I feel.

I am already dealing with my husband, his father’s failing health and having to become his caregiver and the family bread-winner. My son can’t work and we have been fighting to get his SSI back since he turned 18, resulting in him having to live with us at the age of 27.

I don’t feel like I can take any more. My plate is already over-filled. I don’t need this stress. His dad refuses to accept his desire to be a female, which makes it even harder for me to juggle it all.

I am really trying to understand and be supportive of my son.

I feel like there is nothing left of me. I love him. I hate him.

What kind of monster am I?

My Adult Son Now Says He Is Really a Girl

Answered by on -


I don’t think you’re a monster. I do think your plate is way too full. Let me see if I can help you set some priorities.

Your son is 27. You didn’t tell me why he can’t work. Apparently Social Security doesn’t think he qualifies for benefits and should get a job. Unless he is incapacitated, it seems reasonable to me that he should either be working or he should be getting some schooling so that he can.

I’m confused: I can’t tell whether it is your husband or your father-in-law who is ill. I do understand that you have become a primary caregiver and the primary financial contributor in the family. That’s a very big load. If your son can’t work or go to school for some reason, the very least he could do is take on a big share of the care-taking. Regardless of gender, he can earn his keep by lightening your load.

At 27, your son’s decisions about his sexual identity are his own. All you have to do is love him as your child. You needn’t get involved in the apparent inconsistencies that are part of his struggle or in his decisions. You needn’t get between him and his father either. They need to work out their relationship themselves in order to own it.

Love your child. Love your husband. Express your confidence to both of them that they have what it takes to figure it out. Then have faith in them and take care of yourself by staying out of it.

Easier said than done, I know. But I also know that you can’t do all you are doing and be their counselor too. If they need help, encourage them to see a professional family therapist to help them sort things out. You are simply too over-stressed — and you are too close to the situation to be helpful.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Adult Son Now Says He Is Really a Girl

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My Adult Son Now Says He Is Really a Girl. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 7, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 12 Apr 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.