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The Steven Wick Blog Group

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This is not the place for politics, stir-fry, or tantrums. Please. I need clarity since my child is a real person and I'm a real mother.

For the majority of my life, I have been a tomboy/low maintenance woman. A girl was born as my first kid. She had a huge interest in beauty and fashion from the start. When she was three, her babysitter took her to get hair extensions and nails done, and she really enjoyed it. She has always been in the know because she grew up watching beauty and fashion boys.

I won't lie; it has been difficult for me. It has been difficult for me to see that level of attention in appearance as anything other than superficial. However, despite my attempts to support her with some boundaries, she has been consistent.

For instance, when she was 12 years old, she had a breakdown when I refused to buy her a $80 six-color makeup palette. But I've tried to hold my breath.

You'll see that I've been referring to her as "she/her" throughout. That's not gender sexism; it's speaking to how it was back then. They went through a series of "coming outs" about two years ago. Lesbians came first, followed by bi, pan, male, non-binary, female, and finally, another man. It's been a roller coaster, so I'm sure I missed a few. Each color of the rainbow was tasted. They have also been coping with major problems like eating disorders, self-harm, abuse recovery, compulsive lying, etc. during all of this.

Every time they appeared, it was a huge situation. Because I'm religious and they anticipated a major uproar, they were uneasy and terrified. However, despite the fact that I am religious, I only practice my religion on myself. They now know what I think, but I gave them room to disagree. The coming outs continued because, in my opinion, they were unhappy it wasn't more dramatic.

They are now at ease using any pronoun. They typically go by she or her despite identifying as a boy. (However, never a man. She or she can sometimes offend them. Although I've assumed they are the least likely to stir any trouble, I don't believe they appreciate my general lack of bias toward the situation.

The main point of my query is this, though. What does it mean to identify as a gender, as someone who has never adhered to gender norms? Never have I felt "masculine" or "female," really. They are unable to articulate why they feel like a male or how that differs from feeling like a girl or a woman when I ask them to do so. I came here because I don't want to worry them by asking more questions.

Sincerity be damned, I have no idea what gender identity is all about. I don't think gender has any other significance than to describe biological disparities. I've looked everywhere online for answers, but I've never come across anything that seems logical to me.

Any advice?


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