My Wife And I Want A Transition For Our Son So He Doesn't Grow Up To Be A Man
OPINION 10/06/2039 7:08 AM ET
My Wife And I Want A Transition For Our Son So He Doesn't Grow Up To Be A Man

Janette Carlyle
Mother, enjoying life and love and much coffee

CC BY 4.0 Lésbicas no Parque da Cidade-Brasília-DF by Roosewelt Pinheiro/ABr | Writer image: CC BY-SA 4.0 - image changes released under same license Face by Maria Morri | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
We simply want our child to grow up happy and healthy.
When our son was born, my wife and I were overjoyed. What a little bundle of love! All arms and feet moving in every which direction, kicking out as if to experience as much of the world as possible at once.

We love our son. We loved him while we were toilet-training him. We loved him while he spat food on the floor. We loved him during diaper changes and midnight feedings and endless loops of THAT Mr. Happy song which I will not say the same of.

We took our son for walks in the park, for picnics (he loves birds), to Mr. Happy concerts - please, never again - and indulged him endlessly. He is a chocolate connoisseur who loves Dylan.

But kindergarten time arrived and we anxiously set him on the first road to an individualized life.

It was a few weeks before we began to receive the first negative reports from his teacher. Henry liked to take toys from other children. He stole food occasionally from them. He was defiant to the teacher. On one occasion he hit another child. His teacher assured us that this behaviour probably would subside. He was going through an adjustment period, after all.

Our little boy had grown into something we did not recognize.

We agonized over this, wondering what to do. We spent months searching for help from child psychologists and therapists of all stripes, even engaging our local priest for help.

It was a pediatrician we consulted who eventually set us upon the path we believe is right for our family. She suggested that Henry's masculinity is essentially toxic for him. He's unable to control it and so it's become a detriment, rather than an attribute. He displays aggressive behaviour because his masculine tendencies simply can't be contained.

A few days later we received another phone call from the Kindergarten - Henry had been involved in a fight again (he hit another child).

When we went back to our pediatrician, we tentatively asked her something that we had batted around after our first consultation with her. Would a transition help Henry?

We do not consider ourselves man-haters. We do not hate men. But we had a serious problem to consider. Our child is our primary concern.

The pediatrician was cautiously optimistic, and referred us to the H. William Fredericksburg Clinic, in Concord, California.

The intake officer was kind, reassuring and gentle. She put us in touch with Dr. Criggs, who we saw for two initial appointments. He was very tender with Henry, and genuinely seemed to care about his life and happiness.

He responded to our concerns by suggesting that Henry could indeed benefit from a transition. So, for the sake of our child, and the people around him, we decided to pursue gender reassignment, to ensure he will live out his days as a happy and healthy female.

As a girl (and then a woman), he will be free of the testosterone-fueled aggression which is currently damaging his relationships with other people. He will interact better, and in the end he will have less stress in his life, and he will cause less stress for others, particularly girls, whom he seems to delight in targeting at this stage.

Henrietta will be a more productive, nurturing person, able to contribute to society in a positive way. Henry is currently all about destruction.

It all feels right - even his name is easily adaptable to his new gender. We have not yet explained to him the process, but we have begun to have the first conversations about changing. We are using the analogy of a butterfly, which first has to shed a cocoon in order to become beautiful.

Henry is intelligent and has eagerly embraced the analogy so far. We will slowly, tenderly, put our son on the best path for him.

As any parent would.
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