Teresa & Andrew

Parents of a trans daughter. Ethnicity: White Welsh and White British.

Their trans daughter came out as a teenager. They sought private gender counselling then a GP referral to CAHMS, and then gender identity services. After a two year wait for the gender identity services appointment they were disappointed with the lack of help offered and they now pay privately for gender-affirming care.

Parents of a trans daughter. Their daughter came out as trans at the age 13 saying that for a long time she;d been feeling like she should be a girl. Her Father said that: she always found it very difficult being in groups of boys; company. So we knew that there was something going on Though when their daughter came out it was still, a bit of a shock, bit of a surprise;. Neither parent knew any trans people and their initial response was maybe she’s just confused.

They went to see a private gender specialist counsellor six weeks after their daughter came out fortunately, we were in a position that we could pay for a private counsellor, so we didt just gave our daughter the confidence to express her femininity in the privacy of her, of the house, you know, the home

Their daughter had her own timescale on how she wanted to progress with her transition and her parents felt they had to inform the school, because things were getting a little bit tricky with regards to PE and changing rooms and sports The school were very supportive and their daughter didn’t have to attend sport’s lessons and was provided with a key to the staff toilet. Their daughter had been wearing gender-neutral clothes for quite some time, So she finished school for the summer as [male name] and then went back to school in September as [female name] They thought that they were the only parents on the planet that were going through this but the school told them that there had already been three or four children that had transitioned in the school so they were quite familiar with it.

Her father said, She doesn’t always like talking about it, about her transgender stuff. She just wants it to happen. She’s not overly keen on making a big deal of it Her parents felt they needed to engage with health professionals as puberty changes were bothering her. They got their GP to refer their daughter to CAMHS. And then CAMHS refer to her to the gender identity services you have to go through that chai. They saw CAMHS about four months after the GP referral and after about two years on the waiting list, we eventually got to see two people from the [gender identity services]

After waiting two years for the appointment at the gender identity services they were disappointed, apart from the initial assessments and psychological assessments there was nothing they could do, apart from psycho-social supportecause she’s not an adult, yetur GP has got to refer our daughter to the [local] gender clinic when she’s eighteen. That’s the next step

They decided to go private and saw a private medical specialist who prescribes a testosterone blocker and oestrogen for their daughter. Every three months her father gives her a testosterone injection and she applies her own oestrogen patches, that was the most crucial thing for our daughter was to pause puberty and not develop into a man. That became the dominant factor in all of this. So we went private. We did that and because the NHS couldn’t, help usHS won’t really do anything to help until she’s adult”

As parents We;ve done everything together from day on and their family have been supportive. They don’t believe their GP has been very helpful and wish that their GP would have offered a bit more support, they feel that GP’s have very little understanding of gender dysphoria and think that they need to have it included in their education. They see private care as a life saver;.

When asked if they had any concerns about getting it wrong? Her father replied: I’m 100% sure, convinced that our daughter was supposed to be a girl. I’m completely, completely sure

When asked what is most important to them as parents they replied, For, our daughter to be happy. To be who she wants to be. To live the life that she wantshat’s all. That’s all we care about

Andrew talked about how parents of trans children worry more about their children’s future and how him and his wife are doing everything so that their daughter can be happy.

Andrew thought health professionals should look beyond the medical issues and be more understanding of families with trans children.

For Teresa and Andrew, it was a surprise that their daughter’s school had experience with pupils transitioning.

Teresa and Andrew’s daughter school was very supportive. They said she didn’t have to attend any sport if she didn’t want to.

Andrew felt coverage of trans children in the media was sensationalist and focused on opinions of people who did not have trans children.

Andrew felt the need to tell his dog walking friends that his child was trans, because he was not comfortable with them making jokes about a trans woman who lived nearby.

Andrew described the initial feelings of surprise and talked about how it takes time to get used to the change.

Andrew felt his daughter’s referral via Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) was straightforward.

Andrew emphasised that GPs need more training on transgender issues to be able to support trans children.

Andrew’s daughter takes hormone blockers and oestrogen gel. As a retired healthcare professional he is able to give his daughter the hormone blocker injections himself.

The NHS couldn’t help’ Andrew’s daughter, so the family decided to pay for the hormone therapy privately.

Andrew talks about managing his daughter’s hormone therapy with the private provider.

Teresa said she thought her daughter might come out as gay. She felt that her daughter coming out as trans was a bit of a bolt from the blue.