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[ Is it abuse? ]

Damien - boy - 15 ans (26 June 2016)

I'm 15 and transgender. It took me a long while to figure myself out, and last year I finally figured I was more comfortable identifying as male. I came out to my father only about a few months ago. The last time we have discussed about the matter, he said that "he just didn't know where I was coming from with this", then excused himself with "a lot of people are against it but I still love you.". He hasn't spoken to my mother about it like he said he would and he refuses to intervene. Is it abusive of him to refuse to help me get treatment/start my transition? If so, what should I do about it?

Tel-jeunes’ answer

Hello Damien,

It's never easy when the people closest and dearest to us don't seem to understand us or what we're going through is it? You did well by reaching out for help.

To address the issue of your treatment or transition, between the ages of 14-17 inclusively, for any major operation the hospital may need your signature and that of one or both of your parents. I would not be able to give you specific information about this since it is beyond my expertise, but a doctor could always give you more details. Having said that, from the age of 14, you can have medical or psychological consultations without the approval of your parents. With anyone wishing to transition however, there needs to be a psych evaluation first, so it will be necessary for you to consult either a psychologist or a sexologist. To have a free consultation, the CLSC is your best bet. There is a waiting period though so some people who can afford it might prefer to go to a private clinic. If your parents agree to that, they may be partially covered by their work insurance.

In regards to your dad, it must have been hard for you to step out and express your deepest emotions to him, and reassuring to hear that he still loved you, right? But, in the same time, seeing his reaction after must have been disappointing... Like your dad said, a lot of people are against the idea of someone being a transgender; and probably even more people don't quite understand what it is! Is it possible your dad is still shocked by the news? When a parent is in a position like your dad, there can be a lot of reasons why he or she does not intervenene: they don't know how to react, they are scared of the reaction of their wife or husband, they think that the issue will resolve itself in time, etc. Do you think your dad could be facing one of these issues? Do you think its time to have another discussion with him or your mom and explain to them what is going on and how they can help?

I hope I was able to answer your question. If you need to further discuss this with a counsellor, remember that we are here for you and can be reached by phone 24/7 by dialing 1800-263-2266.

Take care of yourself Damien!

Tel-jeunes

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