Children as young as 18 months can start exploring clothes worn by a different gender from theirs. Often it’s a passing phase of exploration, and the child settles in their birth gender. However, some transgender expressions may not fade away, and eventually, the child will transition to their preferred gender.
It is normal for your son to wear your clothes, young or in adulthood. It could be a passing cloud or permanent. In this article, I look at factors that can lead your son to wear your clothes and how to help him through the phase.
Why Does Your Son Wear Your Clothes?
Children at some point in their life will want to explore different areas of life. One of the issues that arouse their curiosity is clothes worn by the other gender. Your son might wear your clothes to see how he would look in them or how it feels to be in a skin-tight skirt.
Female underwear often excites a boy. Have an open discussion and allow him to tell him what he thinks and feels about his gender identity. There might be no cause for alarm if your son wears your clothes.
His Friends Are Girls
Children will want to conform to a group or clique. If your son’s closest friends are girls, he can wear your clothes to fit in with them. This occurs often in younger boys, mostly below ten, who have not yet established their identities. You may find him preferring girlish toys, talking like a girl, or even trying to pee seated like a girl. He will soon outgrow the behavior.
Social transitioning is the period when a child or an adult starts living according to their gender identity. Many people go through this process which is often temporary. It may take a few weeks or months, and then one realizes they can’t fit into their identified gender and revert to their birth gender.
For instance, a boy may want to put on dresses, apply makeup, or pee like a girl. After a few trials, he may decide that’s not cool and go back to his boyish behaviors. However, if these behaviors and feelings persist, your son could be transgender.
Your Son Could be A Transgender
Transgender is where gender identity is different from his birth gender. This means that your son was born male, but his internal senses oppose his gender and would wish to be a female or nonbinary.
Gender identity is different from sexual orientation, which is an attraction to a particular gender. For younger boys, it might be hard to tell if they are exploring, have peer pressure, or are transitioning. Some of the signs that could indicate he is transgender are;
- The feelings of liking the other gender persist for more than six months.
- He strongly dislikes his sexual anatomy. You may hear him persistently complaining about how God made him, asking whether he can change his anatomy, or maybe outright envious of a girl’s anatomy.
- He has a persistent negative self-image.
- He persistently wants to play with girls’ toys, and his closest friends are female.
- He has a persistent aversion to his clothes and wants to be in female items such as dresses, head ribbons, and stockings. He hates his pants and shirts.
- He has started copying girls’ bathroom habits, such as squatting as he pees.
How To Support Your Transgender Son
For a conservative parent, such a discovery could be a shocker. Moreso, if there are no transsexuals in your family or community. You can talk to a transgender therapist who can help you and your son to confirm the position. Some ways you can support him include;
- Support him despite your position or take on transgender opinion. Medically, there is no known cause of transgender desire, but some medics argue it could be due to hormonal imbalances in the womb and not his choice. Understand it is not rebellion.
- Allow expression in public though uncomfortable.
- Avoid shaming, punishing, ridiculing, or belittling your son. Protect him from people who harass or demean him.
- Remain positive and help him through the challenges that he is likely to face.
- Enroll him in a support group.
- Seek medical intervention. The doctors may recommend several treatments, including hormone therapy to stimulate the growth of hips, breasts, and other female traits and surgery to replace the penis.
- Counseling. You could get a therapist or specialist trained in handling a boy who has transitioned to a girl.
Challenges Facing Transgenders
The government and its agencies may try to limit cases of discrimination against persons who have transitioned by some individuals in society who may not be that kind, primarily for lack of knowledge. Some of the challenges your son is likely to face are;
- Bullying in schools. Transferring to a new school could help reduce bullying.
- Discrimination, prominently in bathroom use in public, dressing codes, and correction facilities, may not fit into the male or female section.
- Gender policing. Some people may decide to police your son and correct him anytime he does anything unmanly. For instance, they will want to control his dressing, behaviors, or even his associations.
- Costly treatment is out of reach for most people.
If these challenges are not well handled, your son could suffer from mental issues such as stress, depression, sleep disorders, and suicidal thoughts. He could also start abusing drugs or join rebellious groups where he feels accepted. Seek support from family, friends, and specialists in helping your son through the process.
In conclusion, your son could wear your clothes due to several reasons, including exploration, peer pressure, social transitioning, or he is transgender. It is crucial to remain positive and support him through the transitioning period, permanent or temporary.