'I grieved': Mom of trans teen shares conflicting feelings of support and sadness

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" ... it's been easier to express myself since coming out"
" ... it's been easier to express myself since coming out"

It was no surprise to Anne* – or her husband, Tony – when their eldest son told them that he was a woman. In fact, one of the main regrets the couple had to work through as parents was that they hadn't acknowledged their child's true gender identity sooner.

"Carly always identified more with the feminine. The Little Mermaid was the most watched movie in our house. Carly was always clutching a Barbie, and she liked to wear stockings on her head, so she could enjoy flowing 'locks of hair'," says Anne.

At age three, Anne's then-son asked his family to call him Rebecca (which, the mom admitted, was short-lived). When Carly was four, a preschool teacher called the couple and told them that their child persistently joined the "wrong line" when the kids queued up to wash hands, have lunch or nap. At age five, Carly said she wanted to be "Luke's girlfriend" when she grew up (Luke being the son of a family friend, who was a few years older).

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