How do you tell the difference between tomboy and f to m trans?

    • 95 posts
    May 2, 2018 9:38 PM BST

    One of my daughters is 7.  She likes football and riding bikes.  However, she also has male body language and posture.  Just recently she asked for her hair to be cut short, so we went for a pageboy, but was originally pointing to male styles.  All of her friends are boys and she recently asked if she has to grow up with a female body.  


    We are playing the wait and see game, although puberty is hopefully a few years off. 


    OK She may be a son and not a daughter.  So should we continue to wait and see or is there something we should be doing now?  I don't want to push her into something.  Arghhh.  


    Don't know on this one.


    All advice welcome



  • May 3, 2018 4:16 PM BST

    Hiya Alice, my sister was a tom boy, always in jeans and shorts, liked to climb trees, play football, she developed into a ''normal'' young lady. your right not to push, just let her grow up. 

    • 2127 posts
    May 3, 2018 4:54 PM BST

    I agree with Cristine.  However, you could always ask your daughter.  Talk to her.  If she says she feels like a boy then maybe put that thought on the back burner, so to speak.  You could then ask her again in a few months and see if she gives the same answer.

    In my experience, children know from a pretty early age if they are unhappy in their skin.  If it's just a one-off then, as Cristine says, she will grow into a 'normal' young lady.  However, if she is Transgender she will not change.  She will be adamant that she should be a boy, every time you ask. 

    If her answer is the same, again and again over time, then perhaps you should consider a consultation with your GP, who will be able to refer her to a Gender specialist.

    If it turns out that she is Transgender, then it will be important for her to start treatment before she hits puberty and irreversible changes take place, although puberty can be delayed medically.

    It's early days though and you should not think about that until you know for sure that your daughter is Trans.  For now, assume she is just going through a phase, like kids often do.

    Hope that's helpful.

    Best regards,


  • May 3, 2018 5:21 PM BST

    Great advice from Katie, urgency for quick diagnosis is not so important when genetic female children are involved,    Social demands for instance, lots of young female models,look more like young boys.    Also one must be very careful broaching this subject with very young children, that they don't take up on a suggestion. interpret a question of gender that might affect how they feel as they get older.Up until infant school I had fairly long wavy curly hair,  The day before I started school my father took me to have my head shaved, my sister demanded she had hers done in the same style.

    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at May 3, 2018 5:38 PM BST
    • 95 posts
    May 4, 2018 10:09 PM BST

    Thanks girls.  Yeah, I know this stuff.  The thing that I am afraid of is getting it wrong.  I don't want to start putting ideas in her head, but on the other side I don't want to mess up if she is my son.  Perhaps I am projecting my own childhood issues onto her.  Perhaps I am too close to be objective.  Arghhhh.


    So yeah, I will sit and wait and be supportive.  I will try and talk and listen and just be there for her or him.  Not easy being a parent.  If she is a tomboy.  Fair enough.  If she is trans.  Then fair enough.  My job, as a parent, is to ensure that my children are safe, happy and have a future.  If that future is male, the fair enough as well.


    Anyway, thank god (not bad for an atheist) that this site is here and I can ask these sorts of questions without all of the usual judgmental junk I usually get.





    • 43 posts
    May 13, 2018 1:52 PM BST

    I was the tom-boy supreme (still am) and I wanted to be a boy. I adjusted to being a female (not a very normal one, and certainly certainly not a lady). But it's till weird at times.

    Where (and when) I grew up there was no concept at all of "transgender". I thought I was just very odd. And at times it was appallingly lonely.

    I think 7 is too young, for her to decide anything, or for any decision to be necessary, but by 10 give her a chance to learn about this stuff, if you think there is any possible doubt about her identity. Don't make it about her. Just find ways to introduce that sort of information in her cultural environment. If she feels it's significnt she will pick up on it, and if not, probably not.

    This post was edited by Katia V at May 14, 2018 11:57 AM BST
    • 95 posts
    April 5, 2019 9:17 PM BST

    OK.  Update time.


    We have had a psychologist dealing with B for another issue and he stated that he sees quite a few girls wanting to be boys, but usually finds a genuine transgender f to m every three years or so.  He stated that B was definitely genuine.  So we have gone to the GP and have had B referred to Ped team.  Lets see what they say and if we have two independent sources, plus the gut instinct, combined with B stating that she wants to be a boy, then we will get the Tavistock referral from the GP.  The GP took this route as he was not sure on the process and wanted people who knew more about it to have a look see first.  I actually like the caution, so this is a good option.  Just the same, I have joined Mermaids.  There is still a two year wait for Tavistock, so that should still be enough wait and see time, but timing should be about right before estrogen poisoning kicks in.


    We will see.



    • 95 posts
    April 11, 2019 8:19 PM BST



    B is now officially waiting on Tavistock.