“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Aug 25, 2014
DEAR AMY: I'm a wife and mom of five sons under the age of 8.

My nephew is in his 20s. He has always been easily influenced and has gone through the punk stage, the Goth stage, the androgynous stage, the thinking-he-was-gay stage and now he is going through the cross-dressing stage.

When we get together with my sister and her family for weddings, graduations, funerals, school events, etc., "Steve" is now "Stephanie," with wigs, full (overdone) makeup, 6-inch high heel shoes, micro-mini dresses, fur coats in the winter, and crop tops and short shorts in the summer.

He is a man. My boys know he is a man. They never let him forget it.

My mom and sister say we must treat "Stephanie" as a member of the family, and she is considering having the $25,000 sex change surgery if enough people donate to the fund she has on social media. I've spent thousands on gifts, tuition, his first car, first apartment and helping when he's out of work (which happens a lot).

I refuse to waste our hard-earned money on his fad of the moment. My dad no longer speaks to his grandson. I don't want to be like that. Steve is a great guy. My kids love their uncle. They miss roughhousing, tree climbing, playing ball and all those fun things that uncles and nephews do.

Summer's almost over, and "Stephanie" will be surfacing soon at school events. Any advice?-- Aunt

DEAR AUNT: I'm going to suggest a way for you to frame this so you will stop being so angry with someone who no doubt has no desire to hurt you or your kids.

He/she is a family member (not an actual "uncle," but a much older cousin) and should be treated as such. His/her current gender identification might not be a phase but the culmination of all of the other phases and searching he has obviously done in his life.

The lesson for your kids is that they should treat everyone kindly and with respect. At this juncture, it would be easiest for you to explain to the kids, "Stephanie used to call herself 'Steve,' but now she feels like she is a woman, and so we're going to call her Stephanie. She's still the same person on the inside and still loves you like always."

You are not obligated to respond to any crowdfunding request from anyone for any reason, whether it is to buy a new Buick or new breasts. And a transgender woman can climb trees, play ball, roughhouse and play with kids as well as anyone.

Please work harder to patiently accept this person as he/she is. Nothing that is happening here is about you.

DEAR AMY: You published a question from me ("Clean Jean"), where I asked if I should go through old documents relating to my divorce. At first I was disappointed by your advice to read through these documents, because why would I want to bring back bad memories?

It took me a few weeks to get up the courage to read them. I'm so glad I did. I can't believe how well I behaved and how poorly he did.

In writing, he blamed his emotional problems and unhappiness on me and said his life was so much better without me in it. To this, I responded that I was happy for him and that my life was fine.

Recently my daughter told me what really happened. He was a wreck, and his remarriage was a disaster. As his mother said, "He took his problems with him." Thanks so much; your advice was excellent.-- Clean Jean

DEAR CLEAN JEAN: I'm always curious about how things turn out. Thank you for the update.

DEAR AMY: I liked your answer to "Annoyed," about the adult daughter whose parents fight endlessly during her visits. I had another suggestion: Perhaps she could encourage her parents to visit her, but one at a time.

The break from each other could be helpful for both of them and would let the daughter have quality time with each parent.-- Karen

DEAR KAREN: Great suggestion. Thank you.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Detroit, MI

#2 Aug 25, 2014
1- his family shouldn't be enabling his crazy behavior. I'd refuse to call HIM Stephanie or refer to HIM as a girl

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Aug 25, 2014
Lw1: I refuse to entertain this nonsense. You wanna dress up as a woman, that's your business. But you are a man and no amount of surgery will make you a woman. You go in and try to change the plumbing, you're a man who mutilated himself, not a woman. I will not openly mock you, but I would have no problem joking to others about the freak you are. I would not donate a penny to this bs. Then again, I can't see contributing money to a nephew's car fund either.

Lw2: " At first I was disappointed by your advice to read through these documents, because why would I want to bring back bad memories?"

Hey, Stupid. You don't have to do what amt said.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Aug 25, 2014
1 Lot's of luck getting everyone to get on board with his girly side. My buddy Jimmy is always referred to as James by everyone but myself He told me once that he gets asked why I call him Jimmy and not James. He has been Jimmy to me since we were 4&5 yrs old playing in the field between our houses. If I called him James, he would probably not reply.
But lamy is right, its not about you, so quit being embarrassed for him.

2 Yeah, a hundred years later and you still need vindication....GTFU and move on.

3 Yes, do that. That way each one can pee in your ear about the other.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#5 Aug 25, 2014
1: With 5 kids under the age of 8, most of the folks I know would not be able to contribute generous gifts to a nephew. You have 5 kids to raise and send through college. Are you planning to set up a fund for your family members to make contributions? Would they contribute generously? Perhaps they would but you shouldn't plan on it. As for this nephew, I have no problem with his becoming your niece. However, I assume he's had therapy to determine that he is indeed a "she" inside who wants to look like the woman she is. I don't see the need to contribute to another person's medical care. This person needs to step up and take more responsibility for him/herself.

As for your sons, I hope your statement, "He is a man. My boys know he is a man. They never let him forget it." doesn't mean they are making remarks and teasing him/her. THIS is your responsibility. You need to teach them to be polite to people including your nephew. They should not make rude remarks to him. Regardless of whether his choices have been what you would prefer or out of what many/most folks would consider the "norm," your sons need to be taught to behave properly and not be rude. I get the impression they're being rude; so take care of your own business and teach them proper behavior. Perhaps that needs to begin with altering your own behavior and remarks you make regarding your nephew.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#6 Aug 25, 2014
LW1 - You popped out 5 babies in 8 years. I am guessing your values are quite conservative. You will never understand or accept anything but traditional sex and gender roles. Although showing some kindness to your new niece would be quite lovely, I doubt you are capable of it. But at least you can teach your kids not to be bullies and you can try to prevent them from never letting Stephanie forget she was born in a male body. If I were in your niece's shoes, I'd remove myself from your lives. That'd be easier on everybody.
Twisted Sister

Peekskill, NY

#7 Aug 25, 2014
Your nephew Steve is extremely mentally disturbed; he doesn't need a surgeon, he needs some serious work done between his ears. BTW keep you children as far away as possible from these relatives!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Garden City, MI

#8 Aug 25, 2014
Cass wrote:
LW1 - You popped out 5 babies in 8 years. I am guessing your values are quite conservative. You will never understand or accept anything but traditional sex and gender roles. Although showing some kindness to your new niece would be quite lovely, I doubt you are capable of it. But at least you can teach your kids not to be bullies and you can try to prevent them from never letting Stephanie forget she was born in a male body. If I were in your niece's shoes, I'd remove myself from your lives. That'd be easier on everybody.
He's not a niece!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Garden City, MI

#9 Aug 25, 2014
Twisted Sister wrote:
Your nephew Steve is extremely mentally disturbed
I was thinking that too. He's all over the place. Usually by the time you're in your twenties, your identity is pretty much established. It probably doesn't help that his parents obviously dropped the ball in regards to properly raising him.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#10 Aug 25, 2014
L1: I agree with Cass and Pippa. That letter sounded quite angry to me. Just b/c someone asks doesn't mean you have to say "yes".

L2: Good for you!

L3: Yep, good idea.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Aug 25, 2014
Toj wrote:
L1: I agree with Cass and Pippa. That letter sounded quite angry to me. Just b/c someone asks doesn't mean you have to say "yes".
No, but I'm betting you would be put off by a ditzy niece soliciting you for money for a boob job and maybe even chat with your friends about the nerve she has.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Garden City, MI

#12 Aug 25, 2014
Toj wrote:
L1: I agree with Cass and Pippa. That letter sounded quite angry to me. Just b/c someone asks doesn't mean you have to say "yes".
I think her concern is her nephew prancing around the children in a Dolly Parton wig and lacy dress. Not the best influence for them and a great way to cause them confusion

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#13 Aug 25, 2014
Do you think it could turn them gay?
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I think her concern is her nephew prancing around the children in a Dolly Parton wig and lacy dress. Not the best influence for them and a great way to cause them confusion

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Detroit, MI

#14 Aug 25, 2014
RACE wrote:
Do you think it could turn them gay?
<quoted text>
Sure it could but that wouldn't be my main concern. A parent's job is to limit what their young children are exposed to until a more age appropriate time
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#15 Aug 25, 2014
LW1: Teams Pippa and Cass. We have no way of knowing if Steve/Stephanie is truly transgender or just searching for an identity and craving attention. He needs therapy before he gets any surgery. I would not contribute to the fund, but I would treat Steve/Stephanie with respect and as a member of the family.

I have a transgender co-worker, Vickie.(She works in the building, but not in my department.) I truly feel sorry for her. She gets fillers for her face and lips, and wears wigs and dresses, but there is no way anyone would ever believe that she was born a woman.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#16 Aug 25, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
No, but I'm betting you would be put off by a ditzy niece soliciting you for money for a boob job and maybe even chat with your friends about the nerve she has.
Maybe. Not proud of that. I'm trying lately not to do stuff like that. Really.

To go to a site that's built for requesting donations and just giving people a link, I have no problem with that.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#17 Aug 25, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I think her concern is her nephew prancing around the children in a Dolly Parton wig and lacy dress. Not the best influence for them and a great way to cause them confusion
Depends on how you deal with it. In life you will meet and see people of all types. It could be a great lesson on how people are different, human rights, etc. It's all about perspective in my view in this instance.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#18 Aug 25, 2014
Toj wrote:
It could be a great lesson on how people are different, human rights, etc. It's all about perspective in my view in this instance.
That's the age appropriate thing I mentioned earlier. We're not talking about young teenagers or even preteens. These kids are under 8. Would you plop your four year old in front of a gay porno to teach him that sometimes there are men who like men? Of course not. At least I hope.... Would that make you intolerant or level-headed?
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#19 Aug 26, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
That's the age appropriate thing I mentioned earlier. We're not talking about young teenagers or even preteens. These kids are under 8. Would you plop your four year old in front of a gay porno to teach him that sometimes there are men who like men? Of course not. At least I hope.... Would that make you intolerant or level-headed?
Gay porno? No. But I wouldn't plop them in front of a straight porno either. I still do explain to my children where babies come from - precisely in an age-appropriate way. Porn of any kind is not appropriate as a form of education at any age. As entertainment - yes, for adults. As a matter of explaining to anyone how things work in the real world - no.

But if a same-sex couple were around, acting like straight couples do in their daily lives, e.g. calling each other "honey," or kissing, or holding hands, etc. I wouldn't (and I don't) be freaking out like this lady. I just tell my kids that sometimes men like women, and sometimes they like men, and sometimes women like men, and sometimes they like women.

Besides, it's not like Steve/Stephanie runs around naked, having wild sex around kids. She just dresses over the top.

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