My son–who is now 18–announced that he had same-sex attraction when he was 13. Puberty was very difficult for him. He lost most of his male friends when he came out with same-sex attraction. He grew over a foot in a very short period of time and his voice dropped quite a bit.

Prior to all of this, he had enjoyed sports and singing in a children’s choir. He no longer enjoys sports since he no longer gets along with the boys he played with. He can’t sing (and won’t sing) since his voice dropped so much.

Then COVID hit. Luckily, he was working, bagging groceries, and was able to keep working. He is a very social person and that kept him from being too isolated. However, most of his friends’ families (by now most of his friends were female) were very locked-down. He ended up hanging out with his big sister and her friends a lot (she is 2 years older) because they weren’t as locked down.

Last summer, he announced to us that he believes that he is trans. He is also struggling with anorexia and anxiety. We have had him seeing a therapist who is not specialized in gender issues, but rather specializes in musicians. I have asked his therapist to keep an open mind and to seriously address the anorexia and anxiety. The anorexia at least has greatly improved.

His father and I do call him by his nickname, but we have not changed our pronoun use. We are also seeing a family therapist. Needless to say, this has been very difficult for our family. Now that he is 18, he is taking hormones and there is very little we can do about that.