"AGP runs in families." I've read this more than once and I have developed a theory as to why this happens. It goes something like this: it's commonly accepted that things like alcoholism and obesity also run in families. It's also commonly accepted that these people use alcohol and food as "stress-relief"; it's a coping method for them So people are genetically predisposed to choose one "vice" or another as their "coping method of choice." Is AGP similar? Is AGP more a way of coping with the pressure of life rather than a truly TS/TG condition? As the mother of a son in kindergarten, I worry that this runs in families. I worry that my son will also suffer from AGP - and the mental anguish that goes along with this. I do NOT want that for him. I do not care if he is gay/AGP/TS/TG, but I do very much care that he is happy with whoever he is.
My son love pink and purple. When he was a toddler/preschooler, he wanted "princess" underwear and to wear his sister's dress-up clothes. I have always allowed the dress-up clothes (I wonder now what William thought of that) and I never made a big deal about it. I didn't think it was a big deal. Girl clothes are much prettier than boy clothes and little kids don't understand yet the pressure that our society puts on boys/girls to conform to gender standards. I figured he'd learn about it eventually and only wanted to protect him. I didn't allow the princess underwear or dresses out because I didn't want him to get teased - and I explained that to him in exactly those terms. He seemed to understand. No child wants to do anything that would cause him to get "laughed" at for. At the same time, my son is also drawn to very "boy" things. He loves dirt and bugs. He loves to sports, and to shoot his Nerf guns and build things. He is more "rough and tumble" than calm and quiet. He does not get the girls desire to play house or dolls and he really struggles with "pretend" play.
Since discovering William's AGP and as I learn more about it, I have pondered what I can to do for my son - to help him if he has feelings of gender confusion. Yet I don't want to "make a big deal" of it either. I have gone back to him and told him that if he wants princess underwear or to wear dresses at home, it is absolutely fine with me. He told me that he "might want to someday, but not right now." We left it that if he ever changes his mind and wants to wear girl clothes, he will let me know. I am a "huggy" person, so he has always gotten a lot of hugs and kisses. I am fairly demanding of him, but at the same time, I try hard to make sure he knows that I am proud of him. He seems happy - to me and to others.
So...my question is, what more can I do? I want him to feel loved and appreciated for who he is, regardless. Is there something more that I should be doing to convey that to him? We are NOT telling the children about William's AGP. Since the cross-dressing and role-reversal is purely sex-based for William, it's not appropriate to share with them. We are very open with our children about the "facts of life", they know how babies are made, but right now, it's just the facts, not any details. AGP be just waaaaay too much information for children and they would have no way of understanding it. I honestly don't know if this is something that we will ever share with them. So how do you foster an open and loving environment regarding sex with your children when you are not open and honest about your own "condition" with them?
I also wonder if there is really anything that I can do. If the AGP's self-image is as distorted as the anorexics, is there anything that I can do now to change what may come? Is there something that you, as AGP's, wish your parents would have done for you?