Post # 1
I’d LOVE some advice. My future stepchild is transgendered, FTM, he is 17. I should start by saying that I LOVE him to pieces and totally accept him for who he is. For quite awhile most of FI’s family has just assumed that stepchild was gay, and noone has really talked about it. Our wedding will be the first time most of them have seen him as a ‘boy’ wearing binders, boyish haircut, etc. he will also be a groomsman and wearing a tux. the last time anyone really saw him, he was ‘her’ and dressing as such. this will probably be a shock for most.
Up until about 6 months ago, he was for the most past ‘she’ and my family had been told that FI had a daughter but he has taken his transition seriously and has evolved quickly. What is the best way to explain this to most, without answering alot of questions? i want him to be as comfortable as possible and not feel put on the spot. I don’t want him uncomfortable in any way shape or form. when we had our programs printed and such, FI’s groomsman were listed by name and relationship and his says ‘daughter of groom’. we just don’t have time to redo them before the wedding.
Any advice to make the day easier on future stepson would be greatly apprecited, he has said to me he’s really nervous about the day. We are really close and his comfort means alot to me
Post # 3
@chickiebee: First, kudos to you for being concerned about this and taking the time to make sure he feels comfortable. I don’t think the situation requires all that much explaining, people will likely figure it out on their own (save for some elderly family). I would just try and casuall mention it by word of mouth to those you think might be thrown off by it. Second, scrap the programs. If there’s no time to fix them I would not use them. It will add more confusion/awkwardness of people looking at it and then saying “where is she”, “she doesn’t look like a girl”.. etc.. If he is taking on the male role to the point of you calling him “he” I don’t think you can go forward with those programs unfortunately. Best of luck!! You’re the best stepmom I’ve ever heard of!
Post # 4
I would ask your stepson if he’s okay with being listed as “daughter of the groom”. If not, then please trash the programs.
Post # 5
I think the single most useful thing you could do is list him as “son of the groom” in the programs, then anyone who is confused can look in the programs and hopefully catch on. You may unfortunately have to end up going with different programs to get them that quick, but it would be really really helpful to your future stepson.
Post # 6
@chickiebee: i would let him choose does he want to dress as a girl or as a guy?
let him be comfortable at his fathers wedding. and i give you so much credit for loving and accepting him for who he is ; ) let him/her be who he wants to be.
Post # 7
Have you talked to him about how to talk to the family? Maybe he would like a say in how the info is told to the others (or would at least be able to give you a starting point for what he’s comfortable with)
Post # 8
Agree with PP – ditch the program. Sounds like you’re using the correct pronouns – great!
Make certain your family knows to address your stepson by his chosen name, if he’s changed it. Also make certain they know to use the correct pronouns.
If there are questions on the day of, just answer them with a sincere smile and say “[Name] identifies as male and is in the process of completing his transition.” Don’t make a big deal about it and make certain you respect your stepson’s privacy. No need to go into details.
Post # 9
I don’t really have any advice to give other than I love how accepting you are of your future stepson. If the whole world could have the same outlook as you, we’d be a much better place!
Post # 10
It is wonderful to hear that you are supportive of your stepchild’s transition, as support from friends and family can make a huge difference in his own mental health and feelings of self-confidence during this process. I wouldn’t make a point to explain the transition to family members, rather just briefly note that he has realized his gender identity is actually male, and you as a family are fully supporting his transition. I would encourage you to check in with him to make sure that explanation feels comfortable for him.
I would also really encourage you to either try to make new programs (I got my save the dates from vistaprint in a week) or scrap the programs, as labeling him as groom’s daughter might be perceived as a rejection of his identity, even if that is not how you meant it.
Post # 11
yes, i agree with pp. i would probably not use the programs. this would only put more focus on your stepchild.
if he has changed his name, i would make sure that he is introduced as such at the wedding during the receiving line and at the reception speeches.
Post # 12
I think you should ask your stepson what, if anything, you can do to make him more comfortable and confident in this situation. I’m sure just knowing that you and his father support him must be huge. Oh, and like PPs said, get rid of the incorrect programs. (You have over a month; it’s not too late to get new ones. 🙂
Post # 13
Definitely talk to your stepson about what he’s comfortable discussing with others. It’s good that you’re seeking out the opinions of others on this, but this is also a conversation that should include him.
I think the first step to explaining it to others is to expect that there will be questions, and to be okay with that. Talk to your stepson about how you and he might answer certain questions, and also about the kind of questions that he doesn’t feel comfortable answering just yet so that he can come up with an appropriate answer ahead of time. Good luck.
Post # 14
If you can’t reprint the programs (maybe use Vistaprint?) I would suggest ditching the programs all together. They’re not needed and calling your stepson “daughter” might confuse people and hurt him. It sounds like you’re doing a great job accepting him as he is, and you’ll want to continue that especially on an important day such as a wedding!
Post # 15
ALL I can say is WOW! We need more people like you! Theres a little bit everyone’s post to take from. I would talk to stepson and see how he feels about the program and talking about is gender change. See if he wants to have a say in how it will be handled. You do have much appreciated consideration for him so keep in that direction for handling this sensitive subject for some or most. Answering with a smile will help let others know it doesnt matter to you if he is a she or she is a he. Kill them with kindness. There will always be someone who says something to hurt you or your stepson about it but with the love you have for him and his father I don’t think they will break much glass, if any. Good luck!! You’ve got me supporting over here!!
Post # 16
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
@PinkMagnolia: Agreed, this would be a very supportive step, his comfort means more than programs any day.
It wont be easy, but I think the best thing you could do is tell each family what’s going on (copy and paste most of your original post!) and be ready to answer a lot of questions BEFORE the wedding. That way, everyone has a chance to find out, process, and accept the change before they’re hugging him hello at the wedding.
People tend to say a lot of stupid things in situations like this, better to get them out now, and said to you and your FI instead of his son.