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I had a problem with being a man

By Cass Hoskins

I had a problem with being a man

PHOTOGRAPH by Sharon Kilgannon, Alonglines.com

As a parent, the guilt connected to hurting your child is appalling.

It’s the one thing that’s slowed me down in my transition. It’s held me back because I wanted my son to get used to it, to understand it. When I told him it was absolutely heart-breaking. It’s the hardest conversation I ever had. He still calls me “he”, he still calls me “dad” and he doesn’t particularly want to talk about it. For me and I think for lots of the trans parents I’ve spoken to, the fear is being rejected by your children. If you’re rejected by your parents that’s one thing, if you’re rejected by your siblings that’s another, but if your children reject you, that’s really tough.

I started four years ago and I still consider myself in transition. Maybe I always will, but I know most of that is because of my son. I wanted him to come with me. He’s very bright and he gets things, but it is tough for him and I know he doesn’t like it – he’s told my ex that he struggles with it. She worries about the effect on him but she does support me. She’s the best, she’s fantastic. I know other trans people who, as parents, have got that ex kind of pouring poison into the child’s ears about them as well as the fear and the stigma. I think especially as it’s a son, the betrayal of masculinity to him is quite difficult. I have to make it clear that there’s nothing wrong with being a man. It’s just me. I had a problem with being a man.


This is Cass's testimony in Chapter Two (Background, childhood, family, parenting, friends, school) of the ground-breaking Brighton Trans*formed book.

To read more intimate, heart-breaking and heart-warming stories from transgender people, click here.

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This page was amended on 19/12/2014
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