Sabine Bartlett, 16, whose mother became a man describes her own emotional journey


'At first I felt a sense of loss': Teenager whose mother became a man describes her own emotional journey

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UPDATED:

21:55 GMT, 27 March 2012

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Emotional journey: Sabine Bartlett, 16, from Somerville, Massachusetts, has described the experience of watching her mother become a man

She told ABC News: 'I came home from a trip with to my
Dad's house and mom sat me down on the couch and told me she was going
to transition.

'It's hard to face the fact that someone who
is close to you changes at all – especially a change that big.'

Sabine, who sees now that her mother was 'never particularly feminine', says the news was initially hard to handle.

'At first I felt a sense of loss, until
a year later, when I saw that my mom was a much happier person,' she said. 'Now, I am cool with this.'

Her peers were less accepting of the idea, however.

Sabine, who is now home-schooled, relates how her former schoolmates cast judgement on her family situation.

'Friends can be weird about it. One friend I used to go to public school with asked me what it
was like to have a transgender parent. That was a little strange,' she said.

'There was one girl I knew who told me
if her parents did that, she would disown them. I thought
that was unacceptable'

'There was one girl I knew who told me
if her parents did that, she would disown them. I thought
that was unacceptable.'

Sabine's younger sister, who is now six, had less difficulty adjusting to her mother's new male identity.

'She says that there are some special
men who weren't born men and some special women who weren't born women,
and there are some other people who aren't boys or girls,' the teenager recalled.

Indeed it is a pity some of her peers did not share the youngster's attitude.

Given that 38per cent of the 750,000 transgender people in America are parents, Sabine is not alone in her journey.

Offering some advice to others in her position, she said: 'It usually gets easier after a while
and, despite the changes, your parent will always be the same person. Only, maybe a bit happier.'