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While confessing her true identity to Joan was just a first step for Sydney, she also had to tell her three children. "I think it was actually very easy a few years ago because they had no clue there was a problem," Joan says.

Instead of calling Sydney mom or dad, they refer to her as mada. "She wanted us to start thinking about a name that sounded like mommy and daddy," says 9-year-old Chloe. "I thought of mommy and daddy, like mom and dada, and I kind of just mixed them together."

Though the adjustment for the children seemed relatively painless, Chloe admits a classmate did make fun of her. "I'm worried they're going to do it again," she says. "I don't like being made fun of."

Ethan, Joan and Sydney's son, says he wishes he had a dad like the other 7-year-olds. "I like being the same as everybody else," he says. "I don't want to be different."

Joan believes her children have handled Sydney's transition well, but she's concerned about the future. "Now as they're getting older, I think they're starting to get that there are some issues," Joan says. "I think once they get even older than this, other issues will come up that we have no clue about."
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FROM: Transgender Families
Published on October 12, 2007

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