Emancipation/Running Away/Grooming

Our 16-year-old son is convinced that he is going to be emancipated at the end of the summer so he can move to another state to live with people he knows from the internet and a few video game tournaments.  He says these people are starting college in the other state.  He has very unrealistic ideas about how much it will take to support himself and seems to believe that these other peopel will help support him.  He has been warned that he will have to repeat math if he misses that classes three more times this year.  He has a zero in it right now.  He says that all of school is useless and boring.  We have offered to help him transfer to a votech school, but no, he wants to get out of the state.  Part of the problem stems from his anger at his mother/my wife.  He has also threatened to run away and disappeared a few times saying that we would never hear from him again.

A couple of weeks ago a wrinkle developed.  He had come out as bisexual at age 12.  Two weeks ago, he told me he was afraid he is transgender.  I tried to be supportive and wanted him to talk to the GSA group at school.  He said he would.  Then he walked that back.  He decided he is not trans because he asked his internet friends to call him "her" for a week and it did not work.  I am very worried that 1) his feelings about his identity may be motivating the desire to leave the state and 2) people on the internet may be grooming him.

This morning, I tried to use his guinea pigs as a life lesson.  He was bugging us to let him get them.  It would be so great.  Now that he has them, they aren't that interesting.  I tried to explain how something can seem great in theory but not be that good when you actually get it.

I also told him about my sister, who thought she had nothing to learning in school.  Her best job every was being in charge of keys at a car dealership.  Then she got laid off.  She has spent years working under the table as a nanny--low pay, no benefit,s 7 days a week.  She also wound up saddled with a loser who went blind and had half his foot amputated because he knew better than his doctors when they warned him about diabetes.  I emphasized that we want him to have opportunities and choices in the future and that doing whatever he wants now will limit what he can do in the future.

BTW, he does not want his mother to know about the trans issue.  He told her that he told me why he was missing school but was not comfortable with telling her.  Given her impulsiveness, I am sure she would blurt it out if I told her.