Dear parents of the world,
Being trans is hard. Having parents that don’t accept you is harder. If your kid comes out to you as trans, non-binary, or perhaps agender the first thing you should do is hug them and tell them you love them. The second thing you should do is to read up on the subject. If you don’t inform yourself on the subject all you will achieve with your kid is exactly nothing.
If you don’t understand what it means to be trans then how do you intend to support your child? I understand that it can be difficult at first. But not informing yourself is not going to solve anything. All it will do is cause a lot of frustration and hurt.
Coming out isn’t an easy process. Before you do you want to be relatively sure about your feelings. Something that is very hard in and of itself. It can take years before someone is confident enough to even talk to close friends about it.
So much thinking has been done before most people even think about telling another person. The reason this is hard to do is because you don’t know how the other person is going to react. Many a horror story has been told about coming out.
None of which really help with making the decision to come out. Some people don’t come out precisely because of how difficult and scary it is. So if someone comes out to you it’s something to appreciate and value. We chose to tell you because we want to be and share our authentic selves.
We choose to tell you who we are. We’re taking a huge gamble on the future of our relationship with you. But we do it anyway because we want to include you in the rest of our lives. We don’t want to hide from you anymore.
Taking a gamble with a friend is often a lot easier than it is with a parent. It’s certainly the approach I chose when I came out to a handful of people. It’s kinda weird actually because we tend to first come out to people further away from us.
Makes no sense if you think about it. The people closest to us should care the least about this. They should love us unconditionally. We shouldn’t have to worry about losing a family member because of who we are.
The unfortunate reality is that I, and many others with me, certainly worry about that. And for those of us that have to deal with this: I see you. I feel your pain. It fucking sucks. I can’t take that pain away.
For the parents are still reading this thread: don’t dismiss your kid’s feelings. You can’t look in our heads. You can’t feel what we feel inside. All you can do is accept that those feelings are there and that they’re real. You not accepting our feelings doesn’t make them go away. It only makes us not want to share our feelings with you anymore.
And don’t take it from just me, Connor O'Keefe made an excellent video where he gives a short introduction into what to do when your kid is trans.
Please, inform yourself about what it means to be trans, what trans people go through and have to deal with, what kind of obstacles we face. But don’t shove that information in our face to scare us. We’re well aware of the dangers of being trans.
What we want from you, our parents, is acceptance and protection. We want you to accept us in all of our glory. We want you to protect us from those that don’t understand and hate us. Keeping us from transitioning isn’t protecting us. That just makes us unhappy.
Suicide rates within the trans community are incredible high. This is something that needs to change. And a part of that change can come from you, the parents. You can help us deal with our emotions and feelings. You can support us when we want to come out to family.
You can stand up for us when people misgender us. You can help make our world a better world. One in which we feel safe to be the excellent earth persons that we are. You can help shape our future.
Please help to make our future a bright one 🌟.