This is for all you parents out there who are struggling to accept your child’s coming out and desire to transition. As a parent of a transgender teen (FtM), I feel that I am “qualified” to share these words and sentiments.
Do you know…
Parental Support Matters? Only 15% of trans youth without parental support described their mental health as “very good” or excellent, compared to 70% of trans youth with parental support. (source)
Transgender people are more than 25 times more likely than non-transgender people to attempt suicide some time during their life? (41% vs. 1.6%) (source)
78% of transgender youth in K-12 had experienced harassment? (source)
Recently I asked my son how our support has affected him since he came out to us two years ago. Do you know what he told me? “I feel confident about who I am. I don’t feel ashamed to be me.”
WOW. Isn’t that what we want for our kids? How are they going to grow up to be healthy, productive adults if we don’t love, support, accept and advocate on their behalf. The more we speak out the more understanding there’ll be within our communities.
I get it. This is not what you envisioned for your baby as you gazed into that sweet face. Ask yourself this. Would you rather have an angry, sullen, beat down, bullied, suicidal child who is covering up their true gender identity or one that can walk with their head held high? Would you rather your child live with shame or with the self-confidence to live authentically? It is much less costly to pay for medical expenses related to hormone treatments than to pay for a lifetime of therapy.
Please — let your children know that it is ok to be who they are meant to be. Let your children know that you will love them no matter which gender they affirm. Let your children know that you will be there for them as they traverse this journey.
Please — don’t let your children walk alone. I have seen with my own eyes what happens when a child is accepted and allowed to transition. The transformation goes far beyond gender.
When you choose to be there for your transgender child you are changing the course of their life. Please share this message.