Encouragement for Parents of Transgender Kids


Issues you never thought you would face. Questions you never imagined. Emotions you were unprepared for. Sound familiar?

I picked up a book from PFLAG, Transitions of the Heart, which contained Moms’ stories of their transgender children. I wanted to share some quotes from the book with you today.

I thought you might be heartened by these families’ struggles and their victories too…

We were told that this wasn’t my fault, and the clinician diagnosed Nick with gender identity disorder. The therapists finally made Tim realize that this was not anyone’s doing, and we discussed that there was a reasonable possibility that Nick would not change his mind about his identity. This was a turning point for me, as I realized that if I didn’t stick up for Nick and let him be who he wanted to be, who would? – Sharon Brown

I think it’s our lack of compassion for ourselves that make us upset with others. We live in a small town, and it one point, everyone was aware of my child being “different.” I know this is very challenging for many parents of trans children. But if you are a nice person, and let people know that this sort of thing happens, and that you were doing what the experts say is in the best interest of your child, they tend to shut up. – Tracie Stratton

I believe that transgender people suffer from something akin to a birth defect (although I don’t like the word “defect”), and we made a correction. As with many transgender kids, once the corrections are even begun, insomnia, depression, and other emotional problems start to disappear. I did not lose my daughter; I got back my smart, resourceful, and caring child, in a very slightly altered form. I couldn’t be happier, or more grateful. – Judy Sennish

Overall, I’m proud of Nina. She is not on drugs, has a level head, tries hard to keep a job, and clearly wants better for herself. Although it is difficult, I’ve learned to trust God and not worry about the process. As a result my relationship with my child is getting better. – Dana Lane

In all honesty, it didn’t bother me much that my little girl baby was growing up to be a handsome young lad, but other people did mind – a whole lot, in fact. My family, parents of his school friends, and even my close friends made it a point to tell me quite often how crazy this seem to them. Of course it was hard not to take this personally. It felt as though the sanity of my supportive stance was being called into question. By the time he was five years old, it could become impossible to continue hiding behind excuses like “it’s just a phase,” or, “isn’t that cute.” – A Mom

By now he had asked me plenty of times to refer to him as my son, buy him briefs, and cut his hair. In hindsight, it was not with his best interest in mind that I resisted. My dad said just let the kids be! Don’t interfere with his/her self-expression. I stayed silent because I was afraid of the repercussions of being seen as supportive, or worse, “encouraging.” – Mary Doyle

Lots of struggles. Some you understand. Some may actually anger or confuse you. But see the journey, see the heart, and see the victories – big and small.

You may also recognize many of these issues and thoughts as similar to your own. If so, be encouraged. You are not alone. It does get better. Err on the side of unconditionally loving and accepting your beautiful child.

If you have to choose between doing what you think is ‘right’ and love, always choose love and you will always be right.

6 thoughts on “Encouragement for Parents of Transgender Kids

  1. I had the wonderful opportunity to very briefly know a young man in one of my classes last year, who was brave and comfortable enough to come talk to me about his upcoming transition. He knew he could trust me. When I reached out to the guidance office, I discovered it was true and volunteered to be an advocate or resource for him should any issues in the building arise. Unfortunately I was already seeing eye rolling and judgement from adults who didn’t understand. He ended up leaving a month later to start his transition at another school, and even though I was sad to not get to see this experience, I realized it was probably best for him. And what great parents!! This was one of several experiences that makes me realize I’m meant to put together a GSA for these kids. Our community has some educating to do.

  2. “If you have to choose between doing what you think is ‘right’ and love, always choose love and you will always be right.”

    That’s not just good advice for parents of transgendered children, that’s just a darned good way to approach life in general. I’m going to put that quote on a card and tape it on my bathroom mirror.

  3. Thank you for the encouragement. Well timed, and much needed. Picking up a tux today for my transkiddo to wear to the school dance this Friday. The looks and stares that I got from other parents while getting measured was a small price to pay in comparison to the depression, suicial thoughts and anxiety I caused by being initially resistant to my child’s desire to express who they truly are.

  4. Hi Susan,

    I taught kindergarten for thirty years. I wish I would have had your news letter for some of the parents of my gay children. The macho dad with the little boy who just wanted to play My Little Pony with the girls or the little girl who would not comb her long red hair because, “Mom, I want short hair like the boys.” The best one was a set of triplets who told me they had a conversation in their mommies tummy. Two of them decided they wanted to be boys and one of them wanted to be a girl, but God made them all girls so they just had to live with it. It gave me chills! These little 5 year old girls telling me about a pre-birth conversation. They told their parents the same thing and their parents never tried to make them all get shinny shoes again.

    Thank you for this work.

    Sincerely, Paula Dr. Paula Trimble-Familetti paula.trimblefamiletti@yahoo.com WhyBelieve1.blogspot.com http://www.drtrimblefamiletti.com

  5. I have to admit this is something I do not understand. As a lesbian, I remember wishing I were male so my attraction to females would be. “normal”. But to feel like I am in the wrong body is difficult to comprehend. However, I do feel transgender individuals have by far the toughest row to hoe so to speak. I believe they are judged more harshly and viewed more marginally than the rest of the LGBT community. While the compassion and heartbreak is there, I pray God will help me understand and a deeper level the agony many of these individuals live day in and day out.

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