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.