If you’re the parent of a child who recently disclosed that they are transgender (i.e. transgender, non-binary, or in some way exploring their gender identity), you may be struggling, wondering how to respond, and worried about the future.
Most parents aren’t sure how to react when their child discloses a different gender identity — simply because this isn’t a focus until it touches their lives. Even parents who have close LGBTQ acquaintances or family members may find it difficult when their own child is involved. This is a powerful change in the family picture.
There are also two sides to this story of change. A child coming out to family members is emotionally vulnerable. Those who receive the news are often upset and overwhelmed. There will probably be missteps on both sides as they navigate this new territory.
This parent guide focuses on important information parents need to know how to help choose the best path for your family.
The good news:
Staying connected, building communication, and working through change as a family can result in deeper relationships and better health for your child. While the challenges can be hard, many parents find they develop deeper, more honest, and more genuine relationships with their children as they work together through the changes they face.
There are dozens of links here to information that can help. Use the ones that help you the most, with our best wishes for your family.
“How could I not have known? I’ve come to learn and accept it was because she didn’t fully know or understand it, let alone have the language to speak it out loud.” - Father of a transgender daughter. “Know that for every shred of despair, fear, anxiety, sense of failure you feel, it pales in comparison to what your child may have been going through”.