Support for parents of LGBTQ › Forums › Discussion Forum › My son came out as trans, but isn’t sharing much else › Reply To: My son came out as trans, but isn’t sharing much else
JPrez and GroggyOne, you are both at the very beginning of a journey with your child that will undoubtedly have more of these moments of feeling scared and unsure. It is so very understandable to feel a sense of urgency to “figure it out.” As with any parenting moment, you are striving to understand and get more information. However, one very important thing to remember is that these beginning conversations are an significant opportunity to set a tone of “we love you no matter what.” When your child does indicate that they are ready to talk, I strongly recommend that you approach each conversation as a chance to strengthen connection, first and foremost, and a chance to gain information as secondary. What does this look like in practice?
–Do your best to bring empathy and benefit of the doubt to the conversation, e.g. by saying “I get it,” or “makes sense,” or “of course”
–Create safety by receiving what your child is saying without questioning or arguing in the moment, even you don’t agree or understand yet
–Avoid questions about how, why, when, etc.; although your desire for information and need to understand better is coming from a place of love, this may put your child on the defensive
These efforts can go a long way to help the conversations become a space where you build connection with your child.
Ultimately, the goal is to demonstrate through your interactions that your love for your child does not vary or change with anything they may tell you regarding their gender identity.
Disclaimer: creating and maintaining connection in these conversations takes practice and is indeed an aspirational goal! To the best of your ability, try not to initiate these topics when you (or your child) are feeling tired, stressed, worried, or angry. There will be some conversations that do not go well, and others that do. The most important piece is to return each time with an intention to listen, connect, and show love.
As you wait for your child to be ready to talk, take care of yourself, do your own research (great idea, JPrez!), and seek support. Know that many other parents have walked this path before you. Reach out to them if you know them, and if you don’t, find a support group locally. It can be invaluable to process emotions with others who are on the same journey. Or for some, it is more comfortable to speak privately with a counselor or therapist who is knowledgeable in this area.