Support for parents of LGBTQ › Forums › Discussion Forum › My son is dating a trans and came out as non-binary › Reply To: My son is dating a trans and came out as non-binary
You found a great place to sort through those thoughts and feelings. Our Transgender Parent Guide would be a good place to start to learn more. While you mentioned your son came out as nonbinary, many of the resources in that guide are applicable to parents of nonbinary children.
It’s great that you showed love and support and it’s normal to have many of these thoughts when your child comes out. Check out our Journey for Parents to understand your reaction better. Parents often have what you described – an idea in your mind of how your child will grow up and how their life will progress. That is totally normal. It’s important to understand that your idea of how their life may play out may not match how they envision their life. If your idea of their life (dating a beautiful young lady, get married, and have kids) is something they also want there’s good news: that is all possible! It just may look a little different than your original vision.
It’s possible your son was born nonbinary but didn’t have the language or understanding to voice it previously. We’re not licensed therapists, so we can’t comment on if this was due to trauma. If you have access to a licensed therapist in your area that can help you and your child work through this, that would be a great step. We recommend a therapist who is knowledgeable about LGBTQ issues and identities. Finding a PFLAG chapter in your area may also be helpful to get information from other parents of LGBTQ kids. You can find your local chapter at pflag.org/find
Being transgender or nonbinary is not a mental illness. These are identities that have existed for thousands of years across many cultures. Nonbinary refers to people who do not subscribe to the gender binary. They might exist between or beyond the man-woman binary. Some use the term exclusively, while others may use it interchangeably with terms like genderqueer, genderfluid, gender non-conforming, gender diverse, or gender expansive. It can also be combined with other descriptors e.g. nonbinary woman or transmasc nonbinary. Language is imperfect, so it’s important to trust and respect the words that nonbinary people use to describe their genders and experiences. Nonbinary people may understand their identity as falling under the transgender umbrella, and may thus identify as transgender. Sometimes abbreviated as NB or Enby, the term NB has been used historically to mean non-Black, so those referring to nonbinary people should avoid using NB.
Some of your other questions are best asked of your son if they are open to talking to you about it more. It’s important to reiterate that you love them, want to support them, and want to understand better.