The hardest thing is calling her him.
To all the other mothers and fathers out there we are not alone. It takes time and effort. Don't give up.
Briefly describe how your child first came out to you and your initial reactions.
My step daughter made the call for my son to me to explain that he feels like a woman and would like to transition (at least with hormones), and that he is now a “she” and I was devastated! While listening to my daughter I felt like someone died that I knew and I kept saying, no, no, no in quick succession. I felt like stopping my car and just breath. After a minute or two that is exactly what I did. Dear God! What’s going on here??? I immediately said to myself, “what I say to my son will resonate his whole life.” Best be careful, I would rather have my child in my life than ruin it by trying to talk him out of anything. But now what??? Therapy, I must get therapy to better understand this. I cried for the next two days, lost and alone, slightly embarrassed of my son. How will I deal with this on every level. She came home, she is 28 and wearing all kinds of crazy clothes uncertain herself of how to dress like a woman, how to make her makeup appear her age. I’m a hair dresser and I colored her hair copper red, it looked stunning on her and I still can’t believe how beautiful she looks. I did her nails, gave her female family heirlooms like a necklace and two beautiful rings. She came into my work today and I was kind of nervous on how she’d be received. She was gracious and accepted by all of my co-workers. I am blessed but still am struggling call him her. I find that to be extremely difficult but nothing I can figure out. To all the other mothers and fathers out there we are not alone.
Has your child come out to other family members over time?
Yes. Everyone was supportive.
What is the hardest thing about knowing their LGBTQ identity?
Calling him a her.
What are some challenges have you faced concerning your LGBTQ child? How did you deal with these?
He was 28 when he came out and suffered by running out in traffic drunk, getting into fights (homcidal), and suicidal. How much he went through and I would have put my life in the line for her…
What is the best thing about knowing your child's LGBTQ identity?
Knowing what you know today, would you want your child to “stay in the closet”? Why?
What would you say to other parents learning the LGBTQ identity of their child?
Be careful not to alienate your child by not thinking about the long term repercussions and residual lasting impression that you may inadvertently create which will create shame. You are the one who can create an environment where the child or the child inside can grow. You are the key to your child’s mental health. They didn’t choose this difficult life and should be awarded as a champion for going through all of the confusion and self loathing they may already feel. Save a life bc that is what you are doing… your child’s Life. Aren’t they worthy it?
What would you say to youth coming out to their families?
Trust that you are freeing yourself and if a parent cannot or will not support you then give it time. Reach out again, give them a second chance and if they simply won’t accept you for some reason, give yourself time to grieve and hope that one day they will come around but if not, get with a therapist and work through your pain. Don’t hurt yourself but rather forgive yourself and how you can forgive them is to understand them better than they understand themselves. You will be empowered
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