Topic:

I’m ok; my family is not

I have suspected that my (now 14-yr old) daughter would belong to the LGBTQ community in some way for a long time. Her first “relationship” (she didn’t want to “date” until she was in high school) was with a girl. Now she is dating a ftm trans boy. He is a wonderful kid and my husband and I really like him! (Very polite, attends sports and school events, visits with family, calls us Mr.&Mrs, etc.) But I come from a very conservative family. We have always stressed to our kids that we love them. Period. But how do I explain the junk they hear from extended family? I don’t want to cut off family that I already rarely see. But I know I’m not going to change the way they think. They love my daughter and they don’t know about her dating life yet. Do I need to spill all her personal details? Or can I somehow explain to her that…I don’t know…family that we love can say stupid stuff? Anyone dealt with this? Any advice??

Support for parents of LGBTQ Forums Discussion Forum I’m ok; my family is not

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    • L.Flowers
      Participant
      #2546

      I have suspected that my (now 14-yr old) daughter would belong to the LGBTQ community in some way for a long time. Her first “relationship” (she didn’t want to “date” until she was in high school) was with a girl. Now she is dating a ftm trans boy. He is a wonderful kid and my husband and I really like him! (Very polite, attends sports and school events, visits with family, calls us Mr.&Mrs, etc.) But I come from a very conservative family. We have always stressed to our kids that we love them. Period. But how do I explain the junk they hear from extended family? I don’t want to cut off family that I already rarely see. But I know I’m not going to change the way they think. They love my daughter and they don’t know about her dating life yet. Do I need to spill all her personal details? Or can I somehow explain to her that…I don’t know…family that we love can say stupid stuff? Anyone dealt with this? Any advice??


    • Moderator
      Keymaster
      #2547

      This is such a common situation, and very tricky! It is wonderful that you are thinking about how to ease your daughter’s experience of family member’s beliefs and comments. Some parents do distance from family members during the period of time when extended family is not yet aware, and so continues to express beliefs or ideas that are unintentionally hurtful. However, there are a couple things you can do to help your daughter feel loved and affirmed even in the face of these comments.

      1. If your daughter has not yet chosen to come out, you can speak up and respond to these comments in ways that are supportive of LGBTQ people (without outing her). For more information about this, see Speaking Up: Independent Actions.

      2. You can have the “people say stupid stuff” conversation with your daughter, as you mentioned. The benefit of speaking with her privately about what she may hear is to help her put the comments into perspective and avoid taking them personally. In other words, you can help her understand that these comments likely stem from an individual’s long-held, possibly unexamined ideas and and viewpoints, and may not have anything to do with feelings about her as an individual. It may also be helpful to reiterate that you do not agree with the statements and if she ever wants to discuss what she hears with you, you are open to doing that.


      • Anonymous
        Inactive
        #4427

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts and advice on this common and delicate situation. It’s important to support and affirm our LGBTQ+ children, especially when they may face hurtful comments from family members who may not understand or accept their identity.

        I agree that there are several things parents can do to help their child feel loved and affirmed, even in the face of hurtful comments. It’s important to create a safe and supportive environment for our children, where they can be themselves without fear of judgment or discrimination.

        Speaking up in a supportive way without outing our child is a great idea, as it can help shift the conversation and show our child that they are not alone. Additionally, having a private conversation with our child about the possibility of hearing hurtful comments can help prepare them and give them tools to cope with the situation.

        It’s also important to remind our child that these comments likely stem from long-held beliefs and may not have anything to do with their worth as an individual. We can reinforce our love and support for our child, and let them know that we are always here to listen and support them.

        Overall, navigating family dynamics can be difficult, but by prioritizing our child’s well-being and creating a supportive environment, we can help them thrive and feel loved for who they are.


    • Anonymous
      Inactive
      #2874

      your daughter’s life is not bounded to your relatives. if her parents are happy you should take care of her feeling.


    • marianne
      Participant
      #4603

      I feel very sad for you and angry I’m in a similar situation and am starting to really dislike my sisters who refuse to believe that my trans ftm child is for real They think she is just trying to get attention one niece even thinks she is possessed I love my family but I can’t get over what they think of my trans (non-binary and prefers “they to he”. It’s sad but good to know I’m not alone I’m 73 and won’t be around for much longer and it’s just heartbreaking but not nearly as fraught as my child’s situation


    • marianne
      Participant
      #4604

      I feel very sad for you and angry I’m in a similar situation and am starting to really dislike my sisters who refuse to believe that my trans ftm child is for real They think she is just trying to get attention one niece even thinks she is possessed I love my family but I can’t get over what they think of my trans (non-binary and prefers “they to he”. It’s sad but good to know I’m not alone I’m 73 and won’t be around for much longer and it’s just heartbreaking but not nearly as fraught as my child’s situation

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