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My husband and I disagree

My 15 year old daughter has been questioning, both sexuality and gender identity for several years. Even as a young child she wanted to wear boys clothing and strongly identified with her brother. She has gone back and forth, and a few weeks ago told me she wants to identify as male. We bought clothing from the men’s department for school. I told her I will support her no matter what. The most difficult thing is my relationship with my husband. He doesn’t feel we should support her, he thinks she will be “lost,” if she follows this path. We come from an evangelical background and pastored for 10 years, although we aren’t right now. Partly because conflict between us in raising our children (3 older sibs). One had a drug problem, and another had a baby at 16. I want to focus on the relationship with my children in order to be a help to them as they navigate life. My husband on the other hand feels I am much too passive, fearful of losing them. It’s getting harder to stay together. We’ve been married almost 30 years. I want to stay together but sometimes I wonder if it’s healthy for us and the children. I am concerned as we now move into this next part of the journey with my 15 year old. I’d appreciate any insights, shared experience.

Support for parents of LGBTQ Forums Discussion Forum My husband and I disagree

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    • Julie Anne
      Participant
      #3068

      My 15 year old daughter has been questioning, both sexuality and gender identity for several years. Even as a young child she wanted to wear boys clothing and strongly identified with her brother. She has gone back and forth, and a few weeks ago told me she wants to identify as male. We bought clothing from the men’s department for school. I told her I will support her no matter what. The most difficult thing is my relationship with my husband. He doesn’t feel we should support her, he thinks she will be “lost,” if she follows this path. We come from an evangelical background and pastored for 10 years, although we aren’t right now. Partly because conflict between us in raising our children (3 older sibs). One had a drug problem, and another had a baby at 16. I want to focus on the relationship with my children in order to be a help to them as they navigate life. My husband on the other hand feels I am much too passive, fearful of losing them. It’s getting harder to stay together. We’ve been married almost 30 years. I want to stay together but sometimes I wonder if it’s healthy for us and the children. I am concerned as we now move into this next part of the journey with my 15 year old. I’d appreciate any insights, shared experience.


    • Moderator
      Keymaster
      #3141

      This response is several months later than your post, so you may have found yourself in a different position by now. However, the themes that you write about are so common in many marriages, including the struggle to support a child coming out when parents hold different opinions, goals, and values. There is no right or wrong way to proceed, however, if your goal is to maintain or deepen connection with your child, your response of “I support you no matter what” is a great start. This may indeed lead to further conflict or disconnection with your husband. As you sort through your religious and parenting values, it would likely be helpful to find a pastor or counselor in your area who is both knowledgeable about your faith and LGBTQ-affirming. You and your husband could very likely find a way to continue with your faith and remain connected and supportive of your child–there are definitely churches out there that are affirming and welcoming! Best of luck on this journey; you are dealing with many important questions.

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