Topic:

My son came out as trans, but isn’t sharing much else

Hi. My son came out as trans by text to me and his dad this past weekend. We wrote back to thank him for sharing and told him we had questions and wanted to talk when he was ready, but he hasn’t shared much else since then. We are shocked and didn’t see this coming. We really don’t know where to go from here.

Support for parents of LGBTQ Forums Discussion Forum My son came out as trans, but isn’t sharing much else

Tagged: , ,

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts

    • JPrez
      Participant
      #4161

      Hi. My son came out as trans by text to me and his dad this past weekend. We wrote back to thank him for sharing and told him we had questions and wanted to talk when he was ready, but he hasn’t shared much else since then. We are shocked and didn’t see this coming. We really don’t know where to go from here.


    • GroggyOne
      Participant
      #4173

      Hello,
      The same thing happened to me also. Just looking for support. I am scared


    • Janet Duke
      Keymaster
      #4175

      It’s not uncommon for email or texts to be the first communication, and it can be a shock. To some extent parents have to wait for the child to be ready to talk, but in the meantime there is a lot you can do yourself. One of the stumbling blocks parents face are the many questions they have, but it’s important to educate yourself and not rely on your child to answer everything. Often they are still working things out themselves, or they may feel “under the microscope” with too many questions.

      Instead, use the Parent Guides section on this website as a starting point. You can read the Transgender Parent Guide online, have it emailed to you in 5 chapters, or buy our book (Parenting Transgender Children: a Guide for Keeping Your Family Strong) on Amazon. Each of these provides information about your child’s journey, understanding what transgender means and the many ways it can be expressed, how to deal with your own worry and fear, how to help, what to avoid, and so much more. We help you get started and point you to many books, resources, and organizations that can support you as well. For stories from other parents of transgender children, check out the Hopeful Voices/Family Stories section.

      This can be a time of enormous risk for your trans child. Family support and connection are their lifeline and safety net. Your love, encouragement, and belief in them as a good person is a foundation to help them believe in themselves.

      Thousands of families have experienced this enormous change in their family and stayed strong and connected. We hope that will be true for your family as well.


    • JPrez
      Participant
      #4177

      We’ve been patient but when we reminded him that we were waiting for him to be ready to tell us more, he said that he might never take the lead. We have asked a few questions here and there, but we are thinking of just setting aside some time when his sibling is away so we can talk. I found quite a few ressources online and read some good books from the library.


    • Moderator
      Keymaster
      #4317

      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.

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Moderator.
      • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Moderator.
      • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Moderator.
Viewing 4 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Contact Us