To any trans kids reading this–
Hiya! Before you dive into these resources, I just want you to take a deep breath and remind yourself that your identity is absolutely, completely valid — regardless of what your parents say about it, what they call you, or who they want you to be. You are you, and you know yourself best. Though I cannot promise that they will get to a place of complete understanding, I can promise that you will not always feel the crappy things you’re feeling right now if you do the intentional work to move forwards. And you’re already off to a great start: you’re here, looking for help. That’s so resourceful. You got this. I’m rooting for you.
To any parents–
I’m so glad you’re here. I hope that you find these resources helpful. If you have further questions, I’m always available over email or video chat consultations.
Now for the links–
- Start here. This page explains in detail why it is always better for a parent to affirm their child’s identity when they come out as trans. It includes a video, a script for the video, and additional thoughts and frequent arguments in response. And it is all backed up with empirical research and their citations.
- On coming out. This page will take you to a few links.
- General Thoughts and Advice – tips and tricks when for coming out.
- Coming Out (Parents, Story Version) – if you’re looking for a narrative of how I came out, this is it! Here I explains in depth my coming out story to my parents, first as a lesbian in 2012, and then as a transgender man in 2014.
- Coming Out on Facebook – how I came out online for the first time in 2015.
- On pronouns. Recommendations for parents that are good for the parents to actually read–so if you think they’d be receptive, this is one to send them. But I’d recommend that you read it first just so that you know what you’re sending them! It also includes a few recommendations for the trans kid, too, and how best to communicate with the parents.
- Thoughts on holidays with family for LGBTQ+ kids. Often applicable to times when you’re stuck at home that aren’t holidays, too. (Like right now, during quarantine!)
- Dear Mom, a poem before surgery. This is a poem I wrote and read to my mom the night before I got top surgery. She was very nervous about it and I wanted to communicate to her some of my feelings surrounding it. This poem is about self-acceptance through my dysphoria and my own apprehension about top surgery.
- A poem for National Daughter’s Day. As mentioned in a few of the other pages, sometimes people (mostly parents) need to grieve the person they thought we were. This is not ours to hold, but it might be worth considering and making space for. I felt like I also had grieving to do as well — even though I never truly identified as a woman or a girl, I still spent a great deal of my life thinking I was going to have to “be a woman” anyways. And that included planning for my future accordingly. So there is grief in this process. And I don’t really think that is bad. It’s just part of the process. I think it’s beautiful — but if this doesn’t resonate with you, that’s totally okay! These are just some thoughts that helped me work through my feelings with regards to shedding my womanhood, and I think it helped to share it with my parents, too.
- PFLAG. This is a national organization with chapters all around the US designed to provide resources to parents and friends of LGBTQ+ kids. (“PFLAG” originally stood for “parents and friends of lesbians and gays” but that’s since pretty antiquated so now it’s just a name.) Parents often need support through this process and as I mentioned in the pronouns page, it is NOT your (the trans kid’s) responsibility to be this support. It is the parents’ responsibility to be your support, and the parent’s responsibility to find their own outlets to process your transition — reach out to friends, talk to other parents of trans kids (again, PFLAG is a wonderful resource for this), talk to their spouse, get a therapist or counselor, etc.
- Reading list. Books can be illuminating portals into the experiences of trans and gender-nonconforming (GNC) individuals. This list highlights titles by and about the trans and GNC community.