When Your Kid Comes Out…

“Nothing is permanent.

Everything is subject to change.

Being is always becoming.”

-Buddha

I’m not an expert in raising LGBTQ kids. Mine was 18 when they came out and while that might be the legal age for some things, it doesn’t mean they were an adult by any means. Since we were about to embark on a second puberty, they were far from grown up. But having experienced the last five plus years, I’ve found a few things to hold true.

  • Your child comes first. Love them. Accept them. Support them.
  • A name is just a name- no matter how attached you might think you are to the one you gave them, you will be surprised at how quickly you adapt to a new name when you just accept it.
  • Let go of what society and you consider gender norms. Open your mind to new possibilities.
  • If your child holds on to parts of their previous gender or ASAB (or whatever you prefer to call it), it does not mean that they don’t identify as the other gender. Trans boys can like make up. Trans girls can like football.
  • And holding onto those things doesn’t mean they are unsure or changing their minds. They might just like those things. Or they might be comfortable with those things, especially if they are coming out at a later age.
  • Don’t expect them to know instinctively how to be a boy or girl. Sometimes it takes time to know who you are and what feels right.
  • People might act strange. They might act accepting until they actually see your child as their true self. They might resist it. They might fade away quietly. They might disguise their discomfort behind other issues. They might not know how they feel.
  • Fight for your child.
  • Be flexible. (4 years after the child I thought was my daughter came out as my son, I was buying a dress for the Winter Ball.)
  • This is a journey. Although some kids will come out, transition and live happily ever after, some need more time.
  • Advocate for the LGBTQ community. You don’t have to be the loudest or flashiest one out there but by showing support, it’s sending a clear message to your child. It’s one thing to support your child because they are your child but by advocating it tells your child that your truly support who they are because you believe in not only them, but every person’s right to be their truest self.
  • Nothing is permanent. And if your child should say, “Hey, know what? This doesn’t feel right”- well, so what? No one was hurt and your child can move on in their journey to face new challenges.
  • And because it is so important it bears repeating- love, accept, support.

Out of everything I have experienced as a parent, this one has been the wildest ride. I know it might not be over, or it might be….and that’s just part of what it is. I’ve learned so much about myself and my family and my life. And I never thought that I would be where I am right now, which is in a much better place than I was 5-7 years ago.

TTFN!

-Kat

 

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21 thoughts on “When Your Kid Comes Out…

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I’ve come across so many parents who are dealing with this and just don’t know what to do. This is what I wish someone had said to me back in those scary stressful early days. 🙂 I’m glad you stopped by!

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    1. It’s nice of you to say that. I’m parenting the only way I know how. Having a transgender child has been such a learning experience for me- not only about trans issues but myself as well. I wish all parents were supportive of their transgender children, too. I can’t imagine turning my back on any of my children.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great and necessary post , I found you via Christoph Fischer. THANK YOU!
    So important to be open-minded and welcoming. We do not own our kids, we are but their temporary guides and that is a privilege ! GREAT POST!
    Kids can surprise us in so many ways and we need to know how to be a source of support in who they are.

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    1. Thank you, Maria! This was the biggest parenting challenge I had ever faced. So much of it is out of our control that it is imperative that we excel at the things we can do- like support, love and accept. 🙂

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  2. You’re such an awesome role model as a parent. Issues of gender haven’t been something I’ve had to deal with, but our kids have had plenty of their own struggles – as do all people, really. Anyway, I recognize an excellent mom when I see one, and I definitely see one in you!

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    1. Thank you so much! You are so kind!!! 🙂 I have noticed that everything I’ve learned as the parent of a trans kid has really helped me out with my parenting overall. 🙂

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    1. Thank you! I think part of it is just a change in the world and how much more open people are to accepting ideas that were previously taboo. My kids can’t believe that we did not talk about a person being gay, let alone transgender. It just wasn’t done. Hopefully as time goes by, more and more people will let go of the mindset that we have to act and react the way we always did. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

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