Kat Rambles 5/23/18

When your child is transgender…. gosh, how many times have I kicked off a sentence with those words in the past (nearly) seven years? I have lost count.

When your child is transgender:

  • it gives you an entirely different perspective on what it means to support the LGBT community. It puts a face on it that is so closely linked with your heart and your life that you feel a fierceness and protectiveness as a parent reaching an entirely new level. And you don’t have to be out waving the flag or wearing the colors. (Disclaimer: Not all parents will feel like this and some will hit the ground running and others will come around. Everyone’s experience is unique.)
  • you will learn what acceptance means at its truest form. You will be forced to look at your child in a different way, one you might not have dreamed, and you will have to face what’s inside your heart.
  • all your beliefs of who you are as a parent will be put to a test. Your “unconditional” love will be poked, prodded, pushed and stretched. Wait for it.
  • all of your beliefs regarding LGBT people will be put to a test. Your child is one of this group and the worst thing you can do is “accept” your child as LGBT but not accept other. It instantly invalidates your acceptance.
  • you have to be prepared for battle at any time. Especially the surprise attacks- because you will have more of those unexpected encounters than the ones you planned on. You have to be ready to fight for your kid, regardless of their age.  You will need to be flexible at all times. Sometimes you might be needed to take the lead and stand up to someone. Other times your silent presence will be enough. And there will be times when you only need to stand in the background and watch….at the ready, just in case you are needed. There is nothing more powerful than unwavering, solid parents standing with their trans kids.
  • you will find that not everyone can be trusted- and some might be people you thought you could trust.
  • you might find yourself putting your trust in “strangers” who become the most solid people in your life.
  • you will discover a whole new world, filled with unfamiliar terms, from acronyms to clothing to medical.
  • you might need to educate yourself on a few things. Cliff notes- It’s not a choice. No two transitions are alike. Acceptance, support and love are a must!
  • seeking out others who are going through the same thing can be very helpful! Other parents can be priceless in terms of support and resources.
  • you will need patience. With everyone. And everything.
  • there will be good times and bad times.
  • you need to remember that regardless of your child’s name or gender, they are still the same kid you always had.- this is just another part of them.
  • don’t sweat the small stuff. So much of it is not permanent. (We are on our 3rd name and 4th pronoun change over here. And gender expression? Well, it’s fluid so it’s …..fluid.)
  • you will be having conversations you never imagined you would have with your child.
  • you will become an expert on the difference between gender and sex.
  •  if you are struggling, it will get better. It really will. Your kid is so lucky to have you as a parent!
  • and you are not struggling, that’s awesome- your kid is so lucky to have you as a parent!
  • remember to take care of yourself. It’s really easy to let this consume your life. You need to be in a good place yourself to help your child.
  • if you are past all the sticky stuff and you see a newbie parent trying to make their way through, remember how you felt in the early days and reach out. There is nothing worse than feeling helpless to help your child and feeling like you are alone. If you can give back a little, please do. If you can do nothing else, a kind, encouraging word is priceless to someone who is floundering a bit.

fierce mama bear there

Wishing you all good things!

-Kat

9 thoughts on “Kat Rambles 5/23/18

  1. Hi Kat,
    I followed you from Hugh’s post. I want to read your post and also enjoy your photos, but It will take me a while to get up to speed. Through some of the gay organizations and groups I belong, I have met several transgender individuals. Some adults, but mostly young people. I must admit, I don’t understand, but it doesn’t stop me from opening my heart to them. I remember all too well, the years I struggled with my homosexuality. I’m sure the anguish of being a transgender parent is horrible, but as you state, not as nearly as much as your child’s struggles. Today’s parents are far more educated and far more accepting than my generation and my parent’s generation. However, that doesn’t mean that society is accepting. I’m not sure it will ever. That is why individuals like yourself are so rare and special. I can’t take the burden from you and I can’t show you an easier road. What I can do is acknowledge your efforts and the love you show for your child and other transgender families who are living the struggles. God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chuck,
      Thank you so much for the kind words. I can’t imagine not loving and supporting my child, even if I don’t understand at times. I agree that the odds are that much of society might never be accepting and it’s a shame. As my child gets older and more comfortable in their own skin, it does get easier. The increase in the visibility of transgender people and matters has been promising. my hope is that in a few short years we can begin to make more strides toward making it all feel more everyday to people who are new or resistant to the concept 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Shawn! Although our lives seem to have quieted down as Kris has become more comfortable with themself, I’m still part of the community and I will always remember every part of our experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m thankful that I have been able to get to know you, and a few other very special mothers, during this process. Your loving support of your child has been a beacon of hope for me while I struggled with accepting myself. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Shawn, when I thought about people I might meet along the way, I expected to meet transgender kids and their parents. I was so new to the experience and so wrapped up in what it meant to be the mom of a transgender kid that it caught me off guard when began talking with adults who were transitioning. Of course I knew everyone existed- this was just an unexpected and completely pleasurable bonus. As I have gotten to know you and read your posts about your own journey, it gave me valuable insight into Kris’s life. And thank you!!

        Like

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