I Think My Child Is Transgender

I Think My Child Is Transgender

 

Transgender: People whose gender identity differs from the sex they were given at birth.  Trans+ includes non-binary people.

Gender identity:  Our deeply felt internal experience of our own gender.

If you think that your child is struggling with their gender identity, or might be Trans the best thing to do is make sure they know that you love and support them. Coming to terms with your gender identity can be a difficult journey as there is so much social stigma. As a parent, it’s important to listen and try not to make assumptions – create a space where that person can be honest and open about their gender.

Here are some steps you can take:

  • If you think that your child is struggling with their gender identity or might be Trans the best thing to do is make sure they know that you love and support them. Coming to terms with your gender identity can be a difficult journey as there is so much social stigma. As a parent, it’s important to listen and try not to make assumptions – create a space where that person can be honest and open about their gender.
  • Many Trans people are scared that if they come out they might be rejected. Tell your child that you love them no matter what and that you support them to be true to themselves.
  • Educate yourself on Trans issues. There are great books and resources that will help you understand the issue. Read IndividualiTy, our booklet for trans youth and their family members. Try this Guide for Parents and Family Members of Trans Youth from Gendered Intelligence in the UK. Another resource from LGBT Youth is Scotland is this Coming Out Guide for Trans Youth. Gendered.ie is a great information resource for families of trans young people.
  • Don’t be afraid to raise the topic, but be gentle. Putting pressure on someone to come out can cause anxiety and stress. Your child needs to move at their own pace, but knowing that you are Trans/ LGB friendly can make them feel safer and more confident to raise the issues when they’re ready.
  • If you see that your child is very distressed, let them know you’re open to talking about anything with them.
  • Ask if there is someone else that they would like to talk to, perhaps suggesting they speak to a professional who is aware of Trans identity. Our Youth Workers at BeLonG To have a lot of experience supporting trans young people. We also offer a free counselling service with Pieta House. Please get in touch with us.
  • Don’t be afraid to get your own support. This can be a challenging time for your family and speaking to other people who have gone through or are going through the same process can be helpful.