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Parenting Transgender kids

14 Aug

After reading and reviewing I am J by Cris Beam, a story about a transgendered teen, I was deeply touched and saddened by his plight. I know that J’s experience is not uncommon. He faced rejection, homelessness, and danger when he revealed his true self.

I think that of all the GBLT variations, this one may be the hardest for a parent to deal with. As a parent of two queer kids, I know something of the thought redirection that takes place when a parent realizes that their child is not going to follow the dream path that we have for them. In my case, I had mostly guessed, before I knew for sure, and it wasn’t that big of a deal. My oldest told me ten years ago and, although I was okay with it, I remember wishing, at least a little bit, that things could be different. With my youngest, who came out this summer, I can’t imagine wishing him to be anyone other than who he is. (and I wouldn’t change my daughter anymore either.)  But having a trans kid would be harder, I think. As a parent, I think  my kids are perfect. It is a mom thing.  So the idea that something is so wrong with the body that I gave them that they need to change and be someone else would rock me. I’d accept and I would support them, and in the end, I’d be okay, but it would be a difficult thing and I would need to really grow a lot in the process.

I read with interest this inspiring  essay about a dad with a twelve year old transgendered daughter. (

“My 12 year old transgender daughter is my mentor. It’s tough to put into words what a profound impact this small person has had in changing my core values, but since the young age of five, she has unknowingly encouraged me to open my eyes and heart to new ideas. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve watched her experience severe emotional pain and physical frustration, but thanks to support and guidance, I’ve watched as she’s become a confident, happy and healthy child. And as she changed, I changed too.”

What a beautiful story and what a great dad.  He has lucky kids.

I am happy that at least some parents and teachers are becoming more educated about these issues, which allow early intervention, counseling, and medical care.  Another story about this remarkable girl and her family can be found at ( )