As we transition, so do others
by Allison Blaylock
Transgender Advice Columnist
The other day my mom said I was "acting transgender because it's trendy." I was so hurt by that statement. I am transgender - I feel it - I know it. Since I was four I knew I was in the wrong body.
I'm only 16 and, of course, live at home. How do I best deal with a parent who does not accept who I am? How do I get her to understand I'm a guy, not that precious girl she always wanted?
Totally frustrated teen,
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Dear Frustrated Teen,
I remember that when I started my transition that it was in the same time frame that Caitlyn Jenner had her TV special with Diane Sawyer. I knew that when I started to tell and let others know, the first thing that was going to come to mind was, “Oh, here comes the trendy thing since Jenner is doing it.”
Little did the people know that way before I knew of Caitlyn’s transition I had already spoken to therapists along with a few medical professionals. I still had the stigma that this was just the trendy thing to do.
There are a few things that I could suggest for you as well as others in your situation. The first, and I know that this sounds bad for many, is to go and see a therapist that deals with gender identity. The reason for this is to have an additional person help facilitate the conversation between your family members and yourself. Having the therapist there who has experience in this area can help your family members learn and understand about who you are.
The next suggestion is to have your parents go to a PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays) meeting. There are many parents that go to PFLAG when they are struggling with coming to terms with an LGBTQ child.
The last thing I will mention is have them read books on the subject. There are becoming more and more books available as people share their story.
I will say that there is no great answer to this situation. I know that I have mentioned in some of my past columns that when we transition we tend to forget from time to time that others are having to transition as well.
I will add that with the current fights going on in the political world, a parent could be afraid in wanting to protect you. One thing that parents fear more than anything is that something has happened to their child. I will say even at my age when I told my parents, they had to digest and adjust to the news.
I am sure your parents did not have in mind for you going from (what they viewed as) the precious girl to a strong young man.
Please try and keep communications open to your family members, talk with a school counselor and see about having your parents reach out to a therapist for everyone in the family. This journey is not easy, it won’t be easy nor will everyone understand.
You are a very important person and special in so many ways. Help your parents see you as who you are but try not to rush them, time should be taken with delicate situations like this. Your outcomes can be bright and you can make a difference - not only today but in the future.
For all that transition, please remember that as we transition, so do others, they just have not had the ability to start the process as soon as we have. One day at a time leads to a future of many more.
Copyright 2017 The Gayly – April 24, 2017 @ 11:35 a.m.