04-08-2022 11:13 AM - edited 04-10-2022 03:30 AM
04-08-2022 05:22 PM
Hi @lostmom2 and welcome to the online community. I'm so glad that you reached out for some support as it sounds like it has been a very lonely experience trying to come to terms with your child's new identity.
I'd like to start off by saying that your feelings of concern, grief and loss are absolutely valid. You can definitely love and support your child as a transgender woman, and still feel a strong sense of loss for the young man that you knew, raised and loved. I don't personally identify as transgender, but I do identify as a lesbian and am a proud part of the LGBTQIA+ community. I know that when I told my parents about my sexuality, I was asking them to reconsider, and in some cases completely change, the visions of my future that they had been imagining for me since I was a child. They loved and supported me, just like you have loved and supported your daughter, but I would not blame them for a minute if, in their own minds, they held fears and concerns about what my future might look like and how I would be perceived by the rest of the world. It is okay to need time to adjust. This does not make you a bad parent.
I can hear from what you've said that you're unsure and have some questions about your daughter's gender identity, specifically how she could feel like a male throughout most of her upbringing and then suddenly have these feelings change. I know for some people it can take a lifetime to discover their sexuality or gender identity. Sometimes they may not be aware of how to describe what they're going through, or they may suppress these feelings out of shame. Have you considered talking to your daughter about your confusion? Perhaps she will be able to answer these questions for you or shed some light on what that her journey of discovering her gender looked like?
From what you've told me, it sounds like you're an incredibly caring and protective parent who has strived to give their child every opportunity possible to receive a good education and build a career for themselves. I can also hear that you tried very hard to make sure that your daughter felt supported and accepted when she came out, and that rejecting her is simply not an option for you. That's truly heartwarming to hear. At the same time, I can see that holding in your fears and concerns has taken a real toll on your own mental health and that you're struggling immensely with trying to process this huge change. Do you have anyone to support you while you're trying to be there for your daughter?
I'm so sorry that you feel as though you've been going through this experience alone. We have certainly heard from other parents in similar positions who are raising transgender young people, so hopefully you're able to find some connection and solidarity within our online community. Please know that you are not alone, and that it's okay to hold space for both positive and difficult emotions in this process.
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