My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

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Active scribe

My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

We have a great relationship and clearly he has finally felt comfortable enough to bring up the topic. I want to support him in anyway i can and am seeking advice from other parents who may have experience in this topic. 

Mod

Re: My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

Hey @Defiant firstly you already are an incredibly supportive and amazing parent - AMAZING. I do hope the forum provides all the info it can on this journey with you and your teenager. Are you aware of this amazing relatively new resource QLife [click here]. I think they are still open now and you could  have a chat with them about how to continue supporting your adolescent through this journey. How are you feeling at the moment about it? Look forward to hearing from you Smiley Happy 

Active scribe

Re: My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

I will certainly have a look at that! Right now I am surprisingly ok...I have always known he was a little different from my other older son, but this did take me by surprise. I perhaps would have been less surprised if he had announced he was gay than this....but it is what it is. Perhaps he was the girl I wished for after all! As he is almost 16 this is a difficult time for him. He has expressed that his **bleep** is 'inconvenient'. Basically, hormones are running wild, and he is not happy with how his body is responding...poor kid! I guess what I need is a plan for what to do next, how to broach the subject with the rest of the family, do I seek the support of a GP, counsellor, psychologist in the first instance, or a combination?

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

Hi @Defiant , Although I don't have any experience in that area specifically I am a parent who would also be totally supportive of my kids in that situation. I just wanted to say that I think you're wonderful and if there's any way we can support you here at Reachout's parent forums please ask. Even if it's a kind 'ear'. I have heard that the people that @TOM-RO suggested are great and would love to hear how you go. 

Mod

Re: My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

My goodness @Defiant you sound absolutely amazing, I would be so happy to have a supportive parent like yourself as an adolescent. Big kudos to you as I am sure it's quite a lot of info. I just noticed QLife have this quick resource [here]. There's also a Family pan-flit on the website too. I definitely think they'll be a great strarting point for which steps to take.

 

What does he want to do? Does he want to sit with it now, or is he ready to talk to a professional? Look forward to hearing from you.

Active scribe

Re: My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

I am a high school teacher, so perhaps a little more empathetic when it comes to the issues that young people face than the average parent, but thank you so much for the affirmations that im doing the right things! We spoke today about perhaps going to a professional and he seemed keen which is a great start. I have also referred him to the Qlife resource.
Parent Peer Supporter

Re: My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

Hi @Defiant after reading the posts I felt how lucky you are to have such a close relationship with your son.  This is such a difficult time for him possibly because he is probably working out how he is suppose to behave.  My Nephew struggled his whole teenage years without telling anybody however, once he finally told his parents and the rest of the family it opened up a whole new world for him.  He had been isolated himself for years and during this time had difficulty engaging with others who were like minded.  After seeking professional help from a psychologist he is now very confident about who he is and has a huge network of friends.  I wish you all the best.

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

Hi @Defiant, welcome to the forum.

 

I don't have personal experience in this myself, but just wanted to say what awesome parents you are, and I congratulate you in your support of your son. Having a close relationship with our teens is probably the best thing they can have as they navigate these years!

 

One of my daughter's best friends first identified as bisexual, and now pansexual and she is too afraid to talk to her parents about it which is really unfortunate. Friends support is great, but knowing your parents love and support you for who you are is a big deal.

 

There is a great link here for Twenty10. They're the largest service in NSW that provides support specifically to GLBTIQ youth. 

 

Another highly recommended service is Camp Out, which is a camp for teens 13-17 years who are questioning their sexuality and/or gender. An ex-colleague of @Ngaio-RO's who is a qualified child psychologist attends the camps regularly. The next camp is in October, so it might be worth looking into it if your son's interested.  

 

I'm wondering @hashtagmum if you have any advice you'd like to share, having gone through a similar situation? 

Active scribe

Re: My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

Thank you all....we have had quite a discussion this weekend and with the help of resources that I have gained through here and Qlife will start the process of working with professions for guidance. While the camps seem great we are not in NSW. There are however a number of groups in our state that I have been put in touch with. For him, i am grateful to see the relief that talking has given him. His father is also part of this support and we are united as a family to support our child's needs.
I just hope that the outside world will be as kind, unfortunately, I know all too well how hard things will be for our child. In many respects, if he had identified with being gay, the road would be far less difficult.
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Parent Peer Supporter

Re: My teen has just told me that he is transgender. How do i best support him on this journey?

Welcome to the forums @Defiant

Your son is so fortunate to be going through this process with such supportive parents , and i truly believe this will help him face the challenges he has ahead with resilience and courage. Sometimes just knowing we have the unconditional love of our family can make all the difference can't it