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

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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?

Hi @Defiant, I'm so glad you've hooked up with Qlife and found some groups in your state, that's fantastic. I was being rather presumptive providing NSW info! And to hear the relief your son has gained from talking is heartwarming, and exactly what he needs. I so agree with @Beingme2017 that having your united support will help him immensely.  

 

I can understand your fears about society's reaction. He has a long road ahead and people can be cruel. I think as parent the thought of our kids being hurt for being who they are, is very hard to sit with.  All we can really do though is love them and help them get through the tough times. I was told recently that this is their journey, for them to learn and grow from their experiences.

 

I did see a really positive video on facebook today that made me think of you guys. It was about a little transgender boy who's father was a minister. By the age of 10 I think it was, they had changed his name by deed poll, and she was supported so lovingly by her parents that she was actually speaking out about being transgender. It was fabulous. 

 

ReachOut has a youth forum that your son might be interested in to chat with other transgender teens. @Ben-RO I'm wondering if you might be able to share more about the community in the youth forum? I don't want to give any misinformation.

 

Your son is starting his journey from very strong foundations by the sounds, and I believe that will help a lot. Both you and his father are doing an awesome job. I'm sure your story will help others in the forum too.

Prolific scribe

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

My girl came out a few months ago. I had a small inkling from a photo I saw of her last yr and wondered. I wish she had just said I am bi but she had to mention all these extra attached letters confusing me endlessly. My ex and I are both gay and I have to say she still hasn't told her other mum!!!! And they are pretty close.

 

Once she told me I was totally supportive and like you got on to all the sites and she was happy as a lark. I made sure she got everything she needs for now and her future. I got thrown out so no positivity from my family. All her friends know and support her. Her SN sister tends to support her when she isn't screaming at her. It is such a hard road for them.

 

Ppl say how much things have changed but like anything as long as we don't talk about it - it doesn't exist. I still face this so I know there really isn't such a change but transgender we are starting again. You are doing exactly all the things I am doing positive loving and the big one - listening.

 

It still breaks our heart no matter what we say verbally..

 

The one thing I did do was specifically look for a counsellor dealing with the issues and emotions mine will face. Unless they have experienced it they really cannot comprehend what these kids are going through. I feel for all of you and hope that this will be a very positive experience for your journeys.

Frequent scribe

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

Hi there @Defiant and thanks for tagging me @taokat.  I don't have terribly much to contribute but it does sound like you are doing all the right things, @Defiant.  It must be so exhausting for a young person to have to hide something so fundamental about themselves.  My 14yo came out to us as being gay a few months ago and I think it was a similar relief to him to get it off his chest.  I have told a couple of trusted teachers at his school so they can look out for him.  I also looked into some of the groups and support services that others have suggested but he isn't really interested in going there just yet.  PFlag is another group that might be worth talking to.  I found them really helpful when my son first broke the news and was wondering how best to support him.  I spoke to the Sydney group but I think they are all over. 

All the best with everything.  Please keep us posted.

Regards

HTM

Community Manager

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

Hey @Defiant

 

Sounds like you're doing a great job at what can be a difficult time for a young person.  And, of course, your views and responses are such a huge part of how difficult it's going to be so you are all in a good place to start. Simply wanting to know how to support your young person is sadly a lot more than many parents do, so well done.

 

I don't really have anything of value to add, I just wanted to ask if you have raised with your teen the issue of pronouns and how they would like to be referred to? If or when you have that conversation and you know what the preferred choice is and you're comfortable sharing, please let us know so we can support you and follow suit.

Having spaces you can go to where you feel you and your child are unconditionally supported is very important.  I really hope you feel like you have that here.

 

Please let us know how things go. And any services or camps etc that you discover in your travels, please let us know about those as well. Building on our library or services is very important to us.

 

 

Active scribe

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

Hi @Defiant I am new to the forum and just posted my story in the introductions.  I am a mum of a transgender child.  My son came out to me approx 8 mths ago, born female but identifies as male and wants to fully transition as male when he legally is allowed to do so.  But in the meantime I am fully supportive of doing all I can to support him. We found local groups and lgbtq groups, gender groups for parents and teens...sought out specific counsellors that deal in transgender issues and had been doing all the things we could to overcome the gender dysphoria.

 

one of the biggest issues we face for my son is making sure he feels he can pass as male and masculine. There have been a lot of appearance changes in haircuts..dress etc.

 

But even when I think I am doing all I can...I can't actually imagine and know what it is like to feel trapped in the wrong body.  I don't have gender dysphoria or body dysphoria and my child was really good at pretending all was ok and internalising this.  This lead to depression and now because he is in so much emotional turmoil over all this, he is cutting his body. And I have a close relationship with my son and we have always been able to talk but this was something that even my son didn't know how to explain or express to me.  

 

My my son has come out with a new name to all his friends and they are all wonderful and accepting.  There are going to be lots more struggles ahead but just like you we will get through it.  You sound like an amazing parent. Sadly I have actually come across families who just can't deal with there child coming out as transgender.  They dismiss it and refuse to accept it. Really sad stuff.  

Mod

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

Hey @Mamarose thank you so much for opening up and sharing your honest experiences. You sound like such an amazing mother who would do anything to understand and support your son. I'm sure everyone here will appreciate your post- I look forward to the responses Smiley Happy 

Scribe

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

Hi
My daughter who is 14 has just come out as transgender . She said she has thought about it for some time now . We are all very supportive and she has seen a local psychiatrist who specialises in gender identity . Has been great . We are going to ACON also , do you have one of those near you ? They are a wealth of knowledge . And we are going through the process of meeting with her principal to try and get the ball rolling so she can wear pants ( they are a private school so conservative ) and has staff toilets ..
her friends are supportive but I know there will be some hurtful kids out there she will encounter ...
I'm new to this also and have tried to read up lots on the topic and make sure I'm doing all the right things as a parent !
Active scribe

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

Hi Mazzyb,

 

sounds like your are doing an amazing job doing all the right things  Smiley Happy Finding a parents support group for you is also invaluable.... All the best.

 

Highlighted
Community Manager

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

Thank you so much @Mamarose and @mazzyb for sharing your experiences. 

We are huge supporters of LGBTQIA young people here at ReachOut, particularly because, as you describe, they often have such a difficult experience during their adolescence that they deserve all the support and care that can be given to them.

 

We'd love you to share your story with us. If you click here it will take you to a new thread.

The more stories we share of parents doing a great job raising young people who are transitioning, the more we can become a community where parents having this experience can get support and learn how to provide support to their teenager.

 

And please, any great services or resources you've used, let us know. Smiley Happy