Image is of four people wearing different colored shirts, holding hands and walking together. You can't see their faces, but they aren't supporting each other. When we share our stories and experiences, it helps others know they have someone else on their side.

Sharing Our Experiences Helps Others Feel Less Alone

grief parent support transgender Mar 21, 2023

Ram Dass writes, "We're all just walking each other home." We're all somewhere on the road between having learned that someone we love is transgender to the place where our lives don't feel so upside down and overturned any longer.


The best we can hope for on that road is someone to walk beside us and share their experience. It helps us know we aren't alone and that our experiences aren't that different from everyone else's.


For eighteen-and-a-half years I lived with the idea that I had a daughter, which was a dream come true for me. It took me a long time to let go of that idea and even longer to realize that, in fact, I never had a daughter.


That realization broke my heart more than I can still put words to. Just writing it still makes me cry. After seven years, it's still an internal wound that hasn't fully healed. I'm not sure it ever will.


Some people in the transgender community openly speak out against the idea of grief and loss in parents of transgender children. Even in the Mama Bears community (a support group on Facebook which you can find here), many mama's are against the idea.


They say it disrespects the transgender community, that it disrespects the person that you love. That it takes away from their true, authentic self.


I've shared how I feel about this before, both here and on social media. But I don't think it can be said enough times.


I believe that everyone processes change differently. Grief is about loss and an ending - not just about the death of a person. So it's perfectly natural to feel grief and loss about the change that your child is going through as they transition.


We shouldn't discount anyone's feelings because it furthers their feelings of loneliness and isolation. And it's hard enough to feel supported when your child comes out as transgender without the people you need support from making you feel worse for the feelings you are experiencing.


I consider the season I lived with the idea of a daughter one of the greatest gifts my son ever gave me. And I know that's selfish. Especially knowing how hard it was for him to keep his true self hidden for so many years. Admitting that, however, was a huge step forward in my healing.


The season you are in right now may be dark and painful. Or, you may be beginning to emerge back into the light. Whatever the case, remember that every season eventually ends, and a new one will begin. And remember that you aren't walking this road alone. We are all on this journey together.



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