Image is of two people hugging, one with a smile on their face, because there is no timeline on acceptance and it takes as long as it takes.

Acceptance Has No Timeline

coming out parent support Sep 04, 2023

When Leo came out as transgender, I worked hard to model for others how to use his correct name and pronouns. I knew how hard it was for myself and my husband to make the switch. It required a lot of practice not to slip up and revert to using his birth name and pronouns. I wanted to ensure that others had an example of how to talk about and to Leo. Acceptance was my priority, and I wanted to make sure Leo felt loved and supported by all the important people in his life. 


I've shared before how, after six months, someone in our life told us that it was too hard for them to use Leo's pronouns. They said it was too hard for them to make the switch to he/him/his. At that time, I told the person that no one was having a more difficult time than his father and I and that if we could do it, so could they. Seven years later, I stand my ground on being willing to try and make a mistake and not being willing to try at all. 


There's a difference between making an effort and not being accepting. To keep moving forward, you have to understand the difference. 


If you are looking for acceptance from people in your life who don't seem to be giving it, ask yourself these questions: 


  1. Have they asked for more time? Sometimes, people need more time to process what they don't understand. Or, they need to work through their own thoughts and emotions first. 

  2. Have they made an effort in any area? This could look like using your child's name or pronouns even once, buying an item that matches their gender, or anything that shows they are trying, even in the slightest way. 

  3. Is acceptance something they are capable of giving? Have they indicated in any way that they aren't open to your child being transgender? Or, do their words and actions put them on the fence or make you believe they may be, but they don't know it yet or need more time (see above)? 


As parents, sometimes we are in a place of acceptance long before the rest of the people in our children's lives. We want to ensure that home is a place where our children feel safe and loved. As a result, it can seem like everyone else is taking a long time to be supportive. 


Just because we are ready to accept our child doesn't mean everyone else is prepared to.


Some people will need more time to get to a place of acceptance. Others will need more practice before using our children's names and pronouns without making mistakes.


Coming out is a journey for both us and our children, including the other people in our children's lives.  Be willing to give other people the time they need. 



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